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Arts and Entertainment

KGRL's Top 10 Albums To Watch Out For In 2010

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Carina Round at Hotel Cafe, 6/3/09

With 2009 and New Year's Day now in our collective memories, Mysty at the female-focused local Internet radio station KGRL provides their list of Top 10 Albums To Watch Out For In 2010.

10. Emily And The Whispers (MySpace) - Habits:

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UK-based band Emily And The Whispers, who we got to know via one of our favorite Flower-Powered Artists (FPA) Miss Hazel Mills, is set to release their debut EP titled Habits in 2010. Emily And The Whispers is a 4-piece alternative acoustic band, spearheaded by the lovely Emily Grist. Habits was recorded at J + J Studios in Bristol (the same studio where our FPA feature with Hazel Mills was recorded in 2008) with Jim Barr (Portishead, Get The Blessing) and TJ Allen (Aesoteric, Hazel Mills) at the helm. I'm writing this entry hoping that when Emily And The Whispers' EP comes out it will not be with a whisper, but a bang.

9. Ash Koley (MySpace) - The Red EP / The Black EP / Untitled Full-Length Album:

One of the artists we fell in love with instantly in 2009 is Canadian singer-songwriter Ashley Koley. We watched their videos again and again over at their YouTube channel. Ashley partnered with producer-songwriter Phil Deschambault for this project. They recently signed up under Nettwerk and have since released both The White EP and The Blue EP. They are scheduled to release The Red EP and The Black EP in 2010 along with a promise of a full-length album in the same year!

8. Carina Round (MySpace):

Things You Should Know is a dark and intense EP that left us wanting much more of the same by singer-songwriter Carina Round. After severing ties with Interscope and serious delays with her last album Slow Motion Addict, Carina is off to a fresh start beginning with Things You Should Know. Going the indie route is probably the best move for singer-songwriters in this day and age, and we're glad this is the road Carina chose to travel. Carina is currently accepting donations (three benefit tiers depending on the amount of the donation) for funds toward the completion of the fourth full-length album. You can visit her website store to send in your donation. Here's to hoping that the new album will be in the same vein as the EP!

The rest of the list after the jump.


The Bird and the Bee at the Natural History Museum as part of "First Fridays", 2/6/09

7. ZA (MySpace):

We got to know about French singer-songwriter Za when we received a copy of ZA's album Acoustic Joys from another French group we play, Peppermoon. Instead of waiting for funding from an external source, Acoustic Joys was released as a DIY acoustic project that was recorded in merely two days. Acoustic Joys was supposed to be promotional material to kick off ZA's summer tour in 2009. Since we were so impressed with the songs and melodies on the album, we're sharing the joyful news of an upcoming proper full-length release in 2010. The new album will have rearranged version of songs from Acoustic Joys (with instruments like piano and cello) as well as newly-written songs.
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6. Kate Havnevik (MySpace) - You:

Kate Havnevik's new electro-pop album will be titled You and is slated to come out in the first quarter of 2010 under Continentica Records. If the recently-released EP Me is an indication of the direction Kate will be taking for the new record, then we're expecting a strong release. Both Me and You are produced by industry veteran Guy Sigsworth (who also happens to be Imogen Heap's partner in Frou Frou).

5. The Bird And The Bee (MySpace):

Let's face it, I guess we've became a bit of an automaton with regards to The Bird And The Bee, but they honestly deserve it. So yes, they're back this year in our list (and in our best albums of 2009 list too for Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future) of albums to watch out for in 2010. While they're not planning on releasing a new full-length, there's a covers album already in the works. Who are they covering you ask? It's going to be a Daryl Hall and John Oates cover album with two original The Bird And The Bee songs in the mix. Did this new one excite you or disappoint you? For us at KGRL when we talk of new The Bird And The Bee material, we always get excited for they have not let us down yet. Be on the lookout for our Inara George Flower-Powered Artist of the Month feature this January 2010!

4. Lovers And Poets (MySpace) / Shannon Hurley (MySpace):

Shannon Hurley is one of our favorite indie-pop singer songwriters. Imagine our surprise when she let slip the news of a new electro-pop band that goes by the name Lovers And Poets. Originally a duo between Bryan Talbot and Shannon Hurley, Lovers And Poets now has Shannon's husband Ben Eisen on bass duty to replace Bryan citing serious creative differences as the reason for their parting of ways. Shannon recently moved to Nashville, Tennessee but is expected to come back to Los Angeles, California in April 2010. Not only are we expecting a debut album from Lovers And Poets in 2010, but a sophomore effort from Shannon is also on the way. For more good stuff about Shannon Hurley, let me point you to our August 2008 FPA feature.

Jenny O. at Mr. T's Bowl as part of an LA-Underground showcase, 11/19/08

3. Jenny O. (MySpace) - Love And Sleep:

We received a copy of Love And Sleep from LA-based singer-songwriter Jenny O. a few months ago and let me tell you, it's mind-blowingly awesome. The album was recorded with Jason Lader, Raine Maida, and Dan Romer but has not yet been released. What's the problem here? Jenny is still figuring out the best way to release the record but it's most likely coming out in early 2010. It's a well-produced rich-layered indie pop record with a dash of orchestra ("Earth Has Won"), a little bit of rock ("What Not To Do," "Mistakes"), and a generous helping of slow acoustic tracks ("Ghosts," I Could Get Up"). We're not yet sure if the label that Jenny O. chooses will alter the album from its current form, but we're sure that if the label decides to stick to it this is guaranteed to be a winner. It's a solid debut.

2. Mouchette (MySpace):

Orchids To Ashes (2009) is an impressive 4-track debut EP from the new trip-hop / indie rock band Mouchette. You may not have heard of the band yet but you're probably familiar with Natalie Walker, who is the front woman for this new group. Mouchette features Aaron Nevezie on guitars, David Mason on drums, John Stenger on keyboards and John Davis on bass. A new EP and perhaps a full-length are slated for release in 2010.

1. Susanne Sundfør (MySpace) - The Brothel:

Our most anticipated album in 2010 is none other than the upcoming album from the Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør. For background about this artist we point you towards our FPA feature way back in October 2007. Susanne's self-titled debut album (2007) is just phenomenal. It left our jaws dropped and wide open. The songs on the debut record are a mixture of offbeat pop and opera. If you haven't heard of Susanne Sundfør, do yourself a favor and purchase the stripped-down version of the debut titled Take One, which was internationally released in 2008. She recently announced that the new album will soon be finished and will be out in 2010, titled The Brothel. Keep a watchful eye out for this one as it will be worth importing.

Holly Brook at The Alley, 6/12/09

"There are two albums that must be mentioned at the end of this list, for they were already listed last year. They deserve to be mentioned somehow as these albums unfortunately did not get released in 2009."

Holly Brook (MySpace) - O' Dark Thirty:

If this album was released in 2009, it would have been an easy pick for our top-most spot for the best albums of 2009. Yes, we do have an unfinished copy of the record and have been playing it regularly at the station. And yes, it's going to be worth your wait. It doesn't matter how long the wait, for when these songs come out they're sure to captivate your musical senses. For a complete review of this album, check out our FPA feature with Holly Brook.

Hazel Mills (MySpace) - White Rabbit:

The second EP from Bristol-based singer-songwriter Hazel Mills that we said would come out in 2009 (as per our list in 2008) was not released for two reasons: a) they changed their name to White Rabbit but apparently, there's already a White Rabbits band in New York so they'll have to choose another band name, and b) they are looking for a slightly bigger label to license the album and release it on a larger scale (perhaps including a US release). We received 2 out of 8 tracks from the new record a few months ago and have since been playing them. If those two are indication of what's to come, then we're all in for a treat this 2010.

See KGRL's Best Albums Of 2009 as well as their Top Albums to Watch Out For In 2009 and Top 10 Artists To Watch Out For In 2008.

Special thanks to KGRL.