The Joy Formidable, Hearts Of Black Science, My Teenage Stride, It Hugs Back, The Arteries - Tips for 09: Part One.
The beginning of a new year is a starting gun for the endless Tips for This Year lists - you know, those articles in major publications and broadsheets that often become smug self-fulfilling prophecies, stuffed with acts that have such a big backing, that it's little wonder that they achieve success.
At GIITTV, we do things differently - we tip bands throughout the year - just check our 'demos' and 'singles' section for countless examples of our support for exciting, emerging, unsigned, big and small label music. But, as is customary, here is our contribution to the whole tipping race. More than a traditional list we've read or bands we've been told to tip, these are acts that we are genuinely personally excited by, and those we think deserve more recognition. They don't have to be destined for 'the big time, baby' (although some of them undoubtedly are) but they all have one thing in common: personality; and the fact that they have caught the ear of one of GIITTV's esteemed writers. So in part one, Fliss Collier and Marcus Warner, present our first five Tips for 09.
First up GIITTV's deputy editor Fliss Collier gives us her four to listen out for in the next year:
The Joy Formidable
This is the greatest fuzz-pop since the last Raveonettes album! Joy Zipper in a spin-dryer with The Killers. Actually, I can't pinpoint these as influences, all we have here is a similar key of bounteous melody. I can imagine The Joy Formidable being a blazing live prospect; panoramic guitar sensation, soothing waves into joyous bounce. This is guitar music in a revitalised form. The usual spate of musical tricks and hero-worshipping at work in much of the celebrated current crop of indie bands is wildly astray. This isn't cool or scene or fashion above substance. The music seduces and is enough and we have no need for superfluous gloss. Myspace does not do their sonics justice, so I look forward to some corruscating live performances, and the extra pleasing sheen of recorded output.
Their new single 'Cradle' is out now, watch the video here:
Hearts Of Black Science
Hearts of Black Science: ice cool electro. Beloved of London shoegaze/post-rock club night Club AC30, Sweden's Hearts of Black Science provide a dark electronic reverie to escape into. This is Gothenberg gothic; elegant swathes of ambient synth pop in the mould of Depeche Mode' more pensive and slow cut moments. There is a very clear crisp as ice feel to Hearts of Black Science's music, but not so much that it lacks humanity; the raw emotion of the vocal delivery sets off a warmth to the almost bleak soundscape. It works with a sinewy beauty when female vocals join in, as with their soaring collaboration with Brooklyn-based singer/electronic artist Cybo - the resultant track could impress Asobi Seksu in a lonely cold mood. The all male quartet have a former horror movie director in their ranks, make of that what you will. With a debut album in the form of The Ghost You Left Behind achieved in 2007, the band are set for a new full length release this year.
My Teenage Stride
My Teenage Stride: C86 revival with a crash and a jangle. Mates of the delectable squall-pop purveyors The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, My Teenage Stride take the bright optimism of C86, the fuzzy jangle of Guided by Voices and quirky lyrics, and set it at danceable pace. Their shiniest moment is Liveanddieintheairportlounge which has winsome chiming guitars to please Smiths fans everywhere. This is literate, attractive indie pop from New York but in Brit style, and a true antidote to all those shouty art rock bands around. They've got one of the best band names I've seen in a while, and I expect they'll get swept up by the Twee as F*ck club night people in London, which would be a boon, as this sort of breezy, glad-to-be-alive guitar pop would be most welcome on UK shores.
It Hugs Back
It Hugs Back: Lush bubbly acoustica pop. From the stable of 4AD Records comes a jaunty great acoustic pop hope - the appropriately twee named It Hugs Back. Work Day is a breezy whirl into a world not dissimilar to that inhabited by My Sad Captains, where the bitter and the sweet meld together to a jewel pretty affect. Their Myspace includes a Stereolab cover and you can see the influence shining through with use of liquid sounds that gel like honey, and all manner of odd whirrs, bubbles and pops from synths. They're soon to gig with another of GIITTV's favourites, The Joy Formidable.
Lastly Marcus Warner ventures his hot tips for 09 hailing from deepest, darkest South Wales:
Swansea five-piece The Arteries play a brand of punk rock that's oft tried, but rarely mastered. Compared to punk rock greats like PropaghandiThe Descendents, The Arteries deal in riff laden punk rock played at a break neck speed and with lashings of ace sing-a-longs.
This year the band have released three 10" eps; 'Blood', 'Sweat' and 'Beers' and have played what seems hundreds of shows. Now signed to the what's considered the premier punk rock label in the UK, Household Name Records, to release their debut album, expect 2009 to see The Arteries clog up yours very soon.
The band's blog