The final part of my 'Tips for 2013'. If you've landed on this page and are interested in the other parts, you can find them at the following links: Parts One // Two // Three.
Perhaps one of my most predictable tips ever for Savages have been just about everywhere (to a degree, they are hardly One Direction) over the past nine months. I almost left them off because the band hardly need the added acclaim of a small music blog, but that's not the right thing to do as Savages are easily one of the most exciting in music today (a thing they first proved to me at the Shacklewell Arms some time ago). Who'd of guessed twelve months ago when we all did our tips for 2012 lists that three of the newest bands to come through (Savages, Pins & Haim) would have been completely unknown to everyone - it goes to show these sort of lists aren't exactly gospel, but I like to think they're a bit of harmless fun and give a bit of added press to great new bands, which is hardly a bad thing.
Savages sound has been much talked about this year from the lazy 'female Joy Division' often branded around. The ferocious post-punk soundscapes of the London based quartet feature the most blistering intensity and entrancement, Savages music makes you want to play it louder and louder, again and again. Savages live show is almost faultless, driven by uncompromising basslines and tom heavy ponding drums, with brutal guitar lines adding distortion and noise while Jehn's shrieking vocals command and possess their sound brims with repressed energy which explodes with a juddering climax on the searing "City's Full", it's hypnotic and terrifyingly beautiful.
They are currently recording their debut full-length and seem set to conquer in 2013. Surely a spot on Monday's BBC Sound of 2013 will be confirmation of that.
This time with my 'ones to watch' posts around I've gone with acts who I think are a lot closer to releasing an album than on previous occasions (the fact that five of my thirteen tips are actually re-appearing on my tips list points to me being a little premature), this could certainly be one of those cases but the band in question, SeaWitches are one of most exciting new bands I've heard this year and with any luck you'll all find that out in 2013.
My love affair started in the summer of 2012 with two early tracks which I got hot under the collar about, saying this: "Another Clown Fight" with progressively flamboyant swirling guitar twangs, unsettling bass lines and skittling percussion, I can guarantee the twisted rhythm of the melody will get in your head as bewitching vocals sing haunting, sharp harmonies. "Red Light" sounds rawer as breezy guitar echoes with distorted harmonies, part 60's / 70's psychedelia. Then a live set (their London debut) blew me away before another track had me salivating again.
That track "Space Gun" is eight and a half minutes long and almost made up of two parts (please listen to it as a whole) and I'm not just say this, it will literally blow your mind, easily one of the best tracks I've heard in forever. It is that good. Starting with deep, hypnotic bass, hollow drums and swirling guitars the addictive, rocking groove gradually quickens in pace as the song progresses and it takes until a small bridge and bass lead for Jo's vocals to actually start at around the mid point of the song. The captivating, theatrical nature of her vocals is bound to lead to Siouxsie comparisons being made (for it seems everything has to be compared to something else for some reason), I'd rather call it SeaWitches, for this dramatic, slightly disturbing take on pysche-pop is a sound very much their own.
When SeaWitches make their way to a town near you, make sure you go...
Another of my long time (relative blog duration) favourites are September Girls, with 2012 delivering two wonderful 7"s and some well received trips to the UK following up from last years rough around the edges fuzz-pop introduction, 2013 promises even more as the Dublin quintet record their debut album.
Their majestic lo-fi garage pop rhythms and heavenly harmonies blend hypnotic, swirling psychedelia with fuzzy girl group pop, spacey korg and rumbling guitars goodness. A soon sold-out debut cassette "Wanting More" and a 7" single Green Eyed" doing likewise a perfect summation of Dublin's finest increasing popularity with fans and fellow blogs alike. They deserve all of it and more. One of the first bands I wrote down in preparation for these posts I can't wait to listen to the album next year.
That concludes my tips for 2013. Sorry to the acts who came close and missed out, there are plenty of you. The blog will now take a few days off due to a family addition (I finished this post in a baby ward so sorry for the bad English, rush job - I'm sure you understand) and return with my favourite releases of the year next week.