I should subtitle this post, Top 5 British Acts to Look Forward To In 2011 (Not Named Anna Calvi, Summer Camp or Vaccines). Thus, it's time get jazzed for some new blood into the scene for the new year. You can consider this your Bands to Watch or Bands I've About Written About Before So When They Do Become Known I Can Say I Wrote About It First.
Looking at last year's list, No. 1's Paloma Faith did make it to the U.S., only to record her second album in Los Angeles and not perform. Drats. VV Brown did play a slew of dates stateside. Leisure Society haven't made the journey, but are working on Album No. 2. Bombay Bicycle Club finally will make their debut in March. Banjo or Freakout did play in New York last March.
So here's who I like for 2011 coming from overseas.
5. Brother -- Far be it from me to not pay attention to producer extraordinaire Stephen Street. The man behind Blur's best records has taken the Slough, UK band Brother under his tutelage. I'm sure they are tired of being asked about being from the town that the original Office was set. These brash lads are bringing that old BritPop Oasis attitude back into our consciousness. They're first single, "Darling Buds Of May", has plenty of gritty guitars and pop vocal hooks to make you grab your best trainers and Ben Sherman polos. They'll be opening for The Streets on his 2011 UK tour.
4. Betty and the Werewolves -- They caught my eye during the Camden Crawl coverage for their super-hyper twee pop. Now that Allo Darlin have made their mark during CMJ, you are now set for some Betty action. The three girls and boy from London can make you dance in place with their infectious energy or spin in a circle with their dreamy vocals. Their debut album, Tea Time Favourites, is available for download on your favorite download vessel of choice. Take a listen to "Should I Go To Glasgow"
3. Gaggle -- It's time to mention them on this space again after following their exploits in 2010. If anything, the massive all-girl choir begs for your attention no matter what your tastes. In the past few months, the collective have been performing a 1969 opera piece called The Dark and The Brilliant. Just when you think it will be a straight-forwarda vocal piece, in pops in the dance beats. Here's a sample of the end results:
.2. Hannah Peel -- Here's a new name that I've stewing over a few months, waiting for the right time to introduce you to the magic. H.P. is a touring member of The Unthanks and frequently collaborates with Duke Special. Her solo work is a little similar in vein to those artists, where she plays all the instruments and adds some electronics to proceeding. She also has a knack for reworking Cocteau Twins and New Order songs. The end result is like the world's hippest music box.
Rough Trade says "Hannah Peel's debut album, Broken Wave, kicks 2011 off with style. a lovelorn spun tale of falling in love, rejection and life's trivia, It's a breathtaking release in which peel channels her melancholy and aspirations into cantering ditties destined for much greater things than the intimate atmosphere they evoke." That album is produced by Mike Lindsay of Tunng.
Check out Sugar Hiccup:
1. Alice Gold -- Another rock chick I've mentioned before, Madam Gold turned up on Q Magazines list for 2011. NME said that's she's part Joan Jett, part Tina Turner, She calls herself the child of Janis Joplin who has a crush on Alicia Keys. I'm thinking she's here to stick a dagger into your soul and maybe rock your damn ass off with those killer guitar licks.
Her debut album should be out this year. Seven Rainbows, produced by Dan Carey (Franz Ferdinand, La Roux) will be released by Fiction Records.