Tuesday, 7 December 2010

BBC Sound Of 2011.

It's that time of year again folks, when the BBC tell us what we can expect to have rammed into our ears for the next 12 months. This means that I'm going to listen to them all and tell you what I think of them. Although the last two years have produced a mostly unpleasant list, I have enjoyed writing the posts about them (to refresh your memories:- 2010's: http://bit.ly/evPdfd 2009's: http://bit.ly/he8DZc ) and last years list introduced me to Gold Panda, who I really like, so I'm hoping for another pleasant surprise like that.
Well, here goes!

#1. Anna Calvi.
(Song: 'Jezebel')

Sounds like Patti Smith or Jefferson Airplane soundtracking a
Western. It's very weird. Not in a good way.
It's a song in which virtually nothing happens. Not in a good way.
It's boring. Very boring.

#2. Clare Maguire.
(Song: 'Aint Nobody')

Not a cover of the Chaka Khan song. Shame, it might be a bit more interesting if it was.
Clare Maguire probably thinks she's doing something really interesting and different but in reality it just sounds like she has listened to a lot of Kate Bush and totally missed the point of it.
Again, it is very boring.
This song also has a really lacklustre ending, like she just went... hmmm... how can I describe it... Right. Have you ever seen the Bill Bailey live bit where he talks about how it sounds like the writer of the Countdown theme tune just couldn't be bothered to finish it properly? That's what the end of this song sounds like. Like she went, 'Oh, I can't be bothered with this song anymore, let's just end it there, yeah?'
Also, whoever directed the music video has watched the video for Madonna's 'Frozen' a bit too much and thought 'I'll do that but in a bit more of an edgy, surrealist cinema style. Yeah, that'ld be cool.' It's not cool. It looks like the song sounds. Lazy and dull.

#3. Daley.
(Song: 'More Than A Woman')

Another song that share's a name with a very famous song. Is that gonna be a theme of this list?
Daley has fucking stupid hair.
He can sing though.
And he's not afraid to show that off. This song pretty much is just his voice with very minimal accompaniment from a drummer and a bassist. After three minutes some minimal keyboards come into play too, but this is a song based on his voice.
But it's just inoffensive fluff. Another white boy who got soul wrong.

#4. Esben & The Witch.
(Song: 'Marching Song')

I've heard of this band but never actually heard them. Let's see how this goes.
Ooooooh, apparently the video "Contains upsetting scenes." Scaaaaaaaryyyyyy.
Okay, Esben & The Witch might be my Gold Panda for this years list. That was fucking good. I could tell how good I thought it was because I didn't write anything for the whole time it was on and am in fact listening to it a second time now.
It's a really good, slow building, atmospheric post-rock song. Now, as a sentence to describe music, that has become as overused as 'LOL' is on Facebook, but I can't think of a better way to say what it is in a way that is understandable.
And the video is actually kind of genuinely disturbing. It's like they've been taken hostage and been made to sing after various stages of being beaten up. It fits the theme of the song (war, battle, loss, etc) really well. It's actually left a bit of an impact on me.
As I said about Gold Panda last year, I will definitely be keeping my eyes and ears out for this band.

#5. Jai Paul.
(Song: (Hang on, they haven't put a song on there. *Hunts the internet* Okay, now I can see why everyone is complaining about MySpace. *Hunts more internet* This computer isn't letting me look at YouTube. *More hunting* Okay, hype machine has something.) 'BTSTU')

Fairly interesting song. Sounds like a discarded MIA instrumental slowed down with some male falsetto singing over the top. Some interesting things going on, but it just manages to miss the mark in terms of making me go 'Yeah, this is good,' and so I just think this is alright.

#6. James Blake.
(Song: 'Limit To Your Love')

Right, a couple of people I know have been creaming themselves over this guy, so I'm pretty interested to see what the fuss is about. Apparently he makes 'Post-dubstep torch songs.'
This song is piano and vocal chorus followed by slowed down dubstep verse, the cycle is repeated then both elements are brought together for the finale.
Here's the problem. There just slightly too little going on. The concept of what he's doing is actually very interesting, I just think it can be done better than this. It does show definite potential though, and I will certainly keep eyes and ears on him as he could well come out with something very good indeed. The ingredients are there, for sure.

#7. Jamie Woon.
(Song: 'Night Air')

Weirdly, this sounds like Ali Campbell from UB40 covering Jamie Lidell. As a song, it doesn't really go anywhere. It's a little bit nothing. No, that's harsh. It's alright, it just doesn't really do anything.

#8. Jessie J.
(Song: 'Do It Like A Dude')

The song sounds like someone listened to that awful Ke$ha person and instead of thinking "This is a total rip off of Uffie and it's terrible," thought "Hey, this is so modern and edgy. Let's do a faux feminist take on it!"
It's awful. Seriously awful.

#9. Mona.
(Song: 'Trouble On The Way')

Generic, boring rock music that doesn't in any way actually rock.
The funny thing is that the BBC iPlayer got bored of it about halfway thru and stopped playing it. Sadly after a little rest, it played the rest of the song.
If you like that band The Gaslight Anthem, then you'll probably like this.
I don't.

#10. Nero.
(Song: 'Innocence')

Okay, this song gets IMMEDIATE props for using clips of 'Cyber City Oedo 808' in it's video. I fucking loved that anime! WHY HAVEN'T THEY PUT IT ON DVD?! I only have it on VHS and my stupid video player doesn't work BECAUSE NO-ONE'S VIDEO PLAYERS WORK ANYMORE. That was the series that got me into anime. It was the first anime I ever watched and I absolutely loved it. I STILL DO! WHY ISN'T IT AVAILABLE ON DVD?!

Oh yeah, the song.

It's kind of a combination of trance and dubstep, if that makes ANY sense at all. The result is that it sounds VERY commercial and Nero will probably be massive.
Again, it's alright, but it's fairly standard. It follows a formula rather than stretching any boundaries, which it could potentially have done.

#11. The Naked & Famous.
(Song: 'Punching A Dream')

(Hate the band name. Love the song name.)

Sounds exactly like a slowed down MGMT song but with a female singer.
It's boring. It's massively derivative. It's irritating. I'll probably have to hear it about a thousand times, everywhere for the whole of 2011.
Fuck you, The Naked & Famous.

#12. The Vaccines.
(Song: 'Blow It Up')

They might well be the The Drums of 2011. By that I mean they are massively boring and simple but everyone will think they're cool because they use an old guitar sound.

#13. Warpaint.
(Song: 'Undertow')

Amazingly enough, even though this band are so massively hyped at the moment, I still haven't heard them.
I would be willing to bet money that my girlfriend would love this. It sounds a bit retro, but still pretty modern. The kind of sounds she really goes for.
It's pretty good to be fair. I'm liking it.
Oh, that's annoying. They've become victims of the "I don't know how to finish this song properly" bug that Clare Maguire had. Shame, it was building into something pretty special too. I will definitely check out more of their stuff.

#14. Wretch 32.
(Song: 'Traktor')

Traktor? Is this song going to be an homage to the short lived band I was in, Traktors? Will it be an onslaught of awesome noise? Will it? Will it?
No, of course not, Axl. Don't be stupid.
Wretch 32 has a very odd face face. He looks like he could be anything between 20 and 40 years of age. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I found out he was really old or really young.
The song is a little boring. No, that's a little unfair actually. It's alright, its just that it's one idea repeated just a little bit too often.
And I'm pretty sure one of lyrics is "Eat peas every day."

#15. Yuck.
(Song: 'Georgia')

I saw this band a few months ago and found them pretty boring.
Yeah, my mind hasn't changed. They still just sound like a less good version of Dinosaur Jr to me.
Quite dull. Very derivative. Don't bother. Listen to Dinosaur Jr instead.

And that's it for another year.
Top 3 time.

1. Esben & The Witch.
2. Warpaint.
3. James Blake.

Check them out.


Robyn said...

I saw that Do It Like A Dude video the other day and came thisclose to poking a knitting needle up my nose and into my brain.

Mark Wilden said...

Thanks for wading through those so I don't have to.

Anonymous said...

y havent u talked about jls???????
there 2nd album is comin out n they wil b the best band this xmas!!!!!