If you’ve seen the new issue you’ll know it’s a new music special, dedicated to the bands we think you’ll love in the coming year – as well as a few tips from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon and The xx.
For a hands-on accompaniment to the issue, you can download a free mixtape featuring all the bands we’re tipping over on Jaimie Hodgson’s Radar blog.
Plus, let us know who you think deserves to make it big in 2010 by posting a comment on the office blog.
Read about all these bands in more detail in this week’s NME, on sale Wednesday 6 January.
18 Joy Orbison
NME says: South London’s Joy Orbison creates a forward-thinking amalgamation of dubstep, Balearic bliss and UK garage that seems like a logical next step in dance music’s evolution.
Free mixtape track: ‘Hyph Mngo’
17 The Avett Brothers
NME says: North Carolina’s The Avett Brothers cross-stitch folk traditions on to punk dynamics in the way that Mumford & Sons or Goldheart Assembly do in the UK.
Free mixtape track: ‘Will You Return?’
16 Washed Out
NME says: Washed Out is the prolific project of elusive 27-year-old Ernest Greene, who hails from the deepest depths of America’s South, and is now at the centre of a slobbering industry scrum. He appears to have 2010 on lockdown.
Free mixtape track: ‘Feel It All Around’
15 Everything Everything
NME says: Theirs is a modern, mathy mongrel pop music where the spirit of contemporary R&B, classical songwriting structure and barbershop harmonies are all ripe for the picking.
They say: “We’re trying to avoid cliche at all costs. If it’s Girls Aloud or Slint, it doesn’t matter.”
Free mixtape track: ‘My KZ Urbf’
14 Surfer Blood
NME says: Equal parts eccentric and anthemic, this Florida fivesome sound like an unholy jam between a demon-less Frank Black, Paul Simon and a sunburnt Rivers Cuomo.
Free mixtape track: ‘Swim To Reach The End’
13 Music Go Music
NME says: We’ve been enchanted by California’s hippy-disco mystics Music Go Music since they first emerged as the offshoot of showtune indie-gods Bodies Of Water.
They say: “Maybe the fact that we do other things aside from Music Go Music means it isn’t really a reflection of our identities.”
Free mixtape track: ‘Warm In The Shadows (Villa Remix’)
12 Darwin Deez
NME says: Darwin Deez’s debut single ‘Constellations’ zooms between the louche vocals of Julian Casablancas and the best ’80s staccato fret-fluttering.
He says: His plans for 2010 include “opening for Passion Pit, kissing girls and bringing my homemade jams to Europe – musical jams, not jelly.”
Free mixtape track: ‘Constellations’
11 Theophilus London
NME says: London bravely ditches macho posturing for poetry, ice-cold beats, recycled ’80s electro and no wave snippets.
He says: “I’m a voice over raw beats with blaring synth and dancing bass lines.”
Free mixtape track: ‘Humdrum Town’
10 Frankie And The Heartstrings
NME says: A neater amalgam of pop, post-punk, art-rock and indie you’ll struggle to find.
They say: “‘Biology’ by Girls Aloud is better than anything in Radiohead’s back catalogue.” (Pete Gofton).
Free mixtape track: ‘Possibilities’
NME says: Delphic could end up a world-conquering band. Their anthemic brand of house music enhanced with arena-sized guitars has the potential to define a summer.
They say: “We’re trying to recreate that 5am feeling when you’re wandering round after a club.”
Free mixtape track: ‘Counterpoint’
8 Marina And The Diamonds
NME says: Hers is an almost unnervingly absorbing pop personality, one so strong that it seems to have its own gravitational pull.
She says: “Fuck being cool, I’m living my absolute dreams!”
Free mixtape track: ‘Obsessions’
NME says: If you took Joy Division at their starkest, and gave it to the Pet Shop Boys to perform on The X Factor, you’d be getting somewhere close to Hurts’ songwriting process.
They say: “I’m very much of the opinion that you can say a lot with a little.” (Theo Hutchcraft).
Free mixtape track: ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’
NME says: Kindness, aka Adam Bainbridge, makes music that’s worth tying a man down in a dilapidated warehouse for.
He says: “I want there to be a purity to music, to reject the crassness of contemporary culture.”
Free mixtape track: ‘Swinging Party’
5 Magnetic Man
NME says: Skream + Benga + Artwork = Magnetic Man, the dubstep collective set to destroy 2010.
They say: “We’re still all about dubstep, but this is another evolution. We can get creative.”
Free mixtape track: ‘The Cyberman’
4 Egyptian Hip Hop
NME says: “Categorising them is like trying to pin the genre on a bolting donkey. In pitch black. While on ketamine.
They say: “What really interests me is what we’ll sound like by the end of next year. I’ve got no idea.” (Alex Hewett).
Free mixtape track: ‘Rad Pitt’
The south-east London area of Peckham might just have found an unlikely saviour in Nathan Thompsons, aka Hollowman, aka Giggs – currently being touted by his new label XL as UK rap’s brightest new hope.
NME says: “You wouldn’t exactly call him an angel – last we checked, Gabriel never served two years in prison for gun charges (as Thompson had by his 21st birthday). However, the 27-year-old, , insists he’s a man who’s out the “naughtiness” of his youth behind him.”
He says: “It’s easier when I go to America because a lot of other people have gun charges and stuff.”
2 Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding is a British singer-songwriter currently signed to Polydor. She is currently finishing recording her debut album with producer Mark Ronson, due to be released in the first quarter of 2010.
NME says: “Ellie’s not Lady Gaga. She seems real. You can imagine pouring your heart out to her, and you can imagine her doing the same.
She says: “If I summed up everyone who’s sent me a message over the last year, it’s mostly girls going, ‘Yeah, I totally know what you mean’.”
Free mixtape track: ‘Wish I Stayed (Demo)’
1 The Drums
There are few things that unite the NME office, bar mild alcoholism, social retardation or the threat of imminent nuclear holocaust. So when we heard The Drums and realised that we all thought they were brilliant, we were suspicious. Surely some trick? This perfect band must be a kind of Trojan horse, a trap to get us all into one venue and then gas us like the vermin we are.