After undertaking a Bourne/Bauer/Bond-esque hunt to find some decent new acts that deserve your attention (and almost driving myself insane in the process), I managed to come up with a cast of 10, half of which are Scottish.
You should be relieved to hear The Pop Cop’s ‘ones to watch’ list is a dubstep/chillwave-free zone, although whether any of them will ever write a chorus as magnetically infectious as Shine A Light by McFly is debatable.
These selections are alphabetical, but if the rest of Andrew Davie’s songs turn out to be as strong as Elysium then he’d be at the top of this list on merit anyway. Imagine the songcraft of Damien Rice but with a touch of Snow Patrol epicness. Cherbourg, the band he fronted before he went solo, was very much part of the Communion scene that Mumford & Sons sprung up from and Mr Davie has himself toured with M&S.Oh, and his parents are both Scottish. Bonus points!
Andrew Davie – Elysium
BE LIKE PABLO
If you are fond of Weezer (or at least appreciated them when they weren’t as dreadful as they are now) then you’ll surely love Be Like Pablo. Good, clean, geeky fun. Their debut album is currently in production and should hit the metaphorical shelves this year.
Be Like Pablo – Julianne
Capitals are the brainchild of Angus Carbarns and Keir MacCulloch. Angus was The Cinematics’ founding guitarist and co-writer and it certainly shows as Capitals favour a similar style of brooding, 80s-influenced indie-rock. Their debut single Hello World came out at the tail-end of last year and an album is pencilled in for 2011.
Capitals – Hello World
DRY THE RIVER
Fronted by Norwegian Pete Liddle, Dry The River definitely have a Fleet Foxes/Bon Iver thing going on, so that should seal the deal for you. Beautiful music, you say? Step this way…
Dry The River – History Book
(Los Angeles, United States)
The sparky Americans’ debut self-titled EP contained five tracks, two of which were belters – Colours (spelt in British English, curiously) and Don’t Say Oh Well. Hopefully, Grouplove have got more like those hiding under their big shirt.
Grouplove – Don’t Say Oh Well
Frontman Ollie Brown is also the singer of my favourite Aussie band, Art Of Fighting, who are currently on hiatus. Parallel Lions aren’t quite in the same league but any opportunity to hear Ollie’s affecting vocals is a welcome one. Parallel Lions’ debut album Holding Patterns is worth tracking down.
Parallel Lions – Telephone Line
Polarsets’ single Leave Argentina made The Pop Cop’s top 20 songs of 2010 and they’ve got plenty more indie-disco anthems in the tank. Two Door Cinema Club aren’t the only party starters, you know.
Polarsets – Just Don’t Open Your Eyes Yet
It would be some accomplishment for The Clyde to write anything better than Where Were We? It’s a sensational pop song, calling to mind the much-loved Life Without Buildings. I haven’t figured out just how good a band The Clyde are but I look forward to finding out.
The Clyde – Where Were We?
The Controls were profiled in the previous post but in case you missed it, this group of teenagers recently signed their life away to an evil major label and are fronted by BAFTA Scotland-nominated actor Jack McElhone. Underachievement isn’t really his style.
The Controls – Hey Jackie
Let’s get the obvious out the way. The Fleet sound a lot like The Script. While this may make The Fleet terminally uncool, we both know you aren’t going to hear Godspeed You! Black Emperor at weddings or while doing your big shop at Asda. We both also know that The Man Who Can’t Be Moved is a tune, so if The Fleet can give us one of those that’ll do quite nicely.
The Fleet – Better Than Me