Wednesday, January 02, 2013

One to watch in 2013

Last year saw the wonderful Soderberg sisters (Johanna and Klara), in the guise of First Aid Kit, escape the musical bloggers and world of YouTube and get recognition for their home grown (Swedish) version of American country/folk/pop when their second album The Lion's Roar made the lower reaches of the UK Top Thirty albums. If they were my band for 2012 and Blue was undoubtedly my most played song of the year then whose album am I looking forward to hearing in 2013?

Some of the bands I have followed through online recommendations over the past twelve to eighteen months have long awaited albums scheduled for early 2013. The Joy Formidable release their second album (Wolf's Law) on 19th January.

One album that is eagerly awaited by me (and many others) is the debut album by American sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim - known by their collective name as Haim. The band have only released two singles so far but the second of those 'Don't Save Me' actually registered on the UK singles charts in December 2012 and the video has had over 700,000 hits since its release at the end of November.  Of course being sisters and photogenic has caught the imagination of certain reviewers and there has been an awful lot of hype for a band that had, up until their London debut in June, written only six original songs before signing with polydor (on the night of their London debut) but to be honest I'd rather have one enthusiastic group with six original songs behind them making waves than another mass produced, soulless Simon Cow act clogging up the arteries of the living organism we call popular music.

Of the 'old guard' Johnny Marr releases his debut solo album in February which should be worth hearing,   I've always thought of Marr as the British equivalent of Nils Lofgren, a superbly talented musician and producer who has been somewhat underrated by virtue of his position always being slightly outside of the beam of the spotlight.

There are also spring album releases scheduled for the likes of Adam Ant, Bon Jovi and Mariah Carey - whether or not they can repeat the success of 2012's oldies: Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Broooooce remains to be heard.


Span Ows said...

I'd have to listen to more before making a judgement, the sound is great but something about the timing was putting me off.

Johnny Marr should be worth the wait.

P.S. I hear those sisters put a conservatory on their house so the family could have breakfast: they called it Haim annexe.

I'll get my coat.

A Northern Bloke said...

"clogging up the arteries of the living organism we call popular music."...what a wonderful expression, Paul!

Having read Span's remark about timing I gave it another listen. Personally, I think the timing is O.K. but her vocal phrasing is unusual and sounds very different to a lot of singers. Perhaps this is where some of the "freshness" of the overall sound comes from.

Paul said...

Let's hope the jokes get better as the year rolls on Span!

Thanks Shy. I think you're right about the phrasing, she's caught between wanting to be poppy and wanting to be indie.

Span Ows said...

That's what does it for me then (NOT!). I hate Frank Sinatra for ruining so much music and apparently he was the king of phrasing: I call it out of tune out of time.

A Northern Bloke said...

Saw this today :-

Paul said...

Mystic me!

Ah yes Francis Albert Sinatra, the Mr Marmite of crooners.

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