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L.A. Unheard: 2011 in review

December 27, 2011 | 11:37 am

Foster the People
As we ready ourselves for another year of great new local music, here's a look at what some of L.A. Unheard's alumni accomplished in 2011:

Foster the People went from unheard to everywhere, scoring Grammy nominations and choice slots at Coachella and Lollapalooza on the strength of its unstoppable single, "Pumped Up Kicks," and its debut album, "Torches." The band is already writing its next album, which will draw on the "percussive nature" of its live show.

Garage rockers LA Font followed up its debut album with the biting "Sharks" 7" and launched a still-open Kickstarter campaign to fund its sophomore set.

Pop classicists the Smiles renamed themselves the Miracals after a legal dispute, releasing the "Give Me a Chance" EP under the new name in November.

Chamber-rock act Seasons will release its final seasonally themed EP, "Autumn," on Jan. 2. They'll be performing each of the four releases in its entirety during their free Echo residency next month.

Subversive songwriter David Shane Smith chased his art-rock "Shampoo" EP with a three-track digital single for music blog Everything Is Chemical. 

Retro-minded rockers Stone Darling premiered their five-track debut EP in Interview magazine.

Jazz-punks Big Moves launched a singles series dubbed "Big Moves Mondays," kicking things off with new track "Inspiration as a Recurring Theme."

Widescreen strummers Milo Greene signed to Chop Shop Music, the label outlet for music supervisor extraordinaire Alexandra Patsavas ("The Twilight Saga," "Mad Men"). The band's debut album is due in 2012. 

Disco savant Evan Voytas will release a new EP, "Feel Me," on Dovecote Records in January, with the release already earning notice from Rolling Stone. He offered a breathy cover of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" in October. 

-- David Greenwald

Photo: Foster the People (Cubbie Fink, left, Mark Foster and Mark Pontius) started its year with an Echo residency and capped it with Grammy nominations. Credit: Steven Dewall / Redferns