Big Bands for 2012 (University Assignment)

by - Thursday, March 08, 2012

1) Lucy Rose

They say: “A voice that could melt the stoniest of hearts.” Q Magazine

We say: Lauded by everyone from The Guardian to The Fly (in fact, she appeared of one of the six cover artists on their January Bands of 2012 issue), Lucy Rose is set to be one of 2012’s most unassuming stars. Earning a cult following for her delicate vocals, D.I.Y videos and vocal contributions to Bombay Bicycle Club’s ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’, the Warwickshire born singer has earnt daytime radio play from Radio 1 and 6Music. This support has led to successful tours in support of the likes of Noah And The Whale and Bombay themselves, where she likes to sell homemade jam and personalized tea on her merch stall. So far so twee, but Lucy insists that her interests are eclectic, incorporating ‘cinematic elements’ and influences from ‘Neil Young, Feist, Joni Mitchell, Slow Club. Everything really.’ Don’t write her off as a Laura Marling wannabe just yet: demoes of her forthcoming debut album are said by industry insiders to be very exciting…

In a nutshell: Acoustic folk-flecked charm
For fans of: Bombay Bicycle Club, Laura Marling
Download: Red Face, Middle Of The Bed

2) Lianne La Havas

They say: ‘Armed with material that strong and performances that are wonderfully haunting one can only imagine what might happen once La Havas unleashes a full-length.’Pop Matters

We say: Although an appearance on the BBC Sound Of… Poll tends to be a certified career doomer, it’s alumni inevitably stuck in one trick ponies territory, occasionally it throws up a true talent. Lianne La Havas is such an artist, her youthful take on soul earning her an appearance on Jools Holland and a support slot with Bon Iver on his North American tour. Taking influence from her multicultural Greek and Jamaican upbringing, her live E.P is available for free download via her website, chockfull of balmy riffs that perfectly accentuate her confident vocals. Her collaboration with up and coming singer songwriter Willy Mason, ‘No Room For Doubt’, is well worth a listen for anybody who likes their musical chemistry strong and full of elegant regret.

In a nutshell: Sophisticated soul with a knowing wink
For fans of: Corinne Bailey Rae, Erykah Badu
Download: Age, No Room For Doubt

 3) King Krule

They say: ‘His production style is already mature and well-realized. Grimy and heavy with reverb, it sounds introspective but distinctively urban.’ Rolling Stone

We say: Although musicians these days seem to be getting younger and younger, this solo artist takes the proverbial biscuit. Just 17 years old, King Krule, (Archie Mitchell to his mum) has already excited bloggers with his previous incarnation as Zoo Kid, but is set to get even more mainstream attention this time around. Blending the politically tinged, unapologetic working class delivery of Jamie T and Mike Skinner with woozy, melancholy trip hop, his self-titled E.P is already head and shoulders above new musicians twice his age. Despite this, he’s not letting fame go to his head: word on the street is that his parents won’t even let him do interviews yet for fear that it might distract him from his A Levels. Smart move.

In a nutshell: Precocious trip-hop with a gloomy colloquial delivery.
For Fans Of: Jamie T, Ian Dury
Download: The Noose of Jah City, Bleak Bake

4) Dog Is Dead

They say: ‘There’s an element of growth from the band that seems sincere and real, delivering uplifting indie pop as well as the gorgeously dark and eerie.’ D.I.Y

We say: For up and coming bands in 2012, the quickest way to prove yourselves is to play a LOT of gigs. Nottingham four piece Dog Is Dead have done just that, taking in three separate headline tours over the past year as well as numerous festival and support slot appearances. Eagle eyed music fans may also have noticed two of their tracks featured in the series 5 finale of teen drama Skins. None of these placements are by sheer luck alone: what Dog Is Dead posess is an arsenal of feel-good, summer anthems that sound as good bellowed in a fans bedroom as they inevitably will when the band hit academy size.

In a nutshell: Anthemic five part harmonies over good time indie
For Fans Of: Dry The River, The Maccabees
Download: Two Devils, Glockenspiel Song

 5) We Were Evergreen

They say: ‘We Were Evergreen possess such child-like wonderment and infectious joie de vivre that they could comfortably out-twee even the most gingham-clad, cupcake-making, floral dress-wearing, poetry-writing Belle and Sebastian fan you could possibly find on these shores.’ – The Fly

 We say: The natural heirs to the throne of Vampire Weekend, Parisian three piece We Were Evergreen are the musical equivalent to a bag of Pick’N’Mix, eclectic in influence but always providing a well needed sugar rush. Whether that be ukulele action that would make the guy jealous, or the unique brand of electro house that only their country can seem to produce, they are the perfect anthesis to the testosterone heaviness of today’s guitar band industry. We defy any listener not to have a massive, sloppy smile on their face within mere seconds of the wonky Super Mario-esque ‘Baby Blue.’

In a nutshell: Effortlessly cool twee-folk with electronic tendencies
For Fans of :Vampire Weekend, Michachu And The Shapes
Download: Baby Blue, Penguins & Moonboots

6)Theme Park

They say: ‘They only played their first gig in August, but as absurdly catchy singles ‘Milk’ and ‘Wax’ prove, Theme Park are already very much free of their formative months.' -  D.I.Y

We say: In a world where bands are fighting to be the unique ‘buzz’ band of the moment, it’s oddly refreshing to find a group happy to admit that they’re not reinventing the wheel. Boasting a penchant for lurid Hawaiian shirts and jubilant choruses, London’s Theme Park are a four piece stuck firmly in the 80’s, much like previous tourmates Summer Camp. Smacking just the right side of pastiche, key single ‘wax’ is so laid back it’s practically horizontal, blending simplistic harmonies with chiming guitars to create the perfect soundtrack to a lilo and margherita fuelled afternoon by the pool.

In a nutshell: Unashamed Talking Heads enthusiasts with an ear for choruses
For Fans Of: Mystery Jets, Summer Camp
Download: Wax, A Mountain We Love

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