Monday, December 29, 2008

Where next? Thoughts for 2009.

I've been reflecting on what I wrote here at the end of 2007 and two things immediately strike me.
The first is that, if I say so myself, my predictions for music in 2008 were rather closer to what actually happened than I ever dared hope they might be.
What I did not foretell is the economic and political circumstances that would prevail come the end of 2008. It seems that not many others in positions of power did so, which however makes me feel no better at all.
I'm by inclination a stoic optimist and in 2009 that seems to me to be a good place to start. It's all something of a lottery but the worse the place it starts then surely the better the odds that it will soon improve? Political change is a little like few days sunshine after endless rain, or a few good songs that either capture the new reality or engender optimism - any of them can suddenly change the prevailing mood out of all apparent proportion. On all fronts 2009 is likely to test this hypothesis to the highest degree but I don't think for one moment that music is likely to let the side down!
I've been thinking about how I see music (especially in the UK) in 2009 and think that it is going to be harder to call than it was in 2007 or 2008, which are the only years that I have previously written about in this way. Over the New Year Holiday I'm going to have the opportunity to talk to some friends about this and, while I already have some ideas as to what I think might happen, I'll be back at the very start of 2009 with some hopefully more focussed thoughts.

Two artists already widely tipped for success in 2009 are 'Florence and The Machine' and, having already seen them live in 2008, I'm certainly down with that. Florence Welch is well... quite exquisitely indefinable.

Live at the 2008 iTunes Festival in London.

Imagine a new version of Alien, in which Kate Nash has become the unwitting host to a chimera that is part Björk, and you are getting slightly close to what this is all about.

On a totally different theme here is another Londoner, Emma Deigman, whose début album is due out in April.

It was mostly recorded live, with full horn and string sections, and often in a single take. It is produced by Eliot Kennedy (previous credits include Bryan Adams, Take That, Spice Girls and Celine Dion) but that is not to say that she sounds like any of the aforementioned. She does write her own material however - watch out Sasha Fierce!

That is just for starters.
Happy New Year!


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