Ones To Watch in 2011
‘Be My Animal’ By The Good Natured
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We’ve featured Sarah McIntosh-The Good Natured, a fair bit in 2010, and hopefully 2011 will see her star continue to rise. Picture a less imperious Ladytron or maybe Dubstar with empathy or even La Roux devoid of reedy voice and gargantuan ego. With silver in her lungs and gold in her heart The Good Natured could well prove to be the most interesting act to emerge from the current crop of female electronic pop pioneers. It’s a darkly celebratory sound, full of contradictions, euphoric yet melancholic, phlegmatic yet expressive, and it really should establish Sarah as one of our brightest talents. She also produced one of the finest cover versions I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in 2010, a beautiful, hauntingly evocative version of Sufjan Stevens ‘For The Windows In Paradise’ (below)
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Another band who should make a name for themselves next year! Glittering dark goth pop which shows what could happen if Bauhaus, Siouxsie and Bowie were all trapped in Andre Delambre’s matter transporter.
“Plastic 16” By Islington Boys Club.
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3. The Vaccines
“Blow It Up” By The Vaccines
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You don’t really need to be a pop Nostradamus to predict that The Vaccines are going to bigger than Dawn French after a midnight binge in 2011. The delightfully raw don’t give a f**k speedball insouciance of The Ramones flavoured ‘Wrecking Bar’ checks in at around one and a half minutes, whilst the Spectoresque /Marychain vibe of “Blow it up” and “If You Wanna” all serve notice that here is a band who seemingly have the songs to match the hype.
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Left-field, commercially viable, electro-pop is essentially what Liverpool born Londoner Spark is all about. Her last single ‘Revolving’ mixed the soul-influenced funk of Cameo’s ‘Word Up’ with the faux-goth pop sensibility of Strawberry Switch Blade. Throw in a touch of the Kate Bush style theatrics plus a dash of Alison Goldfrapp and Spark looks very much like a pop sensation in waiting. Her début album is due to ‘drop’ (as they say) this year.
It may get a bit annoying if every review of Japanese Voyeurs mentions the ‘grunge revival’ but when you hear the sort of visceral, tormented howling rage that Japanese Voyeurs can produce you can’t help but think that the nearest point of reference is a female Kurt Cobain. I suppose a lot will depend on how you take to Romily Alice’s vocal but personally I love a bit of twisted torment and therefore expect this band to acquire a fearsome reputation in 2011.
7. Chapel Club.
Live Chapel Club manage to combine raw power with swoonsome melodies and powerful poetic lyrics to produce music that positively throbs with dark euphoria (what’s dark euphoria Andy? Fuck knows but it sounds good.) It’s a sound that manages to sound heroic without ever sounding bombastic whilst possessing a natural eloquence and intelligence that never sounds contrived or pretentious. So now you know! Debut album ‘Palace’ is available on 31st January .
8. Kyla La Grange.
Kyla sings with the sort of smoky world weariness that recalls a younger (albeit more sonorous) version of Marianne Faithful. As a philosophy graduate from Cambridge University her songs were unlikely to be simplistic nursery rhymes about boys being mean, make-up, Top Shop and dancing, nope our Kyla sings about the things that matter, life, death, the beauty of disappointment the ache of never satisfied love, the desolation of the heart and vampires, obviously. Marvellous!
‘Walk Through Walls’ By Kyla La Grange
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9. Seeräuber Jenny.
Seeräuber Jenny are Fran Barker from Brighton and Neil Claxton from Manchester (who was also one half of cult electronic remix duo Mint Royale.) As Seeräuber Jenny the duo produce, a music that conveys genuine emotion, a combination of despair, isolation, beauty, strength and hope ( ie/ all the good stuff!) which comes from a very real place. Love ’em.
‘Push It Away’ By Seeräuber Jenny.
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And much more to come from Zola Jesus, Emmy The Great, Let’s Buy Happiness, The Joy Formidable, Emily Barker, Run Toto Run, Little Comets, Catherine AD, Standard Fare and The Indelicates to name but a few !