Metronomy, Crystal Castles, Operator Please, Untitled 1961, Vessels - GIITTV Tips for 2008 part 2.
After the interest that part one of GIITTV's Tips for 2008 features generated we decided to treat you to part two earlier than expected. Here we give you nine more picks for this coming year, we tip them because we like their music, and because our writers think they deserve more attention, some may be unknown to you, others will have already had some releases, some will be generating an underground buzz, but they all have one thing in common: an ability to break more ground in the coming year. Got it? Good.
First up Holly Cruise picks out one established act and two electro indie acts that could follow in the footsteps of CSS and Klaxons in the coming year:
Those lucky enough to find themselves at CSS's winter tour were also treated to the most wonderfully bizarre sight, if they were wise enough to get there early. Like Kraftwerk on a student budget, Metronomy (Joseph Mount and his live band of two mates) used cheap button lights and a small pile of synths and guitars to make a wonderful electronic racket. Metronomy have been around a while and should be big already but a myriad of legal problems and nonsense has seen their debut, Pip Paine (Pay The Ł5000 You Owe), ignored despite containing the sort of danceable indietronica which people like Simian Mobile Disco and CSS have so effectively brought to our attentions. Now a new album is due in March, and the opening shot, the impossibly infectious 'Radio Ladio' was unleashed at the end of last year. Metronomy's best trick is making songs which sound like anyone could make them with a small Casio and a guitar, but which are actually fiendishly clever. Live, they are one of the most DIY acts around, making an interesting light show out of the most simple and basic things they can find. Hopefully this year we can atone for our previous ignorance and get Mount's smart-but-simple tunes out there onto the dancefloor and into people's brains. Maybe even on the R-A, D-I, OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
With The Knife having vanished there's clearly a need for a girl-boy electro act whose main objective is either to bring fascinating and unusual new sounds and songs to the table, or to completely molest the ears of anyone listening. Sure enough, it's hard to tell if Crystal Castles like you and want you to hear brilliant new sonic shapes, or if they hate you and want to have you run screaming from the room (or the indie-disco) â€śThey've just recorded a load of Gameboy sounds and screeched over the topâ€ť. And they might have. And it's wonderful. Live dates last summer were surprisingly popular, they packed out the tent at Reading like few others, and live their madness makes most sense. But on record there's something for those willing to try something more than a set of blokes with guitars and a desire to suck Pete Doherty's cock. Beyond the singles (the chilled Crimewave and Air War, and the psychotic Alice Practise) there's a landscape of mangled vocals, bleeps and beats. It will not be topping the Radio 1 daytime playlist. For this reason alone, you should at least give them two listens. It makes more sense the second time around.
Sons And Daughters
What! Another band who have been around for ages? This isn't new, howls the internet cognoscenti! In that case I blame you, yes you internet cognoscenti, for failing to bring Sons And Daughters to the masses. Whilst soppy drippy singer songwriters take all the shit bits of folk music into the charts, via Radio 2, Sons And Daughters have been channelling all the good bits of folk - the social satire, the rhythms which demand bodies move to them, murder and mayhem - and not getting credit for it. How much more interesting would KT Tunstall be of you thought she'd spent her life listening to Nick Cave in a darkened room with the corpse of her unfaithful lover? Now Sons And Daughters have teamed up with Bernard Butler and are in possession of a more pop album than their first two, one which still manages to be totally evil, full of threats and snarled yet sultry vocals. And then there's the prospect of their live show, a wondrous thing which needs to be seen. Now. Go. They're on tour soon and you will not regret it.
GIITTV deputy ed Tim Miller picks out his three for '08, including one hot Welsh name on people's lips, and two bands of indie scamps who could make inroads this year.
If Adele - you'll have heard about her by now too - is set to be 2008's Amy Winehouse, a story of a precocious talent threatened by its owner's lackadaisical attitude toward it, then Duffy will be the alter ego, the rise and rise of the female soul singer. With an instantly arresting voice, at once bold and sultry yet graceful and timeless, the gorgeous 22-year old from Wales is tipped here to be the year's untouchable female solo artist. Plucked from semi-obscurity by the unlikely grip of Rough Trade's Geoff Travis, expect this gifted lass to adorn posters, airwaves, websites and, if all goes to plan, album shelves nationwide throughout 2008.
With a combined age of just 17 (ok, that's a lie, but they're painfully young all the same), these infectious Aussie kids from the Gold Coast create achingly naive but happily perfect slices of youthful indie-pop. Aided by a violin tinge to the female-fronted indie snarl, and underpinned by a quirky electro bounce, Operator Please have already released their storming debut LP in Australasia and, having wowed audiences on tour with fresh and funky hotshots The Go! Team, have pencilled in March/April for their European domination. Let it be said: the kids aren't alright; they're bloody excellent.
Bombay Bicycle Club
This band from London aren't even old enough to drink, yet have courted enough high-profile interest from industry figures to know that the champagne is on ice and just waiting to be uncorked. Despite somehow remaining unsigned at present, the foursome's majestic but mellow guitar-based pop conveys a maturity that belies their tender years. Their appeal lies in the quivering vocals dispatching lyrics of striking eloquence and passion, and a command of songwriting so capable that bands in their twilight zone will note they have failed to reach such heights. Seek out the track 'What If' for one of the most attractively heartbreaking songs you're likely to hear this decade, and stay tuned to this BBC for major music headlines this year.
Finally GIITTV scribe Angus Reid picks his three for '08, two exciting post rock acts, and one indefinable (post folk meets electronica soundscapes?) duo:
With just a guitar, bass and some drums Untitled 1961 conjure up the most almighty racket. With all three members taking vocal duties and a very thorough grasp on how to operate dynamics in an interesting way within music, Untitled 1961 are only just starting to realise their potential. With the latest set or recordings taking a giant quantum leap on from the first, self produced album "I Am A Lighthouse, A Guide, A Warning". For those that can make use of reference points, think Biffy Clyro only without the cheese, think iLiKETRAiNS but without the holding back, think Shellac but with more effects pedals, think "this is bloody great" and then go and see them live and be blown away all over again.
There is a rumbling in the soundscaped, post-rock underworld about Vessels. They may have formed in 2005, and have released several singles already, but now they're really starting to come into their own, and it surely wont be long before they break through to the wider collective consciousness and show the world that interesting music isn't always something to be frightened of. They manage to show that you CAN have a variety of songs and still maintain your own identity as a band, and you CAN have post-rock with vocals, and you CAN be mellow and ambient one moment, and rocking out with planet sized riffs the next. With a string of dates lined up across the UK, catch them now before things explode and they vanish off around the world to show that the UK still has some life left in it yet.
If Odawas don't get more recognition this year, then I'm going to eat my hat. Which means I'll have to buy a hat in the first place. Again, they've been around a while, but are a long way from popular. This has to change. Imagine the folky ramblings of Nick Drake, coupled with the epic synth soundscapes of Vangelis or M83. It's a quite remarkable feat to make the union of acoustic guitar and reverb drenched synthesizer sound so fluid and so natural, but Michael Tapscott Isaac Edwards and Isaac Edwards pull it off with such startling grace, you wonder why anyone else even bothers making music anymore. If you need more persuading, they're signed to Jagjaguwar, a label with a near flawless track record including 2007 favourites The Besnard Lakes. Check out most recent album Raven And The White Night, and see just what music can achieve.