Following up on part I, here's a list of several names to keep an eye out for over the next year or so:
Janelle Monae is a popstar of a different sort. Though parallels have been drawn between her and show queen Lady Gaga, Monae's push for her own unique identity shines through a lot more consistently than it does with the first lady of today's pop world. Clad in a Tux and sporting the usual chic haircut that complements her juvenille looks and harmonic voice, Monae closed Roskilde festival's Cosmopol scene with an award winning performance that gave an indication as to why her 2010 album "ArchAndroid suites" has received as much praise as it has. Monae's self proclaimed identity as an android adds a geeky, entertaining element to her music and showmanship which shines through every aspect of her work.
Afrocubism are a revelation in the genre of world music, fusing the musical influences of Buena Vista Social Club members with traditional West African musicianship in a combination that's garnered a fair deal of afficionados over time. Basic instruments such as the kora and the ngoni are given free reign in the lively, passionate music of Afrocubism, whose powerful vocals are complemented by detailed, varied instrumentation strung skillfully together by the veteran maestros that compose the band. Rich, rhythmic and rustic, Afrocubism are frontline ambassadors of contemporary traditional music.
Dark Dark Dark
The music of Minneapolis sextet Dark Dark Dark is the sort of stuff one would expect to hear at the peak of an emotionally charged movie scene. Grey's Anatomy have in fact used the band's most well known number, "Daydreaming" so don't be surprised if more of their music makes it onto the television screen in front of you. Soft, sentimental chamber folk featuring the piano, clarinet and banjo interspersed with poignant, piercing, spine-shingling lyrics just about describes what this band is all about, or does it ?