11 January 2008

Hints, Tips and Things to Look Forward To

It seems that right at the beginning of the year, people were beginning to tout bands and artists around as being the bright new things for 2008. Well, I have ideas of my own.

Adele.... I don't get the hype around her. It's obvious that people are trying to find a nicer, less threatening version of Amy Winehouse and a less chavvy version of Lily Allen. It doesn't mean that Adele is really any good. I think her songs lack some emotion (maybe because, like Allen, her cockney accent comes through very broadly when she sings). On the other hand, at least she does sing! Maybe I've judged her too early and really need to listen more when she starts breaking through - I'm just not impressed at this point. However, I'll gladly take any alternative to Kate Nash (at this point I'll point out that despite her song Foundations being one of the "best" songs of 2007 in the Guardian, her album Made of Bricks was among the worst of the year!)

I'm a little more interested in Foals, mainly because they've taken a bold decision to not put any of their singles on to their as-yet-untitled debut album (so no signs of Mathletics or Balloons then). They're quite edgy and don't sugar coat their pieces to make them sound more Radio 1- friendly. Another band that I think might do something this year - at least away from mainstream broadcasters - is Cajun Dance Party. It's nice, uplifting indie-pop in a similar vein of New Young Pony Club. On the other hand, they're only 15 or 16 so they might put everything on hold until they take their exams.

Finally other things to look forward to (in my opinion): PJ Harvey's new collaboration with John Parish (a follow up to Dance Hall at Louse Point - expect her to go back to her rock roots); This Gift, the new album from Glasgow indie group Sons and Daughters (no hints of very strong Scottish accents coming out here); new material from both Bat For Lashes and Asobi Seksu who are both back in the studio later this month (if a new album is produced by Asobi Seksu, it'll be their third in two years); the Mercury Music Prize, which promises this year not to include the Arctic Monkeys (praise the lord!) meaning that the nominations might actually be more diverse and interesting; Hot Chip's new album due for release in Spring/Summer - if Ready For the Floor is anything to go by, it should be amazing - check out the video on YouTube, that's the way that Alex Miller dances normally (which is scary) but he does really look like the Joker; The Ting Tings' debut album, destined to be an indie disco classic; Seventh Tree, Goldfrapp's fourth studio album, to be released in late February; and the Klaxons are promising a new album that abandons the concept of new rave - in an interview they claimed that they'd be going prog rock. Interesting....

One thing not to look forward to: the Christmas No.1. We'll see in time whether another X-Factor winner has their ten minutes of fame in grabbing the lucrative title. Everyone else may as well just give up now - Simon Cowell's got a masterplan.

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