Monday, December 05, 2011

Blog Sound Of 2012

The blogosphere being as it is you might have seen this laid out today already, but as one of the central triumverate let me elucidate...

When Andy, Robin and myself collectively came up with this idea about a year ago and moved it forward so we had time to get things done for this year, the idea was to see how those who write about this stuff with some knowledge would compare and contrast with the 180 'tastemakers' the BBC send their forms out to every year, seeing as their list (and here's their Sound Of 2012 list) is pretty much a self-fulfilling prophecy (even if this year is interestingly short on Adelealikes and longer than usual on frankly uncommercial acts) and a fait accompli for labels who've planned their Octobers and Novembers around getting on the list. Of course this enterprise is a hugely flawed idea, as we accept - the line between tipping for obvious success and tipping for qualitative greatness is a thin and askew one. However, by providing an alternative we also give a platform for avatars of new music and for introducing a whole new front of artists that exhibit enough to suggest big things ahead in quality rather than quantity.

Oh, and yes, the UK Blogger Albums Of The Year poll is going ahead for this year and will very shortly be creaking into life.

Anyway, here's the 15 strong longlist, the top five to be revealed in the first week of January. Complaints about how white and middle class everyone is should be kept to yourselves:

Not easy classifiable Leeds unit slipping from dark art-rock to slippery grooves to glitchy beats, with bluesy vocal atop

Deceptively simple electronic pop from one Dan Smith that pits big soaring hooks against chopped up beats

Beth Jeans Houghton
Already much experienced Geordie songstress taking folk into wildly varying outposts, debut album in February

Elena Tonra by name, taking the post-Marling folk singer-songwriter template to sparser, darker areas

French Wives
Joyously deep and mini-epic Glaswegians, from those that brought you Snow Patrol, Belle & Sebastian and Biffy Clyro

Percussively polyrhythmic summery Brooklynites borrowing from early 80s New York post-punk disco and tropical pop

The Good Natured
Long gestating gothic electro-pop trio fronted by ice maiden in waiting Sarah McIntosh

Houdini Dax
Sharp-suited Cardiff teenagers playing pin-sharp beat revival rock'n'roll with New Wave and Brit psychedelia touches

The Jezabels
From Sydney comes epically emotive gothic romance and melodrama fronted by the huge voice and presence of Hayley Mary

Lianne La Havas
Gorgeously jazz-soulful, heartstring-playing London singer-songwriter loved by the opposing tenets Gary Barlow and Bon Iver

Lucy Rose
Bombay Bicycle Club collaborator with a pure, fragile voice and a straightforwardly sincere writing style

With a third album due next year, the Edinburgh collective can switch from cracked acoustic laments to broken beat hugeness

Liverpool's most wanted, an idiosyncratic skewed indie-noir recalling Wild Beasts with greater dark pop nous

Theme Park
Livewire alt-funk of Talking Heads plus tropical, percussively syncopated post-punk from new Transgressive signings

Megan Washington, in fact, a quirkily lovelorn Melbourne singer-songwriter-pianist and Best Female Artist ARIA winner

And those who made the list that way: Breaking More Waves, God Is In the TV, Sweeping The Nation, The Von Pip Musical Express, The Recommender, Faded Glamour, Drunken Werewolf, Flying With Anna, Not Many Experts, Underclassed Idle Ideas, Sonic Masala, Mudkiss, The Pop Cop, The Ring Master, Both Bars On, Music From A Green Window, Dots And Dashes, The Daily Growl, And Everyone's A DJ, Kowolskiy, Just Music That I Like, Cruel Rhythm, The Blue Walrus, Music Fans Mic, Seventeen Seconds, Eaten By Monsters, Seven Sevens, Unpeeled, Nu Rave Brain Wave, Peenko, Music Liberation, Song By Toad.

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