Sunday, August 08, 2010

2010 - The Year that...

What a year for music 2010 is turning out to be.  When, back at the end of 2009, I was trying to predict what it might bring I was fairly sure that nu-folk was finally coming to prominence.  I underestimated that, particularly the contribution to it that has come from outside the UK and from North America in particular.

It has bothered the UK charts throughout 2010 and that is reflected by the fact that of the twelve albums nominated for the 2010 Mercury Music Award three are of this persuasion:

Becoming A Jackal  ---  Villagers
I Speak Because I Can  ---  Laura Marling
Sigh No More  ---  Mumford and Sons

All three acts appeared at Latitude 2010, along with two of the other nine, and all credit to the organisers for their foresight. Of those three the only one that I didn't see live, owing to the inevitable conflicts of timing between the different stages, was Villagers. Everyone that I spoke to rated the performance highly and now the least I can do is get the album.

An artist who falls in to the Americana/roots part of the equation as mentioned above is Lissie and her 2010 album 'Catching A Tiger'; I was unable to see her perform live at Latitude.  That was a pity and it was the result of a first for me: four music stages and acts I wanted to see on all of them simultaneously! To some extent I had to go with choices that minimized the time spent between stages and maximized the time listening to music, but that is surely far better than being at a loose end?

That is not the say that the UK music scene is being overwhelmed by such things, far from it in fact, and that can only be good.  At the moment you can pretty much have anything and not be a pariah... Dub-step has moved to new levels of sophistication and, like it or not, new audiences to the point that it is bothering the charts too.  Artists such as Plan B, Professor Green and Example have all revealed albums that have proven major hitters in the chart.  If you want good old pop and all that comes with it that is still there too, along with all the rest.

Then there is the latest talent to have burst from the Brit School of Performing Arts - she is Katie B and her début single is entitled 'Katie On A Mission'. If that were just the title then so what? Hear her interviewed and, this is what has struck me about many in 2010, she comes across as thoughtful, intelligent and very much involved and immersed in the music scene as a whole.
Finally,  Eminem' 'I Like The Way You Lie' is a cracking return to form for him and the collaboration with Rihanna, whose world weary vocals actually make the song, is nothing if not inspired.

I've mentioned cover versions too, especially daring ones, and here are two more:
  • Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray   ---  Patsy Cline/Eddie Miller
  • Dead Flowers  ---  The Rolling Stones/Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
They both come on one 10" vinyl offering (NAMES40) - and Caitlin Rose's 'Dead Flowers' is nothing short of astonishing. Except, that is, perhaps I do have a secret liking for country after all...

Her début album 'Own Side Now' was released in the UK today (9 August). Of the ten tracks on it not one is reproduced from the seven on the item mentioned above and, as well as the Nashville country influences, it has many that are reminiscent of the West Coast music scene in the late sixties and early seventies. 

This just skims the surface of what I might mention - no rock in here for example - but if music can get better than this and I don't see any reason why not, then I want to be around to hear it.

This theme is, in many ways, continued in another post above:
New Music 2010 - Part 16 - Across America in music.

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