STEVE HOANG: No Coming Back.He’s just been touring with JLS, touting his jagged synth-laden imploring R&B. Steve began in 2007 with his self-recorded, produced and promoted debut album, This Is Me, propelled to the top of the MySpace and R&B iTune charts. Out to capture teen heart and purse strings.
TIESTO featuring NELLY FURTADO: Who Wants To Be Alone. A divine collaboration with Nelly’s distinctive nasal vocals slicing through Tiesto’s deep synth plod. Culled from Tiesto’s new album, Kaleidoscope, that’s nothing short of a synth masterclass.
THE MISERABLE RICH: Somerhill.In the cult genre of chamber pop this swirling lot are seen as torchbearers. Rather surreal and packed with disarming orchestral charm. How many other bands have cello and violin as lead instruments? Their band name evolved after playing at the wedding of two ultra-rich aristocrats in Rome who, it turns out, were both miserable and rich.
SOUND OF GUNS: Alcatraz. All guitars blazing type rock from the Liverpudlians who have opted for anthemic power chords and punk-nodding gang vocals over the usual jangly guitars and quirky lyricism normally associated with the city.
GENERAL FIASCO: Ever So Shy.Biff, bash, bosh pop rock from the band from Northern Ireland that runs itself ragged in its pursuit of artistic honesty.
TRAIL: To The Rest Of The World.The London band raised £20,000 to record its debut album, but caught the ear of American producer Matt Wallace who took them to Los Angeles to record this – hence the soft rock feel. It’s full-bodied as it often sets off into melodic overdrive with the odd great line such as “we don’t have long to be forever young.’’ They can toughen up when they want and calm things right down for a trip into ballad land, but when it’s all over it’s hard to think of many standout moments. Best is the current single, City, which is driving pop melancholia that suddenly takes off in a gentle Editorsesque way as it stomps its way stealthily into the consciousness.
KATEY BROOKS: Proof Of Life.A rising star of British acoustic music who sets off with a fragile halo alone with her acoustic guitar. But as the scores start to take a more orchestral turn things become more interesting. A voice that can capture the imagination.