After all the end of year lists, the next thing we have to look at is who is going to be big in the forthcoming year. Jessie J is the name on everyones lips, Claire Maguire, James Blake, The Vaccines and Jamie Woon have also been short listed in the BBC Sound of 2011. I am going to give you a preview of somethings I think will go big. Some of these bands might hit the mainstream but as this blog is about folk music, this is also about some of the bands who I think will gain more recognition in the folk and alternative scenes. Hopefully you will find something new to love and hopefully something a little different.
Women have done extremely well in music the last few years. Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding, Adele, Marina and the Diamonds, the list of hotly tipped acts from the last few years has been dominated by women and this year is no exception. However, this unfortunately means that some incredibly talented people can get forgotten among the haze of strong female popstars. I think this is what has happened to Saint Saviour. She has sang for Groove Armada in the past but as a solo artist is still unsigned. As she is unsigned I doubt their is an album on its way but their is certainly enough material on youtube for it. Her songs are beautiful, she has a very unusual delicate voice and it is also very adaptable. Some of her songs, like single Woman Scored (available to download on iTunes), are upbeat and dancey and others like Fallen Trees are sombre and utterly stunning. I hope 2011 is her year, she is supporting Hurts on their tour so maybe that could be the start of something.
Listen to: Women Scored, Fallen Trees, Hurricanes
God knows how much I go on and on about Summer Camp but they have been so incredibly forgotten on all the ones to watch lists, it has made me very disappointed. So anyway, they are on mine, because I think they are fantastic! Effortless vocals, dreamy melodies and brilliant energy. Their Young EP has been very critically acclaimed and they are due to release an album this year. I have high hopes for them, such a unique sound yet one which could be liked by lots of people.
Listen to: Round the Moon, Jake Ryan, Ghost Train
The Vaccines have created the biggest hype for an indie band in years. The group is lead by Justin Young, aka Jay Jay Pistolet. But its quite a different direction to the Jay Jay who supported Laura Marling in 2008. This is pumped up indie pop with catchy rhythms and barely a song over 3 minutes. The album is finished and I think it will do very very well indeed. I predict packed out tents at Reading and Leeds and singles which will become soundtracks to the summer.
Listen to: If you Wanna, Wreckin’ Bar, Post Break-up Sex
Here is someone who, like the Vaccines, has been very very hotly tipped for 2011. His music is very unusual, Bon Iver meets dubstep, but it is also utterly fascinating and I find it really weird that he has been picked up by the mainstream considering his music doesn’t fit there that well. I hope he creates an incredible album, based on his EP’s he’s bound to. Like this young man a lot.
Surf Rock has had a big comeback this year. Best Coast, Surfer Blood, Real Estate, Veronica Falls and the list goes on. I think Tennis might do it this year. Its surf rock but its very pop too. Its happy and summery and people love that. Their current singe Marathon has summer hit written all over it and with an album due this January maybe they will have some other pleasant surprises up their sleeves.
Esben and the Witch
I have been a fan of Esben and the Witch for a while now. They were my new treat around a year ago now and I was completely blown away when I saw them live in May at Live at Leeds. A really stunning band fronted by an incredible band. Their album is set to be released this year and is rumoured to be rather good. This is darkness at its very best.
Listen to: Marching Song, Lucia, at the Precipice, About this Peninsula
I saw Anna Calvi supporting Johnny Flynn at the Brudenell Social Club which I think was in 2009. She is very weird, quite a strange sound mixed with her voice. It’s taken a while for me to warm to her but I think she’s something special and I will be really interested to see the type of album she brings out.
Listen to: Suzanna and I, Moulinette, Black out
Beautiful voice and sweet songs, I hope an album will be released in 2011 and I hope its very good.
Listen to: Peter, Your Kisses, Run
Dry the River
I have been following Dry the River for a while now, when I first heard them I was blown away by how beautiful their sound was.
Listen to: History Book, Coast, Shaker Hymns
Now signed to Transgressive Records, Mechanical Brides long awaited album is to be released this year and rumours are that its very good. She also does a stunning cover of Rihanna’s Umberella which is to appear on the album.
Listen to: The Final, Umberella, Poor Boy
Young the Giant
A great summery band resembling Local Natives and The Shins. They have some UK dates lined up in the next month or so, i’ll keep you updated.
Also check out: Matt Corby, Clare Maguire (take a listen to her ‘Hope there’s someone’ cover, Yuck, Alex Winston, and Big Deal