Monday, January 01, 2007
Big in 2007? The obvious ones
Happy New Year to you all!
A new year, which always brings with it the promise of more exciting new music. For the first time I'm joining in with the annual who's-going-to-be-big-this-year predictions. The answer to the question "who's going to make it big this year" always has the same answer. It's "the artist that has a major label with a huge pile of money behind them to promote them endlessly, book them into the highest profile TV and radio slots and put ads on TV". Sure, there are indie bands that break through each year, some of them seemingly from nowhere, but being big in the blogosphere doesn't exactly equal mainstram success, does it? I mean, have your work colleagues even heard of Beirut and TV on the Radio?
With that in mind, many of the predictions we'll see over the next week or so across the music mags and the internet, are dead certs for success. For instance, the music industry insiders who contribute to the BBC's annual top 10 tips for the year must have known about the massive push that Corrine Bailey Rae was going to get last year. Having her in no. 1 slot was an easy bet for success.
So for my first Big in 2007? post, I'm sticking with the easy ones. I'd expect all of these to be in the BBC's top 10 tips for 2007 when it's all finally unveiled on Friday.
The Good, The Bad and The Queen
You wouldn't expect the new project from Damon Albarn to be anything other than big, would you? Especially since he's assembled an impressive supergroup consisting of Paul Simenon, Tony Allen and erm, Simon Tong. I like the fact that they're so self-consciously a London band - right down to the record sleeves, but I've still to be fully impressed by their music yet. Less pop than Gorrilaz and less rock than Blur, I'm not quite sure where to place them. I may yet 'get them' properly.
Download: The Good, the Bad and the Queen - History Song
Read more: interview with Time Out
Watch: Herculean live at The Roundhouse
Album out: 22 January. Pre-order.
This is one I'll be pleased about, since I think the kid's great. I've been following his progress from a distance ever since seeing him at Summer Sundae in August, and playing his Sheila and If You Got The Money to death. His crammed-to-capacity show at the 12 Bar last week gave me a taste of what the Jamie T phenomenon might become once his album is unleased on the public at the end of the month.
Download: Jamie T - Sheila
Read more: Drowned in Sound interview
Watch: live acoustic tracks and interview at Collective, Sheila live at the 12 Bar
Album out: 29 January. Pre-order.
This is one of these artists that I deliberately paid little attention to, mainly because I didn't like the way he was getting hyped. But only the other day I checked out some of his tunes, and what do you know? They're pretty good! I can see why a record company would want to pump a lot of cash into this guy. His Queen-meets-the-Scissor-Sisters schtick must surely mean paydirt for his label. People will no doubt go wild for him. That falsetto. These tousled good looks. Oh yes. He'll go far. And I don't really mind.
Download: Mika - Grace Kelly
Read more: interview with contact music, Londonist profile
Watch: Mika playing Grace Kelly on Jools Holland
Album out: February sometime I think