You’ve seen loads of these lists already no doubt but hopefully this is a little bit different. It’s incredulous how many music journalists and critics just pick their ones to watch artists for the coming year off lists sent out by labels and PR companies. It’s extremely lazy. Sure Little Boots, La Roux, Lady Gaga (Incidentially, ‘Just Dance’ is one of the most infectious pop tunes I’ve heard in an age and probably the only recommendation I’ve ever got my The Script and Westlife loving sister bless her), Passion Pit, Florence and the Machine, White Lies et al deserve a mention but not on nearly every list surely? Here’s a mammoth list for you. So forward into Nialler2009 we go…
Solid Gold are a hook-laden, little known (for now) Minnesota synth-pop band who recently opened for The Ting Tings on their US tour. An album called Bodies of Water is just out and the more I listen the better it gets. I just grabbed their album from eMusic. Expect more from me on this one. Plus, this picture…
They started out making hilarious prank phone calls (Hearing Aid is amazing) but these days these mysterious Limerick types are making even-more hilarious songs like the wonderful ‘Bags of Glue’ which was a favourite of last year. ‘Too Many Gee‘ should be an Irish g-funk anthem and ‘Up Da Ra’, well… listen for yourself below. They started gigging recently but expect 2009 to bring more live appearances from the chancers who wear Mace bags as masks and sniff deodorant through their jumpers. Chalk it down…
Two brothers from New Orleans who reside in LA and whose Remind Me In Three Days album sounds like Stankonia-era Outkast played with guitars. Rah Almillio and Krispy Kream are signed to Interscope in the US so expect their brand of rap to infiltrate over here this year.
Merriweather Post Pavilion, AC’s ninth album leaked on Christmas Day. Due out next week, it’s far and away the band’s opus with the ever-expanding possibility that mainstream acceptability beckons. What AC have created is their own sonic world, indebted to yes, the Beach Boys and a long way from their early lo-fi and frankly nauseating work. Merriweather is the sound of a band hitting a new plateau in both songwriting and creativity. Oh and it sounds frickin’ amazing. ‘Summertime Clothes’ is my favourite track today. More thoughts here and Darragh’s thoughts are always worth a read.
A Detriot hip-hop producer who used to make beats for Slum Village released Tronic, his latest LP in late 2008. The Detroit / Slum Village connection means he has been compared to the late great J Dilla and it’s not too much of a stretch on the evidence of the tunes from Tronic which has been called hip-hop album of the year in some quarters.
Released on Hyperdub, the same prestigious label that houses Burial, Zomby’s music is kinda wonky dubstep-tinged electronica. He looks and sounds bonkers. His recent EP is great but he’s also made an album called Where Were U in ’92?, an ode to ’90s rave featuring euphoric piano and ravey vocal samples. As I said, BONKERS.
(from Zomby EP)
Grizzly bear debuted just enough material to leave me salivating for a follow-up to Yellow House. ‘Two Weeks’ was premiered on Letterman and blew any song that Fleet Foxes had out of the water while Daniel Rossen’s ‘While You Wait For The Others’ was featured an another TV show and his own Department of Eagles LP proved another winner.
What’s this? A 13 piece band from Dublin and somehow no-one in this small city I’m acquainted with knows any of the members? Madness. The band kindly sent me their Sun Music EP a month or so ago. It’s fucking great. It’s kind of an upbeat rabble-rousing orchestral rock racket. They’re playing Crawdaddy on the 28th of January.
AKA Amy Eleanor Turnnidge from Southend, England who has just signed to Memphis Industries, so expect an album soon. I bought her last single in Tower for 99 cent. I’m sure her stock will rise this year.
Recommended by Pedro, this four-piece rock band with a free-jazz tourettes-like drummer from San Francisco. They’ve recorded their debut LP with Greg Saunier of Deerhoof and it’s out in February. The songs are in Persian for the most part.
Sholi – Herjat (cover of a Googoosh song)
We featured these guys on a podcast in November 2007. They looked like two people with no knowledge of musical instruments who just shouted into microphones but there’s more to them than that. More please.
Lovely folk songstress from Nevada City. ‘White As Diamonds’ is taken from her forthcoming album To Be Still.
Noisy, distorted surf-guitar scuzzy rocker. This year’s No Age or Times New Viking? Maybe. Find out for yourself on the 10th of February in Laverys. Belfast and the 11th of February Upstairs in Whelan’s.
Hippy dippy, airy-fairy ambient folk music from Liz Harris from Portland, Oregen. Quite beguiling and about as strangely beautiful as the album cover above for Dragging a Dead Dead Up A Hill recently released. I got it from eMusic again.
Nice new-wavey lo-fi indie-pop from London. Not much info on them right now but there are solid pop songs on their myspace including this.. WOAH cover of WOMACK AND WOMACK!!
Marina and the Diamonds
Do I have to mention her again? Awesome.
Like the cross-section of two beautiful radio transmissions, this Finnish outfit dabble in the weird and the strange. It sounds broken but it works wonderfully. Their recent album Laulu Laakson Kukista is the one to get.
– Wonky, dubby electronic music from London. EP dropping next month on Hot Flush. Appears in a chunk of a mix from Electronic Explorations and a Mary Anne Hobbs mix.
Erykah Badu crossed with Gwen Stefani? Yeh that works… Or as they have it “baby-making music for 22nd century robots”.
Of course, there are loads of other releases to look forward to from the likes of Villagers, Dan Deacon’s Bromst, Beirut, M.Ward, Malajube, Temper Trap, Final Fantasy, Peverelist, Dent May, Phaseone, Stricken City and Amazing Baby to name a few. Check out my column in Friday’s Irish Independent for more. No, you?