Sunday, 20 January 2013

Pixie Lott 2.0? Tich, Gabrielle Aplin and Miriam Bryant!

I 'discovered' Pixie Lott in 2008 via her MySpace page (remember that!). The page had only had a couple of thousand views and I assumed that she was another musical nobody that I'd stumbled across accidentally. Nevertheless, I loved the demos on the page, especially Boys & Girls and to a lesser extent Mama Do. A year later, said demos had been spruced up and both songs went to No.1 in the UK, much to my surprise as we hadn't had a no bells and whistles British female pop star like that since the days of Billie Piper, Louise and Martine McCutcheon in the late 90s/early 00s. Pixie brought simple fun generic pop back to the teen masses of the UK and she went down a storm on radio, especially with her ballad Cry Me Out and her third chart topper, All About Tonight in 2010. With Pixie absent from the music scene for a while now, her last top ten hits, Kiss The Stars and Bright Lights, coming a year ago, there's a gap in the market for a pure pop female star. So here are three of the main contenders;


Young Northampton singer Tich has already supported Pixie Lott, and others, on tour and it's easy to see why she was picked, they have a lot of similarities, vocally and musically. I listened to a couple of clips of her songs at the start of December and pre-ordered her EP on iTunes straight away. Her highlight thus far is the string laden piano ballad Breathe In, Breathe Out. The EP managed to go top 20 on iTunes when released which bodes well for her future releases considering a certain Ed Sheeran was in the same position this time two years ago before making it huge six months later. She just needs her 'The A Team' to come along and Tich is all set!

Gabrielle Aplin

Wiltshire born 20 year old singer Gabrielle Aplin has already matched Pixie's career opening with her debut major single, The Power Of Love, hitting No.1 in the UK! Not entirely similar musically, Gabrielle's music is far more piano ballad than Pixie's, they nevertheless both represent young British females that have come out of nowhere topping the charts! The Power Of Love's success was of course down to it featuring on the John Lewis Christmas advert so it will be interesting to see how her follow up single, the sweet acoustic ballad Please Don't Say You Love Me, will do when released next month. Gabrielle has been on the scene for quite a few years now and only just finally broken through, with previous EP's - Acoustic, Never Fade and Home, not particularly catching on. Here's hoping that John Lewis have turned her fortunes around and that her debut album, English Rain, can be a major success for the rising talent!

Miriam Bryant

This is technically cheating because Miriam is Swedish but the 21 year old singer is definitely a contender for 'nu Pixie Lott' if she ever manages to break out of her home country. Named by Sweden's biggest newspaper, Aftonbladet, as the #1 artist to watch during 2013, Miriam's star is rising very quickly. She first came to my attention with the decent Finders Keepers last year but new single Push Play is far better. A great pop song with a brilliant post-chorus instrumental, try to imagine Pixie NOT singing this. It's like it was written for Miss Lott. Quick Pixie, steal this song and use it to launch album number three before Miriam beats you to it and smashes worldwide with this infectious pop gem!

Overall, it seems like all three of these artists could have varying degrees of success this year. I'm not sure if any will reach the dizzy heights of Pixie's career peak, who knows, maybe she'll return herself and bag herself a fourth UK No.1? Stranger things have happened!

Apt for the weather: Frida Sundemo - Snow!

Swedish songstress Frida Sundemo has been on my radar for a while now with each song of hers that I hear getting better and better. The punchy pop of Indigo was a treat for the end of 2012 but she's back with what is easily my favourite song of 2013 thus far, and enitrely suitable for the current weather. It's Snow!

A glistening wintery electropop song, it's all very Robyn in atmosphere, Frida's sweet vocal style also reminiscent of the Scandinavian superstar. Snow starts well with excellent verses but it's the chorus where it first starts to excel, the melody progression right at the end of the chorus is excellent, as are the stuttering vocal production techniques that she employs post-chorus which are perfectly in sync with the backing track. The glorious music and Frida's emotive vocals make the middle eight something equally special before it all thunders back to that chorus, some excellently intertwined male ad-libs and then a stunning finish where that amazing melody finally lays to rest. Everything about this song is perfect.