Blog Sound of 2013: My views

Earlier today I posted the fifteen acts who made the Blog Sound of 2013 list. It's the only time throughout the year where I post acts I don't really like, the title of this blog kind of indicates it, but, this blog aims to only post about music which ticks my boxes, it's a lot more fun to write about stuff which excites you and I don't quite see the point in spending your time purposely posting a critical blog about something that someone has recorded. Ignoring pretty much everything I just said in that paragraph, I'll now give a brief opinion piece to each of the acts that made the Blog Sound long-list.

Three of my five picks made the list, I won't reveal all now (my own personal picks are coming later this week). If you want to read all the information and stream a track from each act, check out the original Blog Sound 2013 post here.

AlunaGeorge: I'd heard of the name but haven't listened to them before, I thought they'd been around for ages now. "Your Drums, Your Love" takes my AG virginity (though as it runs for less than two minutes I'm guessing it's just a sample of the track), described as R&B/pop in the Blog Sound PR description sheet I'd agree with that, smooth female vocals which are nice but it's too poppy for me an doesn't really go anywhere, the samples are extremely annoying too. No doubt they'll do very well for themselves but it's not for me, though their inclusion here is no real shock.

Curxes: A band I've featured here on numerous occasions but one who I didn't expect to feature in this list despite picking up some pretty good UK blog press throughout the year (perhaps the nature of the polling helped that), "Spectre" sums up what the duo are all about, dark and dramatic, crazed synth beat and Roberta's incredible vocals combine for fast-paced industrial synth-pop that grabs your attention and doesn't let go. Whether the commercial success this inclusion will follow I don't know but Curxes are a band who have bold visions and powerful songs and I hope it does.

Chvrches: An act who've been posted by just about every blog in the past month so it comes as no surprise to me to see their inclusion, electro-pop by a Scottish act who I'm sure I read feature a member of Aerogramme which comes as a surprise because they were a good band and this is not, it's wishy-washy pop by numbers that will no doubt get remixed and be played in every club up and down the country. The sort of club that I fucking hate. It maybe because I'm currently experiencing a two day hangover but I'm too old for this.

Daughter: I keep telling you Daughter will be huge next and it seems fellow bloggers agree, of course they would, Elena Tonra has a voice from the heavens and a pile of songs to back it up. I'll not repeat myself too much and keep this one nice and short, Daughter are contenders for 2013 artist of the year, yes already.

Haim: Another act certain to make this list and deserving of it too, who'd of thought twelve months ago we'd never heard of the sister's Haim, their appearance in 2012 has made it all the better. Look forward to seeing and hearing more Haim here soon...

Laura Mvula: A name I'd heard and had been meaning to check out, so thanks to this list I have... "She" is nice, a very strong voice and sparse backing with gospel harmonies (though they do go on a bit at the end!), it ticks most of my boxes for sure but doesn't quite give me any 'wow' factor. Pleasant but, as yet, not exactly ground breaking. I'd investigate Laura further for sure.... I did "Like The Morning Dew" makes it a no. A lovely voice for sure, I hope she does well for herself.

MØ: I'm definitely noticing a theme of soulful female vocals backed by glitchy synth pop here, I guess UK bloggers like their electronic music! Danish act MØ add in horns and it's better than both Chvrches and AlunaGeorge that I've just heard, I'd probably investigate another song but as I've said recently, my tastes have moved away from electro-pop in recent months, probably because very few acts make it sound good live. The aforementioned Curxes are an exception, they command your attention in both formats, I've never seen MØ so I can't comment for them but a few people nodding behind a keyboard doesn't do it for me.

Palma Violets: Ah, an act I've avoided like the plague after hearing numerous unsavoury reports from friends who saw them alongside Savages earlier in the year, the NME picking up on them and heralding them as saviours of guitars (for about what, the 100th time) didn't help. It's safe to say I'd rather be eating (or listening to) their namesakes Parma Violets, they're the sort of sweet that taste like soap but are more-ish and before you know it (and understand it) you've eaten a whole packet. I've an amusing story of a friend being sick after drinking/eating a full 1.5 litre bottle of cheap mineral water / Parma Violets cocktail when I was young on a school trip to France too, but that's probably only amusing when drunk, uncannily just like "Best of Friends", which isn't actually that bad until the vocals start, sounding like your mate on karaoke at 3am, I think I'd need a few more beers (or water/Parma Violet cocktails) to press play on this one again.

Pins: See boys this is how you make guitar music sound good. Pins are edgy and fun with addictive melodies and spiky vocals, I'm being short and to the point on bands I like and have featured here before like Pins, who recently joined a select group of bands that I've seen play live in three different cities (when you live in London, there generally isn't the need to travel too far). Looking forward to hearing their debut album which will hopefully come out in 2013.

Randolph’s Leap: I'd never so much as heard of this band until I got the email with the Blog Sound long-list, apparently from Glasgow, from the press picture it looks they could be an entire army, the track "Hermit" is good, reminding me of Fanfarlo or Beirut which is no bad thing really. I went to their bandcamp but there are so many tracks to pick from it put me off. I'll investigate this lot further another time I think.

Rhye: Another one of those 'meant to listen to you' acts, the repetitive keys remind me of "La Ritournelle" by Sébastien Tellier which is no bad thing and the vocals are silky smooth, soft and beautiful just like the sort of thing that ends up featured here quite a lot. I'm sitting on the fence with Rhye though, I wonder if 2013 will change that.

Savages: Oh, hi Savages, you were an obvious choice weren't you. Yes of course, but a right one this time (in my humble opinion of course). Savages are currently recording their debut album and it's going to make them even bigger than they already are.

Seasfire: More glitches, more ambience, more smooth vocals and another hyped band, though Seasfire are all boys, I've listened to their track "Falling" and now I'm ready to fall asleep. Is that the desired effect?

The Neighbourhood: Another completely new band to me and I wish it stayed that way. This is horrid, the sort of thing you'd expect to find on a prime-time talent show and not a list drawn up by UK bloggers. Who voted for this?! I'm coming to find you and to play you something good. I joke, but in all seriousness, this is shit.

Tom Odell: Radio two are going to love Tom Odell, your Mum is going to love Tom Odell, perhaps you're going to love Tom Odell but I'm probably not. It sounds like Jaime Cullum. It gets more and more bland as you listen to it. Next years John Lewis Christmas advert anyone?

Perhaps I should have done that when I was in a better mood! Don't worry, I'm back to the positive superlatives tomorrow.