Monday, 21 November 2011

Ones to Watch 2012

It’s getting to that time of year again when everyone will soon be revealing their tips lists for 2012. Breaking More Waves is no different and this year we will be expanding our now traditional Ones to Watch feature to 15 artists rather than the smaller 10 we’ve published in previous years.

Our Ones to Watch list is not a tips for commercial success list. If it was we’d feature the likes of Azelia Banks, Frank Ocean and Skrillex, all of whom have had underground buzz and could be poised to break through in 2011. However, none of these artists fit with the tastes of Breaking More Waves and therefore won’t be appearing. Nor will it include any X-Factor or similar contest winners (although we admit we seriously considered listing Pepper from Sky 1's Must Be The Music - her track Wish It Away is way better than you would expect - keep an ear and eye out for it when it finally surfaces.) Our Ones to Watch 2012 reflects the output of the blog and its musical preferences and U.S hip hop, r 'n' b etc don't usually float our boats. (Having said that keep an eye out for a UK rapper that appears in this years list - we've cast our net a little wider with that one). The artists we select are new acts that we guess (and it can be no more than a guess) may produce some music of interest in 2012, irrespective of if they are a ‘hit’ or not - the kind of music that would appeal to ourselves and regular readers of this blog. Many of them have already appeared on the blog over the last year, in fact this list could almost be said to be a summary of our New Waves features on the blog from the last 12 months, although there will be a few new additions as well.

Last year we limited ourselves to new UK acts. This year we’re expanding to worldwide again, as there are at least 2 acts from outside our own country that we really adore and inclusion is a necessity. We’ve also changed our definition of what a ‘new act’ is this year, allowing artists to have already had 1 UK chart single, or up to 4 non-chart singles but no album release to date.

We’ll be publishing one of our Ones to Watch each day for the next fifteen days, then follow that up with our top ten albums of the year. By then it will nearly be Christmas, where with a couple of minor exceptions the blog shuts down until New Year.

So this is it, our final run down.

Our first one to watch for 2012 will be published at 20.30 this evening GMT and then at 8.30 every morning each day after that. Why not check back every day to see who we've chosen, or follow us on twitter for notification of when the blog posts go on line.

Before that, let’s cast our minds back to last year. Clare Maguire (listen and watch below) first cropped up on this blog in January 2009. We put her on our ones to watch list for 2010 at number 6 but it was too early as nothing was released until right at the end of the year. Last year we put her on the ones to watch for 2011 list at number 1 and she also appeared in the top 5 of the music industry BBC Sound of 2011 list. She finally put out some singles, an album and played gigs and festivals. We even got a thank you on her album sleeve for supporting her. Now, looking back at 2011, how did Clare Maguire do in terms of making interesting music? We’d be interested to know your views.

Clare Maguire - Strangest Thing


Anonymous said...

Clare Maguire was supposed to be the big thing last year and it turns out she sucks.

Scryst said...

Clare Maguire didn't do as well commercially as everyone thought because her label cocked up. They spent too much time making her music sound big and orchestrated with studio production and sucked the soul out of what made her interesting in the first place.

She has a big voice but for that voice to be heard properly she needed a much more stripped down recording for it to be heard -like her original demos that you wrote about a couple of years back and how through your blog I first discovered her. Her voice also is much better when its a bit more restrained like on the Antony and Johnsons cover she did.

I don't think she sucks, I just think the songs just weren't right for her in the way they were recorded.

Commercially I don't think it helped that after Last Dance Radio 1 decided not to play her anymore.

Looking forward to your ones to watch this year. Based on the blog I guess we will be seeing Queen of Hearts and Curxes in your list ?

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Thanks for your comment Scryst. You've drawn a link there between 'interesting music' and commercial success which is a good thought. I've always hoped that the music that I find 'interesting' will also be a commercial success - I want the artists I like to be rewarded for what I consider to be good art.

Therefore when publishing a Ones to Watch list although the music I feature matches my own tastes I also hope that some of those I list will be commercially successful and a hit, although thee criteria for selection is not 'I think this will be a hit because it sounds commercially viable' but 'I like this and so therefore think that others might and therefore there's a chance of it be commerically viable. However I also recognise that some of the acts on this list are more niche and will never be hugely successful, but could still find an audience.

As for Clare Maguire I think you are right - the lack of radio support after the first big single and the production of the album not fully matching with her talent were probably partially the reasons why she wasn't as massively as some of us hoped.

It will be interesting to see what happens now with Clare. She's already talked about a 2nd album at gigs, let's hope her record company see her as a long term investment. Worringly her facebook, website etc haven't been updated at all and her twitter has had all of her tweets deleted.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say this but her album was dire, over-egged commercial pap - sad as she has a fab voice, almost sounding like a female Anthony & the Johnson's at times she just didn't have the songs. Woeful heavy handed production, had her sounding blander than 80's Cher at her most trite. Add a badly managed PR campaign which didn't seem to know how or to whom to market her and cue tumbleweed and distant clanging church bell.

Played the album twice and it languishes unloved somewhere in my collection like a forgotten lump of cheese in a student's fridge. To the Charity shop with you

Richard G said...

Above comments considered, there is some of all of these things. Live, before the storm broke 8in 2010,and she was awesome.
Not perhaps a major-label plasticine artist, she needs a label (independent)that will allow her the artistic freedom to show us exactly what she can do. That, I suspect, would surprise many...