I’ve been an avid following of the annual ‘BBC sound of…’ review for a couple of years now. Despite only really starting writing this blog in the past 6 months or so with any conviction, i’ve always liked the idea of being on some kind of cutting edge. I’m well aware that a lot of the stuff posted on here is far from ‘new’ or ‘exciting’, and the idea of having a Corporation-endorsed list of stars is pretty sickening. However, it’s still a vastly interesting process, with around 165 ‘taste-makers’ (i.e. journos, bloggers, djs etc.) being asked who they think is going to make it big this coming year. The most exciting part of it is looking back on past years, to see how accurately they predicted things. Last years top spot went to Little Boots, which is pretty good going. When you consider that Lady Gaga was number 6, however, it illustrates how hard it can be to predict. Anyway, the list goes like this:
Daisy Dares You
Marina and the Diamonds
Two Door Cinema Club
It’s a decent list, and anything like this is going to annoy some people. There are a couple of omissions that rankle, and Frankie & the Heartstrings must be wondering what they did to piss off this selection of particular ‘tastemakers’ given the hype they’ve been getting from most. But in all likelihood, these are the people you’ll be hearing a lot of in 2010. Why? Well, it’s a game of probabilities, and one we’ve all got a vested interest in. The people who vote for these things are exactly the same people that are going to have a huge say in what people listen to in the coming year. It’d be nice to pretend otherwise, but if Mr. Radio 1 DJ decides that one artist deserves to make it big, they’re probably going to play there records a lot, and the same goes for the journos and bloggers, who are going to cover their gigs and print their press releases.
It’s not particularly a bad thing, and it’s not particularly accurate, either – The Bravery might’ve made some waves back in 2005, but after ‘an honest mistake’, nobody really cared much, and Interpol and Dizzee Rascal have had a lot more fruitful careers than The Thrills who polled ahead of them in 2003. The 2006 results look more like a damning indictment than anything else and it doesn’t even include James Blunt. The problem is the lack of scope that these things have for the long term – and ‘long term’ in the music industry appears to be anything over 6 months. The pace of everything means that even a week is a long time, which is why last weeks copy of the NME can feel like an ancient relic more than a relevant newspaper, which has of course been hastened by the rise of the internet. Last Saturday, Lady Gaga sang on X Factor – can you imagine that 12 months ago that your Mum didn’t know Pokerface? In less than 365 days she’s gone from the 6th most likely sound of 2009 to an international megastar. Frightening. In all likelihood, this is simply a list of bands you’re going to start your year with, and there are likely tens of bands who’ve simply timed their ascent a little bit too early or late to appear on a chart like this.
Out of the list of artists above, it’s pretty hard to choose anyone who’s really odds on to win this competition or indeed be a nailed on success for 2010. Marina and the Diamonds and Ellie Goulding are probably the closest to managing it, and they’ve been making all the right noises whilst showing up in the right places, whereas it doesn’t take a huge leap of the imagination to see your Dad listening to The Drums’ radio friendly downbeat surf-pop on his drive to work. Gold Panda has been king of the remixes for quite some time and is due a step-up, and it’d be excellent to hear a lot more from Delphic, though the hordes of ‘lads’ that are bound to listen to them is frightening.
In short, it’s all smoke and mirrors, pinning the tails on imaginary donkeys. I haven’t got a clue, and neither have the majors, which is why Frankmusik got so much PR money thrown at him. A lot of me hopes it’s wrong, as there’s little on there that leaps out as being new and exiting, but then again, I’m far from the record buying public. There doesn’t seem to be one coherent scene coming out that makes things a lot more difficult to predict, so it’s hard to say where things are going. No matter what’s happening on the musical frontlines, it’s still going to be interesting, no matter what.
Anyway, here’s a track by two of the longlisters, taken from the forthcoming Love & Disaster #1 compilation, Everything Everything remixing Delphic’s This Momentary;
Delphic – This Momentary (Everything Everything remix)