Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Sounds *during* 2012: an alternative list.

It’s that time of year again, there are lists everywhere, best designer, best artist, best book, some are surprising, and some are entirely predictable. But what is clear, people from the inside and outside, like lists, be they jolly, festive fun or the rather more staid New Year documenting of crisis and the who’s who of celebrity now six feet under.

I for one love lists and pretty much run my life writing them on pink post-its and occasionally purging myself of them if they get too long by setting them on fire, mostly near a tap, just in case. It’s very cathartic.  Certain publications are, however,  a little guilty of over doing the list thing in times of quiet news, Not Mentioning Explicitly anyone of course.

So today’s (or probably yesterday's by the time I get this done) big music news award goes to the BBC Sound of 2012. This year’s did actually have a band in I’ve blogged about on here and over at Electronically Yours, the rather fab Niki & The Dove. Having fallen in love with them late in 2010 via DJ, Ease My Mind, and then seeing them in a relatively small gig back in May, the Swedish duo are now daaaahlings everywhere. I am your friendly neighbourhood witch so obviously saw this coming.

The BBC are a little lazy on the linking front but the more thoughtful ‘The Line of the Best Fit’ did offer some tasters of any artists on the list you may be unfamiliar with. To be honest, yes they were all OK, it was a varied list which is good but did leave me with that feeling I’d just sat through it’s close relative ‘Later with Jools Holland’ slightly bored. Music is so subjective of course.

So who do I think the favourite is, well there’s dubstep on there of course but surely that’s too obvious in this climate of ‘if it has a pulse, I’m going to dubstep remix it’ so I’m going to hedge my bets on the ‘princess of naughty words’ Azealia BanksNot because I listen to it, just because she will probably do well next year and is everywhere despite the amount of bleeps her tracks need for radio playlists.

Of course, realistically, the newcomer Lana Del Ray is going to take over the world, solve global poverty, rid of us of international terrorism and kick the arse of all her meanie critics. Pout or no pout, she is here to stay and personally I do love her new squeeeeezy hug promo for Born to Die’. Anyway, she’s not allowed on the list, not because of her trashy dress code but I assume as she’s too big, too quick, so strictly speaking, isn’t allowed.  And clearly with the amount of divisive controversy she's stirred up, she could be part of the Illuminati reptilian race anyway.

Also cast your mind back to that thing we use to tape on a Sunday night, where you got cross with the squeaky pause button noise at the beginning and end of a track because the Radio toss jockey talked over to anger you? Well that chart still exists apparently but has the same three bands in it all the time with more than one record. Anyway, nominees aren’t allowed to have been in the Top Twenty or have been on any kind of talent show, thank fuckery for that.

So shortly after reading the list, I thought  ‘wow, it’s a list and it hasn’t got Florence and the Machine or Adele in it’ and has nothing to do with anything strictly xfactoring all over our screens  (although Skrillex I think is pretty well known, whether you care to admit or not, and Flux Pavillion but I digress). Anyway, I thought, I would do a list not ‘of’ 2012 but ‘during’ meaning just hanging out casually next year.  Because really if it’s ‘of’ it will saturate us and kill us all with boredom. I do think to be nominated is super cool but maybe to win can creatively pressure cooker spontaneously combust you in your own success. So big clink of glasses for Niki & The Dove but don’t, whatever you do, win.

After being distracted by this article in The Guardian, ( it doesn't take much right now as my attention span is seriously effected by the little person in my belly) then noting the distinct smaller percentage of industry female pundits in the formulation of the beeb list (25.136612021857924 %)  I did the maths while discounting the few with non gender specific names) and had ‘Where are all the women?’ circulating in my head. Gladly noted is that the list of nominees at least, was even ish, around 60/40 male to female, not bad but then that’s music and not sport’s personalities (bad beeb on that front). I finally decided to DO (see band to left, geddit?)  a list, spent and exhausted after thinking about it too much. My list, at a glance, has an even mix overall but is heavier on female vocals, but then I'm not a corporation that's supposed to be about equality so...

The panel consists of me, female obviously and entirely predictable if you're a regular here plus a fair amount of rambling. I'm not going to write about each band, as I’m sure I’ve said enough over the year. They are in a ‘that’s the sort of mood I’m in’ particular order and I think I may do an odd number, just for the hell of it. Actually, no, I’m going to do 12 to be numerically significant  for the year of course. If you read the list and think ‘who?’ and then never hear of them again, well that’s music for you because digitally the industry has had its soul torn out and eaten so for some well deserving, even a short shelf life is elusive.

And the nominees are (not that there's any voting as I'm the boss here) 

12.High Places (Year Off)
11.The Golden Filter (Mother)
10.Memory Tapes (Creep Remix)  Sneaky two bands I like for one place move (Green Knight)
9.Planningtorock (Doorway)
8.Zambri (On Call)
7.Au Palais (Tender Mercy)
6. Paper Crows (Gone)
5.iamamiwhoami (;john)
4.Emika (Pretend- live)
3.Austra (Beat and the Pulse)
2.The Do (Slippery Slope)

So number 1?

...is Grimes. Super lovely in this clip of new song 'Nightmusic' from coming album 'Visions'. Her 'sometimes mousey' vocals won't be to everyone’s taste but I think there’s a chaotic creativity in it all and I want to hear more of that voice ‘during’ 2012.

Each band has a link to a personal favourite track of course (jump on them if unfamiliar) and are chosen mostly as I love them and partly as they seem to keep dancing about in my radar. Due to my proven predictive powers with Niki & The Dove, some may not happen until 2013. It was so hard to choose from the 24 longlisted from over the year so after a while, I scrapped who I think will technically do well for who I prefer. But who knows in this fickle business and hopefully both will overlap.

Currently touring with Austra and about to do something with Creep, I think Grimes is going to have a good year plus I haven’t shared this video yet. If you've got this far with meme, feel the blog love and enjoy below.

YTGvB: Grimes "Nightmusic" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

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