Saturday, 2 January 2010

BBC Sound of 2010

Since the BBC Sound of 2010 longlist was announced I have been meaning to find out more (ok let's face facts, by 'more' I mean 'something') about the fifteen artists.

Here they are:
  • Daisy Dares You
  • Delphic
  • Devlin
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Everything, Everything
  • Giggs
  • Gold Panda
  • Hurts
  • Joy Orbison
  • Marina & The Diamonds
  • Owl City
  • Rox
  • Stornoway
  • The Drums
  • Two Door Cinema Club
Daisy Dares You is 16 year old Daisy Coburn. She sounds like a high-pitched Lily Allen produced by Akon. Her songs start dark and moody but soon turn into perky (and slightly irritating) pop. Saying that Number One Enemy is really good. One for the future rather than the present.

Dephic is a band from Manchester. They sound like Hot Chip should. A bit of 80 electronica which seems to be the way things are still going. Anyway, the music is a mesmerising mix of beats and loops with enchanting vocals - a bit I Was A Cub Scout (how I miss them). Excellent prospect.

Devlin is a 20 year old rapper from Dagenham. He is part of The Movement and underground Grime scene. His delivery is bold, aggressive, rapid-fire and an acquired taste.

Everything Everything is Mike, Jonathan, Jeremy and Alex from Manchester. They produce eclectic guitar/keyboard pop that sounds different from song to song. They all play and sing. A bit Kaiser Chiefs with an 80's twist (let it go people!).

Giggs is a rapper from London, recently out of prison and making music about 'street life'. His droll, laboured delivery and hard-hitting lyrics take London rap back to the sound and style of 80's LA. Refreshingly honest retro or hapless cliche? Not sure yet.

Gold Panda is a producer and remixer making low-fi (mainly) instrumental Japanese influenced electronica. Some of his music is great, some of it is awful. It all sounds a bit cut-n-paste at times which is a shame but time will tell. I love this sort of stuff when it's filled with melody and ideas.

Ellie Goulding is a 21 year old from Hereford. Her squeaky vocals are sure to mature with age but there is way too much production and unnecessary gymnastics going on. One to keep an ear on for the future.

Hurts is the duo Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson from Manchester (again?) who seem to only have one song: Wonderful Life. Again it's horribly retro but sounds quite modern, unlike their look. Good song. Need more!

Joy Orbison (the worst name ever) is 22 year old Pete O'Grady from Croydon. He makes space-aged electronic music, pulsating, vibrant but a little predictable. Another to keep track of as the year unfolds.

Marina & The Diamonds is Welsh/Greek Marina Diamandis. Probably the most interesting of this years artists. Great songwriting and a decent vocalist (when/if she doesn't veer into high-pitched territory). A bit self-conscious and pretentious but time will sort that out.

Owl City is 23 year old Adam Young from Owatonna, Minnesota. A wonderful mix of the Bens Folds and Gibbard, dreamy emo and heartfelt songwriting all wrapped up with an electronic R&B twist (again Akon is involved?). More stripped down would be excellent.

Rox is Roxanne Tataei, a half Iranian, half Jamaican Londoner. Her music is exactly as you would expect but has a tendancy to descend into weak R&B ballad rather than the more upbeat vibes (see Rocksteady). Good voice that needs the songs.

Stornoway is two pairs of brothers (and another bloke) from Oxford. They make soft, folky guitar pop, brilliantly played and wonderfully written. This band are my choice for winners.

The Drums is a New York/Florida quartet blending guitar surf-pop with Jesus And Mary Chain/Smiths indie-punk. Interesting but will they be anything new? I Felt Stupid is an excellent song.

Two Door Cinema Club is a trio from Bangor, Northern Ireland. This is more electronic indie but without the obvious 80s sound. Again this is very I Was A Cub Scout with an injection of pace. And maybe if they make it big they can get a drummer. The drum machine begins to sound a bit too obvious after a while.

So there they are. 2010 is more 'band' focused than 2009. No obvious choice for the winner but that's not important. If anything it can put too much pressure on people at such an early stage. But a more promising list than last year.

BBC 6music report

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