Tips / Ones To Watch 2012: Michael Kiwanuka, Niki & The Dove + Oliver Tank

on Friday, February 24, 2012
Words: Saam Das (unless otherwise stated)

Part three of our four part series of bands to watch/tips for 2012. In this post, myself, Jack Thomson and Rajan Lakhani all offer a tip. The final part arrives in due course.

Michael Kiwanuka

Winning the BBC Sound of 2012 Poll can be perceived as being a bad thing, thrusting artists into the lime light and putting pressure on them to deliver a big selling album. Michael Kiwanuka seems to have acknowledged his accolade, but carried on doing exactly what he does best, writing beautifully touching, laid back songs that wouldn't sound out of place along side any of Randy Newman's film scores. An authentic artist writing songs from the heart; 2012 is definitely going to see Michael Kiwunuka become a household name. (Jack Thomson)

Niki & The Dove

Niki & The Dove have a beguiling mystery about them, underlined by the animalistic imagery which has been a feature of their output so far. Describing them as yet another kooky electro-pop duo would do them a major disservice as there is an individual, atmospheric quality to the music they have released so far. The first song I heard by them was 'The Fox', downloadable below. It is a melancholy affair that builds to a huge chorus and has even bigger, booming beats backing it. It was unlike anything I’d heard last year but underneath the cacophony is a simple melody which prevents it from being overpowering - they're well on course to be the 'Bjorn Borgs of pop music'. (Rajan Lakhani)

Oliver Tank

One of last year's most stunning tracks had to be 'Last Night I Heard Everything In Slow Motion' by Australian producer Oliver Tank, its poignancy emboldened by its use in a civil rights campaign. Doing the James Blake minimalism-meets-post-dubstep thing but in a much more compelling manner, Tank may not become the critical darling his predecessor became but along with the likes of Psychologist, he'll undoubtedly continue to produce jaw-dropping music during 2012. (Saam Das)

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