Michael Kiwanuka

Young singers who cover all the bases

Fresh-faced they may be, but new talents are turning to the songs of bygone eras.

Emeli Sandé, O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

After spending many years in the background, writing the lyrics for artists as diverse as Tinie Tempah and Cheryl Cole, tonight, on the final date of her UK tour, Emeli Sandé is basking in the limelight.

Album: Alabama Shakes, Boys & Girls (Rough Trade)

This storming debut album from the hot-ticket Alabama soul-rock quartet fully delivers on the groundswell of anticipation built up by already legendary live performances and the acclaim of peers such as Adele and Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner.

Rosie Millard: Viewers want to see talent, not crying

We're having too bad a time for misery on a Saturday night

Album: Schubert, Unfinished Symphony – Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich/Zinman (RCA Red Seal

David Zinman's Mahler and Beethoven cycles with the Tonhalle exemplify the "third way" in historically informed performance practice.

Album: Lee Fields, Faithful Man (Truth & Soul)

Lee Fields is the male equivalent of Sharon Jones: a veteran soul stylist backed up by a crack band well schooled in the nuances of soul dynamics – in Fields's case, The Expressions.

Album: Jodie Marie, Mountain Echo (Verve)

It's interesting how many of today's brighter young talents, from Laura Marling to Duffy, have been reared not on the conveyor-belt exercises of stage school, but on more individually fulfilling engagement with the outré influences of older generations. J

Ren Harvieu, The Lexington, London
Niki and the Dove, Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London

If the biz doesn't stop churning out retro-style soul singers, pop will turn into an Amish farmstead

Album: Maverick Sabre, Lonely Are the Brave (Mercury)

Soul-rapper Maverick Sabre has steadily built a devoted following, as witness the Jazz Café audience enthusiastically singing along with "They Found Him a Gun", the bonus track concluding Lonely Are the Brave.

Michael Kiwanuka and Emeli Sande, Xoyo, London (4/5, 2/5)

The two new main contenders for the British soul crown faced off for a sort of Warble in Shoreditch.

Michael Kiwanuka

The soul revival: A change is gonna come in the charts

Adele has led the way – and now a new crop of young artists like Michael Kiwanuka Emeli Sandé and Daley are spearheading the great soul revival

Album: Various Artists, The Fame Studios Story 1961-1973 (Kent)

Established by producer Rick Hall in 1961, Florence Alabama Music Enterprises became the epicentre of the Southern Soul boom during the '60s, as labels like Atlantic and Chess sent their artists south to access some of that Muscle Shoals Sound, a potent funk groove which many admirers (and singers) were surprised to learn was performed by white musicians.

Album: This Mortal Coil, This Mortal Coil (4AD)

A "Gothic dream-pop supergroup" led by 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell, This Mortal Coil established a style of brooding chamber-pop from which would derive subsequent ruminative indie strains like shoegazing.

The 12 most-viewed 2011 video articles

As newspaper reporting enters an age where it is as much about multimedia as it is about print, the videos Independent.co.uk readers have been most interested in this year provide a diverse snapshot of what you want from televised news.

Album: The Temptations, 50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1961-1971 (Hip-O Select)

The Temptations were the most significant '60s root of the close-harmony boy-band style that has come to dominate R&B, their voices combining with creamy smoothness, their intricately-choreographed steps the envy of less nimble outfits.

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