2011 promises to bring some mega music. Not just locally (although, BIG kudos to the downtown folks for bringing us some awesome acts this past year!) but we’re looking at a crashing wave of musical talent inundating the nation – nay, the world! Even Forbes Magazine has thrown in its two-cents, naming Justin Bieber, Flo Rida and Ke$ha as musicians worthy of paying attention to in the coming year. In case you there’s no danger of you coming down with some Bieber fever, here’s a selection of what is musically a-happening in and around your universe in the next 12 months.
I’ve only just stumbled upon this indie Aussie duo. The guys that make up the band are still in their teens, but their sound is by no means young: a catchy mix of up-tempo beats and great guitar riffs, but with hardcore and punk undertones. Their album, Treasures, is available on iTunes and one of its tracks, City Dreams, is most definitely worth checking out on YouTube.
Yes, I’m including a nine year old band, and why not? While the climb has been a lengthy one, their star is shining bright. And while the brothers’ style might be light worlds away from the music topping the charts (a blend of folk, country, bluegrass, rock and pop) their popularity has been on the increase since Rick Rubin signed them to his American Recordings label in 2008. Be sure to catch them in Augusta on March 27 – tickets are already available for the Bell Auditorium show!
With the track, Just the Way you Are (Amazing), Bruno Mars sung his way into the hearts of many teenage girls as well as older women! The 25 year old has nothing but bright days ahead as his album, Do-Wops & Hooligans, provides more single releases and ensures he is always riding the charts. A unique vocalist with a winning smile, Mars is about to join the ranks of Katy Perry and Lady GaGa in the most-aired young artist of the year.
Kings of Leon
Similar to the Avett Brothers, KOL has been around for some time now – not to mention also having a sibling connection – but 2011 will bring a new album and an ambitious tour. Kings of Leon have played 40 shows since June, 2010, grossing half a million dollars a night, and are scheduled for 25 more by June, 2011. What cements them in the mainstream’s conscience? They don’t pretend to be anything they aren’t; they aim to entertain with some cracking music and the lead singer, Anthony Caleb Followill, is more than just a pretty face. Score!
I was getting worried – no women representing? What?! Nah, here we have a firecracker of a rapper who stands her ground whether while collaborating with the likes of Rihanna or Lil’ Wayne, and is equally comfortable performing solo. She was one of the most “Googled” entertainers of 2010 right there with little Justin Bieber, and personally I love the track Knockout. Not only that, the Barbie lover’s album, Pink Friday, sold over 375,000 albums in its first week – a sales record for a female hip-hop artist second only to Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill from 1998.
Early 2010, a co-worker gave me a tip: look up this group on YouTube. Vocalist Nataly Dawn possesses one of the most ethereal and odd voices I’ve heard in a good while, and she and her partner, Jack Conte, throws themselves into using every instrument required to create an entire track from start to finish without any “smoke and mirrors”. What you see is what you hear. Their cover of Lady GaGa’s Telephone was my starting point, but it was their rendition of Aerosmith’s I Don’t Wanta Miss a Thing that did it for me. Impressive, fun and creative – the way music should be!