Over the last couple of years we’ve published a number of commentaries on the annual BBC Sound of List. In 2009 we asked “Is winning the BBC Sound of List a poisoned chalice?” Conclusion - only if you don’t have commercial success fairly quickly after, otherwise watch out the media may decide to knock you down if you don’t meet their hyped up expectation. In 2010 we took part in the voting for the list ourselves and gave our thoughts on voting. Conclusion – as one of the panel it’s important to vote for acts that you love the music of, but there’s no point voting for an act that has not already got some degree of exposure, otherwise it’s a wasted vote. We also questioned why there was so little rock music in the Sound of 2010. Conclusion – music and fashion go hand in hand having to undergo stylistic change to market themselves as a luxury commodity, and rock music is so engrained in tradition it has for the moment fallen out of fashion. This article proved to be more prophetic than imagined as by the end of 2010 the number of rock songs to feature in the UK singles chart had fallen to its lowest tally in 50 years (article here)
This year we’re not blogging any further on the Sound of List. The reason being that two articles produced by our UK blogging peers – the excellent Faded Glamour and The Recommender have already said everything we want to say here and here - and you can read some interesting debate in their comments section, including thoughts from Breaking More Waves. The only thing we will add is that if this year’s top 4 are anything to go by and be believed, it could be a good year for the initial J. Jessie J, James Blake, The Vaccines (with a lead singer called Justin) and Jamie Woon have all got the votes. In a way it’s a shame that of the long list of 15 Jai Paul didn’t make the top 5 so that this blog could have been an absurd piece about alliteration in pop music.
However, as much as Jai Paul is a warped and inventive artist we’re pleased to see that Clare Maguire upset the J’s and sneaked it to the top 5, if only because she’s an artist that we’ve been blogging since January 2009. Clare’s single, the follow up to Ain’t Nobody is called Last Dance and was written the day after Michael Jackson’s death. “You're the first man to move me yeah, you helped me feel alive,” sings Clare in tribute, her huge voice underpinned with a tribal-thump sensibility. This is big. Font size 72 big. The video is streaming below and for those who are still getting to know Clare there’s a bonus remix of her song as well as her cover version of Antony and the Johnsons Hope There’s Someone. Who would you save your last dance for?
Clare Maguire - The Strangest Thing (Bloodshy & Avant Version) by Breaking More Waves
Clare Maguire - Hope There's Someone (Antony & The Johnsons Cover) by Radar Maker