15 to Listen Out For in 2012 ?
We’ve mentioned in the past that this tipping malarkey can often arrive deep fried and positively dripping in narcissism, garnished with a large sprinkling of ego- “hey look at me I’m a pop precognitive, I can predict the muthafucking future. And it would be easy to look at The BBC’s “Sound Of” list and slavishly copy much of that, throw in a few left field buzz bands, sit back and watch your big massive fucking fat head expand because acts with big label backing are invariably and often tragically the ones that tend to do well. Big labels know that best way to predict the future is to invent it and spend a lot of time, energy and cashola in doing just that this time of year. Doubtless there are a number of artists on the Beebs list already being lined up by their labels for appearances on Jools Holland and there’s nowt wrong with that, not all record labels are intrinsically evil 😉 , still, I think there’s room for some unsigned bands on JH.
That being said let’s try not to get involved in the “tipping politics” instead let’s just look at it from the view that here are a group of artists we’d love it do well in 2012, quite simply because we feel they have much to offer and will hopefully make some interesting music in the coming 12 months. They may not be brand spanking new or wilfully obscure, but we love em ! You can also check out the BBC’s own and The Bloggers Alternative here which we helped organise.
Last year we tipped The Good Natured and Islington Boys Club as ones to watch, and we’ll continue to do so this year because we think they both have a huge amount to offer. We also hope Let’s Buy Happiness get more attention this year as they are also another band who deserve greater recognition in 2012. Anyway without further waffle as I’m sure all your brains are addled by festive spirit coupled with that gnawing anxiety and uneasy sense of guilt induced by flashbacks from your shameful antics at the office Xmas party, here are our musical hopes for 2012.
1.Two Wounded Birds
Margate based four piece have been criminally overlooked by the printed music press in the past possibly due to the fact that they aren’t A/ London hipsters and B/ have more song writing talent in their little fingers than your average NME hyped band will ever possess . Their debut album is set to arrive in the New Year and looks set to build on the huge promise of recent singles and 2010’s “Keep Dreaming Baby” EP. If you ever loved The Beach Boys, The Ramones, David Lynch, if you know your pop history than as sure as night follows day, you will love Two Wounded Birds. Interview Here
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We first heard this lot on 6 musics “NowPlaying” show of which we have been proud to have been a part of in 2011 and immediately fell in love with them. They have never appeared in the Karate Kid and are in fact a Californian collective who specialise in impeccable reverb soaked dream pop of the highest order. They’ve already been described as sounding like a female Jesus And Mary Chain (hang on wasn’t that Sister Vanilla ?) and that’s certainly a description that should pique anybody’s interest. We are very, very excited to hear what they come up with next!
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3. Rae Morris.
Our Mancunian gig going chums first altered us to Ms Morris, insisting we really should catch her live, to be truthful we haven’t quite managed that yet but as soon as we heard her songs and her voice it was like fireworks going off in our head. A brilliant prodigious talent, ignore the blithe comparisons with other female songwriters (they are generally wider of the mark than a Chris Waddle penalty) and just sit back and allow yourselves to be swept away by the beauty of her voice and the poetry of her lyrics.
There’s a kind of bruised poetic nobility about exlovers music, bittersweet, heartfelt, honest and eloquent. They produce songs which give hope and inspiration to the lovelorn and the lost, and although their world view may suggest they have experienced their fair share of heartbreak and emotional turmoil, exlovers are not devoid of optimism, for within their shimmering melodies there is the hope of brighter days ahead. A debut album is set for release in the New Year, which we are sure will reward the band with more exposure and a bigger fanbase.
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5. Trailer Trash Tracys –
Another band who seem to have been around longer than they have* (*comment sponsored by Edward Lear) who are set to release their debut album “Ester” on 9th January 2012, which will hopefully make a sizable, ethereal dent on the musical landscape. Everything we have heard so far by this band has been excellent, if melancholic, gauzy dream pop is your bag then the TTT’s may well set your loins aflame.
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Huge lunged soaring melodies and intense live performances are what The Jezabels are all about. Their emo-centric tendencies may be a tad theatrical for some, but there’s no denying the power of singer Hayley Marys vocals and what a great band they are live. Their debut album has already taken their native Oz by storm and is set to have the same effect over here in the New Year. Very surprised not to see them included in the BBC’s “Sound Of List”
If you have recently discovered Zulu Winter than ya- boo to you as we liked them before you did, in fact we liked them before they were even called Zulu Winter. We first featured them a few years back when they were called The Molotovs.
At that time it seemed they were on the cusp of making a breakthrough, yet somewhat bafflingly it never quite happened. However a name change has given the band fresh impetuous and 2012 could well be the year they make their mark.
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One of the most interesting bands to come out of my home town in recent years, and not a single twangy Merseybeat guitar in earshot. Bird is the brainchild Adele Emmas a young singer songwriter inspired by Kate Bush, the Cocteau Twins, and has a predilection for producing mesmerising mysterious ethereal soundscapes. Be prepared for Adele’s voice to cast a spell on you and draw you in to a world of seductive, dark magic, where nothing is quite what it seems.
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9.Lana Del Ray
There was been much written about Lana Del Ray , some complimentary and some suffused with more than a hint of rather disturbing misogynist frat boy spite. We really don’t give a flying fuck with regard to this ‘too cool for school’ hipster backlash because the question is this -does Ms Del Rey produce bad art, or good art ? Does it stand on its own two feet; indeed does it add value to your existence? From what we’ve heard so far the latter defiantly applies and Ms Del Rey has it all to play for in 2012. Really we should celebrate an artist who has a unique voice and style rather than castigate her for having the audacity to sign to a record label. Save your bile for the parade of the inane overseen by Cowell the musical ringmaster for the terminally bland. Which is pretty much what we wrote for GIITV zine about the “Double-Eged Sword of being a blog sensation”
If you thought Euan Hinshelwood’s band would sound anything like his work with Emmy The Great your ears may have been in for a rude awakening. younghusband’s sound is influenced by lo fi indie and is infused with a gorgeous, gauzy fuzz pop shoegazy vibe which owes more to Pavement Kraut rock and MBV than Diane Cluck. After a couple of fine releases this year in the shape of their debut single “Carousal” and the “Crystal” Ep we look forward to hearing more from these chaps in 2012.
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Lucy posses a fragile yet husky smoke cracked voice and writes songs with the sort of honest straight forward sincerity that can only come from the heart. She became well known at various acoustic nights and a chance meeting with Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club led to her appearing on the title track of the bands acoustic album ‘Flaws’. Lucy has since gained an enthusiastic, dedicated; some may say besotted fan base and now regularly sells out venues weeks in advance, which is quite a rare thing for an unsigned act. She also makes a nice cuppa. Interview HERE.
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The artists formerly known as Films are now called ∆. (∆ =Alt-j on your Mac keyboard apparently) and seem to have derived as much attention from their name change as they have for their music, which I suppose means job done in one sense. These guys are quite difficult to pigeon hole, at times it sounds like understated folky blues rock, on other occasions like a kind of electronic trip-hop with a bit of anti-folk thrown in. But then again at other times it sounds bugger all like that, or indeed anything else out there at the moment, so we’ll shut up now.
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Projectionists are based in Manchester and feature former Pipette Rebecca Stevens on vocals and song writing duty. There may be a nod to her former girl group past in terms of harmonies, but this is much more grown up pop with lyrics that are introspective and tinged with sadness set against upbeat melodies. It’s top quality stuff, which may surprise some people but not us, their debut EP is planned for January and we’ll have more on that in the new year.
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Vancouver’s Mode Moderne seem to like the dark side of life and come across rather like The Arcade Fire meets Depeche Mode in a graveyard, which believe me is a good thing. The darkness, which makes Nick Cave seem positively sanguine is all enveloping, like black velvet, which disturbs and yet comforts. Let’s face it if upbeat pop is represented by the unholy union, nay the shrill pop abomination that is Mike Posner and Cher Lloyd I’ll direct my feet to the dark side of the street any day of the week!
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We caught Cold Spex supporting Howling Bells and from the off it was glaringly apparent that singer Al Spx posses the sort of voice others can only dream about. Whether they quite have the songs yet is another issue, but if they are given time to grow and not given a hideous record label make over they certainly have the potential to be something very special indeed, – doom gospel with soul.
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