Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Features//A-Z of 2012

A is for Azealia Banks//The Harlem rapper topped the NME’s “cool list” for 2011 and is on the BBC’s “Sound of 2012” poll, she’s still unsigned but it won’t be long till she’s signed up. A real buzz artist for 2012.
B is for Bestival//It keeps on getting better and better. In 2011 they had The Cure and Bjork, so if they can improve on that, then it will be incredible.
C is for CDs//A scary internet rumour suggested that CDs could soon be discontinued by major labels. It has been rubbished in reports, but unless they start selling, they could join cassette tapes in being lost forever.
D is for Dry the River//As the “new folk” bandwagon continues to grow, Dry the River are the latest band to sign to a major label. After hyped sets at The Great Escape and Reading and Leeds, they will no doubt be regulars on the festival circuit this coming summer.
E is for Emeli Sande//The Scottish soul singer is tipped to have a big year in 2012. She has already written for the likes of Tinie Tempah, Cheryl Cole, Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle and has been voted as the “Critics’ Choice” for the 2012 Brit Awards.
F is for Friends//Not an ode to the TV sitcom, these New Yorkers have been described as the “new Warpaint.” A more poppier affair than Warpaint’s shoegaze style, they have used R’NB influences to harness their sound.
G is for Greg Dulli//The Twilight Singers man returns to his day job in 2012, as The Afghan Whigs play their first shows in 13 years at ATP concerts in London and New Jersey. Their excellent soul-influenced rock produced classic albums such as Gentlemen and Black Love in the nineties, so make sure you don’t miss this.
H is for Howler//Poster boys for the NME in 2012 no doubt, the Minneapolis quintet have been compared to a hybrid of The Strokes, The Drums and The Vaccines. Their debut album America Give Up is released this month.
I is for Isle of Wight//With no Glasto in 2012, IOW are clearly keen to fill in for them, taking their weekend spot and also by booking Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Pearl Jam in as headliners, they have surely already produced the best UK headliners of any festival this year.
J is for Justice//They make their big return in 2012 and have already been booked for some European festivals, so expect to see them on the UK festival circuit.
K is for Killers//The Las Vegas band also return with a new album in tow in 2012. Except more synth anthems and indie dancefloor fillers.
L is for Lana Del Rey//The biggest star of the last few months of 2011, Elizabeth Grant will be even bigger in 2012. After the success of “Video Games”, debut album Born to Die, released at the end of January, will be one of the biggest and hotly-anticipated releases of the year. So unless you unplug your internet for a whole year, it will be hard to avoid her. That may still not be enough though.
M is for Maccabees//They look set to release the so-called ‘album of their careers’ on 9 January. They have taken their inspiration from the likes of The Stone Roses, Kate Bush and David Bowie on this album, and it sounds like a big change from the jangly indie pop of previous work.
N is for No Doubt//Set to return after a 10 year absence in 2012, the Orange County band will release a as yet untitled new album and are heavily rumoured to be at Coachella festival.
O is for Oceania//Billy Corgan has been calling Oceania, Smashing Pumpkins’ “best release for 16 years.” Following the positive reactions to new songs on their recent autumn tour, it’s fair to say that this could indeed be the real deal. There is definitely a big hole for a huge rock band to release a quality album at the moment, so hopefully the Chicago band will be the ones to do it.
P is for Phoenix Festival//Living up to its name and rising from the ashes, the Phoenix Festival will be returning in 2012 after it had disbanded in 1998. There is certainly a hole in the UK for a major alternative music festival, so fingers crossed it can deliver.
Q is for Queen//If you will believe rumours circulating around the internet, then Brian May and Roger Taylor are set to tour with Queen this year. American Idol singer Adam Lambert is rumoured to be the singer for this tour.
R is for Reunions//Has their been a better year for reunions than 2012? Stone Roses and Black Sabbath top the list of excited music fans’ list.
S is for Spector//Bespectacled indie five piece have been compared to The Killers and The Strokes and are on the BBC’s “sound of 2012” poll. Expect them at loads of festivals this year.
T is for Tribes//The Camden quartet release their debut album Baby in January. Hotly tipped at the start of 2011, this year should see them on an even higher pedestal.
U is for Universal//After buying EMI, the label will be even bigger in 2012, so except a dominance from them and their artists in coming years.
V is for Van Halen//The Hard Rock legends are returning with a new album and a new world tour. Rumoured for Sonisphere festival too.
W is for Wolf//Tyler, the creator was one of the biggest names in music and most out-spoken people in 2011 and his 2012 album, Wolf, should see him continue to make headlines for the right, and probably wrong, reasons again.
X is for XX//They seemed to have disappeared after their Mercury Award-winning self-titled debut in 2009, but the London band are back in 2012. Their second release will be highly anticipated and expected to follow on from their critically-acclaimed debut. No pressure then!
Y is for Y-Not//The Derbyshire festival continues to grow, being named “best grassroots festival” and “best festival toilets” in 2011. Of course if you’ve ever been to a festival, then you’d appreciate how important the latter award is.
Z is for ZZ Top//The veterans are back, with another album on the way in 2012, the first release in nine years. They are sure to also claim their “best beards in music” title back too.

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