Saturday, December 29, 2012

Music preview: what to expect in 2013

The Gaurdian UK

People who made very good EPs in 2012 will make very good albums in 2013
Recently, we burned the end-of-year EPs by Solange, Katy B, Azealia Banks and Haim on to a CD-R and realised we had made the album of the year. They're all releasing full-lengths soon, meaning 2013's end-of-year lists are likely to be full of artists you were reading about last spring. The immediacy of releasing music on the internet means, perversely, that new bands progress much more slowly, with an increasing number of artists following the route of: mixtape; free EP; debut album; deluxe edition of album with shonky free tracks tacked on for an extra £11.99. Bad news if you're expecting a Joey Bada$ record before 2015.

British producers will save American pop music
After two years of EDM-influenced pop, British producers will set the charts back on course. Surrey youngsters Disclosure are likely to turn to big-bucks pop production after they finish their own UK garage-influenced album next year. Julio Bashmore, whose "swashbuckling house" found a home on the Jessie Ware record, and Jamie xx, who has already produced for Alicia Keys, will find themselves called upon by more US acts willing to take a risk. With any luck, Bieber's next album will sound like room two at the Warehouse Project.

'Guitar music' will make a comeback
Last month, Kiss FM's programme director said he expected guitar music to return to radio playlists in the near future. The corners of the internet that cheerlead moments like this as if they were victories for the common man got very excited. But Kiss, an R&B and dance station, said they expect new guitar music to be "a fusion of something we will all be able to play". This has already started, and is producing some of the worst music in history. Bands like Fun and Of Monsters And Men have fused twee art-rock with the production values of RedOne. Worryingly, they are the future.

Sky Ferreira will finally release an album
In 2009, aged just 17, Sky Ferreira signed to Polydor in a huge deal. They threw the kitchen sink at promoting her debut single One. It was A-listed at Radio 1. It entered the chart at No 64. Ferreira started again. She hit gold this year with the Dev Hynes-produced Everything Is Embarrassing, an uptempo piano ballad that sounded like pop decomposing. A brand-new debut album, I'm Not Alright, could propel her to pop's top table.

Nineties R&B will go even more mainstream
Scan the BBC Sound Of 2013 list and almost every artist feels compelled to reel off their R&B influences. It's difficult to have a night out these days without enduring repeated plays of R Kelly's She's Got That Vibe. This can only end one way: an ITV1 special. The show will be entitled Jumpin' Jumpin'. It will be presented by Kate Thornton and feature McFly, Olly Murs, Little Mix and a reformed 5ive performing their favourite early-90s slow jamz.

Bashment will be the new 90s R&B
Unlike R&B, bashment has never gone away, with artists such as Jamaica's Popcaan and London's Stylo G turning out big carnival tunes in 2012. But now it's becoming the party music of choice for under-30s who scream along to Beenie Man's Who Am I. Expect big tunes from London-based vocalists Lea-Anna and Smoodface.

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