Monday, 31 January 2011

Middle Boop Top Tips For 2011

Last year was the first time Middle Boop had ever run a 'Top Tips' article and I'm pretty happy to say we must be doing something right as the choices we made mostly went on to have a very successful year. For instance, First Aid Kit went from playing tiny pubs to melting the hearts of a large amount of people in pretty sizeable venues, Pantha Du Prince played pretty much every credible festival going and his debut album ended up on many end of year lists and Esben And The Witch signed to Matador, supported everyone from Foals to The XX and have just released one of the most hotly anticipated débuts this year.

So what does 2011 hold in store in the realm of alternative music? Well judging from our humble list below I hope you'll agree that the following list of bands are about to start causing a stir in certain scenes and even though none of these bands will exactly be tipped to play Wembley in the next year or so, they will be emphasizing just how amazing the alternative music scene is at the moment....Pray silence please for Middle Boop's 2011 Top Tips!

Anna Calvi

We get more musicality coming into the album with the track “Desire”. Furthermore, Calvi really opens up her voice and displays the vocal power and range that she possesses that fully justifies her nomination for the BBC’s ‘Sound of 2011’ poll. It also enthrals me further that Anna is a home-grown British talent. She sounds like what we have been crying out for; a female vocalist that has that ‘edge’ about her. This is something that I don’t think we have seen since the days of Blondie or Suzi Quatro. – Barclay Quarton


Signed to influential Canadian indie label Flemish Eye, which has produced the likes of Women and Chad Van Gaalen over the last few years, Braids music is soaked in echoey beeps and glitches. With strange time signatures and heartwarming vocals, hopefully we’ll see Braids playing this side of the pond sometime this year as they will go down so well over here at the moment.

Chad Valley

Being the charmingly astute music lovers that you are, you may have already heard of Hugo Manuel, the man behind Chad Valley singing in his other band Jonquil who have started to gain a great little following. If you have, good for you, chances are you'll enjoy Chad Valley, if not...Well, chances are you're going to enjoy it regardless as this sickeningly catchy retro synth driven pop is just what you need to get over the dark nights and freezing weather. – Gordon Reid


Big anthemic choruses, instantly lovable vocals and feelgood songs galore. Grouplove already sound like they’ve mastered the art of writing a decent pop tune. Their single colours is out now and chances are you will have heard it and loved it. – Gordon Reid

The music sits somewhere between DC hardcore and British punk but filtered via weirdness. The songs are all velocity but skewed and prone to shoot off at unexpected angles. – Al English

Iceage - New Brigade from iceage on Vimeo.

Idiot Glee

James Friley, AKA Idiot Glee creates beautifully multi layered vocal harmonies using seemingly minimalistic instrumentation to create their haunting 50’s influenced pop. Début single ‘All Packed Up’ will have fans of Grizzly Bear going nuts and B-Side ‘Don’t Drink the Water’ just resonates greatness. I really hope we hear a lot more. – Gordon Reid

Idiot Glee

James Blake

In case you’ve been living in some form of cave / rock dwelling / panic room and haven’t heard the recent hype around James Blake, allow me to fill you in. He attended the prestigious Latymer School in London whilst recording compositions in his bedroom. After a successful launch of debut 12” ‘Air And Lack Thereof’, along with a cover of Leslie Feist’s ‘Limit To Your Love’, national radio coverage and a whole lot of blogging ensured that this was the beginning of a blossoming career for the young musician.

The music itself is a combination of minimalist, down tempo, electronic compositions fused with Blake’s delicate and often soulful voice. Frequent use of an auto tuner on Blake’s voice may cause a divided opinion amongst listeners but with a feature on just about every ones to watch list this year, we found it hard to resist putting him in ours as well. – Neil Phillips


We could sense that a buzz was building around this New York City electro synth-pop duo from witnessing Amanda Warner undergo an eccentric and spell bounding performance at London’s Lexington last August. Having already toured and collaborated with Mark Ronson on his latest album we’re expecting MNDR to send waves crashing further, on a worldwide scale. – Freddy Rothman

Ringo Deathstarr

Any band with a name like Ringo Deathstarr is always going to grab my attention, and with music that sounds like My Bloody Valentine if Kevin Shields actually had a sense of humour, this Austin trio have certainly whet my appetite with their fuzzed up, noisy pop.

Their début album 'Colour Trip' will be out in February. We can't wait. - Adam Parker


Bedroom producer James Welch aka Seams has been recording countless EP’s, singles and remixes over the past year or so. His most recent available offering, ‘The Tourist EP’ shows you why we’ve not just got another Four Tet or Gold Panda on their hands. As much as we love those guys too, Seams will draw on atmospheric post-electronica that will just whisk you away to another world. A debut LP is expected before the end of the year. – Freddy Rothman

Trophy Wife

Oxford three piece, Trophy Wife. Both singles Microlite and The Quiet Earth show the signs of a band with true potential. The songs are softly built up around dancey drum beats and crisp delayed, jangly guitar lines with delicate vocals sounding very much like they’ve taken influence from their Oxford counterparts Foals, who they toured with last year.Trophy Wife are writing an EP due early next year so hopefully they will take this time to build upon the sound they are already creating and evolve it further. – Freddy Rothman

Veronica Falls

The London based 2 boy-2 girl quartet make blissful, pounding Dream-Pop music and have had tongues wagging all across the capital. Although they have been touring extensively since 2009 and have released 2 of the best singles of 2010 in ‘Beachy Head’ and ‘Found Love in a Graveyard’, we can expect more shows and hopefully their debut album in 2011 which we simply cannot wait for. - Freddy Rothman


Less “Yuck!” and more like “Fuck!”. A solid debut from a young band with a lot of potential and a great future ahead of them. 2011 will be a good year for Yuck. – Neil Phillips

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