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Ones To Watch: Iggy Azalea to Doldrums

David Newbury

Iggy Azalea 300x299 Ones To Watch: Iggy Azalea to DoldrumsFollowing new music seriously challenges ones prejudices and preconceptions. Ordinarily the thought of four boys with guitars or bedroom geeks with a laptop sampler and Second Life account sends me reaching for the Valium. So when bands Peace and Doldrums reinvigorate faith in guitars and MacBooks, it is exceptionally exciting.

Just because something’s been done before doesn’t mean it is regressive. Indeed, the best music builds on what has gone before; it is how they reinvent it which makes this exciting.   Following this line, this week’s trip at the latest acts to watch takes us through edgy rap saviours, sublime art-folk whimsy and genre defying electronica.

Iggy Azalea

Unfortunately not the fruits of an encounter between messers Pop and Banks backstage at Coachella, but an Australian hip hop saviour. Her sexually charged spitting is as fast and articulate as hip hop’s prime players, and is exceptionally MTV unfriendly- you’ll never eat Skittles in the same way after hearing ‘Pu$$y’. She is backed with edgy electro production and erratic beats which shatter bass bins. 2011’s mix tape Ignorant Art is a bile filled tirade about bitches and pills which rants against the raps dogmatic RnB glitz. It seems a bit Vicky Pollard messing with Garageband in Miami, but if anyone is giving rap its bite back it is Iggy.

Shinies

The words ‘Manchester guitar band’ can easily cause a sense of unease for anyone except lager swilling lads, so this trio were approached with trepidation. Shinies’ fuzz-laden indie pop, however, resonates with melodic DIY slacker alt-rock as though Steve Albini was recording the latest Mersey-beat combo. Their debut single ‘Shola’ is breezy pop-gaze which smothers you in chugging distortion and airy vocals, while prodding you with the same stick Husker Du spanked 80s hardcore.   It seems Oasis’ Andy Bell’s honorary Manc’ membership has finally given the North West the distorto-sludge edge it has long needed.

Hannah Cohen

This 25-year-old San Franciscan may just have the perfect life. She was brought up in a family of poets, musicians and booksellers, her grandfather was even friends with Dylan Thomas, before moving to New York becoming a model in the hipster art scene. She even has her own book of photography published. So it was inevitable she would end up immersed in the city’s music scene. Privileged? Maybe, but the gentle delicacy of her debut album, Child Bride, did not happen by chance. It is a record aching with emotive vibrancy which nods towards Feist’s obtuseness and Antony Hegarty’s hushed beauty. She oozes a cinematic elegance which is soothing and intriguing.

Peace

In the mid-90s there was a band nobody liked called Inaura. They were great but their indie techno failed because it just didn’t rock out enough. They needed to be more like Mansun. Birmingham’s Peace aren’t making that mistake, their danceable, thumping, indie vibe has the grit and attitude of Foals and fun of Two Door Cinema Club, without the inherent annoyance of both those groups.   ‘Follow Baby’ is the aforementioned Mansun, with baggy undertones, reconditioned for hipsters. If The Maccabees were to get a sense of humour and binge on Jagerbombs at the local disco, then they may get close to Peace’s urgency. Until then let’s kick back and wait for this quartet to dominate indie rock.

Doldrums

While hanging out with a singer from a certain buzzband recently, she confessed to me she has a crush on Toronto’s Doldrums. Well, so do I, but possibly for different reasons. Airik Woodhead’s collage of electronica and leftfield art pop makes one go weak at the knees and giddy with euphoria. His chopped samples and Perry Farrel-esque vocals make the grinding beat of ‘Parrot Talk’ and the acid house tinged ‘Egypt’ challenge what is expected of an electronic record, as though El-P was jamming with Grimes. Using a live band to recreate the music on stage is mesmerising and truly genre-defying display of pulsing drums and drilling synths.

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