It’s the end of the year and the time when every music blogger and journalists goes mental over two things; the best of this year and predicting who is going to massive next year. In a few weeks both my lists will be starting, first my albums of the year and then my Ones to Watch for 2013. But what I thought I would do first is have a look at the list I wrote last year and have a recap to see where some of these artists are now. I chose 15 acts last year, and here is the first 5. You can see the original post from last year here.
1. Lana Del Rey
Something happened to Lana Del Rey at the end of last year that I have never seen happen before. Over hype. It got a bit ridiculous and completely backlashed on her. It was a shame because so much attention was put on her image and it detracted from the real reason she came into the limelight in the first place; the music. So it’s been an interesting year for Lana. Her debut album ‘Born to Die’ was released in January to mostly positive reviews and it hit No. 1 in the UK charts. I love the record. I think it’s smart and interesting pop music. She is releasing a ‘Paradise Edition’ of the record on Monday (basically it’s just a new album) which includes the wonderful ‘Ride’ and ‘Bel Air’. I honestly think Lana Del Rey is an artist that will be with us for a long time.
2. Alabama Shakes
Unfortunately the debut Alabama Shakes record failed to shake me but live they shake the whole room! This band give incredible performances and that is why so many people love them. I can see them going from huge stage to huge stage. A very exciting prospect.
Friends were maybe a bit too hyped based on only a couple of songs. Their debut album, like the Shakes record failed to cause a stir, receiving middle of the road reviews and their live capacity hasn’t grown too much either. However, I still really like their sound, and you can’t deny that ‘I’m his Girl’ isn’t a killer tune. So maybe when album No. 2 comes around, the pressure will be off a little allowing them to create a more well rounded record.
4. Ren Harvieu
The reason I liked Ren Harvieu so much this time last year was because I thought she had a bit of a dark side. We’ve had a Duffy, Adele and Rumer but I thought maybe Ren Harvieu would do something a little different. There was something quite rock chic-ish about her. Unfortunately what I wanted to happen with her, didn’t take shape. It’s not that she hasn’t had a good year. Her debut album, although didn’t achieve much commercial success, received pretty good reviews and she played a headline show at Shepherds Bush Empire. But I feel now that she might just fade away…
5. Lianne La Havas
It’s been a great year for the lovely and very talented Lianne La Havas. A Mercury nominated album, slots at almost all the major UK festivals and supporting Bon Iver on tour. It was been the year of ‘polite music’ but this is the best kind of polite. It’s not staggering, but it’s not a step backwards. Lianne’s debut record mixed what Corrine Bailey Rae doing a few years ago with electronic sounds on songs like ‘Forget’ and breathtaking songwriting on the album highlight ‘Gone’. It’s not a great record, but it’s a good record. And I think she has more to come.