Broken Bells, Washed Out, Jónsi, Ignug, Glass Diamond - GIITTV's Tips for 2010 part 2
In the second of our combination of GIITTV tips for 2010. We drill deeper for aural golden nuggets, with the second of our ombined picks for the rest of the year.(ED: Get a move on it's March already!)With a all star indie pairing, a returning songwriting genius, in his solo guise and some delighful, playful, up and coming noisemakers, all making appearances.
First up GIITTV deputy Ed Tim Miller pulls out one potentially killer combination of respected songwriters, and one rising no-fi act.
What do you get if you cross Jay Z, The Shins and The Beatles? Previous examples of work by the duo behind Broken Bells, that's what; namely, Shins' chieftain James Mercer and Danger Mouse, still less well known by his actual name Brian Burton after he brilliantly and illegally mashed up Jay-Z's Black Album with The Beatles' White some five years ago.
An unlikely collaboration perhaps, but with Mercer's ear for a melody, Burton's nose for a killer production and the pair's uncanny knack of adding gold touches to just about any record they grace, it's a collaboration worth getting breathless about. With just one track on MySpace until recently, news for a long time typically shadowy as per Danger Mouse's previous projects even the name only being confirmed late last year, but now there's a single 'The High Road' due next week(8th of March) the video for which, you can watch below, and a debut slated for the same day. It would be a brave man to bet against them producing a special long player too!
Broken Bells will release their debut single 'The High Road' on Columbia Records on download from Monday 8 March.
The band's debut album is set to be released on Monday 8 March. The full tracklisting for the album is:
The High Road
Your Head Is On Fire
The Ghost Inside
Sailing To Nowhere
The Mall & Misery
The High Road
Broken Bells | MySpace Music Videos
Ignore what you've read about Washed Out so far (which, if you've picked up NME in the last three weeks, will be quite a bit). Most will harp on about Feel It All Around, but for us here the track is <Belong, a song so good it's the aural equivalent of being 10-years old, putting an entire bag of skittles in your mouth and savouring that first sumptuous chew. He first got mooted on the GIITTV forums last October following some equally impressed but brief coverage in the Guardian, and now Washed Out (real name Ernest Greene) finds himself rather courted by increasing numbers of music industry types.
The reason is his lazy, self-styled “no-fi”, sleepy vocals echoing across what sounds like every decent '90s mainstream dance song rolled into one and then played at half speed. It's chilled out, it's laid back, it's sunny, warm and somehow both nostalgic and innovative, comforting and exciting. If you're going to get excited about one person on MySpace this year - or at least this month - make it Washed Out.
Next, Alisha Ahmed tips a name that will be familiar to all of you, working this year under his solo monniker:
After his album as Riceboy Sleeps in 2009, 2010 will see Jón Thor Birgisson, known to the world as Jónsi (the lead singer of Sigur Ros) will release the first true solo album under his birth name (Frakkur was just a time-killing-device?) And from one of the album tracks that's been revealed thus far, 'Boy Lilikoi' it's sounding soundscapingly epic as Sigur Ros are, and as Happier than their last album. Jónsi releases the EP 'Go Do' on March 22nd. While Jonsi's new album 'Go' - is released on the 5th of April.
watch his new video here.
Last up GIITTV news editor,Steven Morgan has two more playful sonic adventurers for your listening pleasure!
When I first saw Ruby Renaissance (we can safely assume that's not his real name), lead singer of Ignug after listening to what I could of their self-described ill'ectronica, he didn't look the same as the Prince-esque pixie man I'd imagined in my mind. He took to the stage and proved first hand that this is one band with absolutely no need for a reliance on performance aids like auto-tune to do exactly what they want. It doesn't hurt that he's backed by some of the most inventive and seductive use of synths I've heard of the recent trend of eighties inspired electro. They've already cut their musical chops, having previously worked with John Legend, RJD2, White Lies, Tommy Sparks and Larry Tee.
They describe their sound as being like Depeche Mode and Prince meeting Ed Banger Crew, showing an awareness of exactly what it is they're doing and their seemingly effortless ability to meet such a lofty description. On stage the electronic sounds merge with live instruments, keyboards, drums and vocals, to create collages of sounds that are both immediate and layered enough to enjoy unwrapping their contents with repeated listens. Ignug was formed two years ago. They're currently working on their début album. They finished four tracks in July 2009 that started the hype. The expectations for that album are huge.
Glass Diamond are three people making envelope pushing attention grabbing electronica with its epic synths and heavily processed vocals over a consistent driving beat from Chris Robinson which ties it all together. There's elements of 8-bit synths which give immediate first comparisons of similarly tinged artists such as Crystal Castles or Hot Chip, but there's an overriding sinisterness that you won't find in many of their contemporaries. The songs structures often breakdown to almost nothing at the least expected moments, darting from up-tempo hooks that pull in an air of familiarity before introducing sounds that leave you as unsettled in a way artists like HEALTH and Portishead know well. There's a restraint in their approach building tension and leaving you expecting the chaos to kick in it never seems to happen and is all the better for it. We all know the anticipation is always more satisfying than the end result. The band have been picking up a consistently growing following with a series of incredible live performances where Hsin Yi Chang slowly seduces the entire audience individually while Vincent D gyrates and pounds his instruments as though they've slept with his significant other. Not something to be missed.
Stand by for more tips for 20010 or read and listen to Tiptapes from Bill Cummings, Rhian Daly and Simon Catling!