As the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2012 draws near, we have a look at the shortlist and the likelihood of each act actually walking away with the prize. There’s no such thing as a done deal when it comes to the Mercury Music Prize; the ones that you think are the favourites never seem to walk away the title, the judging panel is very hard to second guess. But hey, that’s not going to stop us giving it a try!
Alt-J: An Awesome Wave
These quirky popsters have crept up on the public throughout 2012, and with their debut album garnering critical acclaim in all corners of the press, they’ve been pegged by many as the favourites to win. A recent survey conducted by Spotify showed that Alt-J’s tracks had been streamed more times that any other nominated artist. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to walk home with the prize though.
Continue reading: Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2012: Our Predictions
You wouldn't think it, but 2004-2005 is starting to feel like quite a long time ago now, when a wrath of new bands were gracing the scene. These included the likes of The Killers, who have gone on to the arena and Glastonbury headlining mantle, Kaiser Chiefs, who predicted a riot but not their drop in popularity and The Futureheads. The Sunderland four piece were associated with their cover of Kate Bush's 'Hounds of love,' which was their first single off their debut album. This made it to number eight in the UK singles charts.
But after becoming disillusioned with the ins and outs of being on a major record label they have suffered from a case of declining returns due to not having the clout of a major label's backing. However, they are back in 2012 with their fifth studio album, Rant, the follow up to 2010's 'The Chaos' But wait, this is actually an a capella album of R 'n' B covers and some rearrangements of their own material.
Rant begins with a track 'meantime' but it is a cover of Black Eyed Peas' 'Meet me halfway' that really catches you by surprise. It makes you realise that this album's concept isn't as bonkers as you might think at first. You are reminded about how well the vocal play between the members on 'hounds of love' was performed.
Another highlight on Rant is 'A Capella.' An apt cover for this album's concept as the band tackle Kelis' dance tinged hit with plenty of gusto. It is the layering of the band member's voices that help add to the overall quality. Their accents also bring a traditional and quintessentially traditional English element to the arrangements.
If you're ever looking for the ideal definition of a curveball then Rant by The Futureheads is surely it. The question now is what will the band do for the follow up to this album? Will they go back to their own instruments or maybe try some Gregorian chanting. The strange beauty is that after this, it can't be said for sure what The Futureheads will do next. Upon listening it is not as bonkers as when you're first presented with the CD.
The only criticism of Rant would be that a full LP of this may be too much for some listeners.
If they had cut it down into bite size chunks such as EP's it may have helped.
But that is the only criticism of an album that should be regarded as a very welcome addition to The Fututreheads' body of work.
Simplicity, on the video for 'Hanging Johnny' by Sunderland rockers The Futureheads simplicity is defined as effortless as you'd want. Filmed in black and white and void of any instruments, the group flaunt their new a cappella style with the first single and video from their all a cappella album Rant. Director Ian West reflects on the band's attitude toward Rant seamlessly - they are four voices coming together in modern times, showing their appreciation for a near-forgotten musical tradition and putting their own mark on things.
Continue: The Futureheads - Hanging Johnny
The Futureheads' new track, The Old Dun Cow, is taken from their upcoming fifth album, Rant, which will be released on April 2nd. The album is somewhat of a departure for the band; the ten tracks on the LP are all a capella. To celebrate the release of Rant, The Futureheads will be going on a UK tour throughout April.
Continue: The Futureheads - The Old Dun Cow
The Beginning Of The Twist
Continue reading: The Futureheads, The Beginning Of The Twist Single Review