2013 ended in a blaze of bombastic bravado from Queen Bee Beyonce and the equally unexpected, (not really in Beyonce’s case, she loves the shock factor) rise of Kiwi pop princess Lorde, setting the trend for what appears to be a very female-dominated 2014. Yes, the year to come is shaping up to be one jam-packed annum of music that mimics an electronically charged lo- fi Fleetwood Mac, aka nu-folk meets R&B a la Haim, and girl- power will reign supreme. Miley Cyrus will rule the world and Adele’s long awaited follow-up to 21 will ultimately disappoint, but still sell more records than anyone else put together; utterly joyous news.
“What about the good stuff?” I hear you say. Well, hip hop is in the throes of a remarkable revolution and in 2014 this will continue (thank the lord), in the form of acid- toting sensation Chance the Rapper from the Windy City. Chance’s 2013 mix tape Acid Rap hit the underground scene by storm, garnering praise from big names Kanye West and Twista. 2014 will see Chance’s brand of acid jazz meets house come ragtime scat take over the scene, closely followed by young bucks Bishop Nehru and Vic Mensa who are both due debut records as well. Hip hop is the genre to watch in the new year, hell maybe we’ll get that long awaited sequel to Madvillainy which MF Doom’s been working on since 2002, that would be so catastrophically awesome your humble narrator probably wouldn’t listen to anything else the whole year; anyway, onto bands.
Arcade Fire. That’s all that it’s really necessary to say to be honest. Win Butler will rule the world (as well as Miley, they can share), Glastonbury will catapult the maniacal Mounties into the mainstream and they’ll be selling those silly giant bobble head mask things out of ice cream vans on school playgrounds by mid- Summer. Mark my words. Other ‘hype’ bands to watch from behind your NME talent sieve are Indie rockers Telegram (four-piece hailing from London), gleefully immature punks Eagulls from Leeds, and maniacal Chicago- garage dwellers the Orwells. But if you’re not that interested don’t bother because guitar music isn’t coming back in a big way. Oh, and Alex Turner will continue his wretchedly rotten descent from likeable northern wordsmith to delirious, egocentric nutjob as evidenced by any live show they’ve done since 2007, although Arctic Monkeys are still quite possibly the best band in Britain.
The overwhelming musical direction of the future twelve months, apart from the feminine penchant, has to be that of the mystical neo- pop predilection. Artists of the mould of Swedish starlet Mø, and Canadian (hey Canada seems to be hogging the limelight a bit doesn’t it?) soulster The Weeknd will further establish a dominance over the alternative market begun by Nottingham graduates London Grammar in the back end of last year.
What 2014 undeniably needs is a sound dizzyingly different to anything out there, like when the Stooges blew the doors off of the sixties’ narcissistic dream-like beat rock in 1972 with their apocalyptic stunner Raw Power. This disillusioned student’s one great hope for 2014 is for a wave of mental geniuses to come in, throw the manual of ‘Pop success’ out the window and kick any management executive in the balls (or vagina, no sexism here) who tries to tell them what to do, or to change their look. Let’s have some flipping originality for God sake. Except for you Win, you do what you want. Oh actually, maybe wash your hair?