Almost Famous

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New acts rarely find themselves playing before packed houses. But then again most of them don’t count models, actors, and rock-star spawn among their members. Here are six bands getting big buzz not only for their sound but also for who’s behind them.


Alice Dellal wasn’t born with music genes, but with her half-shaved head and wardrobe of ripped T’s, the 23-year-old British-Brazilian model and heiress certainly looks like a punk rocker. And so last year, she and three of her similarly rebel-chic girlfriends—Isabella Ramsey (niece of the Earl of Dalhouise) and models Laura Fraser and Emma Chitty—formed a band, calling it Thrush Metal. “At first it was all a big joke,” says Dellal (far right). “None of us knew how to play.” Yet they allocated an instrument to each member (Dellal chose drums) and learned. This month they’ll release their first EP, which, as Dellal puts it, sounds “like a screaming baby being soothed by her mother’s tit.”


Long before Joséphine de la Baume started dating music producer Mark Ronson and acted in a Romain Gavras film, she composed songs with her younger brother, Alexandre. With Alberto Cabrera on drums and Andrew Woodhead on bass, the siblings, who share vocals, formed Singtank a year ago. But it wasn’t until they got the approval of megaproducer Nellee Hooper—who invited them to record—that de la Baume, 25, gained any confidence. “It’s like when you write a diary, you’re kind of hoping one day someone will read it,” she says. “We were making music in our bedroom, hoping people would listen.”


Model and Maybelline face Charlotte Kemp Muhl began writing folk songs on the family piano. When her boyfriend, Beatles scion (and established solo artist) Sean Lennon, found a childhood poem of hers called “The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger,” he suggested they start a band with the same name. The Goastt, as they’re better known, made their debut on Valentine’s Day 2008 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Their soft, dreamy brand of pop has been earning steady praise ever since. “Sean and I are fighting so many clichés, it’s funny,” says Muhl. “But ultimately we just want to play people the songs we wrote while we were in our pajamas, in love.”


James Jagger, the 25-year-old son of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, has dabbled in a variety of artistic endeavors, from modeling in a Burberry ad to acting in a Vivaldi biopic. But for the past two years, Jagger (left) has made music his main focus with Turbogeist, a UK-based party-punk band that cites Prince, Neil Young, and Pantera as influences. This month the four-man ensemble embarks on a 22-date U.S. tour with thrashy songs like “Monster Pussy” and “Ice Cold Beers.” “We try and make stuff that we like,” says Jagger. “And we like that kind of stuff.”


In between prepping for her role in the fourth installment of Mad Max, starring in Showtime’s Californication, and modeling for friend Alexander Wang, Zoë Kravitz, the 21-year-old daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, has managed to record a handful of songs over the past two years with her band, Elevator Fight. A spitfire with a powerful voice, Kravitz (who also writes much of the music) met her bandmates in 2008 through ?uestlove of the Roots. And since then the Philadelphia-based, six-person rock act has been turning out catchy, soulful tunes that they liken to “concentrated liquid rage.”


Though she has tried modeling and acting, Coco Sumner, the high-cheekboned, husky-voiced 20-year-old daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler, spent the better part of her childhood holed up in her room learning the chords to Sex Pistols songs. She formed her first band, Coco and the Ladyboys, at age 14, and by 17 had secured a multialbum deal with Island Records. In October, Sumner, who now performs under the banner I Blame Coco, will release a disco-inflected electropop-fest titled The Constant.