Last week, the longlist of the prestigious BBC Sound Of... poll was announced. It contains some personal favourites of mine including BANKS, Chance The Rapper, FKA Twigs, Say Lou Lou and Kelela as well as a few other buzz bands and critical darlings.
Like every year, out of these twelve acts, some will crack the mainstream (Adele, Ellie Goulding, Lady Gaga), some will remain successful, critically acclaimed ‘indie stars’ (James Blake, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Warpaint ) an some will burn out faster than a Tesco-brand sparkler on Guy Fawkes night (Stooshe, Azealia Banks, Daisy Dares You).
Now, nearly a year after the 2013 shortlist was announced, it’s time to look back on the class of 2013:
Since winning the poll in January, HAIM have had a pretty massive year; four singles playlisted
by Radio 1, multiple spots at Glastonbury and a number one album. It’s fair to say they haven’t done too badly...
Since coming second in the poll AlunaGeorge remained hotly tipped throughout the year; Aluna Francis features of Disclosures smash-hit White Noise and had a top 20 single over their own, the very catchy Attracting Flies. However, following the underwhelming performance of their disappointing debut album Body Music, the future for this duo looks slightly uncertain.
When it comes to the excellent rapper Angel Haze, I feel the timing wasn't right; she’s had a relatively quiet year with the exception of the release of her single Echelon (It’s My Way) and a quest feature of Rudimental’s number 1 album Home on the standout track Hell Could Freeze. But with a lot of buzz still surrounding her debut album Dirty Gold, which drops next year, 2014 could be her time to shine.
Choral popstar Laura Mvula didn’t explode like previous nominees, instead, she released an excellent debut album to critical acclaim, achieved one of the catchiest single of the year in the form of Green Garden and even got a Mercury nomination. With Mvula, I feel the best is yet to come.
After a year of non-stop blogger buzz, CHVRCHES finally released their internationally successful debut album The Bones Of What You Believe. The all-killer album cemented them as one of the UK’s best new bands and can be found on pretty much every best of list.
Despite featuring in one of the year’s biggest singles, Duke Dumont’s Need U (100%), after the monumental flop that was her terrible EDM mess of a single Heartless, we may never see a debut album from her...
Following terrible mismanagement and lack of Radio play, Arlissa’s excellent Sticks and Stones barely broke the top 50 this year. Her latest single Into The Light didn’t exactly fare any better but she has assured us that her debut album Battles is coming this year.
The young Londoner's debut album Six Feet Beneath The Moon was easily one of the year’s best;
his erratic style, emotive vocals and honest songwriting well and truly justify the hype.
Little Green Cars
They were once tipped to be the next Mumford and Sons (this was a complement believe it or not!) but now, after their dull debut album failed to get pulses raising they have been added to the heap of Sound Of’s great misjudgements.
NME favourites Palma Violets have continued to build their fanbase over the past year with a sting of electrifying live performances including Glastonbury and supporting QOTSA at iTunes festival. 180 was a start but I reckon their follow-up is gonna be a big one.
Their debut album was excellent but have since gone a bit quite, but hopefully if their future work lives up to expectations they will get people talking once more.
The art-punk pioneers released one of this years most epic albums and following their much-deserved mercury nominations are continuing to grow and grow. They are definitely up there with the best Sound Of... nominees of all time, good call BBC!
Despite not exactly cracking the mainstream in the way of his fellow slick male R’n’B counter parts Drake, Frank Ocean and Miguel, The Weeknd has enjoyed moderate success and is set to last.
He had a lot to live up to once her was awarded the prestigious Critic’s Choice Award at the Brits, although he didn’t live up to the success of Adele and Emeli Sande, I wouldn’t go as far as to call him a flop. His debut album is one of this years best selling despite a mixed critical reception, I personally believe that if he reigns it in a bit his future work could be quite good.