With a quaint and unusual sound that combines grand choruses with neat finger-picking and string arrangements, Stornoway deserve a place in your heart. Their debut album comes out next year but they’ve already released two singles, the spirited and stand-out song ‘Unfaithful’ and ‘Zorbing’ (which they performed on Jools Holland in 2009), a song about rolling down a massive hill in a see-through plastic ball. The song isn’t as good as that sounds, but it still makes a case for Stornoway to join Mumford and Sons in the great UK folk-rock revival. Also take a look at Oxford’s Jonquil (www.myspace.com/jonquiluk) for a slightly weirder take on the folk-rock template.
POST WAR YEARS www.myspace.com/thempostwaryears
Post War Years mix strong rhythms and off-kilter drums with synths on top of three different vocalists, creating indie but punk-ish rock in roughly the same vein as Foals. They released their promising debut album ‘The Greats and the Happenings’ in summer 2009 and have been prodding at the peripheries of widespread recognition ever since. Go find the album on Spotify now.
GOD HELP THE GIRL www.myspace.com/pleasegodhelpthegirl
Occupying Stuart Murdoch during Belle & Sebastian’s recent hiatus, God Help the Girl is a film and music project that features 9 different vocalists, ranging from the lead singer of The Divine Comedy, Neil Hannon, to a few unknown female singers. Murdoch has orchestrated a superb collaboration between these artists, the album (released last year) follows the romantic tribulations of a quirky single woman who needs all the help she can get in finding love. Evoking 60’s girl-band pop and classic 80’s indie, the record is both retro and a breath of fresh air. Expect the album to gain much more attention with the release of the accompanying film, by the same name, in late 2010.
BEACH HOUSE www.myspace.com/beachhousemusic
Supposedly Noughtie’s second coolest rock star (after Sir Jack White), Julian Casablancas’ favourite band, Beach House have been around a while but are expected to be everyone’s favourite band by the end of 2010. Slow, lilting dreamy songs are what the American Mid-Atlantic duo do and they do them well, fronted by Victoria Legrand, who has sung with mainstream indie newbies Grizzly Bear. Their third album, Teen Dream, comes out on January 25th.
THE DRUMS www.myspace.com/thedrumsforever
Already hyped to pieces by the NME and the other usual suspects, The Drums are officially ‘the next big thing’. But don’t take every lazy music journalist’s word for it, listen to their Beach Boys surf pop via the cool of New York City at their myspace and decide for yourself.
Channeling the post-punk dance of New Order, combining dancefloor synths and beats with anthemic choruses, Manchester trio Delphic are tipped to continue the dance-rock revival the Klaxons started in 2007- just don’t mention ‘nu-rave’. Debut album ‘Acolyte’ is out now.