Words: Glen Byford
Whilst the BBC and the like flout a number of hype bands as the next big thing for 2014, I'll be a little shrewder with my estimations and instead turn my attention to a couple of artists and labels that I hope will garner the attention they deserve over the next 12 months and beyond.
First up is a band that I've been fortunate to catch on a number of occasions without straying too far from home, Decoy Jet formed in early 2013 in the leafy North London suburb of Enfield and have swiftly got stuck in with the supportive underdog music scene cultivated in the borough I reside. Their sound is a love letter to British sensibilities, melding mod revival and a 90s brit-pop twist with the jingle-jangle of more recent noughties indie pop staples, creating a simplistic and pleasing paean to this Isle's musical heritage.
Although their presence online currently offers slim-pickings, a demo EP direct from the band has found its way into my inbox and onto my iPod, which shows huge promise and bears a number of no-nonsense earworms, and their rise isn't just restricted to North London, because the boys have been hitting up venues across London and beyond including the taste making This Feeling at The Queen of Hoxton where a certain Carl Barat has taken a shine to them at a formative time of their career.
Another band that I'm hoping to hear a lot more of in the next 12 months is the majestic and glacial cool, Sheen, walking a knife's edge when it comes to pigeon holing, their own blend of shoegaze seems to hold its head high, washed over in dream-pop colours and atmospherics that sometimes have to beam through a fug of overwrought guitars that build with dread and menace, their sound beautifully contrasts lightness and dark, coming on like a tea party with fine china held in an opiate fuelled squat.
My initial awareness of the band is due to one of the members hailing from the same corner of the globe as Decoy Jet that I call home, always keen to support local talent, it is to my shame that it has taken me so long to really focus my attention on their efforts. I don't make New Years resolutions, but I will make a promise to myself and to the band to get myself along to a gig in 2014 as soon as I am physically able to do so, and I look forward to revelling in more of their wondrous noise.
Two more trusted sources of music that I hope will continue to thrill and delight me this year are the labels Wah Wah 45s and Auditory Field Theory both of whom proved their impeccable taste in 2013 with a number of stunning releases, the likes of Hackney Colliery Band, Paper Tigers, Lea Lea and label boss Scrimshire from Wah Wah 45s, and those with more ambient inclinations could do far worse than take a voyage of discovery through Auditory Field Theory's back catalogue. The fledgling label debuted with their first release in January of last year, but have proved to be an eclectic and esoteric habitat for experimentalism in a number of forms that I will be keeping a close eye on over the coming year.
Find more at @glenbyford.