With NME and Q magazines having already dropped their year-end lists on us, making it clear that the Brits very much enjoy Arcade Fire, the UK media is now turning their attention to next year’s crop of new bands. They have a royal wedding to plan too, you know. Nonetheless, more than 160 radio DJs, critics, editors, bloggers, producers and other industry tastemakers named their three favorite new acts, spanning any genre and country of origin, who have not already had a top 20 single or album in the UK and who are not “already famous,” thanks to, say, a reality TV show or billionaire parent. The results have been compiled, hailing the top 15 the BBC’s Sound of 2011.
You ready? This year’s honorees include singer-songwriter Anna Calvi, London grime MC Wretch 32, New Zealand synth-rockers The Naked & Famous, and, finally, bands I’ve heard of: U.S.-blogger approved Yuck, Warpaint and Esben & the Witch. Clare Maguire, Daley, Jessie J, James Blake, Nero, Jai Paul, Jamie Woon, Mona and The Vaccines round out the list. The Vaccines, for the record, have already bumped their orginally scheduled American debut at Mercury Lounge on January 20 to Bowery Ballroom (they’re also at Glasslands two nights later), so you might want to mark the ol’ calendar for that one.
Still, the top five up-and-comers have yet to be revealed. That’ll happen the week of January 3, when one of the five will be named the ultimate “Sound of 2011.” Ellie Goulding topped last year’s list. Ever heard of her? Me neither, but past top-five winners in the Sound of the Year’s nine-year history include Franz Ferdinand in ’04, Bloc Party in ’05 and The Ting Tings in ’08, so, you know.
For what it’s worth, we would have included Braids, Givers, PS I Love You, Sun Airway, Tennis and, like, probably Darlings.