We are back baby and itching to get back to our bloging ways. So I thought a good place to start posting again would be to list my top ten artist and releases from the last year. So without a moment to lose, here is my top ten.
1. Rae Morris – Grow
Rae Morris has been the diamond in the rough this year. After seen lots of average and unimpressive bands over the last twelve month, I was completely knock off my feet when I walked in on Rae Morris performing at this years Kendal Calling Festival. Her effortless vocal lend beautifully with her piano playing. After a small tour, she has released her first EP called ‘Grow’ and it has me begging for more. I can not wait to see what the future has in store for Rae Morris. Click here for my Rae Morris blog
2. King Charles – Love Lust
Second on my list is from a guy who is alternative version of Adam Ant, who first hit my radar in backend of 2010. The first time I heard about King Charles was from a video his song Love Lust back in December 8th 2010 and have been waiting for more since. On the May 7th 2012 King Charles released his debut album called Loveblood and I still have this album on repeat today which I never tire of listening to. After being blown away by his performance at this years Kendal Calling Festival, I await eagerly for his upcoming tour where he is doing 30 gigs in 30 days. Long live the king.
3. James Vincent McMorrow – We Don’t Eat
James Vincent McMorrow first grabbed my attention back in May 27th 2011 when he appeared on the Jools Holland show on BBC 2, this is where i first fell in love with folkish tones and harmonies. But his big break was with his cover of Steve Winwood’s song ‘Higher Love’ which took the lead on LoveFilm’s advertising campaign. His album is the only one on this list that was released outside of 2012, being released on March 7th 2011, but we will ignore that minor fact. The biggest reason why he is on this list is because of his show that he played headlining the Saturday of this years Liverpool Sound City Festival. The atmosphere at that show was one of the most bone chilling I’ve been to, it is the only gig where the audience has hushed each other at the start of every song. The one song that grasps on to me is the song ‘We Don’t Eat’ as the song has it all, striped down acoustics to full band with harmonies ablazing. Put simply, I could listen to this Irish man perform all day.
4. Emeli Sande – Breaking the Law (Aternative Version)
Well, where do we start with this girl. It been an amazing year for Emeli Sande, from releasing her debut single ‘Heaven’ Back in August 2011 to performing at the London 2012 Olympic Games. I remember first listing to her on BBC Radio 1 extra back in early 2011 and was eagerly waiting for her tour in April 2012, however in February she won the Critic’s Choice Award at the Brits which shot her into the mainstream’s awareness (which was bad news for me as the tickets for her gig sold out instantly after the Brit Awards) also at this time, her debut album came out which had great balance between Big sounding songs and close, intermit, acoustic songs. But finally my chance came and I got tickets to see her last show of her 2012 tour performing at the Manchester Bridgewater Hall Theatre, and boy does she know how to put on a good show. The best part of the show for me was see her take her striped down, acoustic song from her album and play them with a full band. She did this with her song ‘Breaking the Law’ where she stared with the striped down version, then built it into the full band version. It was one of those moments that sends a shiver down your spine.
5. Clock Opera – Lesson No.7
Clock Opera was one of the surprises of the year for me, as i had not really heard much about Clock Opera until I saw them open up for The Temper Trap at this years Liverpool Sound City Festival. They where play to promoting their album ‘Ways To Forget , which came out on April 23rd which was not long out before the festival. So I turned up to their set with and open mind, really waiting to hear the next act, but they completely blew me away with their Glitch Pop sound. The one song which grabbed my interest was Lesson No. 7 which filled the room with energy. Click here for my Clock Opera blog
6. Dan Croll – From Nowhere
Dan Croll is 21 year old songwriter who is an undergraduate at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and he is tipped to be ‘one to watch’ in the coming year. After being awarded the Musician’s Benevolent Fund(MBF) Songwriting Award, for his acoustic music, he as been spending that award money in the studio. His first single called ’From Nowhere’ was released on September 24th and is one of the first songs out off his time in the studio and it is quick to see that he has spent a lot of detail to the sessions.Since seeing Dan open up for James Vincent McMorrow at this years Liverpool Sound City Festival, I can not wait to see what songs Dan comes up with next. Click here for my Dan Croll blog
7. Dot Hacker – Order/ Disorder
Dot Hacker was a band that I got really excited about back in 2009, the band had been recording their debut album however the band’s plans had to be put on hold as their front man ‘Josh Klinghoffer’ joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in October 2009. none of the recordings saw the light of day for a long time until they released their self tilted EP on February 21st 2012. Shortly after that they, released their debut album called ‘Inhibition’ on May the 1st, and boy was it worth the three year wait. the song that imedatly grabed my attention was the powerful song ‘Order/ Disorder’ which captures all of Josh’s classic guitar sounds and signature vocals. However the band can only do so much with Josh recording and tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
8. Django Django – Default
After missing out on seeing Django Django play at Liverpool Sound City Festival in 2011, i finally got my chance to see them play at the festival the year after. Their set followed from one song to another blending their songs in a interest atmosphere of synth sounds, guitar chords lots and lots of percussion. Their song ‘Default’, which was itunes single of the week, was an instant success once they started to belt out the guitar part. Their Experimental sound and clothing make this band a joy to watch and listen to. They are lined up to play at this years NME Awards.
9. Alt-J (∆) – Breezeblocks
Alt-J are an interesting band to say the least, with having some success with the album ‘An Awesome Wave’ winning the Mercury Award for album of the year but yet very few people know have actually heard of them. There interesting alternative sound and experimental concepts have made people I know switch off to them in the past, however it will be interesting to see what their brake into the mainstream will do. With their first headline tour coming up next year which is already mainly sold out. These guys are one to watch.
10. Juan Zelada – The Blues Remain
Juan Zelada is a singer, songwriter and musician from Madrid, Spain. He studied his music at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts until 2006. He had released an EP and his debut single called ‘Breakfast in Spitalfields’ which was quite we received, getting air play on BBC Radio 2.However it was is second single that first got my attention. His second single “The Blues Remain” was released on the 31st of October 2011 and was also named Record of the Week by BBC Radio 2 and introduced to the station’s A List . His debut album ‘High Ceilings & Collarbones’ was released on February 3rd 2012 but I just missed out on every chance I had to see him play. However, I finally had my chance to see him at this years Kendal Calling Festival. His set was highly charged with Latin Blues which also featured a cover of ‘Hysteria’ by Muse with a Latin twist.
That was a quick and brief look at way 2012 has been my favourite year for music. There has been so many more artist this year that would love to talk about and show you all. Well it is good to be back. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I talk to you again once regular bloging commences after Christmas
Happy Holidays. Doug xx