Friday, 16 December 2011

Schönbys 2011 - Best new artist

The Schönbys are fictional, made-up awards for me to let you know what I've enjoyed listening to during 2011. Winners and nominations are drawn from music I have seen, heard or bought during the preceding 12 months.

The next award is for best new artist, but what is a 'new artist'? I can't profess to ever being there at the beginning of any band, so my definition of 'new' is a band, possibly unsigned but not essential, who have released their first official recording in 2011. As I said before, crystal ball gazing is not one of my strong points so the list of new acts that I've happened to spend money on this year will be small. But, lets have a look anyway.

Hmmm, Chapel Club, Vaccines, Yuck, etc, all had debut albums this year but all had releases in 2010 so they don't count. Jonny released their debut album in 2011, which was a welcome interlude from the serious, heavy guitar based music I was listening to early on in the year, but I can't possibly call Norman Blake and Euros Childs 'newcomers' so it really leaves the award as a one horse race.

It's such a pity that This Many Boyfriends released 'Getting a life with...' in 2010, as otherwise they may have been a contender for the new artist award. Sounding like a poppy version of the Wedding Present, they sing songs of love and relationships in an infectious indie/punk style.  Their 2011 debut single release 'Young Lovers Go Pop' was likened to the Cribs by Steve Lamacq, and hailed as an indie anthem by others. Tragedy struck the band late in the year with the sudden passing of guitarist Peter Sykes, but I'm glad that they are honouring his memory by continuing as a band and I expect to hear a lot more from them in 2012.

Young Lovers Go Pop! by This Many Boyfriends

So it seems that the only artist that I have had some interaction with this year that can truely be called a new artist is Fear of Men. I paid to see them in Leeds this year and was pleasantly surprised by their sound. I would liken them to The Smiths fronted by Sonya Madan (from Echobelly), or maybe The Sundays at a push. Their cover art and demo names are also reminiscent of Morrissey and The Smiths, tipping a hat to their obvious literary background. Oh, and the guitarist wears nice t-shirts. So congratulations, Fear of Men, hope to see some fantastic releases in 2012.

Ritual Confession by FEAROFMEN

There were other notable new artists this year (kudos to Cults, Fiction and I Break Horses), unfortunately my enjoyment of these bands was through the medium of radio only.

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