Tomorrow we publish the first of our Ones To Watch for 2010. At the start of October we sat down and drafted an initial list of the music artists that we considered we might identify as likely candidates. In total we wrote down thirty seven names. Some of those thirty seven we have posted about before in detail, others in passing and some not at all. Over the next month we whittled the list down to the final ten that we are about to publish. It was harder than we thought. Right up to yesterday we were still altering the list, deleting blogs and writing new ones. We probably care too much about these things; but we want to get it right.
Let’s define what we mean by ‘get it right.’ We don’t mean that we want to produce a list of ten artists who we believe are all going to be commercially successful. Far from it. In fact this year there seem to be fewer bands out there with big crossover potential on our radar. The criteria for our Ones To Watch list is a list of new bands and artists that we believe possess the ability to do something that is worthy of attention. Hence the title Ones To Watch 2010. In some cases this may mean having commercial success, for others maybe a critically acclaimed album, some fantastic live shows or creating something a little unusual or ground breaking. It may even be that we are just fascinated with the media buzz about the band and want to see if the artist will rise to justify the hype or drift into a backwater. One thing is clear though, from what we have heard of these artists (and in several cases it is a very small number of songs) we like them all.
Although our list features ten artists, this is only because ten is a nice round number. It would have been easiest to publish sixteen Ones To Watch this year. However, some of the artists that we haven’t featured at Breaking More Waves yet, who didn’t quite make our list will almost certainly form the basis of future posts in 2010 and if you have been paying careful attention the last month or so has seen a number of posts about some of those who didn't quite make the list.
So besides the qualitative criteria for choosing artists for the list described above, there were certain other rules that we have applied.
1. The artist(s) must have not yet released an album or mini album. For example, The Drums 7 track EP we consider a mini album and so we discounted them from consideration. It also meant that a band like The Antlers who are to many in the UK a new band, couldn't be included.
2. Solo artists who have had commercial success as part of a band will not be counted. We loosely consider commercial success as a top 40 single or top 50 album. For example ex-Sugababes could not feature. Nor unfortunately could Rose Elinor Dougall as she was a member of The Pipettes who had a minor top 30 hit with single Pull Shapes and an album that charted in the Top 50.
3. Acts that we have featured in past Ones To Watch lists either on this blog or previous incarnations of this blog cannot count. So for example Marina And The Diamonds and Yes Giantess who we featured in last years list and whom are still bubbling under cannot be featured again, much as we would like to.
4. Soap stars or reality TV stars, including X Factor don't count. Sorry Jedward.
5. The artist must be relatively new to the public at large. There's no point predicting that U2's performance at Glastonbury will be one to watch.
So by following those rules and the criteria above, tomorrow we present the first of our ten Ones To Watch 2010. Enjoy and let us know what you think.
But before all of that here is the new single from an artist that would have been on our list, except for the fact she was on last years list here. Here is Marina and the Diamonds with the fabulous Hollywood. We're loving the lyric "Oh my god you look just like Shakira. No no, you're Catherine Zeta. Actually My Name's Marina." Funny. In a way sneaking the video for Hollywood in at the bottom of this post is a little bit like extending our ones to watch list to 11 and breaking our own rules, but hell, this is our blog, we can do what we want. Creating rules for a blog list and even explaining them is a bit absurd anyway, it's hardly as if this list is the BBC Sound Of 2010 list, even if we were involved in the voting process of that particular list. More of that later this month though. For now enjoy Marina and the Diamonds, a star who has been gradually rising all this year.