Tune-Yards (performing Oct. 8 at Black Cat)
When we saw them: May 19 at Red Palace
What we said then: “The 32-year-old singer, better known as Tune-Yards, is responsible for one of the most arresting recordings of 2011 – the much-ballyhooed “whokill” – an album dizzy with melodic tangles and polyrhythmic butterflies. But on stage, her prickly puzzle-songs were deflated with carefree smiles and lockstep whimsy. It felt like children’s music for graduate students. Or like ten different versions of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” for indie people. It felt cute.” (Chris Richards)
What’s happened since: People have taken notice. In May, Tune-Yards played a sold-out show at the 100-something capacity Red Palace. This time there are a pair of sold-out shows at the much-bigger Black Cat.
When we saw him: May 8 at Rock & Roll Hotel
What we said then: “On Sunday, he proved himself one of the most enchanting new voices in pop. A lithe and tender vocalist, he crooned like the ghost of a neo-soulman while his classically-trained fingertips roamed the keyboard, accompanied by the soft white noise of the club's fans whirring overheard.” (Chris Richards)
What’s happened since: He collaborated with fellow pretty-music-maker Bon Iver . He expressed his dissatisfaction with American dubstep. He readied a new EP, “Enough Thunder,” which is due out next week.
When we saw them: March 10 at Black Cat
What we said then: “Wild Flag's D.C. debut showed great enthusiasm, much potential and some good material. But most of the songs sounded as if they needed to be dumped back in the Cuisinart for a little more blending.” (Mark Jenkins)
What’s happened since: The blending was successful. The band’s recently released debut album is of the best rock albums of the year.
When we saw them: Feb. 14 at U Street Music Hall
What we said then: “Part of what made Odd Future so initially thrilling was the pack mentality; now it's the charisma and talent of the group's breakout star ... Tyler was a handful of contradictions - baby-faced but oozing confidence, menacing but seductive. He somehow turns violent fantasies into bizarre come-ons ... Tyler is like the bad guy you find yourself rooting for.” (David Malitz)
What’s happened since: Has it really only been eight months since Odd Future was some vaguely underground curiosity? The group has single-handedly kept the Internet’s Thinkpiece industry thriving, Tyler released a so-so solo album and won a Best New Artist MTV Video Music Award, for starters.