What can I say about the BBC's Sound of 2012 that hasn't already been said? Yes most of the artists are already signed to major labels, and yes the more cynical amongst us may believe that those labels are heavily influencing the list to get their act a foot ahead. But the bottom line is that no one, (not even dear old Auntie Beeb) can truly define what you or I will be listening to next year. Because if you truly love music, then you'll spend some time to discover it for yourself.
I doubt many people are looking at the 15 names thinking to themselves, "right that's my listening duties wrapped up for the next twelve months". However the more worrying thing is that a lot of people will happily accept this list as the 'best' new music, and will not delve further.
I shouldn't be self-righteous about it either. Afterall, I like the sound of 'Friends' and 'Dry The River', and there will probably be a lot of success for a few others on the list. And maybe that's what it serves to do. Provide a list of artists who will probably achieve commerical success next year. But we all know that's not always worth much, see: Adele.
So to the point. The Sound of 2012 will be whatever you decide it to be. All lists and tips are simply served up as suggestions for your listening pleasure. How much faith you place in those suggestions are purely down to the value you place on the person suggesting. And with that confidence shattering realisation, here's my picks for 2012:
This is an easy one. The blazed their way through a headline slot on the BBC Introducing Stage at this years T In The Park, they've been tipped by many commentators including the NME with a vomit inducing comment about setting the heather ablaze (seriously? How much heather do you see in Edinburgh city centre?), and they have been giging like mad over the past 6 months. With a sound fused from the shoe-gazing wonder of The Cocteau Twins, the roar and urgency of M83 and the electro dance beats of LCD Soundsystem, and a debut album hopefully forthcoming in 2012, Discopolis should garner fans to them in a similar way that saw Japan warm to them earlier this year!
Bands just seem to be getting larger these days. Not content with the age old line up of drums, bass, lead and rhythm, Bear Bones are an 8 piece bethemoth lovingly whittled in the sounds of Admiral Fallow, Open Swimmer and Frightened Rabbit. There's a distinct Scottish warmth and melody behind their sound, and with an album out (hopefully) next year more people should get to appreciate that.
I first discovered Rachel Sermanni when she supported Admiral Fallow back in 2010. Even then it was clear she was extremely talented and special, if albeit a little shy. 2011 has seen her playing SXSW, Wickerman and a stand out set at this year's T In The Park. With a debut EP, Black Currents dropping in January 2012, Rachel's star will certainly be in the ascendency.
I make no secret about the fact I love Michael Cassidy's music. He has a fantastic and mesmerising voice, and having become very familiar with a lot of his tracks, I am really looking forward to hearing the final article which hopefully should come with a debut album release next year. The singer/songwriter niche is hard to successfully crack, but I'm sure Michael is up to the job.
The Spook School
These lucky buggers recently had their song 'History' named as the Scottish Fiction 'single of 2011'. They have sinced followed this gem of a track with another two songs, 'Are You Who You Think You Are?' and 'Devil Of Mine'. With a C86 twee sound, all the noises eminating from this quirky quartet point to further brilliance. I do hope I'm right!
I'm rather excited about Glasgow band French Wives debut album with will be out next year. They released 'Numbers' on 24th October and to say it has whetted the appetite would not even begin to describe it. The album itself has a lot of promise with Tony Doogan (Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai) on producing duties.
Open Swimmer are a diverse bunch. Hailing from Glasgow, Sweden and Australia where there debut album was recorded. That album should be released on the public in 2012, and you'd be wise to look out for it as single Sugar Bowl, released earlier this year, was bloody awesome! And the band are just off the back of a performance on Ally McCrae's BBC Introducting In Scotland
So there you have it. Seven artists who are worth your time in 2012. Why seven? Well let's just say me and the laptop had a little disagreement resulting in me punching it, so I had to finish this post on my iPhone.