Unless you’re getting excited about the X-Factor winner’s inevitable Christmas release, or happy to step on the band-wagoning, anti-Cowell, counter-single, usually of something equally as pointless, then you can consider December something of graveyard when it comes to discovering new music. Now that the BBC Sound Of 2012 Poll has been announced, most record labels, PR firms, or self-promoting artists are now going to wait until the new year before pushing any serious, new contenders our way. It’s understandable, as Christmas retail is for the mass market and the various commentators on music also need holidays too. It’s also why you begin to see the tidal wave of ‘Best of 2011‘ lists appearing on blog posts as they generously hand out talking points to their readers in place of new discoveries.
The Recommender is no different, as we love an end of year round up as much as anyone, and it’s also our way of reminding readers of our tastes and coverage. However, the discoveries aren’t over quite yet. One of our favourite PR firms recently got in touch with an absolute gem. This blog never stops looking for new music, and the world of music discovery is one of those gifts that keeps on giving, even if you gotta search that little bit harder this time of year. It’s also a period in which we can begin clearing through swathes of our over-flowing inbox – a process that lead to us opening this PR firm’s recent email. As a footnote to all this, somewhat interestingly, November and December are traditionally the busiest two months of the year for traffic on this blog – which we suspect is the case across a lot of blogs, possibly because of those end of year roundups – so in all honesty, if you’re a looking to punt an artist around, then now would be the perfect time to try and gain some useful coverage.
Today’s recommendation is so damn good that we’re more than happy to give him coverage during this time when our spotlight is at it’s brightest, as reader numbers peak. It’s the least we can do for someone this special. Jagwar Ma is the new project from solo artist Jono Ma, formerly of The Lost Valentinos. He’s an Australian musician and producer, who you may see on the production credits for Foals last album no less, a band who are apparently lining up to remix his work in the coming releases. He’s also been credited for composing the music for the recent Australian hit show, The Slap. What ever your thoughts on that hard-edged show, the score has been remarkably tidy throughout, (hit it up on the BBC iPlayer right now, as it’s mid-series in the UK). Jagwar Ma’s now busy lining up a release of his debut single, the exceptionally brilliant Come Save Me, for February 2012.
The tune is likely to head straight onto our ‘Top 40 Tracks of 2012‘ list and should see Jagwar Ma launch into the public’s attention next year. It has broad appeal, combined with an ultra cool finish. It’s Phil Spector-inspired 60s pop beat, (which is apparently tapped out by Warpaint‘s Stella Mozgawa), kicks it off like an instantly-likeable motown hit. The vocals, from Ghostwood‘s Gabriel Winterfield, then slide in as if they’d been signed for at the door by Tim Burgess. In fact the 1990′s Manchester-centred obsession with the 1960s is a theme Jagwar Ma repeats, as tinges of The Charlatans and Happy Mondays spring up throughout. The psychedelic tweaks will have you checking to see if The Chemical Brothers are in fact also on the single’s credits. It’s a tune that we imagine will have Kasabian falling over themselves for.
What Love is another tune that’s so fine no explanation will be needed to sell it. Just try it out. Go on, have a taste. See. Yes, it really is that good. Like the best bits of early Primal Scream it will be stuck on repeat as if Nasa had designed the glue. It’s utterly yummy, as more-ish as scoring heroin off of Heston Blumenthal. It combines the kind of ambient house throb that The Orb used to march around, with another set of mantra-like vocals. The other available tune is a remix of Bumblebeez‘s Betty Jane, which he takes from it’s now-dated electro roots and warms it up like a Royksopp single. It’s born to be played at the end of a set. In fact we’ve already decided that were going to close Recommender DJ sets with it. We also might start describing ourselves as an “Internet Cowboy” from now on. For such a bright and exciting batch of set-closing tunes, we can’t think of a better way to start signing off 2011 than with Jagwar Ma. Who said December was a barren period? With this talent, plus his obvious industry connections with other established artists, and his refined production skills, this artist is all set for some serious traction through 2012. (MB)
JAGWAR MA – COME SAVE ME
BUMBLEBEEZ – BETTY JANE (JAGWAR MA’S LOVE ME REMIX)
JAGWAR MA – WHAT LOVE