6music and The Hype Machine to name bloggers’ artists of 2012 so far

By | Published on Friday 22 June 2012


At the end of each year, music blog aggregator The Hype Machine analyses over 850 websites in its database to collate the most popular artists, songs and albums of the previous twelve months – it’s called the Music Blog Zeitgeist.

Now the Tom Robinson-presented ‘Now Playing @6music’ programme – 6music’s award winning multi-platform, social-media focussed show – has teamed up with The Hype Machine to put together a list of the Top 25 artists of the year so far, which will be revealed on the show this Sunday between 6pm and 8pm.

Not only that, but the show’s producers have also asked various blogs and music sites, including CMU, to provide their own commentary as the Top 25 is unveiled. On Sunday, CMU Editor Andy Malt will be tweeting his views on some of the artists who appear via the hashtag #Blog6music; follow him via Twitter here, and read more about the show and the chart here.

Each participating journalist or blogger has also been asked to name their personal favourite artists of the year so far, so here are Andy’s selections:

AlunaGeorge: Singer Aluna Francis and producer George Reid’s second single, ‘You Know You Like It’, was by far my favourite of last year. But since the beginning of this year, things have really started to pick up for the duo. And deservedly so. Their mix of R&B and pop is packed full of great hooks but also deceptively experimental. In February they supported Danish singer Oh Land (herself fresh from supporting Katy Perry on her UK tour) at a sold out show at London’s Heaven, and more recently they’ve toured the UK with fellow up and comers Friends. In May I was lucky enough to catch them at a very busy Great Escape show, where they proved themselves as a great live act. With ‘You Know You Like It’ re-released with two more new tracks, ‘Just A Touch’ and ‘Put Your Hands Up’, via Tri Angle Records earlier this month and their debut album on the way, I really hope their upward trajectory continues, because I want to hear a lot more from them yet.

Julia Holter has been releasing albums since 2008, but she really began to attract attention this year when she signed to RVNG Intl off the back of her brilliant 2011 album, ‘Tragedy’. The benefit of existing below the radar for several years before being ‘discovered’ of course, is that it leaves an artist free to perfect their sound and performance. This year’s album, ‘Ekstasis’, is the perfect combination of classical-singing-infused vocals and jazz-influenced electronica, all of which was hinted at on 2008’s ‘Eating The Stars’, if in rawer and not quite so successful form (I bet she’d properly nail that cover of Crowded House’s ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ now). Live she’s also an absolutely entrancing performer. Accompanied by live drums and cello, when I saw her at Cafe Oto in London earlier this month she played one of those shows where you have to stop and collect yourself afterwards before trying to speak to anyone around you. Her voice was stunning, perfect throughout, and the live versions of her songs take on new life – in particular the arrangement of ‘Goddess Eyes’ she played that night was stunning.

Susanne Sundfør: Like Julia Holter, Susanne Sundfør has been around a while, though in her native Norway she wasn’t exactly operating under the radar. Still, in Scandinavia there seems to be more acceptance of sudden changes of musical direction (see also Karin Park). So, when she dropped the fairly standard singer-songwriter style for her third long player ‘The Brothel’ in 2010, delivering a dramatic electronic concept album with classical influences and dark themes, Norway let her get on with it. And well done to Norway, because this year she’s back with the follow-up, ‘The Silicon Veil’, which develops her new sound even further. Released in Norway in March, ‘The Silicon Veil’ will make its way to the UK later this year, introduced on this side of The North Sea by a support slot with M83 at Somerset House in London on 16 Jul. The lead track off the album is ‘White Foxes’, a jaw-dropping song that will grab your attention on first listen and have you camping outside her house and tattooing her name across your chest by the second. Definitely.

Susanne Sundfør – White Foxes (Official video) from Susanne Sundfør on Vimeo.