Tips for 2012 - Part Five

So onto the fifth and final tips for 2012, as much as I enjoy all the end of year list culture, I am looking forward to the blog returning to normality, though when I say that, I mean in the New Year. The next week or so will bring a combination of some normal "Introducing" posts I've been saving for post-list and some seasonal posts, then I'm taking a very much deserved, and possibly needed break of 7-10 days before returning in very early January.

Just Music That I Like's Tips for 2012 - Part Five.

Previous parts can be found here: One // Two // Three // Four // Five

Rachel Sermanni
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Again, perhaps for regular readers an obvious pick, Rachel Sermanni has been a firm favourite here since she caused me goosebumps when I first saw her back in May at The Great Escape Festival, her pure and beautiful voice matched by an enchanting storytelling song craft left me completely smitten, her lyrics inspired by her homeland, traditional Scottish music and poetry are intoxicating and natural throughout.

There is a busy start to the year for Rachel with a string of Scottish dates as well as a London show at Union Chapel alongside Russian Red (tickets) and the release of her debut EP 'Black Currents' on the 30th of Jan, the four track release is sure to be just the start for of her career (although she's a familiar face on the live circuit already), a perfect showcase for her stunning vocals and seemingly effortless blend of genteel meandering acoustic moments and haunting, bold and defiant melodies.

It's impossible to pick a highlight amongst the EP, the wonderful narrative and delicate waltz of "Song to a Fox", then there's "Breathe Easy", the most beautiful of the four, blissful and pure or "The Fog" darker, where strong instrumentation leads you down into a shrouded, alluring universe and finally, the ebbs and flows of the yearning title-track, throughout it's equally delicate and captivating, a stunning release from an artist sure to be the soundtrack to many afternoon's up and down the country.

The Fog by Rachel Sermanni



Stealing Sheep
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Stealing Sheep's recent retrospective EP "Noah & The Paper Moon" was a wonderful introduction to many who were first put onto the Liverpool based trio thanks to their signing to the equally lovely Heavenly Recordings, I had this to say of the release back in October:

"If you've yet to fall for the trio's mystical and undeniably sweet charms then "Paper Moon" is a great entry point, off-kilter rhythms, hand-claps and whimsical melodies all swathed in beautiful harmonies and tribal drums add up to a track that is equally entrancing and brilliantly fun".

Those of us who've been following the girls for a little longer are looking forward to 2012, a year that promises a debut album and (many) more live shows (after recent successful support slots with Emmy The Great / Slow Club with a February tour with Field Music is already announced). Their distinctive take of psychedelic / folk pop combines quirky, delightful rhythms that can literally go anywhere over their duration entwine around layers of gentle electronic washes, intricate guitar textures and genuinely sumptuous three way vocal harmonies, yeah, I'm looking forward to hearing more of that!

Stealing Sheep 'Paper Moon' by heavenlyrecordings





2:54
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The last pick is another that returns from last years tips post (so to avoid too much repetition, I'll keep it brief), 2:54, the Thurlow sisters 90's inspired scuzzy, grunge pop is I think guaranteed to (belatedly) take the world by storm, their recent 'Scarlet' EP highlighted every thing there is to get giddy about in four tracks of smoky, smouldering and moody atmospheric pop.

Take the title-track “Scarlet” for instance, where a sharp, reverb drenched guitars, chugging bass and Colette's gorgeous, seductive purrs pour out, wrap themselves around you and won't let you go.

One thing for certain, I'm certainly looking forward to catching them live after missing out on the last shows. If 2:54 follow up on the quality of their current releases, 2012 is for the taking.

2:54 - On A Wire by House Anxiety




Anyway, that's your lot, there were at least ten more bands I could have picked, I won't name them, you'll know them by continual praise of them over the forthcoming 12 months. New bands aside, 2012 is shaping up good with new releases from Perfume Genius, The Joy Formidable, Islet, Blood Red Shoes, Tennis and hundreds more planned / to be announced. Can't wait.