Now heading into its 13th year the BBC’s annual ‘Sound Of’ poll is now a firm staple on the musical landscape. What started out as an innocuous listing on the BBC news website the poll has quickly became one of the most dominant musical happenings on the calendar year.
Of course, like anything it has come under criticism, The Guardian’s Kitty Empire said of it “Many of us are editors commissioning, and journalists writing, our own ones-to-watch forecasts. In order not to look like idiots, we tend to tip acts with records coming out rather than some lad with a tin whistle we found on MySpace.” The event now has so much bearing on Radio 1’s playlisting over the following 12-18 months it’s entirely conceivable to imagine that artists schedule their music to be released at a convenient time that coincides with the poll but mostly we’d like to imagine that it’s all for the purpose of discovering great music and nothing more.
While previous years have been a foregone conclusion (last year may as well not have been a thing) right now it is an even playing surface. So with year 13 not too far around the corner we present a two-part feature looking at a baker’s dozen of names that have earned a place in the poll.
Surely a dead cert. Crashy guitar rock is the in thing right now, to good, and bad results. But you’d be hard pushed to think of anyone doing it better than this four piece. Two EPs down the line the quartet showcase an eye for being able to go from 0 to 100 real quick. 50% harmonies 50% chaos 100% bad ass, when Wolf Alice get around to releasing their debut there will be so much wind-milling in North London, Camden Town might actually take off.
Why is Montreal such a hot-bed for musical talent right now? We’ll leave that for another rainy day (there’s enough of them on the way), but this is another one hailing from the currently over-flowing Canadian talent pool. In the modern day it helps no ends to have a totes alt name that people struggle to pronounce so this 22 year old beatsmith already has that box ticked. Not wanting to be defined as an EDM producer the Haitian-born Louis Celestin by birth likes to throw Neo-soul into his sets and is mad inspired by LA’s Flying Lotus. Having already remixed & produced for the likes of Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Mobb Deep and wonder haired molly enthusiast Danny Brown without a debut album even under his belt KAYTRANADA sure shows no signs of stopping.
It’s unlikely for Sound Of to include artists who are already established enough to have released a full-length but recently Lizzo has been getting quite the exposure off the back of the fabulously titled Lizzobangers. Next to looking like a bonus character from Street Fighter she also has the fire of a young Missy Elliot and boasting the achievement of being NME’s first Female God-like genius, everybody needs to know about Lizzo.
They played the Commonwealth closing ceremony for goodness sake. These Glaswegians are going a long way to single handedly proving that Electro-pop is not a fully exhausted genre, they also boast the weapon of writing power ballads that Twin Shadow would be proud of.
Two years after the release of Gold and countless radio plays and festival appearances later it seems somewhat mad that Bondax haven’t put out an album yet so maybe the decision for a 2015 release is to hopefully make them a shoe-in for 2015’s poll.
Coasts tippify THAT sound of summer, which understandable considering them being from Bristol and their last EP being titled Oceans so if the 5-piece can somehow stagger the release of their debut until mid 2015 there is every chance they could make waves (ha!) over the next 12 months.
Part II coming soon.