As we welcome the hump-day of the second working week of 2015 in hostility, many of us are also simultaneously questioning our lives, perhaps considering that it might be 'time for a change'. Eugh, change. You know, all that 'new year, new me' malarkey. Why anyone thinks that what is ultimately just another rotation around the sun should be any motivation to change their entire lifestyle, is beyond me. Besides, most of you only do it for the superficial value anyway. However that being said, with change often comes great things, and for the purpose of this post, great artists.
If you've read my blog before, you'll know how much I bang on about new and emerging talent, and that is something I most definitely do not plan on changing this year. Every artist/musician has to start somewhere, and I believe that supporting them from day one is one of the most valuable things you can give them. (Other than a record label and copious amounts of cash, obvs). Plus, it's amazing seeing artists that you've supported from the start finally get the recognition that they deserve.
Things such as BBC's Sound of 2015 and NME's Top 50 For 2015 act as a platform for these musicians, allowing them to be heard by the general public i.e people too lazy to search for new music themselves. And, they've proven to be incredibly effective, with the BBC predicting artists such as 50 Cent ('03), Adele ('08), and Ellie Goulding ('10). BBC's 'Sound of' has further inspired me to do a little research myself, and compile fifteen artists that I think will be massive this year. Obviously I'm no Huw Stephens, but I like to think I know a thing or two about music.
So, think of this as a sort-of 'music forecast' for the next 12 months!
First on the list are Kent duo, Slaves. With a demonic post-90's Weezeresque sound, Slaves have been around for a couple of years now, but are only finally getting attention from the industry. Being compared to Rage Against The Machine, Slaves give us that lo-fi garage sound we all know and love. You can catch Slaves perform live on the NME Awards Tour alongside Palma Violets, Fat White Family, and The Amazing Snakeheads next month. If not, I'm sure you will be seeing a lot of Slaves in the near future.
Sam O'Neill, aka TCTS, first came to my attention when I heard his underground hit '1997' on one of Zane Lowe's evening shows last summer, and has been one of my favourite DJ's ever since. With DJ's, house DJ's in particular, it's often hard to find one that isn't blinded by the commercial nature of the music industry, or that's mind-numbingly dull. TCTS however, sits nicely in the middle. O'Neill has a hell of a year ahead of him, already signed up to play at Snowboxx Festival in March and Croatia's Hideout Festival in July. I wouldn't be surprised to see him all over UK festival line-ups either!
Previously known as Deers, Spanish girl-band Hinds have already caused a bit of controversy in the music industry, having been threatened with legal action by a similarly named band. However, the girls just wiped it off and smiled, and are now back better than ever as Hinds. Potentially Spain's response to Haim, I have no doubt that Hinds will be my soundtrack to summer 2015.
4. Mac DeMarco
Another artist who has sparked a bit of controversy in the biz recently is none other than Mac DeMarco. Just two months ago, Mac was arrested at his own gig in Santa Barbara, CA for crowd surfing and climbing the venue's ceiling beams - what a lad. The UCSB's police may not like him, but we definitely do. DeMarco gives us that classic singer/songwriter sound that we all know and love, with his own unique twang.
5. Years & Years
You may have already heard of the London-based trio Years & Years after their single 'Desire' smashed the UK charts last month, and the fact is, they're only about to get better. Being the BBC's Sound of 2015, big things are expected from Years & Years this year. The guys cleverly saw a gap in the market for dance music with a bit more heart and soul, and boy did they fill it.
6. Circa Waves
With an already huge fan-base, I think it's fair to say that Circa Waves probably haven't received half the praise they're about to get in 2015. Circa Waves have undoubtedly transitioned into rock stars in the space of just a few months, ultimately going from merely playing tiny venues with an empty crowd, to selling out shows and appearing on well known festival line-ups.Circa Waves provide indie-rock fans with hope that 2015 just might be the year the music industry truly appreciates indie music again, and I'm sure we'll be seeing Circa Waves in the charts very soon.
Also appearing on the BBC's Sound of 2015 is an artist who I believe will finally make a name for herself in 2015. 17-year-old singer-songwriter Bridie Monds-Watson, aka SOAK, has been writing incredibly heartfelt songs since the age of thirteen. Her songs beautifully capture real life problems we've all faced at one point, unlike most poppy singer-songwriters today who drone on and on about shit no-one cares about.
8. Nothing But Thieves
Upon first hearing Nothing But Thieves, I couldn't help but think they were just another cliché boy band. However, as their song 'Graveyard Whistling' went on, I then caught on that Nothing But Thieves weren't just a typical wannabe Backstreet Boys band like the rest of boy bands on the radio today, but instead, the UK's next big indie band of 2015. Listening to Nothing But Thieves gives us all a breath of fresh air, and you should definitely familiarise yourself with these guys, as I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot from them this year.
9. Only Real
If you're looking for incredibly unique yet ultra white-boy rap on top of dreamy and nostalgic indie-pop sounds, then Niall Galvin (AKA Only Real) is your man. With a debut album out in just a couple months, I can only assume that Galvin is about to fill a very large gap in the market, and incredibly successful he will be. The UK music industry hasn't seen anything similar to Only Real since King Krule and Jamie T, therefore I predict that Only Real will make it big in 2015.
Already receiving bundles of praise from multiple radio DJs and music magazines, Bristol band Coasts are only just starting off. Coasts aren't just your standard indie-pop band, their euphoric and catchy choruses make them different to most indie-pop bands, evidentially enough to stand out as they're already booked to play at this year's Coachella festival. If the British public can get over the lead singer's whining, then I suspect great things from Coasts.