It’s that time of year again; time for round ups, retrospective opinions and contemplative previews.
As December draws to its wintery end and the world gears itself for a fresh batch of 365 days seen in with a decent amount of revelry here’s some music to add to your NYE playlist of acts to watch in 2011. (So when they make it big next year, you can feel smug knowing you’ve been ahead of the game)
Ritzy, Rhydian and Matt are otherwise known as The Joy Formidable and come highly recommended by Radio 1’s new music connoisseur, Huw Stephens. This spritely, enthusiastic little Welsh band have been doing the rounds for a good few years and have just completed a tour of the US.
2011 sees the release of their debut album The Big Roar at the end of January. It is preceded by the single Austere (check out the new video), available on limited edition vinyl and to download from January 17th.
All that is followed by a tour kicking off in February, which takes them across the UK, Europe, back to the US and to 2011’s SXSW in Texas.
If you can’t wait a few weeks to hear more then lurking in the depths of the internet is their previous EP A Balloon Called Moaning.
Another band releasing their debut album in January 2011, and also hotly tipped by Huw Stephens, are northern foursome Little Comets. Think the Mystery Jets meet The Coral and you might end up somewhere close to the sound of Matt, Mark, Michael and Robert.
Hailing from Sunderland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Little Comets have already created an extensive fan base and gained a notoriety for gatecrashing university lectures and performing on public transport.
After the success of previous singles Adultery, One Night In October and Isles, Little Comets are set to grace airwaves up and down the country with the release of their debut album In Search of the Elusive Little Comets at the end of January.
Catch them on tour at a venue near you in January starting at Liverpool’s Shipping Forecast on the 28th.
Technically Everything Everything aren’t a brand new, emerging act for 2011 but they are taking part on the NME Shockwaves Awards Tour which has often provided a platform for bands ready to hit the mainstream bigtime (notably The Killers, Bloc Party, We Are Scientists and Arctic Monkeys).
Sounding a little like a noughties indie version of The Pet Shop Boys (and that’s a good thing), Manchester quartet Everything Everything are already leaving their mark with their 2010 album Man Alive.
Expect great, probably slightly surreal, things from this band in 2011. They’ve been 6 Music’s album of the day, met Rolf Harris on a ferry and have already hidden themselves away to write that “difficult second album”.
If you want to get a taste of Everything Everything and their more than slightly quirky style then check out the single Photoshop Handsome – available to download from January 17th – or their previous single My KZ Ur BF.
If you’ve never come across The Go! Team before you have been missing an audio/visual treat. They are a six piece from Brighton and 2011 brings a brand new album that’s bound to be jam-packed with feel-good bouncy tunes galore.
Rolling Blackouts is due for release at the end of January. It is the third album from the band and looks set to continue their happy, psychedelic party throwback sound.
February will see the band make a welcome return to the live scene, starting with a show in London’s Heaven on February 8th. If you’ve wanted to see how a band incorporate various instruments including an African Thumb piano, harmonica and glockenspiel into a rock band, The Go! Team are the ones to catch.
She looks a bit like a moody Joss Stone or a tastefully dressed Jennifer Ellison and sounds like PJ Harvey got pumped full of adrenaline. She’s recently supported Athlete on their UK tour, unleashing her attitude-laden voice and guitar rock on the unsuspecting crowd.
Born in Camberley, Alice started writing at age eight, toured America on her own in a 1978 Winnebago and generally appeared to live a bit of a nomadic-esque life according to her myspace profile.
Keep your ears out for her album Seven Rainbows which is due in the summer, and expect a single in early 2011. Describing her sound to The Sun as ‘psychedelic pop played with soul’ Alice is sure to crop up in the music press every now and then if nothing else.
So that’s it, your five to listen out for in 2011. This list isn’t by any means comprehensive; comment, criticise and add your own top tips below.
Other notable acts to make sure you delight your ears with include Sheffield band Feelix, James Blake, Lyrikkal (she’s nine and could give Willow Smith a run for her dad’s money) and if you haven’t happened across these yet make sure you give Sleigh Bells and Cold War Kids (who are back with a new album) a listen.