I haven’t done one of these in a while but thought I probably should get back into it. Also, how is it March already, anyone else a little surprised how that crept up on us? A little sneaky, I think.
Anyone, let’s do this. Here is what I liked, and thought you’d probably like, in January/February. Huzzah!
First off the bat, you should probably check out ITYLTS Best of 2011 series. This was our big rundown of 2011 including our favourite songs, covers, remixes and what we want to be big in 2012.
January also sadly saw the end of one of my favourite TV shows, Chuck. One of the reasons I loved Chuck so much is the music it has introduced me to since I began watching it. To honour the wonderful music supervision on Chuck have a look at Chuck vs the Music, a playlist dedicated to my favourite music on Chuck. After you’ve listened to that, take a look at this interview I did with editor/director/sometimes music supervisor on Chuck, Matt Barber as we chat about music, directing, desert island discs and more.
Now onto the songs! (after the jump)
Jay-Z- Hov and Bey welcomed their baby girl, Blue Ivy, into the Carter-Knowles family in early January. Days after her birth, Jay-Z released this track “Glory” onto the interwebs. Produced by Pharrell and featuring none other than Blue Ivy, it’s a heart warming song from a very very proud pops.
Seasfire- Bristol boys Seasfire started off 2012 very well with a great show at the Communion night. Their track “Falling” is getting heard in all the right places and I chatted to the boys about the comparisons to The Weeknd and Radiohead in this interview.
Adam Barnes- This Oxford singer/songwriter also started the year off very nicely with his signing to LAB Records. Currently on tour in the US, the futures looking bright for Barnes, especially with songs like this “She Will Stay Beneath The Moon”.
The Head and the Heart- The Head and the Heart must have got a major boost when their beautiful song “Rivers and Roads” was used in the closing moments of the Chuck finale. Along with this, they also released the video for the equally beautiful “Down In The Valley”.
Gotye- Gotye’s viral smash “Somebody That I Used To Know” was voted in at the number one spot on Triple J’s Hot 100 and it has refused to leave ever since. Helped in part by this unique cover by Walk The Earth, five people-one guitar.
Ghost Society- Lo-fi glorious sounds with Ghost Society’s “Your Hands”
Kidda- Infectiously fun synth pop Kidda with “Together Again”. If you like The Go! Team, have a listen.
Jack White- The White Stripes frontman, Jack White has finally released some of solo material and properly solo this time, not under any other name but Jack White, “Love Interruption”.
Busby Marou- Sweet folk pop from aussies Busby Marou and “Biding My Time”
The Griswolds- Aussie infectious indie pop courtesy of The Griswolds and “Mississippi”. If you like Vampire Weeknd or GIVERS, give this a try.
Azure Ray- A little late to the game to this duo, but “Seven Days” sure is beautiful.
Bon Iver- Some live music for you from Bon Iver. First off a special session recorded live including stripped back versions of “Hinnom, TX”, “Wash.”, “Beth/Rest”, “Babys” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. Secondly, here’s Justin Vernon and The Roots on Jimmy Fallon doing a r&b tinged soulful reworking of “Perth”.
disCOVER- A lot of lovely covers for you here. Emil & Friends put their unique spin on M83’s “Midnight City”. Warsonic brought synths to Mumford & Sons “White Blank Page”. The Weeknd’s “The Morning” got the cover treatment from Eliza Doolittle and Saskatchewan. Silverswans brought even more mellowness and melancholia to Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games”
Remix, Baby- To bring in 2012, remix extraordinaires RAC have done an amazing remix of some of the best tracks of 2011 for Hypemachine, called RAC vs The Hypemachine. One of my favourite remixres, LEANN GRIMES turned his attention to “Knees” by Peter and Kerry with the remix “Held Hands Coming Apart”. Dark Dark Horse brought lo-fi broodiness to Fossil Collective in his remix of “Without A Fight”.
It might be the end of world…So let’s go out with bang by listening to some good music.
There are a gazillion What’s going to be big in 2012 blah blah blah out there already. Like Pigeons and Planes approach, I’m going for who I think deserve to go big in 2012. These are artists who are just bubbling under the surface, who have put the work in and are just one step away from big things…and that step is coming in 2012, I can feel it.
One of the hardest working men in hip hop, E-dubs has put in work, and then some more work…and then a little bit more. Back in 2010 he released a freestyle every Friday for about a year and in 2011 it was released as an official mixtape Written Thursday. Since then E-Dubble hasn’t been resting on his laurels, he’s released hot track after track, playing shows, taking names and breaking hearts. (He talks a pretty mean words with friends game too…) Doing it through his own label Black Paisley, E-Dubble is going from strength to strength and its only a matter of time before he blows up BIG.
I really hope SEASFIRE do me proud this year. Mary Ann Hobbe’s loves them, John Kennedy loves them and you’ll love them. Probably best described as The Weeknd cross with Radiohead there’s no wonder that these Bristol boys are making people incredibly excited.
Adam Barnes put in some major work in 2011 with touring all over the place and making fans. In 2012 this has paid off as he has just been signed to LAB Records, home of Hellogoodbye. Fans of Ben Howard, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, James Vincent McMorrow, Marcus Foster and James Vincent McMorrow should listen to Barnes immediately, a great songwriter mixed with some great music makes Barnes one to watch for 2012.
St. Lucia has had a pretty good start by being signed to The Knock’s Heavy Roc label, home to them and Alex Winston. Grabbing people’s attention with the fantastic This Old House Is Gone and All Eyes On You, St. Lucia has cemented themselves firmly in the chillwave genre and are set to go much further in 2012.
And The Giraffe
Nick Robert’s solo project Summertime Kids is beautiful, his collaboration with Josh Morris on And The Giraffe could be even more beautiful, if possible. Described as “Dream Folk”, the duo made the album over dropbox and a couple of hundred miles between them. Perfect for late nights and those wonderful moments in life, And The Giraffe are on the verge of something massive.
Hoodie Allen is a self made success story. Since 2009, HA has turned free mixtapes into sold out shows and 2012 is the year for this kid. His most recent mixtape “Leap Year” was a fun and professional ride and its looking like spring could see a proper full length release along with some overseas shows. Hoodie Allen is on the up and up, get involved.
Cris Cab has been putting in work at the studio with Pharrell Williams and Wyclef Jean and turning heads all over the place. With his laidback hiphop-acoustic sounds, Cris Cab is perfect for the summer of 2012, so get ahead of the crowd and start listening now.
Husband was one of the biggest things (for me) I found in 2011 as soon as I heard “Ordinary” I knew it was something special. From Australia and previous bands Luna Parade and Carl Fox, Michael Paolino’s project Husband is mesmerising. Sounding not unlike The National, this EP is definitely worth listening to. And I can’t wait for Husband in 2012.
Work Drugs made a beautiful album with Aurora Lies and covered one of the most ubiquitous songs of 2011, Adele’s Rolling In The Deep. Chillwave and beautiful, Work Drugs work that fine line between 80s nostalgic pop and lo fi indie dance pop. Ones to watch in 2012.
Folk music has had a big revival in the last few years with Bon Iver, Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling. Add The Ridges to this list with their atmospheric and lush debut EP The Ridges. This debut EP has been followed with an amazing Daytrotter session and even more big things are to follow for this group in 2012. Check out are interview with Victor from The Ridges.
Along with The Ridges, Little Tybee have arrived in the folk/beautiful music scene. Similar to The Annuals sound, Little Tybee have wonderfully put together musical arrangements and beautiful visuals, like in the Boxcar Fair video.
Summer Camp are definitely going to be huge in 2012, they were already very much on the way in 2011. Their debut Welcome To Condale topped best of lists all over the shop and their infectious nostalgic pop sounds in Better Off Without You and Ghost Train makes you want excited things for this duo. With a big UK and European tour in the works this spring, expect to hear more and more from Summer Camp. If you want to hear more right now check out my interview with Elizabeth from Summer Camp.
San Cisco are probably celebrating right now, their track Awkward was No. 7 in Triple J’s Hottest 100. I first heard Golden Revolver over last summer and it was the perfect sunshine track. Big things are definitely happening for San Cisco, get onboard now.
So there you have it. The things I want and should do some big this in 2012. Start listening now so you can be all hipster and say things like “Oh you’re only hearing about them now…I was listening to them months ago”.
Its been quite nice tracking Adam Barnes from run of the mill gigs to being signed by LAB. Truly deserved, Barnes is a singer/songwriter that will fit in nicely with acts like Ben Howard, Benjamin Leftwich Francis,James Vincent McMorrow and Bon Iver. If you’re a fan of beautifully played music of the folk/indie variety, you’ll like this…and if you’re not usually…have a listen anyway.