Music outlook for 2011; a young person’s view!

(Editor's note - Matt Wright was born 20 years and 363 days ago and I met him 6 hours later as he lay in the next cot to my daughter.  He is hoping to be a music journalist, and he's kindly agreed to give readers a perspective on the outlook for music in 2011 from a very slightly younger standpoint than you usually get here...)

With new album releases from Radiohead, The Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes on the cards and rumours of major festival appearances for U2 and Prince, 2011 could well shape up into a fine year for music.  It’s a good job really, seeing as there’s currently all this talk of the world ending in 2012- a threat that’s rather ominously gained some stature in the wake of Australian floods, dead birds falling out of the sky and Prince William’s impending marriage to a commoner!

Personally, I’ve got fairly mixed feelings about the End of the World: on the one hand, it means I’ll be denied the opportunity of living a rich, fulfilling and meaningful life; on the other, it means, I won’t have to worry too much about getting a job after University, and could spend my last earthly days travelling and listening to great music.

And what better sound to play out the Apocalypse than the warm crackle of the distorted guitar chord? That’s right; in 2011 British guitar music is coming back...well, according to the NME, anyway. Already, there’s been a lot of ‘chat’ about a band called Brother, who are from Slough and play brawny, guitar-driven, Britpop tunes in the same vein as Oasis.  In fact, due to their cavalier swagger and penchant for wearing sunglasses, the ‘new Oasis’ moniker has swiftly been catapulted in their direction.  This is a bit unnecessary really, given that the ‘old’ Oasis are still very much doddering about, only without Noel, and under the name Beady Eye. Fortunately, you don’t need beady ears to work out that there’s still nothing particularly new or exciting about their music.

If, however, in a bid to avoid the falling birds, you are willing to head a bit more underground for your guitar music in 2011, then there are plenty of exciting new acts ready to rock out their wares. I recommend a Camden-based quartet called Tribes.  To summarise, they’re unsigned, they play grunge and they look like they don’t wash.  But, if songs such as ‘Whenever’ and ‘Himalaya’ are anything to go by, they could be one of 2011’s most exciting prospects.  ‘Himalaya’ has a riff the size of its mountain-range namesake, whilst ‘Whenever’ boasts scorching-hot power chords and angst-fuelled vocals combusting together in what could be the most exhilarating chorus since ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. And I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have the ‘new Nirvana’ than the ‘new Oasis’, any day.

Of course, when the waters rise, you might need something a little more quiet and comforting than Tribes as background music for any leftover reminiscing and repenting. Thankfully, indie-folk heroes, Noah & The Whale are due to return with their third album- fittingly called Last Night On Earth- in March. So far, the beautifully heart-warming single, ‘L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N’,*  has hinted that this could be a master-class in simple, classic song-writing. Furthermore, Mercury Prize winners Elbow and stadium giants Coldplay have set release dates for 2011, which could mean a very comfy and calm-sounding Armageddon, after all!

(*Me again - I assume Mr Noah has got over being dumped by Laura Marling then - their last album was impressive but SO DEPRESSING!)

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