It seems like only yesterday that we were saying goodbye to 2012. Girls Aloud were still together (still not over that tweet). The world was still ‘Gangnam Style-ing’. However, we are now at they end of 2013, which means there are only four more Jam Tart Wednesdays before 2014 :(. It also marks the start of taste-maker season, in which everyone predicts what is going to be great in the forthcoming year. My tips are ‘coming soon’, but before then it’s a good idea to look back to who I tipped last year to see where they are now. Advance warning: I was very early to the party with some of these (shameless).
Arlissa started off 2013 promisingly, with a performance on the festive episode of Top of The Pops, as well as getting signed to Jay-Z’s management company RocNation. She’s obviously released some songs too; her best being Sticks and Stones, which successfully combines tribal drumming with yodeling. Things have been quiet since however, with Arlissa only reappearing at the end of the year with Into The Light, which is featured on the Littlewoods advert. Her album, Battles, is due out next year.
Florrie had teased that some ‘big songs’ were coming in 2013. Well, there was one big song (which is more than can be said for Beyonce) in Live A Little, which is the arena show-opening anthem that every popstar wants. It was featured on Made In Chelsea earlier this year too, and soundtracked the advert for some Sony headphones. But that was it. She’s getting a proper launch in 2014.
A*M*E had a Number 1 earlier this year as the vocalist of Duke Dumont’s Need U (100%), which still holds its own amongst the sea of house songs flooding the charts afterwards. Her own single Heartless got overlooked though, and she is still recording her album. What’s Going On is her collaboration with Monsieur Adi, and despite not being the chart conquering mega-hit that she needs, it pushes her more into the ‘dance diva’ lane that suits her so well. Her album is ‘on the way’.
Things have been very quiet with Faye this year, with 2013 mostly spent recording her album. She teased some exciting news earlier this month, so something is ‘coming’.
She signed a record deal with Ninja in July. Her album is also ‘coming soon’. Her and Nicola Roberts have been tweeting each other too, which means that 2013 was a success.
Bastille have had a pretty good year. First ‘proper’ single Pompeii went to Number 1 and is the tenth biggest selling single of the year in the UK. They then released album Bad Blood, which also went to Number 1 and is the tenth biggest selling album of the year. Sell out tours and the festival circuit followed, establishing Bastille as a live force to be reckoned with. They finished the year by releasing their ‘mash-up’ of Rhythm is a Dancer and The Rhythm of the Night (entitled Of The Night), which is currently at Number 2 in the charts.
Angel Haze started the year with a bang through a much publicised spat with fellow rapper Azealia Banks. Various tweets ensued, before they both released songs about each other. Later in the year, Angel Haze released two songs (No Bueno and Echelon), but the highlight was her version of Same Love, which is much better than the original (there’s something very harrowing yet inspirational about her lyrics). Her album, Dirty Gold, is out early next year.
One of the biggest success stories of the year is Haim, who after winning BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll, established themselves as a formidable live act (no really everyone on the planet should see them, even just for the between song ‘chat’ and Este’s bass-face). The music itself lived up to their live prowess though, with album Days Are Gone not only being one of the year’s best, but it also reached Number 1 in the UK and Number 6 in the USA. If you’ve never heard of them (where have you been?), the album’s title track is a good starting place.
Charli XCX’s 2013 has been a tale of two halves. She released her debut album, True Romance in April, which is ‘amazing dark electro-pop’ at it’s finest (there’s one for the album sticker). Fast forward to the end of the year and she had a smash hit with a song that she wrote and gave away (I Love It by Icona Pop). She ends the year by releasing SuperLove, which includes 2013’s finest lyric (“I used to think that The Power of Love was just a song – now it’s got hold of me”). Having been playlisted on Radio 1, it seems 2014 could be the year she gets massive in her own right.
Speaking of The Power of Love, Gabrielle Aplin followed her Number 1 cover of it with her debut album English Rain. The album also went Top 3 in the UK, and since, Gabrielle has been touring and festival-ing and touring some more. She also started signing other artists onto her Never Fade record label, with Saint Raymond’s Escapade being the first release.
Nikki Williams hasn’t released anything new this year (well except the above video for Glowing). She has writing credits on Demi Lovato’s Heart Attack, which is a very, very good song to have a credit on.
Another big breakthrough this year came from Alunageorge, who had a Top 3 single with their Disclosure collaboration White Noise. Sleeper-hit Attracting Flies followed, and their debut album Body Music went Top 20. They’re also incredible live (Aluna in particular has ‘it’). There’s no word on a new single, but their version of This Is How We Do It could continue the success into 2014.
Out of all my tips, Mikky Ekko had the biggest selling song. Stay, which is the song he wrote (and features on) for Rihanna sold 5,848, 000 copies worldwide, and is the seventh biggest seller of the year. His album is on the way, but if Stay and single Kids are anything to go by, it should be worth the wait.