Friday, February 20, 2009

If Anything, 2009 Will Sound Like The 80s

It's two months late, but I stumbled upon BBC's Sound Of 2009 where the pick on what critics (in the UK at least) will be this year's landmark songs/artist. They haven't been very wrong - previous choices were Bloc Party, 50 Cent, Mika, Just Jack, Corrine Bailey Rae, and last year, Adele and Duffy.

So, what will 2009 sound like? It'll sound like the 80s. It will look like the 80s, feel like the 80, and it'll be absolutely enjoyable. They've shortlisted 15 artists for the poll, and my favorites the following:

1. Florence and the Machine - She's like Feist, but her music sounds like it was raised by horses - wild, primal, stormingly powerful. She opens the year with "Dog Days Are Over"

2. Frankmusik - I'm guessing he's going to be this year's Linus Loves/Calvin Harris/Axwell, but with a throwback from two and a half decades ago. He plays frivolous electro-pop, and is working with Stuart Price. Check out "3 Little Words" on YouTube and feel the Tom Hanks love.

3. Lady Gaga and Little Boots - Actually, I found both artists quite annoying at first, but embraced it eventually for all its pop-tooth goodness. Check out how Little Boots plays a 16x16 LED instrument called a Tenori-on. That one won me over.

4. Mumford and Sons - A folksy approach to this year's playset; a little The Shins, a little The Kooks all wrapped in an 80s Everything But The Girl package.

5. Empire Of The Sun - Ever heard of fantasy pop? Well, I never. It's a concoction of synth, xylophones, and percussions that give it a dreamlike atmosphere. Plus the videos help in creating that aura. Check out their George Lucas homage in the album cover.

Lastly, they may not be new, but have a listen to Stars (remember them from The OC?). It's not a full album, but Sad Robots continues the whimsy, escapist story telling from before. Their song "14 Forever" stands out with a vividly painted picture of a field swarmed by teens at a music festival. This soundtrack is the prelude to a seemingly nostalgic year.