20 New Acts For 2011

As featured in the January New Music Issue of NME, here are the 20 acts we’re tipping for the year ahead. Enjoy…

The Vaccines

New single ‘Post Break Up Sex’ could be something from The Strokes’ debut, while their toilet circuit live shows have showcased a fizzing electricity born of equal parts vulnerability and confidence.





They’re mashing the best of Britpop and beyond into monumental mounds of melody and might.



Odd Future

They come fuelled by the internal combustion of misunderstood teenagers. Simultaneously crude and complex, they operate as an almost punk-like agent, aiming to purify rap of its peacock-preening and pretensions.





Obvious reference points include the cathartic fuzz of Brand New, a wearier Lemonheads or the US-indebted song sketches of Graham Coxon’s early releases. You wouldn’t know it by their accents, but they’re a pop band wrapped in a red, white and blue checked shirt.



Their exuberant, harmonising choruses reach out to embrace. Their muse is not the druggy monologue of psychedelic music of yore, but an excitable sermon from the top of Mount Joy.


Anna Calvi

She’s grown-up pop’s darkest new gem, and she’s as alarming as she is arousing. The first thing you’ll notice is Anna’s rich, imperious voice, but the second is her Spanish-tinged guitar-playing. She’s a female guitarist to get very excited about.



James Blake

A stunning hybrid of sparse electronics that’s not afraid to let one note chime or thud alone, made sturdy by hummingbird wing bass and the constant of his devastating voice.




They’re unapologetic, God-fearing church boys. Burning with punk rock passion, this is a band closer in spirit to The Clash than the Kings. Mona are coming for your souls.



The Naked And Famous

They’re not just another electro mush to whack on the Hype Machine’s flaming tyre pile. They have turned the messy vulnerability of first love, teenage rebellion and drunken mistakes into a precise punchy electro.



Spark might be jumping the gun a bit to call herself a success story, but from where we’re sitting, it’s pretty nailed on that by this time next year, it’ll be justified. She’s got the songs and the single-minded, hard-arsed will to succeed.



Oh Land

She has a new life as a bona fide popstrel, forging a new, cryptic pop language for the release of her self-titled album in early 2011.


Jessie J

If her debut electro-filth single ‘Do It Like A Dude’ is anything to go by, she’s making the right choices.



Hannah, their artiest member, describes their forthcoming album as “upbeat, downbeat, side-beat, diagonal beat.”



Gypsy & The Cat

With their debut album dropping in the UK early this summer, expect a few well-timed festival appearances to cap what should be a whirlwind schedule.




Rumours have claimed them as ex-members of demi-buzz shmindie types Lion Club. 2011 could be their big reveal – or just another titillating temptation.


Big Deal

If you’ve bled The xx album dry, these tender exit wounds from the emotional shrapnel of growing up could be what you’re looking for.



But the one thing they really need you to know? “We want to be the best live band in the world. We don’t fuck around with that.”


Jamie Woon

Whether it’ll be James Blake’s white-boy avant-soul or Woon’s swoonsome croon that’ll find itself carpeting the Radio 1 playlist next year, you’ll just have to wait and see.


Alex Winston

Her lyrics flit between the cutesy and the twisted. She’s fast becoming one of the trendiest tickets in town, although she won’t admit it.




Their debut EP is a storm of spontaneity, adventure and melodrama.