America-centric thinking is far too easy a habit for us stateside music fans to adopt, but the influence of our brothers across the Atlantic in the great United Kingdom should not be overlooked. Join us as we dig into the best that Britain has to offer.
Does anyone really care who wins at this month’s NME Awards bash in London? Little more than an annual opportunity for the flailing print magazine to hype the bands it hopes will sell copies, it’s long lost the aura of importance it once had. In the era of blogosphere-fueled success stories, the very notion of an awards ceremony feels painfully dated. We already know who everyone rates. We read the blogs, subscribe to the feeds, chat on Twitter and hook up on Facebook. By the time the “Best New Band” are drunkenly clutching their statuette we’ll have already moved on to the next.
So what about this year’s candidates? In the aforementioned “Best New Band” category, The Big Pink, Bombay Bicycle Club, Mumford & Sons, The xx and La Roux feel like they’ve been around for ages. In the case of The Big Pink and Bombay Bicycle Club, it’s hard to appreciate that their debut albums are only a matter of months old, such has been the extent of online hype surrounding them. Between the two of them, The xx and La Roux have dominated the last year in British music, hitting heights far beyond anything that could have been achieved before the advent of the internet.