What's this? A new male electropop duo - after Hurts, The Sound of Arrows and of course Pet Shop Boys, consider me interested! And you can certainly hear influences of the latter in the music of Echoes. The pair have been remixing for rising stars Florrie, The Good Natured, Lights and The Joy Formidable but also have some songs of their own out there, and it's fair to say that they're very impressive.
Listen to some of their songs/remixes here: www.soundcloud.com/wehearechoes
And here is my favourite of their songs on Youtube, the melancholy It Goes On, sounding like a lost 80's gem but simultaneously making a lot of sense in 2011;
I feel like I'm a bit late to the party to just start writing about Ed now, but this guy cannot be ignored. As a big fan of Leddra Chapman, a friend and collaborator of Ed Sheeran, I became aware of his music at some point early this year. But despite being tipped by approximately none of the 'Sound of 2011' type polls, Ed looks like he's about to become a major star. His latest of many EP's, No.5 Collaborations Project, climbed as high as #2 on iTunes UK without any sort of major label backing, with only the force that is Rihanna blocking a #1. He clearly has a quickly growing fanbase and deservedly so. The 19 year old singer/songwriter is unique in that he works with a lot of the current big grime artists, particularly on his current EP - this hybrid genre is incredibly fresh and his soulful voice really stands out and adds weight, and a sense of hope or sorrow to the rapper that each chorus accompanies in the verse. Even Elton John's declared himself as a fan! The most hard hitting track on the EP is Little Lady, a collaboration with Mikill Pane. It's gritty and shocking, almost like a UK version of Eminem's Stan lyrically - but definitely well worth a listen;
I covered Sheelah on the blog last year following their frankly astonishing Scandipop/electro/pop-rock hybrid Psycho. The duo, formerly part of the group Caracola, who participated in Melodifestivalen 2008 with the chirpy Smiling In Love, are set to be launched properly now - in Sweden at least - and the first proper single from them is The Last Time. Not a million miles away from Psycho, the lyrics are perhaps more commercial so it makes sense to lead with this song. The electro production gives way to a When Love Takes Over style broken piano chord before launching into a brilliantly euphoric Scandipop chorus and that's before even getting onto one of the greatest middle eight's I've heard in a while! Roll on Sheelah's album - I'll be first in line to buy it, or rather import it!