So it’s time for our annual tip list, or as we prefer to call it – “bands we’d like to see do well in 2015” which we’ll concede isn’t quite as snappy as ‘Pips tips’ Last year we featured artists such as Blessa, Findlay and Desperate Journalist in our list. And they are three acts whose progress we’ll still be avidly following in 2015… Because they should be HUGE! So onto this year’s wish list…
1. Black Honey
Black Honey were actually amongst our tips last year under a different name. 2014 has been a huge year for them, and doubly impressive given that they’ve only together in their reconstituted Black Honey form for a few months. Their biggest tune of the year was ‘Sleep Forever’, which we described as being imbued with “a miasma of doomed grandeur and the nostalgic faded glamour of smoky bars, femme fatales, and illicit ill-fated love affairs.”
Leeds-based five-piece AUTOBAHN dark aggressive post punk sound is fucking colossal… Singer Craig Johnson’s (not to be confused with the annoying curly topped ex-Liverpool footballer)vocals are infused with a visceral power, mixing the seething rage of Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman, the dark poetry of Ian Curtis and on occasion the grandiloquent stentorian delivery of Leeds own adopted Prince Of Darkness Andrew Eldritch to devastating effect. 2015 really should be huge for these chaps. A swirling maelstrom of dark glittering snarling magnificence, innit.
Sharptooth are Jess Gunn, Lauren Laing, Kate Miller, and Nico Miller and together they produce music full of dark menace and deadly allure. Mixing 90’s grunge vibes with hypnotic seductive monochrome post punk we’re looking forward to hearing much more from this exciting, edgy Glaswegian quartet in 2015
4. Cherry Glazerr
Young L.A. trio Cherry Glazerr released an excellent debut album this year in the form of ‘Haxel Princess’, they have continued to evolve with almost indecent haste during the past year as their song writing, and sound continues to mature and delight. We said back in January “When Cherry Glazerr really hit their stride they display an edgy self-assurance that can blow you away – which is perfectly demonstrated on the albums wonderful title track ‘Haxel Princess’ a visceral, unhinged and beguiling slice of grunge pop which encapsulates everything we require from a song.”
5. Post War Glamour Girls
Post War Glamour Girls produced one of THE stand out albums of 2014 – An album which is the perfect riposte to the veritable tsunami of vacant Brit-School electro-soul arse-wankery which seems to have clogged up music blogs and ‘tastemaker’ lists of late. Post War Glamour Girls prove there is an intelligent, challenging and utterly compelling alternative. This is a band who deliver each line like a f**king punch to the kidneys. A band that possess the sort of caustic wit, wisdom, and literate wordplay that the legendary punk poet who provided inspiration for their collective name would surely approve of. Make no mistake this is a band to believe in, a band to get passionate about and a band who know that the world is wrong about everything.
6. Rebecca Clements
Rebecca emerged with her beautiful debut single ‘Wildlife’ in May 2014 and has, over the course of the year proved this was no one off. She released a clutch of fabulous tunes and we’ve previously described her, as “a young artist who subtly conveys emotion with such unaffected sincerity that it’s difficult to remain unmoved by it”
7. Kid Wave
If you’re looking for ramshackle stoner ennui than look elsewhere because despite their casual demeanour and occasional shoulder shrugging lyrical bent Kid Wave are as uplifting as recent guitar music gets. Their debut album is currently being recorded and is set for release next year, which we are sure will build on the promise of their fabulous ‘Gloom Ep’
8. Young Summer
This is sophisticated electronic pop that is beautiful constructed and performed by the hugely talented Bobbie Allen (for it is she who is Young Summer.) What elevates Ms. Allen head and shoulder above the chasing pack are her timeless evocative vocals and the fact that she can write a killer tune pop tunes of heart and depth. She seemed to like our description of her latest single ;)
9. Saint Agnes
Saint Agnes is the musical project of Jon from the Lost Souls Club and Kitty from Lola Colt. Their music transports you to a world of saloon girls and whiskey drenched cowboys, a place where life is cheap where the bones of animals and humans lie scattered across the dust bowl, bleached by a relentless indifferent sun, the flesh long-gone, plucked clean by ravenous carrion birds. Ahem (Paul Morley KLAXON!) … You get the picture; this is pure cinematic Ennio Morricone rock n’roll.
10. Becky Becky
Our good friend and fellow Fresh on The Net Moderator Chris Bye gently reminded us recently about Becky Becky . They produce innovative electronic pop music that isn’t really quite like anything else out there at the moment. They’re a duo consisting of Gemma L Williams (of Woodpecker Wooliams fame) and Peter J D Mason. They describe themselves as “bandmates, friends, lovers, enemies. We´ve existed together in almost every possible permutation.” There debut album Good Morning, Midnight can be bought HERE, and hopefully their often-tumultuous relationship will endure enabling them to continue to keep producing more fresh and exciting music together.
11. Sophie Jamieson
You can’t help but marvel at the waif like Sophie Jamieson’s ability to write such graceful music led by that deceptive spine tingling and on occasion eidolic vocal. For hers is a voice that drips with emotion and authenticity. You would never label her music ‘upbeat’ and it certainly isn’t going to provide the soundtrack to your gym workout any time soon but whilst ‘hauntingly beautiful’ is perhaps one of the most overused terms in music it is entirely correct in this case.
12. The Anchoress
The new musical project of VPME favourite Catherine Anne Davies see Catherine hooking up with Paul Draper of Mansun and is shaping up to be something a rather special indeed. Catherine’s seductive, narcotic vocals, which prowl and curls itself around each song give The Anchoress a sinister hypnotic allure. An album is hopefully forthcoming in 2015.
Halsey (anagram of Ashley) is the musical alter ego of New Jersey singer songwriter Ashley Frangipane who hit the pop bulls-eye with her début single ‘Ghost’ then released the anthemic ‘New Americana’, which was one of THE best pure pop songs of 2014 so far. She finished 2014 on a strong note with her debut EP ‘Room 93’ and has a huge and enthusiastic army of online followers.
Liverpool’s Rongo Rongo sound more warped and sinister than Edgar Allen Poe’s imagination, or Nigel Farage’s underpants. They have tunes full of slow knife edged tension, sinuous bass lines, guitars, and electronica which all combine to add a palpable sense of foreboding drama that disturbs and compels in equal measure. The band often produce tunes which are an exercise in taught shimmering minimalism, with a hint of early Bunnymen in terms of the atmospherics.
15. The Probes
Mixing a dark menacing new wave sensibility with mind-bending psychedelic flourishes The Probes are without doubt one of the most exciting young bands to emerge from Liverpool in recent years. After initially bonding as school friends over artists such as The Fall, Love, Tame Impala, CAN, Neu!, and Kraftwerk, The Probes became active in their current form in 2012 and where soon snapped up by Porcupine Records – the team behind the likes of Echo & The Bunnymen.
16. Deux Furieuses
Deux Furieuses arrive in the nick of time to inject some politically charge danger into proceedings (‘Two Furious’ is the nearest translation – furieux being the masculine, Furieuse the feminine) they state their raison d’être is to embark on “a fucked up mission to respond in words and music to the times we are living through.” Their debut single ‘Can We Talk About This?’ takes its title from the reported last words of Dutch film director Theo Van Gogh just prior to being murdered by an Islamic extremist, apparently offended by Van Gogh’s film ‘Submission’ which examined misogyny and culture of violence against women in Islam.
17. Heavy Heart
Heavy Heart are Anna and James, who, to quote Anna started band “because I had some songs that I’d been playing around with on an acoustic guitar, and I wanted to get out of my bedroom and be able to make more of a racket. I guess there are probably other bands called Heavy Heart around, but the name kind of brought the whole thing together, and seemed to sum up our musical ideas. Plus I’m a bit of a misery so if felt like a fitting nom de plume!”
She makes it sound so easy doesn’t she? So effortless and graceful which pretty much sums up the Heavy Heart’s music. Music, which packs an emotional punch, tinged with longing and regret but conversely also manages to be gloriously uplifting.
18. Norma Jean Martine
We caught Norma Jean by accident at the Dot-to-Dot festival in Manchester. Thus, we had no expectations, but when she’d finished her set, we were left hugely impressed. Her voice has a timeless quality, a soulful blues tinged fountain of emotion with the power to effortlessly communicate feelings directly to the listener.
19. Jupiter C
If haunting, spectral, seductive slice of minimalist electronica with celestial vocals juxtaposed against a backdrop of dystopian synth riffs is, your bag then Jupiter C are very much the band for you. The Mancunian and Scouse duo have had a quietish 2014 in terms of recording new material but have been out and about supporting East India Youth on his tour.
20. Oh Wonder
Changing their name from Wonder Wonder to Oh Wonder due to a previous claim on their original name has done little to stem this mysterious duos creative flow. The lovingly craft sophisticated electronic pop of some distinction. Interestingly they tell us we’ve featured them under another guise previously on the site… but we haven’t worked out whom yet ;)
21. Jennie Vee
Jennie is a Toronto born singer songwriter, now resident in NYC and formerly the singer of The Vicious Guns. Her debut solo EP ‘Die Alone’ mixes a chiming dream pop sensibility, scuffed up lo-fi garage vibes with huge Blondie style pop hooks.
22. Eloise Keating
Eloise Keating has certainly got the sort of sophisticated silky voice that manages to conjure up a sense of doomed grandeur her debut tune ‘Be My Ghost’ showed great promise and is imbued with a languid grace, that conjures up a Lana Del Rey meets Daughter meets Lucy Rose kind of vibe.
23. Hannah Lou Clarke
Hannah used to perform under her fabulous alter ego FOE, but this year she returned under her own name and demonstrated she’d lost none of her edge. Intelligent, edgy pop music from a hugely talented singer and songwriter. It will be criminal if she doesn’t gain a wider audience this coming year.