One of the criticisms I often see aimed at end of year Ones to Watch / Sound of / Next Year Tips lists is that by the end of the year very few of the tips end up on best of year album lists, suggesting that tippers are too affected by hype and not enough by judging long term quality. Not all of my own tips make it onto my end of year lists, although a couple of years ago, Chvrches made my no.1 album after selecting them as One to Watch a year before – so the criticism doesn’t necessarily hold true.
Looking at my tips for 2016, only Billie Marten has made it onto this end of year list. Mind you of the 10 acts I tipped, maybe I was a bit early as just 4 released albums with many of the others gearing up for long players in 2017.
Billie's debut was called Writing of Blues and Yellows. It’s a beautifully constructed and graceful album for those long lost Sunday afternoons, staring out of the window and contemplating life.
Every song acts as a slow soothing lullaby. Billie’s voice is often not much more than a whisper, the music often sad and mournful, with acoustic sounds prominent. Even when the likes of brass instruments are introduced it’s not to perp up the record to some sort of joviality, but to give an even greater sense of melancholy. Whilst Writing of Blues and Yellows is a record that sounds fragile in its loveliness, it’s also very much one full of substance.
Billie Marten - Lionhearted (Video)