2012 ANTICIPATION: Five Artists And Groups To Watch
(Photo: Meek Mill)
With a few key singles, Friends brought back that downtown New York sass we love so much. The Brooklyn band is currently crafting its debut full-length, and if it carries the torch of the group's breakout "I'm His Girl," then we're sure that the year-end lists will be raving 12 months from now.
No surprise here as Azealia Banks, a 20-year-old Harlem upstart that can really rap and sing, blew our minds with her single and video for "212" during the final months of 2011. With a yet another irresistible single, "Liquorice," and a debut full-length produced by Paul Epworth on the way, Banks is set to completely dominate that thin line between pop, rap and dance music.
Frankie Rose might seem like an old soul, but her new material is showing some masterful updates to her Brooklyn-meets-'60s pop formula. "Know Me," the first cut from her upcoming Interstellar LP, takes the gothic, reverb-soaked ethos of The Cure as a jumping point and it works wonderfully.
Sometimes Philly MC Meek Mill gets so hyped and garbled that we had to wonder about his chances at legitimate mainstream success. The so-street-you-can't-resist stylings of "Tupac Back" and "Ima Boss" with Rick Ross were favorites, but recent cuts "House Party" and "Lean Wit It" are so crass, deranged and catchy that he's become our top rapper to watch in the new year.
We were already followers of Lissy Trullie, but "Madeleine," the first snippet from her debut (finally coming soon!), was a revelation. Nabbing the blue-eyed, late-night soul of the Velvet Underground's third album, Trullie shows some major songwriting chops and a bluesy style that could be a welcomed return to the raw.