Sunday, February 20, 2011

Music predictions for the rest of 2011

Hyped genres
You can usually tell what genre will get the most attention in the indie world based on what artist(s) Pitchfork currently is spending all their time hyping. Right now, they're spending a lot of time on Toro Y Moi. I also see a lot of attention towards this guy from Urban Outfitters, who don't often feature artists quite to this extend. Like lo-fi and dream pop last year, I think this will be the year of chillwave.

toro y moi for flaunt - spektacles

Also, while not a genre in and of itself, I see a lot of artists popping up that have a stripped down sound, minimalism, essentially. James Blake is the major artist representing this move and Pitchfork was not the only one spending time on the hype. He was also featured on NPR. This year has also seen the sophomore release of Lia Ices and a new album from Destroyer, both of whom embrace the minimalist sound in much different genres.

New British Invasion
The past few years have very much been about American artists and I've seen a lot of the new directions in music coming from the American music scene. What I've seen recently, however, is British artists running with what many American artists have started. Just this past Grammys, two of the nominees for Best New Artist, Florence + The Machine and Mumford & Sons, were British. I think we're going to continue to see greater output from across the pond. Along with their takes on folk and soul, I think we'll see them playing and experimenting with the post-punk sound that had come to define British indie rock. Two bands to keep an eye on, The Crookes and Little Comets.

The Crookes

Return of the '80s bands
While newer British bands will be playing with the post-punk indie rock sound the country is known for, post-punk and new wave bands from the '80s seem to be making a comeback. Post-punk band Gang of Four released their first studio album in 16 years a few weeks ago. It was also announced earlier this week that The Cars would be releasing their first album in 24 years, with the original line-up (minus one who passed away in 2000). Another '80s staple, Blondie, has an album planned for this year. It will be nice to see what other bands come back this year, I'm hoping for Violent Femmes or Talking Heads!


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