Thursday, 27 December 2012

Music In General: Sound of 2013

We've been looking around, searching the depths of the internet and our music libraries to find out the answer to 2013's question. There wasn't much of a difference between releases in 2011 and 2012. If anything, electronic music has moved forward and hip-hop/r&b has reached an audience that R.Kelly could only ever dream of reaching. Don’t force it Eddie, don't force it.

It’s interesting to note the 2012 rise of 90s r&b sensation Usher. His song Climax has featured in many end of year lists - and this is after Frank Ocean and The Weeknd. We may not be expecting another Frank Ocean album for a while; however the same does not apply to The Weeknd. Three mixtape releases in 2011, the compilation of the trio in 2012 and now, glorified exposure. On Republic Records, The Weeknd finds himself on the same label as the late Amy Winehouse and dubstep's James Blake (who may release his second album this year). The Weeknd's debut album is inevitable, and when it comes... It will come. The electronic sampler with a soul voice of gold will no doubt put his stamp on 2013. Maybe Frank Ocean's rise was a little too predictable. After making BBC's very own Sound of... list in late 2011, Ocean delivered an album of sophisticated genius in mid-2012.

The popularity of Frank Ocean and The Weeknd can only mean one thing, more r&b artists. London electronic duo AlunaGeorge combines the electronic instrumentation of The XX with Jessie Ware-esque pop. On the back of three successful singles, AlunaGeorge now have an album to look forward too. The next few months will be vital for artists to establish themselves in 2013, they will fight to be recognised, but in Britian they fight to be remembered.

Two albums Jordan will be looking forward to hearing in 2013, Jamie Lidell and Depeche Mode. I'm sure he will be joining me in the anticipation as Thom Yorke's ever increasing repertoire sees him join forces with his long-time producer and friend Nigel Godrich, Flea and Mauro Refosco from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and journeyman Joey Waronker on drums to complete the line-up of Atoms for Peace. They won't be the only veterans to release an album in 2013, we're expecting releases from Arcade Fire, Yo La Tengo, Low and My Bloody Valentine, but don't get your hopes up on the latter.

Some of 2012s unsigned, now signed or in the process of being signed will be releasing albums in 2013. Chaotic post-punk Savages will be putting out their debut album, and Canada's new kid on the block Doldrums will be doing the same. I'm hopeful over two Italian Beach Babes artists, Fear of Men and Novella. Joining these will be artists finally putting out their sophomore's, Beach Fossils, Iceage and Veronica Falls.

It's been a while since I've heard a third album failure, so when Foals release Holy Fire, I'm hoping the material will be like Inhaler rather than the other tracks we have already heard. Meanwhile Scotland's finest indie folk band are back, Frightened Rabbits release their fourth album in February. It looks like it will be a busy year for the established artists, so maybe the debutants will miss out a little in 2013.

That leaves just enough time for upcoming albums from The Knife, M.I.A, Major Lazer and Azealia Banks to wrap up an exciting year of music. It's expected to be one of the most abundant years for music variety, and I can't wait to get my hands on the new music that awaits us.

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