Below you will find details of ten pop acts we think are really good, and who are coming out this year. As well as our own shoddily cobbled-together words, we’ve asked each of the artists to explain to you, the Popjustice viewer, why they are amazing.
Before any of you lot start banging on about the so-called ‘curse’ of Popjustice can we just state for the record that we do not know if any of these people will have hits and we don’t care.
Remember the singer in ‘Take Me Back To Your House’ by Basement Jaxx? Well, when she is not working with not-as-popular-as-they-used-to-be dance duos, singer Martina has her own band called Dragonette. They share management with the Scissor Sisters and finally come to the UK this year, specialising in funny, bright, danceable modern pop music. They are our favourite new act of 2007.
Members: Martina, Dan, Joel, Will.
Best songs: ‘I Get Around’, ‘True Believer’.
A bit like: Gwen Stefani, Scissor Sisters and The Cardigans firing the second Rachel Stevens album out of a cannon.
They say: “We know you secretly loved Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since U Been Gone’, but you’re just waiting for some cheeky snapshots of her doggie-stylin’ it with a saucer-eyed B-movie actor to complete the picture of the girl you wish she were. Enter the Dragonette – yeah, it’s sweet and it’s pop, but it’s dirty and it’s frank too. It’s not all party all the time. It’s not all bitchy all the time. But whatever it is, there’s definitely a cherry on top.”
Listen to something: ‘True Believer’.
The woman is a genius and the idea of launching a popstar as an indie act (at a point when indie acts are launching as if they’re popstars) is, we think, probably the way forward.
Members: Robin Miriam Carlsson.
Best songs: ‘With Every Heartbeat’ (with Kleerup), ‘Who’s That Girl?’.
A bit like: Everything you want Rachel Stevens to be crossed with everything Britney could never be crossed with most things Madonna will in 18 months decide to be.
They say: “I’m good because I’ve got the experience and the talent. It’s the songs. Oh my goodness, have you heard the album?! Baby, you’re safe with me. Not going to make you listen to me complaining about my fame or babbling about my superior way of life. Just going to keep making solid pop songs and hopefully make you want to do the Rakamonie….”
Listen to something: ‘With Every Heartbeat’.
If Gwen Stefani hadn’t pissed it all away spending every spare minute watching old musicals, her second album might have sounded like Stefy’s debut, which, instead of trying to prove how very clever it is, is simply a number of great songs put in a row on the same record. ‘Chelsea’ is one of the best pop singles of 2007 – so good, in fact, that we put it on the Popjustice compilation album last year… Sony have picked them up for the UK and the single’s out in the Spring.
Members: Stefy, Jason, Sean, Jordan.
Best songs: ‘Chelsea’, ‘Orange County’.
A bit like: A 21st Century Blondie.
They say: “How are we going to change the face of pop? Hopefully just bring more respect to it – a lot of people trash it because so many people did such a lousy job. We’re going to clean it off and say, ‘hey, you guys aren’t listening to all the different types of pop’. There’s time to be depressed later on and in the meantime there’s Stefy. Also, I show my underwear on stage and you can never go wrong with that.”
Listen to something: ‘Chelsea’.
| SHINY TOY GUNS
One part epic stadium band, the other filthy electronica with a liking for lady rumpo, Shiny Toy Guns are responsible for one of the best albums of both 2006 and 2007, in that the it came out last year but only as part of what we can only imagine is a Long Term Label Strategy for breaking them in 2007. Please note that depending on which member is doing the singing and/or whether the guitarist has nipped out for a cigarette the band have a habit of sounding completely different from song to song.
Members: Carah, Chad, Jeremy, Mikey.
Best songs: ‘Don’t Cry Out’, ‘Rainy Monday’.
A bit like: Peaches bumming The Killers.
They say: “We are Shiny Toy Guns – an epic offspring of fused synth and guitars. Quite loudly a rock band with machines.”
Listen to something: ‘Rainy Monday’.
Listen to something different-sounding: ‘Don’t Cry Out’.
Josh from the band can often be found posting drunken messages about his band on the Popjustice messageboards. This sort of behaviour we thoroughly approve of in all popstars. Since we wrote about the band this time last year they’ve signed to Sony and are hoping to get their first single ‘out there’ in the Spring. Presumably under the impression that three not exactly ugly young men singing catchy songs with guitars won’t exactly alienate people…
Members: James, Zack, Josh.
Best song: ‘Made Up Stories’.
A bit like: Busted meets The Killers.
They say: “We are Go:Audio and you will LOVE us! If you like bands like the All American Rejects and The Killers then you have to CHECK US OUT!!! If you don’t like them, still check us out because we are BRILLIANT MATE!!@!Â£!! 2007 is going to be pretty cool as we are going to be on radio stations around the UK, venues near you and TV screens! It’s going to be so very exciting… ” (??!!)
Listen to something: ‘Made Up Stories’.
If you are already sick of hearing about Mika then you won’t have much fun over the next few months when, in one of the most audacious self-fulfilling-prophecy pop escapades in recent memory, the media will turn this 23-year-old into the success they have already decided he is. Though some of his tracks aren’t perhaps to everyone’s tastes the best bits are VERY SPLENDID INDEED (one of them is below) and, as new popstars go, he’s better than a kick in the cunt.
Best song: ‘Relax (Take It Easy)’.
A bit like: Freddie Mercury and the Scissor Sisters thinking ‘hang on, we are not quite melodramatic enough’.
They say: “It’s better to live in Technicolor than in black and white.”
Listen to something: ‘Relax (Take It Easy)’.
| ORIGINAL CAST
Original Cast would probably like to be the new Kasabian. Unfortunately, there is just too much East 17 in them for that – plus Paul from the band is worryingly keen to take his clothes off which, really, isn’t very indie. However, loud pop songs about generally enjoying booze and spending an evening away from the telly are thoroughly approved of, regardless of any muddled genre issues.
Members: Ell, Kelbie, Paul, Brooker, Rob & Steve.
Best songs: ‘Life’, ‘Streets Of Gold’.
A bit like: East 17 telling Hard-Fi how to be a pop group.
They say: “We dont stare at the floor whinging and trying to be to clever. We have anthems, one minute we are urban then we switch to indie and then before you know it we become metal then dance! We say what we want and we will be the biggest thing from Essex since Depeche Mode.”
Listen to something: ‘Life’.
We first met Unklejam, a sort of electronic R&B boyband without any of the tragedy-laden baggage that usually comes with a new R&B boyband – about two years ago. They’ve now got a new name and a new lineup but the same slightly mental outlook on pop. A James Brown-down-the-disco single called ‘Luv Ya’ is doing the rounds in terribly credible nitespots at the moment.
Members: Adonistar, Bobby and Tyson.
Best songs: ‘Lovin’ U’, ‘Stereo’.
A bit like: ‘Lovin’ U’ – which is amazing – sounds like Stevie Wonder produced by Fischerspooner.
They say: “We’ve managed to put a whole heap of nonsense together and we’ve made something that’s special and unique. When we set out to make music, it was about being as left of centre as possible, because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be ourselves.”
Listen to something: ‘Stereo’.
Siobhan’s not really new either but she’s got a new record deal, she’s a proper popstar with proper weird-sounding pop tunes, and WE LOVE HER.
Members: Siobhan Donaghy.
Best songs: ‘Ghosts’, ‘Don’t Give It Up’.
They say: “I am very proud of my work on my new album. ‘Ghosts’ will surprise a lot of people, no one could have seen this album coming from me.”
Listen to something: ‘Don’t Give It Up’.
And that, viewers, is your lot.
There are loads of other people we also like and we will tell you about them during 2007.
In the meantime, if there’s anyone you think we should be listening to, just drop us a line…