Notorious Hi-Fi Killers, Songs From The Shows, Little Boots, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Northern Portrait - Tips for 09: Part Three.
In part three of GIITTV's series of Tips for 09, we throw some curveballs your way(Notorious Hi-Fi Killers, Songs from the Shows) nail some obvious acts to the tipping mast(Emmy The Great, and Little Boots) and run up more lesser known bands worthy of more of your attention, up the flag pole(The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Northern Portrait). Some of the following may break into the mainstream some may not, but we tip them because we like what they're doing, and think they will produce great things in the following year.
First up GIITTV scribe Angus Reid digs into his myspace friends list and finds three acts he would like to recommend to you:
Notorious Hi-Fi Killers
Reviving the notion of taking drugs to make music to take drugs to, Notorious Hi-Fi Killers have a sound that harks back to bands like the 13th Floor Elevators, Spiritualized and Spacemen 3, while adding the almost psychotically heavy charms of Kyuss, Motorhead and Part Chimp to the mix. Tracks like “The Distance Between Us”, echoing with crashing underwater drums and a hypnotic pulsing throughout, are the sound of unravelling consciousness, without any of the pretentious nonsense that tends to clutter up such affairs. Stoner rock flavoured romp “Step into the Light” is an absolute riff monster that will burrow into your brain and stay there for months, if not years to come. Aceness.
Songs From The Shows
Yes, the name is a little... odd... and the prospect of a band featuring two bassists may be daunting to some at first, but this monolithic collision of forceful rhythm, crunching time sig changes and elegant spiralling guitar sounds is well worth spending a bit of time with. This is the kind of music that's informed by the likes of Shellac, Slint and The Jesus Lizard, but takes things off in a slightly psychedelic direction, adding hints of The Cardiacs and Levitation. Live, they become something else entirely, with the energy and volume of the performance elevating each song to a messianic wall of sound. Catch them now while they're still unknown and you can say you were there at the beginning.
Emmy The Great
Ok, possibly over hyped already and she's not even had her first album out but perhaps there's good reason this time. Emma-Lee Moss is not just a fine singer with a charming delivery, but a skilled lyricist with a sharp eye for her craft. Across her forthcoming album there are interwoven themes of the everyday (ex boyfriends, family gatherings) and occasional religious reference, wrapped up in a bundle that almost unfailingly hits the mark. She's built up a loyal following already and is due a fair amount of mainstream press coverage over the coming months that should see her emulate the success of Laura Marling last year, albeit with more charm, character and panache.
Secondly GIITTV assistant editor Tim Miller fills your airwaves with two more tips for 2009:
There's something futile about tipping Little Boots now: she made it into both NME and BBC lists for 2009 tips, which basically covers anyone with a more-than-passing but less-than-discerning interest in music, plus just about everywhere else, including industry mag Music Week. Being right about Duffy last year though made me feel pretty smug so I'm going to anyway.
The Europop-tinged electro of Little Boots is the confident ying to Duffy's crooning yang, with smooth Madonna tones and oddly-stark hooks, a sort of haughty 'come hither' attraction that is simply irresistible. Not that Victoria Hesketh, the doe-eyed 24 year-old wearing the Boots is in real life anything but the sort. The only artist I've seen to employ the fascinating Tenori-On, Little Boots hype grew via a collection of YouTube covers - plinking away at a variety of keys, injecting a cutesy but talented approach to some timeless and not-so timeless songs - but that's now set to metamorphose into the sort of spotlight only a young blonde music starlet can cultivate. That she has a gleaming collection of sassy electro tunes to unleash is a welcome addition to the typical solo female hype machine.
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Funky, colourful and constantly upbeat, Scandinavian troupe The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are going to be bringing the sunshine back to the British summer the same way Junior Senior did a few years back (for about three seconds), and soundtrack foam parties, bouncy castles, and beach barbeques. Oh yes, and Apple ads. In all seriousness, they're much more accomplished than the above suggests - ranging from exuberant brassy romps to warm pop-psychedelica, all festooned in the kooky vocal of Mette Lindberg. It's a complete and unashamedly fun pop sound, and one that only wants you to enjoy it. This year, it will be hard not to.
Finally, globetrotting GIITTV writer TC scales the landscapes of Denmark to bring you an act that have released two EPs of great promise:
This lot are from Copenhagen and are set to join Danish musical heritage, which includes such notables as Disneyland After Dark, Mew and The Raveonettes. Ok, ok don't disappear just yet, because I reckon they have the potential to go much further than that ramshackle bunch.
Their sound is comparable to The Smiths, no other comparisons are necessary because that would merely deflect from what you get. Back in the mid-nineties there was Gene of course gaining similar accusations because of Martin Rossiter's vocal style being so akin to the great Moz. But you get more than that with Northern Portrait - yes there's a similar vocal style but this time the Marr-esque guitar sound is also implanted. Now bands that copy great masters so precisely are generally met with disdain and cast into the 'rip off' bucket somewhat rapidly; but Northern Portrait do such a remarkable job, it's difficult to deny them a high degree of merit.
They released two EPs in 2008 via Matinee Records. The first of these, 'The Fallen Aristocracy' included the track “Crazy”, which literally sent shudders down my spine when I heard it. It made me realise how poor Morrissey's solo stuff has been in comparison to The Smiths. The second EP was 'Napolean Sweetheart' and both EPs contained four excellent tracks. I've managed to get hold of a few demos too, which suggests that the planned album this year could be a stormer. They've even done a wicked cover of Cliff Richard's “Some People” - don't scoff until you hear it!
So they're my tip for stardom in 2009 and will certainly make it, if only in my living room - Check 'em out on MySpace or give me a shout and I'll let you in ear shot of their other stuff.