Part two of our bands to watch for the next ten months or so. Or longer? Part three to follow shortly. Part one comprised of Alabama Shakes, Alt-J, and BASTILLE - tipped by Emily Solan, Jack Thomson and myself respectively. Here, Emily Arc and Rajan Lakhani get some choices in. And me.
With Adele, Ed Sheeran and tepid, souless RnB dominating, British mainstream music is crying out for someone who will bring colour to what is currently a very grey scene. Step forward Charli XCX. Fusing together goth stylings with synth-pop to create what she callls ‘dark pop’, Charli XCX has a distinctive image and sound that has clearly been carefully honed over the past few years. Her 'Nuclear Seasons' release was the most exciting pop music I heard last year from a British artist and she’s kept up the momentum with the lovely, more upbeat ‘Valentine’, released unsurpringly on Valentine’s Day. (Rajan Lakhani)
I've talked of the entrancing live performances and wonderfully ethereal folk tales in the past, and in 2012, it looks like Daughter may well break into the mainstream. It's still a way off but with the likes of Laura Marling now firmly established, it's eminently possible. Possibly imminently. (Saam Das)
Named after Brian Wilson’s favourite Beach Boys album, the Brooklyn quintet have already began to kick up a storm with songs like 'Friend Crush' and 'I’m His Girl': post-disco “dance” tracks with fruitful vocals and a slight indie edge- sounds fun, right? Comprised of actual childhood friends (how appropriate) and all coming together by sheer fluke (bed bugs, would you believe?) Friends have surpassed the whole ‘mates-pissing-about-in-a-band-for-a-laugh-thing’ and have actually produced some decent music, but if they are just pissing about who cares? They’re fucking brilliant either way. (Emily Arc)