It’s that time again. Next Wednesday (October 20) sees the return – after a year’s sabbatical – of our Cool List. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s basically our attempt to honour all the most colourful and charismatic people in our world.
It’s also, traditionally, the cue for hundreds of online comments calling us arrogant hipster bell-ends. But try not to take it too seriously, OK?
Anyway, the top 50 will be announced in the mag next week. In the run-up to then, we’re counting down from 75. Starting with…
75. Rivers Cuomo, Weezer
He used to be mad as a box of spanners, but the grand vizier of geek-rock has mellowed with age – and the world has come round to his way of thinking. In an age where a film about Facebook tops the box office, we are all geeks now. And the ecstatic reaction that greeted Weezer at Reading/Leeds this year suggests the band’s stock has never been higher.
74. Lewis Bowman, Chapel Club
With a voice that’s more stern and passion-filled than Count von Count remonstrating with a parking warden, Bowman invests Chapel Club with boundless gravitas. Meanwhile, his band prove that the age-old formula of big tunes, long faces and Jesus & Mary Chain-style feedback never stops being awesome.
73. Caitlin Rose
Like a younger Lucinda Williams (much younger – she’s 23), Rose has a plangent quality to her voice that belies her age. And her lyrics are so clear-eyed. Take this couplet from ‘Shanghai Cigarettes’: “Trying to quit will make you wish you didn’t start / ‘Cos the pack is as empty as the hole in your heart”.
72. James Blake
Part producer, part dubstep singer-songwriter, James Blake is another London-based artist – Katy B is another – who’s spinning underground dance music into something fresh, exhilarating and highly listenable.
71. Bradford Cox, Deerhunter
With yet another mind-expanding album under his belt in the form of ‘Halcyon Digest’, Bradford Cox has been so good for so long, we’re in danger of taking him for granted.