Hot tips, the next big things, ones to watch, new kids of the block… whatever you want to call it, The Pop Cophas come up with 16 sweet acts who we think should be the soundtrack to your 2008.
It would have easy to give you an obvious list of overhyped newcomers (Foals, Adele… yawn) whose path to fame has already been pre-determined by wealthy marketing executives, but you deserve better.
Instead, we have a mixture of musicians who are in various stages of their careers – from the unsigned to the underrated – but all equally as deserving of your love and support.
CAJUN DANCE PARTY – What are the actual kids listening to? It must be The Kooks and The Go! Team since these London schoolies are a perfect hybrid of the two. Admirably, CDP’s debut album won’t come out until they’ve finished their A-Levels.
CRASH MY MODEL CAR – The Glasgow via Lewis band have a bit of the Snow Patrols about them, what with their easy way with a melody and a polished sense of purposefulness. Having seen them at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy last month, we can tell you first-hand that their live shows are a riot.
4 In Dreams
b January 31, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
b February 1, Cafe Mambo, Aviemore
b February 2, Market Bar, Inverness
b February 8, Twa Tams, Perth
b February 9, Cafe Drummonds, Aberdeen
b February 10, The Dog House, Dundee
DUFFY – The Welsh girl is a cert to be a household name by the time her debut album hits the shops in March. Despite her 23 years, her voice has the grace and drama of a 60s soul singer – perhaps Amy dropped her first name to minimise inevitable comparisons with you-know-who. The blonde beauty’s recent performance of classic-in-waiting Warwick Avenue was the best thing we’ve seen on Jools Holland in years.
b February 23, King Tut’s, Glasgow
EVAN CRICHTON – After an exceedingly accomplished introduction to his solo career with the Bright Our Broken Days mini-masterpiece, we can’t wait to discover what the Edinburgh singer has up his sleeve next.
4 Shine For Me, Hal
HELLO SAFERIDE – Stockholm native Annika Norlin will serenade you with her acoustic guitar and possesses a lyrical turn of phrase that melts hearts. The fact she sings in her second tongue makes her quirky English pronunciations all the more endearing.
4 Get Sick Soon
JACK’S MANNEQUIN – If you want music to change your life, look no further. What started as Andrew McMahon’s piano-rock side-project soon outgrew his original band (Something Corporate) thanks to Everything In Transit, an album we’d put in our top 10 of all time – it really is that good. It would make our year if its forthcoming follow-up, The Glass Passenger, sees Jack’s Mannequin tour the UK for the first time.
4 Holiday From Real
MATT POND PA – The Philadelphia group have slowly but surely been building up an oeuvre of honest pop for a decade, so there’s plenty in their back catalogue to investigate once you’ve fallen under their spell for the first time.
4 Snow Day
RODDY HART – Glasgow’s answer to Bruce Springsteen has a new album due out this year. Will it be the one that deservedly thrusts him into the mainstream? We’d put our house on it.
4 One Thousand Lives
THE FORMAT – Nate Ruess, frontman of this boundlessly energetic Arizona band, has the kind of voice that was made to belt out power-pop classics. You’ll soon wonder where they’ve been all your life.
4 The First Single (Cause A Scene)
THE LITTLE ONES – Skewed harmony-driven songs from the LA good-time guys who are taking a pretty decent stab at making a name for themselves in the UK before tackling their homeland. Well, if it worked for The Strokes and The White Stripes…
4 Let Them Ring The Bells
VAMPIRE WEEKEND – We’ll eat our cat if the New Yorkers’ debut album proper isn’t in our best of 2008 list at the end of the year. If you got ahold of their widely distributed Blue CD-R demo record, the only song that will be new to you is M79 – a devilishly catchy orchestral tune which just confirms how unimaginative every other white-boy guitar band is in comparison.
WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS – The Edinburgh/Glasgow/Stirling rockers are on to a winner with their atmospheric anthems. Moving Clocks Run Slow was one of our favourite songs of 2007 but Quiet Little Voices is probably the one you’ll end up singing along to when you least suspect it.
4 Quiet Little Voices
b January 17, Oran Mor, Glasgow
b February 7, Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh
b February 9, The Lot, Edinburgh
b February 21, Snafu, Aberdeen