The long list for the BBC Sound Of 2013 poll was announced today. Cue lots of good, healthy, pub-style debate about new music and anyone with an opinion can now wade into a discussion about who should have made the list and who shouldn’t. The blogs organised their own similar parallel list last week, (which you can see here), and this year sees lots of unexpected crossover. The Recommender is in the fortunate position of being able to vote on both polls, but please don’t blame us for any similarities.
You would think that our unique position gives us some insight, but alas, we simply submitted three suggestions in line with the rules. The results and the debate is long beyond our influence, so we melt back in with the punters when gazing through the final list of fifteen artists. The truth is, just because you vote doesn’t mean you agree with what comes of it, but with all that said, this list has lots to love about it.
Obviously a definitive line up like this will always split opinions. Once again there’s a wide range of artists, with something for everyone, but not everything for everyone, which is in part due to the larger number of voters and the varied corners of the industry that the BBC canvasses. There’s also surprise additions to the list and some glaring omissions. Little Green Cars only seemed to appear in October, although their mix of Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons is indeed deadly, but there seems to be fewer surprises than in previous years. Who was missing is always a talking point, with the likes of Flume, MO, Pins, Brolin, Rhye and The Neighbourhood, among a debated list of others, all seeming like immediate omissions, but that’s now for the bar room discussions.
The definition is still troubling some, as this many artists could all be the ‘sound of 2013′ in their particular genre. Several of the artists have appeared upon The Recommender, and although the likes of Haim, Chvrches and Angel Haze are all excellent, we’re not sure they deliver anything excitingly new to their particular genres – enough to truly stand out and make 2013 their own anyway. As for Savages, who we really like, we can’t help but consider them – and Palma Violets – to be doing anything particular futuristic with their music. Peace, Aluna George and The Weeknd have been around so long it seems unimaginable that they’ll be the sound of next year. We know blogs are often early adopters, but we fist recommended Peace back in November 2010 and Aluna George back in April 2011!
However, what it lacks in dominant stand outs, it makes up for with consistent quality. We actually enjoy almost all of these artists – save for those aiming more at the teen markets, such as Tom Odell and A*M*E. A lot of them are on big labels, but that’s irrelevant as far we are concerned. Most artists likely to be big next year will be signed to successful labels, that’s what big labels exist to do. Do the major labels have an influence? Well, not directly, although their artists will obviously prominently float under more noses of the voters than some other acts, but we can categorically state that we have never been approached by them trying to influence our vote.
So with the list defined, the debate raging and another exciting year of music ahead, here is the long list in full. The refined top 5, will be announced, one each day from December 31st, with the eventual winner being crowned by Huw Stephens on the BBC One Breakfast show on January 4th. Our tip for the top? Well, we think Aluna George sound more futuristic than the others, but we can see Savages or Palma Violets getting their buttons, alongside an announcement that in 2013 the guitar will be re-invented. (MB)
LITTLE GREEN CARS