Thursday, January 03, 2008

2008. What is it good for?

New Year is over, swiftly followed by a grim return to work. It’s been a good holiday, but the bleakness of this morning has put me in a less-than-enthusiastic mood for the start of the New Year. Maybe that’s appropriate because although blogger etiquette should dictate that I’ll spend the next week or so with my ‘tips for 2008’, I can’t really be bothered with all that.

Looking back on 2007, it was a mixed bag as far as my predictions went. Jack Penate got to be about as big as I expected, despite releasing a weak album. But who could have predicted just how successful Kate Nash became? I’m still not sure how that happened. Neither were the ‘industry insiders’, absent as she was from the start-of-year prediction polls. Some of the rest of my tips fell a bit flat though – nobody really got that excited (rightly so) about The Rumble Strips' album, Ali Love got a major record deal but then went all Calvin Harris on our asses, Jamie T went even further along the great singles/ rubbish album scale, iLiKETRAiNS' debut album just wasn’t as good as I’d hoped given the quality of previous releases, The Earlies failed to scale the heights of their debut album (though that was pretty high) and though Lucky Soul, Fields and The Aliens all released decent records, no-one really seemed to be paying attention.

Elsewhere, some of the bands and artists probably belong more in the tips for 2008 (if I was doing such a thing), such as Adele (who only released one single in 2007 but is everywhere now), Laura Groves (who got singed to XL offshoot Salvia records), Emmy the Great (who did two singles and a successful debut national tour), and I Was A Cub Scout (who also did singles and a heap of touring). Who knows, maybe Vincent Vincent and the Villains will get round to releasing something other than old singles again and the Shortwave Set will eventually put out their long-awaited (by me at least) second album.

But so much for 2007. This year I’m not doing big-in-2008 predictions because that makes it sound like I’ve got some sort of insider information, plus I’m not very interested in who’s going to be big this year. Let other, better-connected people do that instead, as they are already doing. Speaking of which, no surprises on the annual BBC list so far, and surely no-one’s taking any more bets on the No.1 being Adele. The fact is, the bands or artists who are going to be big are the ones who've got a load of cash behind them.

Instead, I’ll just continue blogging about good new music that’s made its way onto my various listening devices. You can count them as tips if you like, but like everything else I write about here, it’s just about me sharing my enthusiasm for music – old or new.

There are things I am looking forward to though. New albums from Black Mountain, Hot Chip, Nick Cave, Be Your Own Pet, Lightspeed Champion, Los Campesinos! and Beach House for starters. Plus whatever else the internet throws my way. I'm also looking forward to getting a new home computer, or at least a new monitor so I can see clearly to get my backlog of live radio sessions sorted out a bit.

Happy New Year to you all. Here’s to a good 2008, musically and otherwise.

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