So: the list. There' s a lot of stuff that sounds precisely like it belongs in the pop mainstream, which is maybe the point. Marina & The Diamonds for example - nice looking and dynamic sounding but basically entirely unchallenging, soulless and tuneless, a bit like the vacuous braying of Florence & The Machine, who probably topped the list last year. There's some half arsed 80's style pop from the seriously average Hurts, who apparently made their video for £20 (at the time of writing we don't know what the £20 was spent on - catering, maybe). Delphic are achingly dull. There's an execrable MC on there who's name I forget. And a bunch of other Actually Really Not At All Good stuff. Daisy Dares You I mention only in case it brings people to this blog via Google searches. If so: Shizer Minelli bruv, can you not search for something better?
But anyway, enough bitching. The list contains some exciting bands, and a few good prospects.
MP3: The Drums - Let's Go Surfing
Painfully hip NYC-based guitar pop band The Drums apparently played at Airwaves, so I'm bummed out to have missed them. Let's Go Surfing is a good natured little pop song that had me whistling along before the end of the first bar - a new record for catchiness. It's blank and repetitive, in a good way. Harmless, simple, sweet Americana. I went and bought a 7" on eBay after three listens. Two thumbs fresh!
MP3: Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
Also pretty uplifting: Mancunian indie band Everything Everything's exciting, happy pop songs. Really quite lovely. They remind me slightly of Super Furry Animals high points. They don't sound like them really, but Photoshop Handsome shares the sense of abandon found in songs like The Man Don't Give A Fuck. I defy you not to fall in love with the chorus.
MP3: Gold Panda - Back Home
Gold Panda is a producer and electronica guy from LDN. His stuff reminds me a bit of Alexandroid, Cursor Miner and the Lo Recordings sound of a few years ago, but a bit faster and a bit more catchy and dancefloor friendly. Back Home particularly features a pounding rhythm, choppy bassline and some expertly cut up violin and guitar samples. Compelling stuff.
Of the rest, folky-songbird-gone-electro Ellie Goulding stands out for her post-Frankmuzik production values, and Joy Orbison's populist take on garage/dubstep is okay. But not as good as a bunch of other good bands. This has made me want to write an alternative list. So, I will.