BREAK­ING BIG

WHO’S GO­ING TO TOP THE POPS IN 2014? MIKE ATKIN­SON PICKS FIVE OF THE BIG­GEST NAMES YOU MIGHT JUST BE HEAR­ING A LOT MORE OF

Pride Life Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Our top tips for the big names in mu­sic in 2014

CLEAN BAN­DIT Uniquely for a dance-based col­lec­tive, Clean Ban­dit started out as a string quar­tet at Cam­bridge Univer­sity, mak­ing them light on ur­ban cre­den­tials, but strong on mu­si­cal prow­ess. Strings are still cen­tral to their sound, which is pep­pered with nag­gingly fa­mil­iar clas­si­cal quotes, adding melodic sweet­ness to the elec­tronic thump. They charted briefly, with the en­dear­ingly daft Mozart’s House, but they’ve been shak­ing off the nov­elty tag since then, with tracks such as the re­flec­tive Dust Clears and the up­lift­ing diva-house of Rather Be. Like Base­ment Jaxx be­fore them, their any­thing-goes mu­si­cal stance is a joy to be­hold.

IN­DI­ANA Lac­ing her icy synth-pop with a grind­ing alt-rock crunch, In­di­ana built steady support for her mu­sic in 2013; even the Queen got to wit­ness her in ac­tion, at Ra­dio One’s Live Lounge. Lyri­cally, she ex­plores the darker, more dys­func­tional as­pects of re­la­tion­ships; you’d never guess she was a hap­pily set­tled mother of two, but In­di­ana thrives on such con­trasts. “I’m in pos­ses­sion of a smoking gun, and I wanna hurt you just for fun,” she threat­ens, with a per­for­mance style that switches from doeeyed vul­ner­a­bil­ity to steely fury in the blink of an eye. Mess with her at your peril.

AM­BER RUN Formed just over a year ago, Am­ber Run have made re­mark­able progress for such a young band. Their fourth and fifth gigs were at the Read­ing and Leeds fes­ti­vals – a bap­tism of fire, if ever there was one – and for their sixth show, they were backed by a 14-piece orches­tra. Now signed to RCA Vic­tor, the five lads have dropped out of their fi­nal years at univer­sity, to con­cen­trate full­time on their mu­sic, de­scribed as “an­themic rock mixed with cin­e­matic post-rock”. With songs as strong as Noah, Heaven and Spark, they could well be one of next sum­mer’s fes­ti­val favourites.

SLEAFORD MODS Un­like our other four picks, Sleaford Mods are un­likely to taste ma­jor com­mer­cial suc­cess in 2014 – they’re far too sweary, for starters – but their hero­ically un­com­pro­mis­ing ap­proach de­serves a wider au­di­ence. Backed by An­drew Hearn’s min­i­mal low-fi elec­tron­ics, Ja­son Wil­liamson spits surreal venom and scathing fury in an earthy East Mid­lands rasp, as if Arthur Seaton, the anti-hero of Satur­day Night and Sun­day Morn­ing, had been weaned on John Cooper Clarke and The Fall. “Boris John­son and The Cheeky Girls shut down the un­der­ground!” he rages – and, if only for a mo­ment, you find your­self punch­ing the air in agree­ment.

ELLA EYRE Hav­ing topped the sin­gles chart with her guest vo­cal on Rudi­men­tal’s Wait­ing All Night, Ella Eyre is look­ing to match the solo suc­cess of John New­man, another Rudi­men­tal col­lab­o­ra­tor. A fierce and pas­sion­ate per­former on stage, the 19-year-old Brit School grad­u­ate has har­nessed the same raw en­ergy for Deeper, her de­but EP. Mu­si­cally, the new ma­te­rial builds on Rudi­men­tal’s tem­plate, fus­ing clas­sic soul/funk stylings with more dance-based el­e­ments, but it’s Ella’s husky, bluesy de­liv­ery that holds your at­ten­tion through­out. A punchier, more pow­er­ful sound is promised for her forth­com­ing de­but al­bum – but even now, she’s hardly short on clout.

ELLA EYRE

CLEAN BAN­DIT

SLEAFORD MODS

AM­BER RUN

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