We predict the new bands of 2009
Acts you don't know now, but will love by June
Florence And The Machine
Photographer: Sara Bowrey19 January 2009
Last year we weren't far wrong with our festival forecasts – most of us saw Lightspeed Champion,
Glasvegas, Duffy, Laura Marling, The Ting Tings and Vampire
Weekend at some point – so we're back with ten names coming to a festival near you soon.
Predominantly, it looks like it's going to be the year of the synth with new wave and electro-pop dominating the summer season. But fret not indie and anti-folk fans, there's still plenty of action on that front too…
Florence and The Machine
22 year-old singer-songwriter Florence Welch is a joyfully eccentric character. So much so, it's a toss up between her being completely loopy or an artistic genius. Once you hear the depth of her soulful voice - a hyper mix of 60s folk singer meets PJ Harvey – you're completely hooked. The Machine are a collective of musicians that provide the indie soundtrack to Florence's vivid imagination making this arthouse rock instantly accessible.
These 19/20 year-old west Londoners create anthemic, epic synth rock that would feel as at home in the early 80s as it does today. Mixing the dark overtones of disaffected youth with electro beats will ensures that you'll dance the night away in black celebration.
This Boston based five-piece have been causing a stir on the East Coast scene over the past 12 months with their quirky high-spirited electro delights. No dark overtones here, this is guaranteed to lift you up in the same way MGMT and Vampire Weekend did last year. If faced with another muddy festival season, this is the band that will get you out of your tent for some fun, no matter what the weather.
Woolies must have had 80s instruments at bargain prices before they finally shut their doors because this Brixton duo seem to have picked up where 1987 left off: epic synth-pop, without a guitar in sight. La Roux are strong contenders for the leaders of nu-new wave.
Amalgamating surf-pop 60s sounds with dreamy harmonies and keyboards, this trio produces disco indie-pop as glittery as their name suggests. Winners of the Glastonbury New Talent competition in 2008 was just the beginning for Golden Silvers and this year is sure to see them grace many a festival stage.
Airborne Toxic Event
Hailing from the uber-cool Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, this five-piece create poignant, stirring indie rock that's leading to comparisons with Arcade Fire and Interpol. Singer Mikel Jollett switched career from writing fiction to writing songs with superb results. This is the best band to come out of LA recently and is sure to be the intellectual winner in 2009.
South Londoner, Vincent Frank, has clearly spent too much time in his bedroom with a keyboard and remixer, but with amazing results. He's remixed CSS, Mika and even Radiohead and his own debut album, 'Complete Me', results in an infectious electro jumble sounding somewhat Hall And Oates on speed. Here's to hoping the live set includes his song 'Vacant Heart' which samples Malcolm McLaren's genius 80s classic, 'Madame Butterfly'. It's too right to possibly be wrong.
Mumford and Sons
Forming just over a year ago from the anti-folk scene, these Londoners have already toured the US with Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn. Now it's time for them to stand alone with their charismatic Americana folk blues. Singer, Marcus Johnstone is Laura Marling's drummer and his voice is as mesmerising as hers from the first listen. Their live shows are inspiring and guest musicians are somewhat a staple, so expect the unexpected this year.
More electro-pop, but this time it comes with a twist of light-hearted chilled beats that are too much fun to ignore. Paris-based Londoner, Dan Black, is the former indie-rocker (with the band The Servant) turned singing-mixologist, who broke free from obscurity last year with his cover of Notorious BIG's 'HYPNTZ'. This is the understated bright spark that may just leap to the front of the electro pack.
Raising the disco stakes this year is Blackpool's own Victoria Hesketh, AKA Little Boots. There's a distinct feeling she's hiding something behind that sugary sweet exterior, like a good girl starlet gone bad. Her sound is drawn towards Madonna's most recent incarnation with catchy tunes chock full of pulsating beats – the dance floors are in for a beating this year.
By Alison Kerry