1) Lana Del Rey
This rising indie pop artist is an American from upstate New York (represent!) Lana, aka Lizzie Grant, combines sultry vocals with alluring lyrics for a smoky, seductive sound. This former Church choir singer finds inspiration in everything from classic Italian cinema to Nirvana.
“Video Games,” her first single, majestically captures the shamelessness and insecurity of falling in love. “It’s better than I ever even knew / they say that the world was built for two,” she sings, as gentle tones evoke the glamor of a fallen Hollywood star (listen to the whole track here). Wow, did we find a friend for Marina?
Miss Del Rey has a pretty self-confident sound, but she has not yet conquered her image (in the music video for "Blue Jeans" her body language is stiff, & she moves her stunning lips rather awkwardly). Either way, girlfriend's got talent. We expect to hear more from this lady!
2) The Wombats
Onto one of my ultimate guilty-pleasure bands: Britpop rockers the Wombats. On their newest album, "This Modern Glitch," these hyperactive Liverpudlians beat everyone to the punch by writing a pop song that pays tribute to our lost decade of innocence: the 1990s.
I’m just gonna go ahead & say it: FINALLY. I’m not the only one who would rather watch Backstreet Boys videos than spend hours facebook-stalking strangers. This song is so anthemic that even my sister, who has sworn off pop music since 2004, cannot help but chant along, “I had no cares in the 1990s / I knew of no downfalls / the war was breaking out all around me / my concerns were with prank calls.” Props to the Wombats for admitting that the modern age scares the crap out of them too.
Good news for us: the Wombats are commencing a big US tour this month & have selected "1996" as their next single. They released the new music video last week (watch it here). Hmm, is it just me, or does the normally unphotogenic Matthew Murphy actually look kinda cute in this video… in a hairy, underwater kind of way?
3) Zola Jesus
Love it or leave it baby, Zola Jesus is making some pretty damn spooky noise-pop. Okay, so using the term “pop” to describe Zola Jesus may seem a little far-fetched, but hear us out.
In recent years we witnessed the emergence of the “dark pop” genre with the development of artists like Natalia Kills & Kerli, and especially after Gaga’s second album took an edgier route. The Wisconsin-raised Zola Jesus has been making experimental, operatic dark pop for years now. She may or may not have anticipated the “dark pop” trend, but who are we to know? What we do know is that she has toured with fellow witchy woman Fever Ray & indie darlings the xx, who complement her sound perfectly.
We expect that after the massive success of Florence’s last album, the market will be more open to Zola's gothic synthpop album “Conatus” (check out her newest release, “Vessel,” here.) We'll see, 2011 could be her year.
Enjoy the hype!