BBC will soon put out its Sounds of 2011 list, its annual rundown of hot new artists to watch in the next year. I like to look back around now and see how the last batch did. I've ranked them based on my own judgment of their success, based on popular (chart) and critical factors:
My rank. Name (BBC Sounds of 2010 rank, if available). With UK albums chart and singles chart positions:
1. Ellie Goulding (1). Although none of the BBC Sounds of 2010 artists managed to become as big as those in years past, Ellie Goulding, who won the title, did manage to accrue the most success. Her debut album hit #1 on the UK albums chart, the only artist of the 2010 list to do so. Her first single, "Starry Eyed," was a #4 hit earlier this year, and a remake of Elton John's "Your Song" has become the surprise hit of the season, currently #2. UK albums chart: Lights: #1. Biggest single: "Your Song," #2.
2. The Drums (5). Not a big hitmaker, but the '80s-loving American indie bands had one of the year's most acclaimed albums, so they've managed to attract a lot of attention. UK album charts: The Drums, #16. Biggest single: "Let's Go Surfing," #63.
3. Owl City. This band had a massive international hit with "Fireflies" and then never found a worthy follow-up. UK albums chart: Ocean Eyes, #7. Biggest single: "Fireflies," #1.
4. Marina & the Diamonds (2). This act was so hyped that it seemed she would be the biggest thing from the list. Yet, it never really happened. UK albums chart: The Family Jewels, #5. Biggest single: "Hollywood," #12.
5. Hurts (4). This synth duo put out a rather grand album this year and was probably more successful than expected. UK albums chart: Happiness, #4. Biggest single: "Wonderful Life," #21.
6. Devlin. The British rapper didn't release his album until October, so he may still be on the rise. His recent single, "Runaway," was fairly successful. UK albums chart: Bud, Sweat, and Tears, #21. Biggest single: "Runaway," #15.
7. Delphic (3). I hope this band gets a shot with a second album, because they seem to have a lot of potential. Their single, "Doubt," wasn't a major hit, but it should have been. UK albums chart: Acolyte, #8. Biggest single: "Doubt," #79.
8. Stornoway. British indie/folk band had a somewhat successful album, although I never heard anything about them throughout the year. UK albums chart: Beachcomber's Windowsill, #14. Biggest single: "Zorbing," #74
9. Giggs. Another British rapper that's made a few waves, but not a significant impact, although he did appear as a guest on Tinchy Stryder's recent top 40 hit "Game Over." UK albums chart: Let Em Ave It, #35. Biggest single: "Look What the Cat Dragged in," #53.
10. Daisy Dares You. This one never seemed to take off. She put out a single, with a lukewarm reception, and then the album, although apparently recorded, was never released. Biggest single: "Number One Enemy" (feat. Chipmunk), #13.
11. Everything Everything. British art rockers that didn't make much impact. UK albums chart: Man Alive, #17.
12. Two Door Cinema Club. I'm a bit biased on this one, as I heard about this band early in the year, got their album, and loved it. I'm surprised they never really took off, although Radio 1 still plays their singles (despite none of them becoming hits). UK albums chart: Tourist History, #46.
13. Gold Panda. No significant hits to date, although, I actually have his dreamy electronic album, Lucky Shiner, and it's quite nice. No hit albums or singles.
14. Rox. British soul singer that hasn't really broken out yet. UK albums chart: Memoirs, #97. Biggest single: "
15. Joy Orbison. British dance music artist that I can't say I know anything about. No significant hits to date.
And just for fun, a quick second look at the 2009 club, to see how they're doing 2 years on:
1. Lady Gaga. Clearly, one of the world's biggest pop stars at the moment. She also just received six more Grammy nominations BBC rank: 6. My rank last year: 1.
2. Florence + the Machine. Still building their name and having some success with "Dog Days Are Over" in the US, which was featured last week on Glee. Just scored a Grammy nomination for best new artist. BBC rank: 3. My rank last year: 3.
3. La Roux. "Bulletproof" was a big hit in the US this year; Grammy nominations followed. BBC rank: 5. My rank last year: 2.
4. Mumford & Sons. They've built quite a following over the last year and, like Florence + the Machine, just scored a Grammy nomination for best new artist. BBC rank: (not in the top 10). My rank last year: 10.
5. Kid Cudi. Still not huge, but scored another hit with David Guetta this year. BBC rank: 8. My rank last year: 5.