Just Music That I Like's Tips for 2012 - Part Two.
Previous parts can be found here: One // Two // Three // Four // Five
An easy choice and one who I almost had in my tips for 2011, Elena Tonra's Daughter has had an exceptional 2011 with two stunning EP releases gaining her a increasing stream of press hyperbole and a live show which highlights her intimate song-writing talent, equal parts despairing and heart-warming and a spine-tingling voice seemingly from the heavens.
Now backed by a full band who add textured drums, shimmering guitars and a pulsating heartbeat to the tracks on her latest release 'The Wild Youth', most evident on the spellbinding "Medicine" where electronic programming create this hazy, smoke filled ambient air while gentle piano strokes and a bewitching vocal add to one of the most gorgeous, spectral tracks of the year.
Elena's haunting voice, pure and beautiful, is arguably one of the most emotionally affecting voices I've heard recently, listening to the opening verse of the heartbreaking "Love" with its wounded, confessional lyrics is a provides a genuine goosebumps moment. 2012 I am sure will bring many, many more. I can't wait for what Daughter releases next. A sign of which might be told on April 12th with Elena's largest gig to date at Islington Assembly Hall - tickets.
Daughter - Love (taken from 'The Wild Youth EP') by ohDaughter
Daughter - Youth (The Amazing Sessions) from Amazing Radio on Vimeo.
Another easy choice for me, a band I've seen live six times in 2011 (with an seventh to follow this week) Echo Lake released my favourite EP of the year way back in January (the now sold out 'Young Silence' available digitally here), their sound highlighted perfectly on the shimmering beauty that is "Sunday Evening", with its hypnotising intensity, chiming guitars and foot-stomping progressive beat.
Similarly perfect is the swirling, psychedelic pop infusion of "In Dreams, "Young Silence" with rattling percussion and layer upon layer of hazy, frenzied guitars and the tranquil, fuzzed-up dream pop gem that is "Buried at Sea", blissful, kaleidoscopic soundscapes of the highest order.
My introductory paragraph mentioned how many times I've seen them live, enough in itself to show how good I think they are and with their debut album due next year (no details to share yet) Echo Lake are certainly one of the acts I'm expecting to feature a lot (more) here over the next twelve months.
Sunday Evening by Echo Lake
Echo Lake - Buried at Sea from ///NO PAIN IN POP\\\ on Vimeo.
I'm taking a chance with Embers, there is every chance when I come to review these tips in 2012 I'll be saying 2013 will be there year but this new Manchester band released three of the best 'rough demos' of the year and if they have written more exceptional material and manage to find the right resources to put an album out next year then the crown of Manchester's best new band could easily be theirs...
From the epic, sweeping orchestrations of the stark "Days Turn Into Weeks" to "Tunnel Vision", a darker, colossal monster and "Without Fear or Favour", dramatic, cinematic, brilliant these four northern boys are three tracks from three and yet without news of a proper release or even a live show to announce I think that in this time of people craving instant fulfilment (partly caused by blog craze I bit like this I guess) we could just be awaiting the most powerful, gloomy and damn right exciting release of 2012. Keep your eyes and ears peeled.
Without Fear or Favour by e m b e r s