The Band: Girl in a Coma
The Buzz: San Antonio rock trio combine roaring riffs with sugary vocals. They've also got a knack for impressing their elders: Morrissey hand-selected them to open for him during his 2007 tour, and they impressed prima punker Joan Jett so much she signed them to her Blackheart Records.
Listen If: You've spent your life trying to imagine a middle ground between "Bad Reputation" and "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side."
Key Track: "Static Mind," which volleys from sweeping acoustic strum to fitful electric snarl, while vocalist Nina Diaz bellows mightily, "You're gonna love me!" With that kind of conviction, how could we not?
The Band: Zaza
The Buzz: Weird and dreamlike, this Brooklyn duo write ethereal songs that hover like morning mist — soft, strange music for somber times. It's not for nothing that the group described their recent EP as a series of "silouhettes and outlines."
Listen If: You're looking for that perfect early morning music for a day that's gray and lonely.
Key Track: The haunting "Repetition." With its tribal drums, moody synths and keening vocals, it could be an outtake from the Cure's Pornography.
The Band: The Big Pink
The Buzz: Don't let the name mislead you — this U.K. band is about as far from roots rock as Dylan is from techno. Instead, they ply a particularly surreal strain of shoegaze while baiting the press with false rumors about their sexuality and predilections. Hoping to catch a bit of good rock & roll karma, the group recorded their debut at Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios in New York.
Listen If: You were one of the people who preferred My Bloody Valentine to Tool at All Points West a few weeks ago.
Key Track: "Velvet," which lays a yearning Californa surf vocal over a clattering drum machine and ties the whole thing up with a thin ribbon of guitar — like Brian Wilson gone Britpop.