Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Best New Artist of 2010 is...

 ...and we have a tie. There is no way to separate the brilliant yet contrasting styles of Summer Camp and Twin Shadow. One is a band that features two real-life lovers and the other is a man who is reinventing new wave. 

Summer Camp: together in love and music
Summer Camp is multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Warmsley and journalist Elizabeth Sankey. The duo’s love for the fuzzy, complicated world of  adolescents and gawky moments dominate their lush music. It's just six tracks but the lo-fi 80s template feels remarkably fresh and on trend. It helps that these two are lovers because it is translated in the juxtaposing of their art. Warmsley backs up Sankey's lovely vocals admirably. The key track is 'Veronica Swayer'--a reference to the Heathers character--which doubles as some feminist anthem. 

George Lewis Jr.: groove daddy
Twin Shadow: is the moniker used by one George Lewis Jr., a Dominican-born, Florida-bred composer whose varied musical misadventures have already taken him around the globe and back. And it's official: indie heads, your new messiah--your latest Bowie interpolation is here and he's a master technician already, delving confidently into the heart of new wave and connecting to its pulse.
Here are some other notable new splashes in the pop music pool this year:

clown sings the blues

Jamie McDermott: lead singer of ten-member orchestral ensemble The Irrepressibles, McDermott is lyrically dramatic and a deadringer for Antony Hegarty vocally...which is a good thing.

my band can swin

Surfer Blood: singer John Paul Pitts howls and rages in the beach-pop genre and it's a winner.

freak for headphones

Toro Y Moi is the stage name used by recording artist Chazwick Bundick. His music takes many different forms within the electro-pop fold with a whiff of chillwave.


 Sleigh Bells : singer Alexis Krauss and guitarist-producer Derek Miller. Signed to N.E.E.T record label and that's M.I.A new project. They're loud and smart. Treats was good although not as orgasmic as most critics would have you believe but this duo will only get better. 

Nedry: The London-based three-piece – Matt Parker and Chris Amblin on glitches and glides, electro-percussion and pitch control, and Ayu Okakita on vocals. An interesting idea. One I'm watching closely.

Darlin' Nicki

Nicki Minaj: Her debut didn't deliver the goods but it was a fairly good opening shot for the Trini rapper who looks like a younger Chaka Khan and has Lil Kim attitude in spades. Such a combination is bound to pay off soon and besides she stole the show from more enlightened company on two of the year's best singles; Christina Aguilera's 'Woohoo' and Kanye's 'Monster'.

red-head minimalism

Active Child: is Pat Grossi, an L.A.-based songwriter who layers his keening, unearthly voice over diffuse waves of keyboards.