Next year's list is out. Check them out on the official Sounds of 2011 website or read my rundown:
She's the biggest name on the list so far, having scored a top 40 hit a couple weeks ago with her first single, "Do It Like a Dude." The singer, from Essex, England, is also the most "pop" of the artists on this year's list.
The Naked and Famous
This New Zealand-based band has already made big waves in their homeland, scoring a #1 hit last summer with their first single, "Young Blood." Now the rest of the world will get a chance to hear them. Their single, "Punching in a Dream" was released in Britain this week and, along with "Young Blood," is also available in the US. Their sound is a bit new wave-y in the way that MGMT and Empire of the Sun can be.
This one I'd already heard of, as his recent single, the Feist cover "Limit to Your Love" has been getting play on Radio 1 and was released last week. His vocals evoke soul, while the moody electronic production sounds like Massive Attack, an exciting contrast. He's also release a number of more instrumental EPs.
This dance act comprised of producers Joe Ray and Dan Stephens with singer Alana has also garnered a decent amount of attention, with their new single "Me and You" currently on the B list at Radio 1 (It's out January 3). Love the video game-themed video. "Innocence" is already available.
She's drawn the attention from the likes of Brian Eno and Nick Cave, whose band Grinderman she toured with. Her first single, "Jezebel," has a bold sound with an obvious Spanish influence. Apparently it won't appear on her debut album, Anna Calvi, slated for a January release.
Mancunian singer-songwriter Daley got a big boost appearing as guest vocalist on Gorillaz's recent top 40 single "Doncamatic," setting the stage for his own debut next year. The video for his first single, "Rainy Day," is below. He's got a great voice. Reminds me a bit of Jai, but with more heft.
The 22-year-old singer from Birmingham, England, worked with producer Fraser T. Smith (Taio Cruz, Pixie Lott, Tinchy Stryder) on her debut album, Light After Dark, due in February. Her first single, "Ain't Nobody," is already out. Like Anna Calvi, she's got a pretty big sound, although more pop oriented from the sounds of this first track. She's offering a free track from her website.
Here's another one I've already heard on Radio 1. The buzz sound right now seems to be "electronic soul," (I think it's called "post dubstep") for that label also seems to describe his music, which has a strong ambient undercurrent.
This LA-based foursome benefits in my book for having two of its members come from Oregon. Their album, The Fool, was released in October.
Esben and the Witch
Both songs I've heard from this Brighton, England-based band have a dark, sinister sound to match the band's name. Their album, Violet Cries, is due at the end of January. Listen to "Warpath" on their website and check out "Marching Song" below.
Sweet soul falsetto meets fuzzy synth production on "BTSTU," Jai Paul's first single. Not sure what that means exactly, but it's an interesting song. Paul hails from London.
This Nashville, Tennessee-based band has a grungy rock sound on their single "Trouble on the Way."
This indie quartet hasn't had as much exposure of many of these other artists. One of the few that don't have something for sale at iTunes already.
The British grime rapper has been putting out singles since 2007, and even an album in 2008, so I'm surprised to see him on this list. Still, he hasn't broken out big yet, so maybe next year will be his year.
Another act I know little about, other than I what I read on the Sounds of 2011 website. It's a five-piece band whose members come from the US, Britain and Japan.