Happy New Year everyone!
Hope January isn’t treating you too badly. It’s not got off to a good start what with all these floods and 40mph winds sweeping people off their feet. Oh and there’s the fact most people around you are probably talking about ‘eating clean’, being on a detox and aren’t coming to the pub after work because they’re having this month off the booze. Miserable, ey? Well it’s not ALL bad! There’s one great thing about the start of every year and that’s tipping the acts that you hope will make it big and gain the attention they truly deserve and have been working so hard for!
So, here’s my short and sweet list of 12 acts I think will or at least SHOULD breakthrough in 2014.
Enjoy and as always let me know what you think and please comment below! Let me know who you think will make it big this year!
If you’d rather listen to all these tips in one place here’s my Tips for 2014 radio show.
Wolf Alice are a four-piece alternative-rock band from North London who got together in 2010. Initially it was a solo project by Ellie Rowsell, then Joff Oddie joined as her guitarist and later Joel Amey, Theo Ellis came into the mix.
They released their debut single Fluffy in February last year and followed it with Bros in May. Two remarkable records that have helped them grab the attention of BBC Radio 1, the NME and many music bloggers including me!
In October, they released their debut EP Blush. This track is from it. It’s a beauty.
Watch the video to Blush above.
Last year I became obsessed with this mysterious Manchester producer who goes by the name Oceaán. A short but sweet email landed in my inbox reading “With love, for your consideration” along with a link to a track on Soundcloud. It was from Oceaán and signed off with the letter “O” followed by a kiss. I was so intrigued to have a listen and once I did I heard this beautifully captivating song called Neéd U. As soon as I heard the first few notes I was hooked. The track is gorgeous and well put together.
I picked Oceaán as my 36th #NewBandUpNorth for The Guardian which you can read here.
Have a listen to his track below.
High Hazels are a superb indie pop group from Sheffield made up of James Leesley, Scott Howes and brothers Paul and Anthony Barlow. They grew up together in Handsworth, just outside of the Steel City. I first heard them last year. If you’re a fan of The Smiths or The Coral then this band is for you. Full of nostaglic melodies and thought provoking lyrics this band will hopefully captivate many hearts this year, especially with the support behind them already from the likes of BBC 6 Music.
Now here’s a band I am obsessed with. I was one of the first to play them on the radio back when I was living in Sheffield. What I love the most about this Sheffield five-piece is the way they combine dreamy, shoegaze sounds with thrashy guitars and gorgeous vocals from Liv Neller. They started out putting a few tracks up online but released their debut single Between Times late last year. Have a listen below and read my 19th #NewBandUpNorth piece about them here on The Guardian.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this lady by now. LA R&B artist Jillian Banks, known to us as BANKS, is producing some intimate and moody songs that are gaining her a very devoted fan base. She is also on BBC’s Sound of 2014 long list and has been tipped to be massive in 2014 by nearly EVERYONE! Have a listen and see what all the fuss is about.
Bridie Jackson and The Arbour
This Newcastle-based four-piece is putting a darker slant on folk. I picked them out as my 29th #NewBandUpNorth (read here). The remarkable voice of Bridie Jackson is beautiful yet haunting and the instrumentation and harmonies weaving around her are ethereal, and at times gentle, making their music even more moving. After winning the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition they’re gone on to record sessions with the BBC and gig around the country. Let’s hope they get even more attention this year. Take a listen to their song Prolong.
I only came across this Welsh band a few months ago and immediately loved what I heard and played them on my radio show Monday’s Mixtape. I like that they have time for “anyone who’d like to come to a show and drink a beer” with them. Seems they’re a friendly band. I particularly enjoy the boy/girl harmonies which float across delicate guitars. They’re making music with the perfect mixture of nostalgia and optimism.
Have a listen for yourself here.
“Patterns are creating beautiful electronic drone pop that makes you feel like you’re flying.”
That’s what I wrote in The Guardian when I picked Manchester four-piece Patterns as my 30th #NewBandUpNorth.
The beautiful fusion of guitars, vocals, intelligent samples and beats are the perfect soundtrack to any daydream. This four-piece from Manchester is making evocative noises that are brimming with nostalgia.
Ciaran McAuley, Laurence Radford, Alex Hillhouse and Jamie Lynch all met at Manchester University and started making music together. Here’s the first single to be taken from the band’s forthcoming debut album Waking Lines, which is set for release very soon. It was all self-recorded with 1 mic and 1 laptop, which is remarkable.
Have a listen to This Haze released via Melodic Records.
Bipolar Sunshine is the solo project of Manchester-based Adio Marchant, who you may remember as the vocalist in Kid British. He’s now carved a new path for himself and is definitely an act that will become huge this year. He’s creating records that are upbeat, full of catchy hooks and beautiful interludes. Have a listen below and make sure you catch him live. He’ll cheer you right up too as he brings red balloons to his gigs. I picked him out as my 34th #NewBandUpNorth which you can read here. Since then people Zane Lowe has given his record Love More Worry Less a spin as one of his Hottest Records.
London band Thumpers are set to have a great 2014. After supporting CHVRCHES on their UK tour they shown off their punchy, sweet, shameless pop to thousands across the country. I was surprised to hear they’re a duo considering their sound is full of harmonies, rhythms and soaring melodies that any five-piece would be proud to call their own. Have a listen below and I guarantee you’ll be hooked.
My final tip for 2014 is the remarkable London based musician Sampha. His music really stops you in your tracks. He’s quite rightly had lots of attention already and is on the BBC Sound of 2014 long list. His mellow soulful voice can also be heard on records by SBTRKT and Drake. This track Too Much is lifted from his EP Dual, which was released via Young Turks last summer.
It is beautiful. Listen below.
HEAR MY TIPS OF 2014 ON MY RADIO SHOW
Before you go I want to let you know you can hear my tips for 2014 on my radio show on Monday (6th January).
Listen to Monday’s Mixtape on Wythenshawe FM www.wfmradio.org at 7pm on Monday nights.
Check out all the shows over on my radio page here.
Follow the links…