Unperturbed by dismissing the Spice Girls as one hit wonders and tipping Hawksley Workman and Carina Round (who? exactly…) for global domination, Will Nichols brings you five bands who may well be selling iPods this time next year…
Sounding like The Killers would normally be a problem given Brandon Flowers’ prolificacy but with the Las Vegas boys due some time off after four albums in as many years, the Gaslight Anthem may have struck gold. Sure, they’ve got enough nods to The Boss to pull off the whole blue-collar New Jersey image – check out the hats and leather jackets – but somehow it’s unconvincing. They’re all a bit too pretty. If CD:UK was still going, these guys would be huge; unfortunately for them, they have to rely on Radio 1 latching on and exciting all those kids in River Island checked shirts.
The ’59 Sound is out now
Top Track: Old White Lincoln
You know how you kind of fall in love with talented women on stages, how they don’t need a spotlight because they’re radiating their own light somehow? Well, as a live act Florence burns like the sun. You pretty much know you’re watching someone special if they keep in tune whilst chasing their keyboard player around the stage and hurdling the drum kit. If the world actually worked properly she would own it instead of propping up the bill of the NME Awards Tour. Beware following the link: she might ruin you for normal women. That said, if there’s a couple of us stumbling around, dazzled, perhaps we can start a support group or something.
Top Track: Between two lungs
First, a confession: I know nothing about this band. Zip, nada. Yeah, you might say that about most of the band here but Dent May is well beyond my threshold of ignorance. But if you like your Ronettes with a twist of French pop, Dent May might well fill that long-term vacancy you’ve had for a Mississippi-based, lo-fi Jens Lekman impersonator.
Top Track: Pierce Avenue
Gravity-defying hair is just one of this Northampton born singer’s charms. Model height and looks, and with a deft line in stage patter, she was writing songs for the Pussycat Dolls and the Sugababes until, flat broke, she sold her keyboard to buy a ticket home. Installed in her aunt’s attic she had written her album, Travelling Like the Light, within weeks. Island loved it, bought it and her subsequent success is so cliched I’m almost embarrassed to mention it. She performed Crying Blood on Jools Holland, was name-checked in Vogue and, well, you can write your own ending, but ‘superstar’ is in there somewhere.
Travelling like the Light is out early 2009
Top Track: Crying Blood (Challenge: try not shouting out “the moooooonster mash over the chorus)
I tip Emmy for actual greatness every year, and every year she remains firmly on the outskirts. Seriously Emmy, you’re showing me up here. At least an album, First Love, is scheduled for 2009, which should shunt Emmy and her collaborators – now seemingly part of a gestalt Emmy the Great – into the limelight, and I might FINALLY get some recognition.
Top Track: We almost had a baby (but check out the Where is my Mind cover)
No less a blowhard that Alan Mcgee has annointed The Grants as the best unsigned band in the world. This is partially true – they are unsigned. Frankly, I just plain don’t like The Grants, but I thought I’d best include them because they’re probably going to be huge. Glasvegas huge. Strictly for those who lament the passing of Lowgold.
Top Track: My games
Will Nichols will return with his favourite songs of 2008, but he needs more time to think about that.