In the time of year where one is barraged with “best of 2012” lists, as people try to remember what albums came out pre-February and erase any remnants of “Gangnam Style” from their mind, we feel it is just as important to look forward to what 2013 holds for new music.
The BBC sound of 2013 is usually a good indicator of what to expect; however more often than not it manages to miss a few important names off the list (Alt J and Jessie Ware, two of this years biggest breakthrough acts were nowhere to be seen). Nevertheless, the unpredictability factor that comes with new music is what makes it so rousing, and in that vein we thought we would offer our take on proceedings.
Here’s the first in a series of artists we think will breakthrough over the next 12 months.
It is somewhat presumptuous to say a band are going to be big after two songs, but CHVRCHES have crafted one of the most resonant debut singles of the year (with no religious connotations like their name would suggest). With the sprawling atmospherics of M83 and the heavy synth groundings of The Knife, “The Mother We Share” finds the perfect mix between intensity and vulnerability, as Lauren Mayberry’s fragile on beat falsetto counteracts booming electronics with ease. The Glasgow three piece present a darker take on the electronica we’ve seen in 2012, building upon foundations laid by Grimes and Purity Ring but still possess undoubtable mainstream appeal.
The warmth of their sound envelops you on impact like a musical blanket yet the dejected lyrical content provides some solemn emotional grounding, as Mayberry recites an indignant chorus “The mother we share will never keep our cold hearts from thawing”. This mix of gloom and euphoria is what sets them apart from their peers, and a trait that carries through their arguably small body of work (thus far anyway). “Lies” the second single to hit the web, follows a similar formula with a sound not too dissimilar to electro-crooner “Robyn”, yet feels like it offers more under the surface through the pleading urgency of the acutely accented vocals.
A recent session for Huw Stephens on Radio 1 would indicate that the Glaswegians have a lot more up their sleeves, with an album apparently in the works for 2013. Fans of M83 or more leftfield electronica acts will fall in love with this group in equal measure, and we can’t wait to witness their inevitable rise in the coming months.