“the end is nigh” Tom Vek, A Chore (2011)
As I sat in the bath, musing about what the chuff to write for the first New Music Podcast blog, a familiar sound filled my ears. I’d done it again. I’d left the TV on and the 6 o’clock news was blasting out – I’m deaf at the age of 24 due to too many raves in my student days which, depressingly, seem like a lifetime ago. My mother’s disappointed face emerges in my head, wagging her finger at me with her age-old warning…
“Don’t waste electricity! You’re burning the pennies!”
At this moment I don’t care – I’m warm for the first time all day – my flat has turned into a scene from frozen planet recently (minus the mauled seals, obviously). And anyway, it’s the pounds I’m fussed about.
But the sound skulks back into focus, bringing unwelcome headlines of economic uncertainty, EU collapse and potential war. I’m far from surprised.
On the stroke of midnight but a few weeks ago, through an alcohol-induced mist, we were thrust coldly and unavoidably into a new year, but not just any old year; The year the Mayan calendar ends. The year the world finally goes entirely to pot. The year of…. ARMEGEDON. It’s here. 2012.
Hang on. Isn’t this supposed to be a blog about new music n’ that?
I’m getting there – indulge me a little longer, music enthusiast.
I’m not one who really has a strong political viewpoints – could harp on all day about how corrupt I believe the system to be, but Countdown is on in 45 minutes so I’ll resist. Usually I’m of a cheery, positive disposition. Usually, simple pleasures such as a bowl of warm sweet porridge in the morning would keep me feeling content and smiley all day long. But this year, I feel a shift – A sense of impending doom – something not even cracking out the Quaker Oats can rectify. The economy is grim, and everyone’s feeling it.
The indication is that it’s going to be bleak and difficult for many, apocalypse or no apocalypse. We need music that will stop the four horsemen in their tracks, and either reduce them to tears with melancholy, or blow their immortal socks off. I think I may have an answer for each of these in, what I believe, are two outstanding artists to watch this year.
Number one comes in the shape of The Lake Poets, aka Martin Longstaff, who creates beautiful and haunting music which is heavily influenced by his home town of Sunderland. He has the ability to mesmerise audiences with his stunning voice and personal subject matters. ‘City By The Sea’ will be released in April this year as his debut, so hopefully you will be hearing more of this very talented young man… Here is a link to my personal favourite track, ‘Friends’.
Moving to the second – the eccentric, lolloping sounds of La Shark is perfect feel good music that gets feet tapping and (dare I say it) hips wiggling. I found out about these guys in late 2010 after debut single ‘A Weapon’ found its way to my ears due to a series of fortunate events. However my favourite is latest offering ‘Magazine Cover’ – it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is just a delight. The Debut album rumoured for 2012 is bound to be a tonic to this dark year ahead.
These two should whet your appetite for the year ahead and keep you going for now. I know I’m certainly feeling better already. I think it’s time to turn off the news, grab some porridge and turn on the music player, don’t you?