Tips for 2012 - Part One

Following from my review of my 'Tips for 2011', the next five posts are going to be my '15 Tips for 2012' listed alphabetically. As with last years posts, my tips aren't necessarily fifteen acts I'm tipping for stardom (though a few perhaps will hit the mainstream) but are fifteen of (I could have picked more) the new acts (my only criteria to be in this list is that the artist cannot have released an LP previously) that I believe will offer some of the best releases of the forthcoming year, without further rambling, straight on to part one;

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

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


Battlekat, the band formerly known as Just A Number 05272011 released one of the best EP's of 2011, though their '05272011–10242011' went mainly unnoticed (especially considering the incredible buzz their initial tracks "The Pain" / "He Didn't Want A Love Song" created in the blogging world), nevertheless, the Danish four-piece delivered a fantastic six track extended play that combined the powerful, hypnotic beats of The Knife with a mainstream crossover potential of Robyn.

The tracks in their arsenal are already outstanding, the confident "All The Useless Things" sees crunching electro beats, rushing percussion and icy cool synths combine with vocalist Matilde's wonderfully distinctive high-pitched vocals in faultless manner. The highly charged "Business" continues with their twisted, rapid beats was could easily be remixed (and have) to make either a techno club anthem or dance-floor filler while "Mother Nature" is an altogether edgier affair, a darker ambience, abrasive and metallic with electronic glitches, warped distorted vocals and pulsating beats.

I caught one of their London shows at Madame Jo Jo's and for a band that had were less than six months old it was an incredible performance, polished, confident and aggressive. Battlekat can do brooding, they can do infectiously catchy and they can do warped mysticism all with apparent ease. I'm looking forward to their return to London and, of course, new material (hopefully in 2012).



You know when you hear two or three songs from a band and think "wow, this is just fantastic" and then you realise that those songs are the very first songs released by a band that haven't even played live, so you rush to see their second ever (I couldn't make the first) live show and you leave even more impressed and are itching to hear more (coincidently that show was the same bill as the previous tip, Battlekat), well that's what happened with Carousels (Lucy Wilson and Nick Benton), I'm still itching to hear more now.

What we have (so fare) are three stunning tracks, I'm still pretty happy with what I wrote back in July so here it is again; ""Here to Me" is arguably my favourite, buzzing chain-saw guitar riffs, layers of feedback and a gorgeous flowing melody, there is even room for some hand-claps, what isn't there to like?!. "Sleep" is a stomping, droney shoegaze wonder that sounds like it was made in the 90's, walls of energetic guitar noise, hard-hitting drum-loops and Lucy's soft butter wouldn't melt vocals. Fantastic".

Nothing official for me to point you in the way to buy yet, just fall in love with their music like I have and hope that 2012 brings more, much more.

HERE TO ME by Carousels

Cold Specks

Is seeing someone perform for fifteen minutes long enough time to categorically say that they are 100% deserving of a place in a 'tips for 2012' thread? I think so, I'd previous featured Cold Specks back in July and had this to say...

"One listen and it's easy to see why the hyperbole is in overdrive, her voice is extraordinary. Her soulful, smoky purr will hit you like a freight train and "Holland" uses its strength and beauty perfectly. A dark, gospel track, it starts melancholic and graceful as it develops around her voice whilst delicate guitar plucks, sweeping strings and a repetitive drum beat build up to reach an empowering finale. Haunting, spiritual, beautiful"

...Yet until she blew me away with a short (stripped back) set supporting Josh T. Pearson at Barbican Hall a week or so back I hadn't completely decided on this post, five minutes into the set I had. The rest of the crowd sensed it too, for a support act there was complete silence and an overwhelming applause at the end of the set, a crowd that perhaps hadn't heard of Cold Specks (the moniker of Al Spx) left knowing it alright.

Trophy hunters should seek out her debut 7” ‘Holland’ now, limited to just 250 copies and available here. Check out the video for one of the tracks she played at the Barbican “Lay Me Down", her incredible voice, the intimate nature of it all, simply stunning. Watch this space.