New bands making all the right noises
Who are tomorrow's Arctic Monkeys, or even the next xx? Elisa Bray trawls the indie labels to seek out the best up-and-coming young talent
Friday 24 September 2010
New acts: A new signing is the solo artist Anna Calvi, who plays dark, atmospheric Spanish-tinged guitar-pop. She releases her first single in October, and her debut album is set for January. Brian Eno has described her as the best thing since Patti Smith.
Key upcoming releases: Wild Beasts and The Kills albums are due next year. And possibly Arctic Monkeys.
Key acts: Arctic Monkeys, Bonnie Prince Billy, Wild Beasts, Franz Ferdinand
New acts: Newest signing Twin Shadow is Dominican Republic-born George Lewis Jr, who spent a troubled youth in suburban Florida. After relocating to New York, his disco-pop (which sounds like Jens Lekman gone disco) was discovered by Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear, who signed Lewis to his new label, Terrible Records. 4AD have picked up Twin Shadow for the rest of the world outside of America. Taylor co-produced Lewis's debut album, Forget, released on 15 November.
Key acts: Beirut, The National, Deerhunter, Gang Gang Dance, Stornoway. Have also just signed Iron and Wine.
New acts: New for early 2011 is Heidi Spencer, whose country-folk noir is performed on guitar and piano. Spencer has been likened to Dolly Parton, Joanna Newsom and Edie Brickell, all of whom she considers musical heroes, and she has been supporting her friend Caitlin Rose. Her debut album, Under Streetlight Glow, will be released early next year. The Swedish duo I Break Horses are another new addition for next year.
Key upcoming releases: Albums from Fleet Foxes and The Low Anthem early next year.
Key acts: Midlake, Beach House, Fleet Foxes, Philip Selway, The Low Anthem, Dirty Three and Explosions in the Sky.
New acts: The newly signed Esben and the Witch are the only UK act Matador has signed over the past five years, and are releasing their EP Marching Song on 11 October, with an album due for January. The trio formed in Brighton in 2008, combining the themes of nature, literature, art, science and history and drawing on influences from Scott Walker to P J Harvey. There has been huge buzz around the band: Jamie from The xx tipped them in the NME as his favourite new band earlier this year. They are currently making their debut tour of America, with Foals.
Experimental electro-pop artist Glasser is the other new gem to emerge from Matador, on their imprint label True Panther Sounds, with her debut album, Ring. The one-woman orchestra Cameron Mesirow, from Los Angeles, released her acclaimed debut EP, Apply, last year.
Key upcoming releases: The new album from Kurt Vile will be released early next year.
Key acts: Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo.
New acts: Andreya Triana (right) has been tipped as a new Erykah Badu. Working with Flying Lotus, Mr Scruff and Bonobo, Triana, from south-east London, is an experimental singer-songwriter, taking influence from inner-city London. Her Freeflo Sessions represent her love of improvisation, using a sampler to loop vocals and beats as a one woman live show. She released her debut album this year.
Stateless were formed by singer-songwriter Chris James; he met his band backstage at a Björk gig. With their upcoming album, Matilda, they have pushed their classic songwriting into deeper electronic territory and signed to Ninja Tune. Also hotly tipped for 2011 is producer and singer of Czech heritage Emika, whose music is in the vein of The xx, Fever Ray, The Knife and Burial. Emika has two singles out to date, and has had lots of radio play.
Spokes, on imprint label Counter Records, are an indie five-piece including a violinist. They draw their euphoric sound from folk, shoegaze and post-rock. They won the Sound 2008 competition to play at Rockness festival and were signed to Ninja soon after. Their debut album for Counter, Everyone I Ever Met, is out on 17 January.
Eskmo is a San Francisco-based electronic music producer and live performer, who has collaborated with Amon Tobin and releases his debut album, Eskmo, on 4 October. DELS is young MC and graphic designer Kieren Dickins, whose debut album, on imprint Big Dada, is set for release early next year. Dickins is working with producers including Joe Goddard of Hot Chip and Micachu.
Key upcoming releases: A new Coldcut album in 2011, The Bug's collaboration with Adrian Sherwood and Amon Tobin albums for next year. A 20th-anniversary box set. Toddla T, one of the most in-demand club DJs, releases his debut Ninja album next year.
Key acts: Mr Scruff, DJ Vadim, Eskmo, Toddla T.
New acts: The Hundred in the Hands are two New Yorkers, Eleanore Everdell and Jason Friedman. The pair discovered their shared sensibility for early hip-hop, French house, disco, ska and dub and decided to form a band. They realised their sound on their recently released, adventurous debut album. Other new signings include Gonjasufi, a poet, vocalist and yoga teacher living in the Mojave Desert, who released his acclaimed debut album, A Sufi and a Killer, earlier this year. He releases his remix compilation The Caliph's Tea Party next month.
Rustie is one of Glasgow's most renowned electronic producers, but is releasing his first EP for Warp, Sunburst, on 4 October.
Key upcoming releases: Brian Eno's new album is due out on 15 November. Battles' new album is due next year.
Key acts: Battles, Grizzly Bear, Squarepusher, Autechre, Jamie Lidell, Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin.
New acts: The all-girl psychedelic-rock quartet Warpaint are from Los Angeles and count Justin Timberlake and The xx among their fans. Their debut album is out next month and they're a huge hit for Rough Trade – as is 20-year-old singer-guitarist Dylan LeBlanc from Louisiana. He grew up hanging out at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, where his father was a session player. The studio's owner, Rick Hall, signed LeBlanc to his publishing house the day he turned 18.
Another new signing, Londoner Joe Worricker, found himself watched by Madonna and Antony Hegarty at his last London show. His debut EP was released in June, and his new single, "Finger-Waggers", comes out in November. Meanwhile, the band Wilder were asked by Julian Casablancas to support him on his UK tour this year and have fans in Huw Stephens, Zane Lowe and Steve Lamacq.
Key upcoming releases: An upcoming album from long-time Rough Trade band Belle & Sebastian.
Key acts: Belle & Sebastian, The Strokes, Antony and the Johnsons.
One Little Indian
Icelandic singer-songwriter Ólöf Arnalds' beautiful recent album, Innundir Skinni, features good friend Björk on "Surrender". The label is also the home of established artists' new projects, including Jeff Klein's new band, My Jerusalem – who released their album Gone for Good in early September – and folk singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams's new project, The Crayonettes.
Key upcoming releases: Emiliana Torrini's Rarities album, a collection of remixes and B-sides.
Key artists: Björk, Alabama 3, Jesse Malin, Asobi Seksu.
New acts: New signings Frankie & the Heartstrings' soulful, old-fashioned guitar-pop songs were a hit on the festival circuit this summer. The five-piece from Sunderland, fronted by charismatic singer Frankie Francis, have released just two limited edition 7in singles and are currently recording their debut album with Edwyn Collins, which is due out in January. Best Coast are a trio from Los Angeles – songwriter/guitarist/singer Bethany Cosentino, producer/bassist Bobb Bruno and drummer Ali Koehler. They released a string of sold-out singles and their album of sun-kissed songs of love, Crazy for You, quickly followed in August. Rough Trade shop made it their album of the month and it went straight into the UK Top 75 and US Top 40, while their single "Boyfriend" topped Hype Machine five times.
Cloud Nothings is 19-year-old Dylan Baldi from Cleveland, Ohio. In late 2009 he wrote a handful of catchy, lo-fi indie rock songs on which he played everything as well as recording them himself, which immediately caught the attention of Pitchfork and Stereogum. His debut album is due early next year.
Originally hailing from Chelmsford, Essex, and having spent the early part of his career as remixer du jour for Bloc Party, Telepathe, Little Boots and Simian Mobile Disco, Gold Panda is at the forefront of contemporary electronic music. His first three EPs earned him a nomination for BBC Sound of 2010 and he's about to release his debut album, Lucky Shiner.
Key upcoming releases: Debut from Frankie & the Heartstrings; new albums from Peter Bjorn and John and Those Dancing Days.
Key acts: Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party.
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