ACT: Kylie Minogue & Giorgio Moroder
WHY: This is pretty much self-explanatory. Kylie. And Moroder. Says it all actually. The album includes a whole gang of exciting collaborations but for me I am gonna head straight towards to the union of Kylie and Giorgio. It's peculiar to think that the two haven't already worked together but its never too late and it seems right to do it now. So excited about this. My lips tremble at the thought of it all. Clutching my disco pearls.
ACT: Karen Harding
WHY: Putting my hands up here. Self-Confessin'. I've loved Karen Harding and "Say Something" since I first heard it in the cold months of 2014. Her powerful warm yet soulful vocals surround her debut single that immediately sounds sliced between a lost retro garage house gem of the 1990s and yet spiky dance anthem of 2015. Karen, I can't wait for the album!
WHY: Buoyed after the success of her Christmas EP (buy here) and her debut EP "What's Mine Is Yours" (Buy here), Harriet has already planned the follow-up making good on the sparkling response received repeated airplay on BBC Radio 2 & performed live on Graham Norton's weekend show. New stuff is probably due February. She's been busy working with mighty song maestros Steve Anderson, Cliff Masterson, Judie Tzuke and has pencilled in some more very additional exciting sessions before a summertime release of her album.
WHY: Been waiting for their album Collateral (wip title) to come for a while now. But all good things and all that, right? The album contains their amazing first single with Au Revoir Simone "Rise Early Morning" which is everything I expected and had hoped would be. Big, dance and anthemic. All eyes and eyes will be on the Jake Shears & Kylie duet which is apparently very disco. Should be out around May via Astralworks. Very excited.
ACT: Billie Marten
WHY: Her voice is something else. I can never ever tire of Billie Marten. She is outer-wordly and her performances are always spellbinding. I am transfixed by her material and thankfully down to taking all the right steps in 2013 and 2014, it is this year when it looks like she's about to soar. Last year saw her release beautiful "Ribbon", perform at Reading over the summer and take part in Music Weeks Presenting series. Four days ago she signed to the glorious people at Chess Club Records (MØ & Oceaán). So very exciting times for Billie this year.
WHY: Bianca is pure pop. So that's always a pretty good place to start. She's working with Steve Anderson and Richard Stannard on her debut album which promises to doff its hat to big hair, Whitney, leg-warmers, Stock/Aitken and everything pop. Also gotta take this moment to note Bianca's stunning voice which she showed off gloriously in her stunning cover of Robbers. Big voice+big things=big 2015. *Gets popcorn*
ACT: Markus Feehily
WHY: I've always wondered why there wasn't a really male popstar who'd somehow managed create the same delicious magic stardust which fuelled the comets of Robyn and Mary J Blige, combine the two and festoon himself with the glorious afterglow of such a dyadic collision. I thought perhaps for one moment Sam Smith may lead me down that rather interesting path. He sadly hasn't. I gather however Markus has taken on the challenge with immense gusto and as such I can't wait to hear and see him take to the stage in March when he finally unveils his hotly anticipated new sound. Gonna be a good'un.
SOUND: Not yet.
WHY: It certainly helps that she shares the name of one of my favourite Disney princesses. It also helps that she hails from one of my favourite regions of pop: Norway. Bergen to be precise. Signed already to Petroleum/GlassNote Records (Decca), Aurora's deliciously synth trinkets of exuberance have ensured she is definitely one of my acts to watch out for this year. My favourite has to be "Awakening". Check it out here. But in fact, everything she touches turns to gold.
WHY: I'm rather excited about Levana. I mean c'mon - what a pop name!? Levana! She's been a busy queen b working steadily on her new album with the brilliant pop producer Sarah de Courcy. Nay, Sarah is an immense talent so I'm keeping my eye on Levana. So far proceedings have been kept under wraps but last year she teamed up with the lovely people over at Freemasons (here). And, though I'm thinkin the dance collab is quite far removed from her general sound, the sumptuous voice of Levana decorates the track like a sonic jewel in the crown. Cannot wait to hear more.
SOUND: Not yet.
WHY: Ever since the Nordic trio uploaded their seminal beauty of a song "Tears Run Dry", I've been fallen hard for the delicious music of Lina, Klas & Simon. "Tears Run Dry" was co-written by one of my favourite Swedish scribes of very good music Noonie Bao (who had a number 1 in the UK with "I Could Be The One" with Avicii). Clapping my hands with joy at the news that three-piece's forthcoming LP "Only Built For Northern Lights" is due out on 9 March via Grind Records.
WHY: The first of December saw Vaults release "Poison" & additional songs from their big buzz EP "Vultures". They've been bubbling for quite some time but it is 2015 that should see them have some fun. Elegant and sophisticated, their earthy dark electro music fronted by the organic vocals of lead singer Blithe provides a sublime tableau of stylish and critically substantial pop music. Ever since "Premonitions" and "Cry No More" in 2013, I've been hooked. Their debut album is going to be tres tres good.
ACT: Sonia Stein
WHY: I love St.Vincent. I also love Shannon Saunders. & Laurel. Love those three too? Sonia may be up your straße. I love her ghostly dark production that drapes itself around her sumptuous voice. Layer on a gorgeous guitar and Sonia makes strikingly atmospheric music which never fails to provide a firework of goosebumps. One of the best new arrivals of 2014 and one to watch this year.
ACT: Say Lou Lou
WHY: Been waiting for their debut album for some now despite. So very much buzzed about the news that, yes, the album is coming out! Their new single "Games For Girls" is a little like a pop remix of a Rebecca & Fiona song which is an immense compliment. As I love love love love Rebecca & Fiona. The album, Lucid Dreaming, is out next month. Getting out the streamers already. Oh yes!
WHY: The return of Robyn. Don't need many reasons to fully explain why I am excited about new material from Robyn. Suffice to say after a few years of collaborating with very talented persons rumour has Robyn is releasing her big follow-up to Body Talk in the much adored latter end of 2015. So, there may be a bit of a wait but it'll be well-worth it.
ACT: Ina Wroldsen
WHY: Involved in some of the biggest pop songs of the last few years, Ina branched off with Swede Arnthor to create Ask Embla and thus released one of the finest pop albums of the decade. Now, Ina is going solo. Her first song "Aliens" has over 2 million streams on spotify alone. In her native Norway, it is gigantic thanks to immense - and well-deserved - radio support. I can't wait for her debut album. Counting the days, nay minutes, until its released.