Five to Watch
2008 is but a distant memory now. It was a brilliant year for new music discoveries of all types and some excellent efforts from musical acquaintances more familiar. Barely into the third week and excellent new music releases are all ready rocking socks and stirring hearts. The new Animal Collective, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, Antony Hagerty releases are all exceptional in their own right and set the stage for a what will no doubt be a stellar year in song. I’ll look ahead to some of the more promising artists (new and old) set to deliver music to waiting ears this Year of the Ox. Watch out though, you might just discover your favourite new band.
Emmy the Great
London (UK) based singer song writer Emmy the Great is finally coming out with her debut album “First Love” on February 9th and after countless of demos and EPs anticipation couldn’t be any greater. Here’s the tracklisting:
3. We Almost Had a Baby
4. The Easter Parade
6. On the Museum Island
8. First Love
10. The Easter Parade 2
11. Bad Things Coming, We Are Safe
12. Everything Reminds Me of You
13. City Song
Want to hear the voice that has been enchanting me for quite some time now.
Here’s the video for the first single First Love:
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Next up is the New York four-piece The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. The energetic rockers seem to be on the fingertip of countless earnest music bloggers hands right now. The release of their highly anticipated debut album is now only a couple weeks away and songs are beginning to float about the tubes. One listen though and you’ll be hooked. These guys are having fun and it really translates well into the music. It’s great to see a band on the verge of becoming one of the big things of 2009 and I’m certain they’ll live up to the hype from what I have heard so far.
This duo are poised to be the breakout rap all-stars of 2009, as their debut The Spirit of Apollo livens up standard American hip hop with Brazilian funk elements (incidentally their name stands for North America/South America). But the most appealing aspect of N.A.S.A.’s output is the astounding list of guest stars, which includes Kanye West, Santogold, and Lykke Li. In the, Now It’s Time for Something Completely Different Department - it’s been confirmed that Tom Waits lends his distinctive ‘gravelled’ vocals to a track called “Spacious Thoughts”, certainly more than enough to pull me into this creative enterprise. Great promise would be an understatement.
Originally from Blackpool, Lancashire, UK and a graduate of Leeds University, Victoria Hesketh has adopted her nickname of Little Boots as her stage name.
Another left field moniker that I am certain we will all be hearing a lot about in 2009. Witness Ms. Hesketh’s recent rocket ride to stardom as the BBC recently proclaimed the DIY-electro superstar as the official "Sound of 2009". With substantial props like that, she can no doubt start planning a big change in lifestyle. Like fellow “MySpace-ation” Frankmusik, Little Boots has been teasing her fan base with an ever-cycling array of tracks on her MySpace, as well as an clever selection of weekly pop covers on YouTube. The grainy videos feature the dimunitive songstress hammering away at her Casio whist wailing away toward the sky. Each week, Ms. Vicky Boots attacks her track of choice with the same intensity and sincerity, be it Hot Chip or Miley Cyrus or just check Youtube and trust me… Stay tuned for her electro pop debut sometime in the second half of the year.
Signed to Rough Trade and will release her new LP To Be Still in February. The record is the follow-up to Diane's critically-acclaimed 2006 debut The Pirate's Gospel. That record brought the Nevada city, CA-reared musician a dedicated following across the globe (especially in Europe, where she recently finished a tour of mid-sized concert halls). Considering that early copies of The Pirate's Gospel were given away to friends in hand-sewn covers just a few years ago, this is not only quite a leap, but a well-deserved one.
Other favourites with new releases planned for 2009.
Iron & Wine
Boy Least Likely To
Land of Talk
Rock Plaza Central
Which bands are you most looking forward to hearing from in 2009? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section.