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BBC Sound of…2011

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Seeing as its the new year, I thought its time to let you know what has been predicted to be the future of the British music scene for 2011. Every year, the BBC release a list called ‘Sound of…’, where music journalists, bloggers, DJ’s and artists come together to announce what they feel will be the big breakthrough of the year ahead. 2010’s winner, Ellie Goulding, went on to have a relatively successful year with a number 1 album and two top 5 singles alongside 2 Brit Award nominations. Here is the top 5!

Maguire sounds a bit like a modern Kate Bush/Annie Lennox clone. Her voice sounds raw and emotive yet the lead single, ‘Ain’t Nobody’, struggles to keep my interest. Conveniently, Breakage has remixed it into something a bit more substantial – a mellow, dubstep remix that suits her voice perfectly. Maybe her other songs will be something a bit more ot my taste but I struggle to really get into it.

Ain’t Nobody (original)
Ain’t Nobody (Breakage remix)

Jamie Woon has a dark, soulful vocals which merges with dubstep production to really make something pretty good. ‘Night Air’ is a good song but it seems a bit self indulgent – his voice takes attention away from the track beneath it which, with its more minimalistic sound, doesn’t necessarily fit well. This is where the song ‘Spirit’s comes in. Performed acapella with a loop pedal, Woon has got it spot on. More tracks like this will be fine – he just needs to get balance right when using his haunting voice.

Night Air

The Vaccines seem to be the most recent attempt by England to create the New York sound that is epitomised by bands such as The Strokes and The Ramones. I don’t really see how this band can be in the same list as the others simply due to the fact they play guitar led indie music rather than being electronic led. There is nothing new here. That doesn’t make them necessarily any better or worse than the other but it just feels like I have heard it before. Nothing to dislike at all but nothing to get too excited about.

Wreckin’ Bar (Live on Jools Holland)
Post Break Up Sex

James Blake is pretty epic. His cover of the Fiest song ‘Limit To Your Love’ shows off his outstanding vocal talents alongside a haunting and atmospheric production (Jamie Woon take note). Following in the footsteps of bands such as The xx, who seem to be leading the ‘less is more’ musical movement that is making waves, James Blake is awesome. He should have won. Check out his EP’s that are availiable from iTunes and HypeMachine – its like someone took electronic music and streamlined it to some sort of dark and mysterious monster. In a good way.

The Wilhelm Scream (Live for BBC Radio1)
Limit To Your Love

I really want to like her. I do. Jessie J comes from near where I live in the UK and has been proclaimed by Justin Timberlake as ‘the best singer in the world right now.’ Agreeing with JT are the Brit Awards who have given Jessie J the ‘Critics Choice’ award as the artist most likely to make it big in 2011. But there is something grating on me and I can’t put a finger to it. Admittedly, when I was out back in England and several beers past sobriety, I thought ‘Do It Like a Dude’ was an amazing track and downloaded it. Several listens later and I’m back where I began and really not sure about her. New single ‘Price Tag’ features B.o.B. and is a lot less aggressive than Do It Like a Dude. It’s a lot more radio friendly and comes across a lot happier. Perfect for a summers day but its just backing music and I can’t get into it. I think she probably beat James Blake due to the fact that she will be a commercial sensation. She is fresh and interesting and will probably going to be lauded as ‘The English Lady GaGa’ simply because she is something different to the current female singers that top the UK charts. However, its just not for me.

Price Tag feat. B.o.B
Do it Like a Dude

So there you go – will any of these actually make it as big as predicted? After festival season and the album releases then maybe a better opinion can be made as to the potential success of them! If you like these artists and want more like it, tune into ‘Scone and Jam with Joe and Sam’ which plays exclusively English music and can be found on at 4pm on fridays!

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