Sunday, 28 December 2008

Here is a list of the top 10 bands I am really excited about for the year ahead.

1. Or, The Whale.
Or, The Whale's country, alt rock sound is sure to raise a few eyebrows in 2009.
The nine piece have a sound that would be welcome in the cd collection of any Arcade Fire or Band of Horses fan. Their debut album 'Light Poles and Pines' is starting to create quite a fuss and rightfully so. Demonstrating a wide variety of genre hopping songs. Ones to watch.

2. Remember Remember.
Combining a huge variety of instruments including harps, saxophones,violins, Guitars and even a Glockenspiel with household objects such as a stapler, hole puch, scissors, etc to create this atmospheric, glitchy, dancy, epic music. This is some of the most interesting and imaginative music I have heard for quite a while. There are lots of musicians who use this amount of instruments, Four Tet, Fuck Buttons, etc but I have heard none who sound like this. Graeme Ronald, the driving force behind Remember Remember has got something really special here and it won't be long before this is recognised.

3. Dent May and his Magnificent Ukulele
Dent May is one of those guys who's life totally revolves around music. Growing up in Jackson Mississippi he spent his early days singing in church choir's and performing with a recorder choir at Nursing Homes and has continued writing in various bands throughout his life. With his sound harking back to that of early 19th century swing ( think the ball at the end of Back to the Future,) it has this charm about it, a sort of charm I really haven't heard since Eels were in their heyday. Its just such a nostalgic, likable sound.

4.No Age
I had to give these guys a few listens before I started to find something in their sound that I liked. Maybe its the energy they put into their music. Maybe its the fact that they sound so raw which, In the time of being able to produce a reasonably decent sounding record from your bedroom is actually quite refreshing but there is definately something that keeps bringing me back to listen to these guys and I know a lot of people feel the same.

5. Kelpe
Kelpe creates some really interesting beats. Often using simple, effect laden drum patterns, combining them with really dirty, fuzzy bass lines and various other sounds mixed in making music that I haven't stopped listening to since I first heard it. With a mixture of tracks that could fill any dance floor (Shipwreck Glue) to minimalistic, rather intense sounds (Pinch and Flare.)

6. Midnight Juggernauts
Last year was a very successful year for the inde/electro Australians seeing them grow from being unheard of in this country to playing high up the bill on the sunrise arena at Latitude, tour with Late of the Pier and play the Becks Fusion event below Massive Attack. 2009 will be even bigger for them and will hopefully see them get the acknowledgement they deserve.

Another band who have had a pretty successful year. Ending with the opening slot for Mogwai at venues as big as Hammersmith. Probably the only band that can make a crowd of moody post rockers dance, if you haven't seen them already you really should soon because there is no way they will be playing dingy bars anymore.

8. Abe Vigoda
There is definately a surge of bands with a certain lo-fi edge becoming quite successful at the moment. No Age and Bon Iver are certainly at the forefront, but bands like Abe Vigoda are certainly starting to get recognised over here, their hugely energetic, frantic, yet also melodic sound is reminiscent of early At The Drive In, which is something I found quite refreshing.

9. Animal Collective
After a few albums people are finally starting to get used to Animal Collective's avante garde sound. They are already pretty renowned but it was after their most exciting release in late 2007, 'Strawberry Jam' which really saw them take off resulting in a headline slot on the Carling Stage at Reading. They are bringing a new album out in January. I'm pretty excited.

10. Au
Au really caught me in a way that not many bands do and it normally takes a few listens to get it whereas with these guys it was an instant like. There is so much going on its hard to take it all in, played loud its quite overwhelming. Au's huge soundscape is mainly created by the multi talented Luke Wyland. Verbs is a full album, the tracks all flow well into each other. Au already have friends in high places supporting the likes of Fleet Foxes, Beach House and Phosphorescent and I should Imagine you will be hearing a lot more from these guys in 2009.

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