Ones to watch: Aiden Grimshaw to Hey Sholay
With so much new music coming out it’s difficult to keep track of what’s out there. With so many new bands able to absorb, and often better, their predecessors’ talents, the quality levels keep rising. It’s a lucky dip where you could discover something truly exciting.
But there’s a risk in discovering new music. With decent recording software cheaply available anyone can bring their rock-star fantasies to life. Include some schoolboy social media trickery, and you have a fan-base before your first gig.
Luckily, each week I’ll be sorting the inspirational new artists from the mass of chancers to bring you five new band tips.
The former X Factor finalist from Blackpool has managed something miraculous, he’s become good…really good: we’re talking a Nicola Roberts level of hipster appreciation. Doing the sensible thing and disappearing off the radar for two years meant he could write the kind of pop music it is OK for indie kids to like, and lose the quiff. His debut single,“Is This Love”, is a soaring drum n bass stadium anthem, while forthcoming albumtrack “Curtain Call”,is a gentle lullaby breaking in to soaring Moby-esque groove.He has managed to corner the same crossover chic of the early Sugababes, or even Plan B, which would perfectly suit a Bestival crowd.
As drummer with Swedish indiepoppers The Concretes, Dante Kinnunen has created some of the most wonderfully breezy scandi-pop. Solo, however, he’s creating late night slick RnB jams which are graciously timid in their simplicity. His sharp beats are stoked by thundering bass lines, creating a smooth aural blend of Phil Collins and Canadian producerThe Weekend. “Runners” sounds like Nero backed by a Gameboy, and the Adele sampling “Won’t Go” nests lush vocals between shimmering bands and electro hand claps. His voice is mesmerising and his production unlike anything else. In Dante we have a bona fide megastar.
The problem 90s starlets Wilson Phillips had, was sounding too suburban. They needed to party with SWV and listen to Randy Savage in the Viper Room. Luckily the three Haim sisters from LA aren’t making that mistake. Being aged between 19 and 22the crisp millennium beats of Alayah have cemented their rhythm from their pre-teens, while Stevie Nicks’ slick production will be seen as appealingly retro. Throw in a tour with Julian Casablancasand you have anaural hodgepodge of gritty influences only siblings harmonies can organise. “Better Off”, from their free debut EP, takes Hollaback Girl to a truck-stop where flashes of afro rhythms percolate the coffee.
This noisy Aussie duo is thoroughly committed to long hair, leather jackets and liquor. Like Death From Above 1979 before them they meld ferocious drums with looping guitar effects to create the aural onslaught of a six piece hard-core band to produce rave-pounding thrash punk. Their debut album Bloodstreams is vital record which not only makes loud rock essential in 2012, but bloomin’ good fun too. Their live shows manage to accommodate mosh pits and dancing, a skill honed though playing at beer swigging Brisbane house parties, but will soon be doing across countless festival stages.
The timeless cliché for struggling bands is to say they’re big in Europe, mainly because no one’s going to check. This Sheffield five piece, however, can boast being big in Serbia, reaching number three in the charts, with truthful pride after winning a NME completion to play at the country’s Exit festival. More importantly, their UK shows have gathered a legion of ardent fans. Their lively indie is traditionally jangly with flashes of tantalising psychedelia, as heard on forthcoming single “Burning”. They claim to have been brought up in a warm tropical climate, yet anyone who’s been to Sheffield knows they’re fibbing. But as their music’s so good, we can forgive them.
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