Last year, on New Year’s Day, I made the mistake of reading my entire Twitter feed from 2009. The only good thing that came out of it was a list of artists I’d forgotten loving when I saw or heard them for the first time. Because I reckon I saw more music last year than the previous one, I went through Twitter this morning to compile a list for 2010.
In case you’re wondering it turns out reading a year worth of tweets isn’t necessarily a bad way to take stock of the year that’s passed. In this case, there were sixteen bands about whom I tweeted glowing things, and then – either because of the way life happens, or because I’m constantly tossed music – I proceeded to completely forget about them. So, I’m choosing a Top 5 of those bands I forgot I loved last year. They’re not all newcomers, mind you, but they’re all artists whose music I apparently spent a good deal of time enjoying, only to slip my mind when it came time to close out the year. Enjoy:
1. THE TEXAS SAPPHIRES
This band was apparently the one stand-out from a day I spent trying to make it through stacks of pending review copies (wasn’t in the mood for that Freedy Johnston disc or Marley’s Ghost that day, apparently). They were the first band I mentioned and then forgot about. She’s got a heck of a voice. Looks like they’ve got several shows this month in Austin, if you’re anywhere near there.
This guy came as a recommendation from a friend, and I spent a full day listening to everything I could find by him. Pretty much some straight-up singer-songwriter stuff, but with a lot of big notes, rhythm switches, and all-around toe-tapping goodness. I imagine he’s not news to our friends in the UK. At any rate, though, I resolve to spend several days listening to Mundy this year.
3. THE VEILS
Now that I’ve read my entire Twitter History of 2010, I don’t recall where or when I mentioned the Veils, but that’s unimportant. What’s important is that I’ll make a point of giving them a little more airtime in 2011. They’re not twangy at all, but they are on Rough Trade (the folks who brought you Lucinda’s self-titled debut). It’s dark and heavy on guitar, I’m guessing heavily influenced by early U2 and maybe PJ Harvey. Or maybe that’s just the section of my brain which is stimulated by them. Of course, they’re from London. Here’s their website.
4. SHARON VAN ETTEN
Maybe I was one of the only music reporters in the world who managed to forget about Sharon Van Etten last year, but it happened. I caught her at South by Southwest, in a church. Her music is so simple, so melodic and kind of entrancing. Definitely an artist I plan on spending more time enjoying in the year ahead. She just dropped a new record, too, titled Epic. Here’s her website, with tour dates, etc.
I saw these guys in Nashville during the Americana conference. It was 9/11, and they played a brief set at the Basement. According to my tweet, they were my favorite new find from that whole festival week. MySpace says they live in Nashville, but Wikipedia has them from Huntsville, Ala. – a city I remember touring through back in my folksinger days, and recall thinking it had a remarkable music scene back then. I was always surprised I didn’t hear more from Huntsville, Ala., but now we have Cassino. Incidentally, if anyone knows other Hunstville bands I should check out, leave them in the comments.