It’s that time of year again when various music experts try to predict what’s going to be big in 2013. From a pool of thousands of fledgling artists, just a few souls get picked up by the hype-machine for an extra leg-up on the slippery pop music ladder.
When I first scanned through the BBC Sound of 2013 longlist I was a little underwhelmed - yet repeated listens have yielded sufficient reward, and you must admire the BBC for their broad-mindedness in including this many genres. Of course this is mostly pop music of one description or another - from electronic to mass market indie rock. The post-punk of Savages though is a brave inclusion, and one which I’m rather partial to. I don’t believe Savages have any change of winning, but it’s nice to see them at least namechecked. My favourites are the R&B electropop of AlunaGeorge - and the more Depeche-Mode-ish sounds of Chvurches, although I see much to admire in Angel Haze, Haim and Kodaline too. Most of the populist indie rock here is a bit pedestrian, and Kodaline is the best of these.
(x3) - how many lists artist/s appear on
(+) - good
(+++) - great
(~) - lala
BBC Sound of 2013
A*M*E - effervescent pop-princess in the making - not a lot of output yet, but shows promise (+)
AlunaGeorge - slighlty reminischent of 80’s R&B pop with a more modern edge, nearest equivalent is somewhere around NuShooz ’I Can’t Wait’ - one of my favourites (+++)
Angel Haze (x2) - Slick rap delivery with sweet vocals too - somewhere along similar lines to Azealia Banks but with more vocal delivery (+)
Arlissa - gorgeous soulful vocals, needs to find her niche, shows plenty of promise though (+)
Chvrches - my equal favourites with AlunaGeorge - great electronic pop with definite Depeche Mode influences even though vocals are mostly female (+++)
Haim (x3) - Easy 70’s style west-coast inspired pop-rock from these 3 sisters, should do really well in 2013 (+++)
King Krule - Laconic modernist indie rock somewhere along similar lines to Joe Strummer - with a definite urban edge (+)
Contrary to some opinions, 2012 has actually been a fantastic viewing and listening experience for me. After a slack movie year in 2011 - when I barely reached double digits, for 2012 I managed to see a good 30 films right on the big screen. I also did some significant curation with my DVD and Blu-ray collection - bringing it fully up-to-date with present and past masters, and a smattering of worthy 3D movies. Alas something had to suffer - and in 2012 I did not read enough books to constitute any kind of top 10 list - I will be putting more effort into that area in 2013! Anyhow, here follows a series of listings of all those mini-masterpieces which delighted and entertained me during the wettest year on record: