4. Technoir MA (UNSIGNED) (Noise Pop/Alternative/Live Electronics)
Technoir MA are a drum machine/electronics duo from Somerville, Massachusetts made up of Justin Vassalo and Colin Greene. They formed in Summer 2009 and put out their first self-titled EP in Autumn (download here for free via Gimmesound) and their follow up, the four-track 2/B EP, is out this month. They are in the process of booking their US tour and are starting it on February 5th with their Massachusetts-located EP launch party. Their sound is almost the perfect crossover between 80s alternative dance and 90s shoegaze - creating Jesus & Mary Chain style walls of sound broken only by the blistering New Order style alternative lead lines. Roundabout (MP3) from the first EP is the best example of this. With a strong drum-beat, drowned vocals and thick dual guitar lines, the song weighs in at almost 6 minutes, and not a second of this epic alternative anthem is wasted. Sparks (MP3) is the promo track from the new album, and does something quite different within in the sonic boundary Technoir MA have spent the last 6-7 months creating - it is an equally overdriven, but far more 90s affair than Roundabout. Its far less dance and far more shoegaze, venturing further from New Order and more towards the J&MC and MBVs of our generation.
buy the music direct from the bands myspace, they aren't on amazon yet!
5. Ellie Goulding (Pop/Indie Pop/Folktronica)
I have mentioned Polydor Records signing Ellie Goulding a number of times before, after all, she has been on constant rotation on my itunes since the release of her EP back in November (download: Under The Sheets (MP3)). But despite me raving on about how she's going to be huge for the last few months, I feel the size of her impending launch to stardom in 2010 needs reiterating. Just think how huge Florence & The Machine and La Roux were in Summer 2009? Well Ellie Goulding is 100% set up to equal that success, if not eclipse it. With Radio 1, BBC and NME behind her - she's already picked up the Brit Awards Critics Choice (as did Florence) as well as the prestigious BBC Sound of 2010 award. Her debut album (produced by Starsmith of Marina & The Diamonds fame), is going to be called 'Lights' and, following single Starry Eyed (Feb 22) (MP3), March 1, 2010 will see the LP released in the UK. Whether you like it or not, Ellie Goulding is going to be everywhere you look in 2010.
preorder Lights on Amazon.com (due March 1, 2010)
6. Sleigh Bells (Lo-fi/Pop/Experimental)
Sleigh Bells are a hardcore noise punk duowho burst on to the scene after last year's CMJ Marathon and since then have got down to work on their latest album with esteemed producer Diplo. Lead singer Alexis Krauss used to sing in a pop band before turning public school teacher, and electronics man Derek Miller used to sing for Florida hardcore band Poison The Well; once more, former members of the band in turn went on to form Surfer Blood. The duo that remains make production clipping noise pop, with huge hip hop beats and warm crunchy overdrive. They sound like Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot love child Discovery when they first discovered the overdrive on their amps (like that would ever happen?), or Crystal Castles recorded on a four-track. Both Crown on the Ground (MP3) and A/B Machines (MP3) take massive percussion and mix it with hard-edge electro to make ecstatic and noisy punk tracks with all the attitude of Karen O and Alice Glass and all the underproduction of lo-fi bands like Wavves and Small Black. What results is nothing short of incredible, and with the perfect sound manipulation of Diplo and the ecleticness which comes with so many years in the business - Sleigh Bells new album looks likely to do nothing short of blow us all away when it finally heads to stores in 2010.
stream tracks and find out more about this band on their myspace.