- London Grammar, If you Wait
The vocals of Hannah Reid are possibly the best of any British artist out there. Cast on a backdrop of minimalist, sparsely spread pop that triggers vague memories of bands like the X.X, make no mistake, London Grammar are the next big band . ‘Wasting my young years’ is the cream of the crop, easily the best song i’ve heard this year
- Disclosure , Settle
Myspace starlights, Disclosure are two brothers from Surrey who’ve gone all the way to the top and beyond with their debut album. Theirs is a pop-esque, synth-rich universe that evokes dense euphoric landscapes that’ll be the soundtrack of some of the best times of your life if you let them. Epic showings at Roskilde and Vega this year are a testament to this.
- Cut Copy, Free your mind
Australian band Cut Copy are the cool kids of disco these days, fusing a wonderfully vintage disco inclination with nomadic vocals and a lingering synth-kick that runs riot in ones mind. Their previous albums were equally overwhelming, albeit less libertine than ‘Free your mind,’ whose title speaks for itself.
- Agnes Obel, Aventine
Denmark is the land of Kim Larsen, Aqua and Agnes Obel. Of the aforementioned, Obel is by far the most skilled singer and the most emblematic of the three. Dark, minimalist and meandering, ‘Aventine’ features the characteristic compelling piano arrangements alongside petal soft vocals that have come to define Obel’s sound.
- Janelle Monae, The electric lady
Janelle Monae is sheer class and her second album is everything her last one was not. Spontaneous, elegant and diverse, Monae’s sound follows a typical r & b vocal trajectory spread over a varied, gentle backdrop of beats that give her the space to sing loud and clear. Collaborations with Prince and Erykah Badu strengthen the mould of a solid album.
BEST OF THE REST
- The Lumineers, The Lumineers
- Rhye, Woman
- Black Milk, No poison, no paradise
- Jon Hopkins, Immunity
- Daft Punk, Random access memories