Quantum Collective Showcase: a launch pad for music industry success?

Having launched in January of 2012, Quantum Collective is a fresh event planner and branding entity that seemingly subsists on the run-off traffic of SXSW. They’ve cleverly positioned themselves as the antithesis to the festival’s staple sponsors, the poisonous Doritos, Monster Energy, and Pepsi Co. And by pairing up with “holistic” superstars Whole Foods, and emerging hipster-mainstays KIND and O.N.E. Coconut Water, QC filled a necessary market need attracting enlightened-foodie culture, contrarians, and elitists alike, who preferred not to have their anxiety fed by the chaos of downtown 6th St.

“Quantum Collective builds awareness for music artists, corporate and lifestyle brands. The members of this group have extensive experience in artist and content development, online and social media marketing, event production and cross-branding exposure”, QC’s website boasts. Of course, this kind of braggadocio is par for the course in corporate speak, especially by startups with something to prove. But this time, they might really have something here. The months following QC’s 2012 showcase (the first annual), saw breakout success for little-known acts like The Lumineers, Imagine Dragons and Allen Stone, of which The Lumineers and Allen Stone have both since landed slots on 2013’s sold out Coachella.

The jury’s still out on what will happen to the talent featured on 2013’s showcase, but while we wait I’m going to put my two cents in. 2013’s top 3 Quantum Collective rising stars:

ZZ Ward

I’ve got it bad for this sultry songstress from Oregon. In most cases I wouldn’t turn someone onto a new artist via live recordings, but in this particular case ZZ pulls it off. If the young underground’s angsty reply to Beyonce’s sparkling white smile and beauty pageant-wave is Solange, then Adele’s theater capping-whine might soon be answering to Ms. Ward, her accusatory blues, and her dangerous collaborations. After all, as Freddie Gibbs’ cohort Pusha T points out, “Bad bitches get the best view.”

Rainbow Jackson

These “scuzzed-up power pop” derelicts from California might finally be catching their break this year, too. The four lifers in Rainbow Jackson have definitely positioned themselves among the perfect company for their come-up by sharing a house with the hot prog-y counterparts to their vinyl-era fuzz, Vanaprasta, as well as teaming up with Vans’ & Hurley’s west coast darlings The Hindu Pirates for a split later this season. This is the video for their single “Rings”.

NO

Once again Echo Park throws its hat into the ring, with NO. These guys aren’t the easiest band to Google, but soon you probably won’t have to search far. In the last year the prevailing indie rock conversation has been leaning more and more toward their neighborhood and respective scene, as well as the band’s noticeably un-Americana (thankfully) and more cold-wave indie pop debut, which was self-released, and has since sold out. Basically, if you’re into the 10% of Robert Smith’s career when he sounded happy, you’ll want to keep an eye out for NO’s full length out later this year.