As we draw into the latter stages of 2013 (how quickly has it gone by the way?!), let’s take a look at some traditional big-hitters, and some newer artists that may be catching you by surprise this autumn…
A band I first saw in Spring of this year, supporting the strange, indie stylings of Darwin Deez, this Aussie collective surprised me with their brand of innocent, poppy-rock tunes. It’s light, care-free music that has a sun-drenched flavor to it, riffs are high and fast-paced, with the variations between male and female vocalists, surprisingly pleasing. They also impressed with their cover of Daft Punk’s mega-single, ‘Get Lucky’, perhaps one of the best covers I heard for my favorite song of 2013. A stream of their debut album has just gone up, I urge you to check it out, now.
The Canadian-French epic collective are thoroughly well-known, but new album, ‘Reflektor’, is released to the world at the end of October, and if it is anything like the titular single released in September, then it will be breathtaking. With band leaders, husband and wife, Win Butler and Regine Chassange, famous for their intricately created pieces, expect some long, effortless epics, with some disco influences, if the single is anything to go by.
The Lawrence brothers must be pinching themselves.In the past 12 months, the duo have seen their electronic beats become the favored pick for young people all over the UK, with house taking over many Spotify and iPod playlists. It began with single, ‘Latch’, released last October, and culminated with the long-awaited album release in the Summer and a great spot in the NME/Radio 1 tent at Reading & Leeds. Guy and Howard will be hoping to build on their success with their biggest shows to date in the New Year, at the London Alexandra Palace, but who knows, perhaps the US is next to be taken over by the unlikely lads of Disclosure!
If you’d read my review of Haim’s debut album, ‘Days Are Gone’, then you’ll know I love them. The band, their singles and their album. They are blooming in popularity, with a US tour due to start in a few days time, a supporting European tour with French band Phoenix and some dates in the UK either side of Christmas and New Year. The best thing about them is the rocky, live performances, something that contrasts as such with the more poppy-uber produced new album. Try and experience both if you can, you will be in for a treat!
Kings of Leon
Now you may think you know every little detail about the Kings of Leon…and in a way you probably do. Yes they tend to be ridiculed for every release of theirs nowadays sounding EXACTLY the same as the last, and that is debatable in its own right. But the most recent LP, ‘Mechanical Bull’, knows that and runs away from it, like the titular bull. Now there is no radical change from the commercially, if not critically, successful formula that Caleb and co, have followed for a few years, but making music seems to actually matter to the band again. The likes of ‘Beautiful War’ and ‘Wait for Me’, are modern day masterpieces, whilst ‘Supersoaker’, brings a bit of Motown back to the 21st century. If you’d grown tired of the same old KoL, give this new effort a listen.
At the age of just 19, you could forgive Archy Marshall a.k.a King Krule, for being a little rough around the edges. His unique blend of soulful rock, over which he throatily (almost) raps, is something that has to be heard to be believed. With an album released just two days after his 19th, and a spot on the BBC Sound of 2013 list, this kid is onto something big. Expect him to blow up, ala Jake Bugg style, this time next year. Greatness awaits the King.
One of the biggest breakout acts of 2013, especially in the UK, Peace brought a Brit-pop revival with them, their sound on album, ‘In Love’, eerily reminiscent of efforts by the likes of Blur, Stone Roses and even a chunk of Oasis thrown in for good mix. It’s a surprisingly good album, and whilst their live show, currently touring the States, could do with a bit of sprucing up, they’ve got a lot of potential to stick around for it to get good!
Chase & Status
Experienced dance duo Saul Milton and Will Kennard raise the flag for UK dance music. They’ve worked with Cee-Lo Green, Rihanna and Example before, with their new album, released in the upcoming seven days, sees them with Nile Rogers and Major Lazer amongst many guest vocalists. They are a big act in the UK, with them subbing the famed Reading & Leeds festivals this summer, bringing the party to a rain-drenched site. With the new album sounding promising, who knows, this could be C&S’ year.
This LA-based rock duo blew away the stale so-so bands that dominate the rock scene nowadays, with their unique brand of rock and girl power. Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards turn up to play rock music, and do so in style, with some breathtaking shows that don’t hold back whatsoever. The debut album is actually an improvement on the live performances too, so either way if you fancy a bit of a twist on the generic rock formula, give these ladies a go!
One of the most innovative artists out there right now, Janelle Monae built on the premise of her first album, ‘The ArchAndroid’, with her follow-up, ‘The Electric Lady’. Both are thoroughly entertaining, soulful records that make even the grumpiest human being move their feet to the beat. Monae’s vocals are also something to be amazed by, sounding like a better, pumped up, altogether mental Beyonce. With guest appearances from Prince on the new LP, perhaps that would be the best place to start, ‘Dance Apocalyptic’, another prime example of her sugary sweetness.
Do you agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below!