Single of the Week: Kimbra “Two Way Street/Warrior”

Melbourne based Kiwi Kimbra got her first glimpse of international adoration as she duetted with Gotye on his supermassive hit “Somebody That I Used To Know”, and now just a few months later she is all set to steal the spotlight for herself with this sensational soulful single lifted from her debut album “Vows”. Having already won over a legion of fans on her home turf and in the States, we have a feeling that Kimbra is set to dominate here in the UK too.

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NEWS: Summer Sundae Full Line-Up Revealed!

SUMMER SUNDAE WEEKENDER 2012

LEICESTER DE MONTFORT HALL & GARDENS

 FRIDAY 17TH, SATURDAY 18TH & SUNDAY 19TH AUGUST 2012

HEADLINED BY:

PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED
KATY B
OCEAN COLOUR SCENE

Summer Sundae Weekender is back for its twelfth year in 2012 creating festival fields in the heart of the city. Set in the centre of Leicester only 10 minutes’ walk from the city’s train station and in the beautiful surrounds of De Montfort Hall & Gardens and Victoria Park, Summer Sundae provides the full festival experience with a lot less hassle.

Join us on 17th, 18th & 19th August 2012 on the Summer Sundae Safari! Grab a drink and sample some of the finest acts in our brand new music venue complete with two stages; Into the Wild and The Watering Hole.Enter if you dare into the jaws of the main arena’s Lion’s Den, or find some shade in De Montfort Hall’s Crocodile’s Lagoon. For this year only, The Garden will be transformed into a Jungle, densely packed with a full of range of interactive delights and a Bandstand Stage with storytelling, poetry and theatre as well as musical performances. As usual there will also be plenty of activities for cheeky monkeys and their families in The Garden and The Kidzone.

Connect with your wild side and discover your animal spirit be it as a roaring lion, a majestic gazelle, an imperial elephant or a cackling hyena. All are welcome in our Safari Park and fancy dress is most definitely encouraged!

Within our Safari Park will be 5 Stages of Music and Entertainment, featuring bills curated by Last FM, Drowned in Sound, The Musician, DBE & Superfly, Big Difference Company and BBC Introducing.From Dusk 2 Dawn will also be leading a special Secret Safari across the site. You’ll have to locate them through the madness or catch them on Twitter and Facebook to get involved. Expect the unexpected!

‘An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfilment.’

Sir David Attenborough, Distinguished Honorary Fellow University of Leicester.

SUMMER SUNDAE 2012 MUSIC LINE UP

This year’s headline acts include British legends Public Image Limitedwho were formed in 1978 by John Lydon. PiL’s work is widely regarded as the most innovative music of the post-punk era.  Peckham lass and Rinse FM protégé Katy B took the country by storm in 2011 with her intoxicating blend of dubstep, R&B funky, house and UK Garage on her critically acclaimed debut album “Katy On a Mission.” Superstars Ocean Colour Scene’s story should already be the stuff of legends; a rip-roaring rock ’n’ folk odyssey set to a backdrop of 23 years of UK pop culture at its very best. The band have notched up nine albums, three of which went to top 5 as well as nine successive top 20 singles. They supported Oasis at their massive Knebworth shows and this summer they are coming to Summer Sundae Weekender for a Summer Midlands exclusive.

Amongst other acts we also have the incredible Adam Ant back with his new band The Good, the Mad & the Lovely Posse, one of Britain’s most exciting live bands Asian Dub Foundation, Indie RockersReverend and the MakersDeath in Vegas who has cut some of the most unusual records to hit the UK dance scene, Billy Bragg with a set devoted to folk singer Woody Guthrie, the wonderful Merrill Garbus akatUnE-yArDs, the incredible Patrick Wolf, soul sensation Lianne La Havas, and Mercury Award nominee Ghostpoet.

On the Last FM bill on Friday 17th August is Sway who has set the bar for clever and authentic hip-hop, King of folk Willy Mason, French singer-songwriter, musician and animator Francois and the Atlas Mountains, the mesmerising Bastille and Welsh surf rockers Y Niwl.

There will also be late night entertainment presented in association withDBE and Superfly on Friday 17th.  The line- up will include championed electro DJ duo Jack Beats and sets from Metronomy’s Olugbenga, plus DJ/ Producer Pasquale and Dub and DBE resident and Bass maestroJake Twell.

On the Drowned in Sound bill on Sunday 19th August Gold Panda will join ambient electronic outfit Stay+Django Django,Japandroids, post-rockers Her Name is Calla, Scottish Indie-rock bandThe Twilight Sad, Leicester locals Maybeshewill and five-piece Hey Sholay.

Joining the BBC Introducing bill on Saturday 18th August are a number of acts hailing from the East Midlands. Renowned rockers These Furrows, Nottingham youngster Jake Bugg, distinctive talent Mahalia,exciting Jazz infused Indie trio Kenworthy, alternative rockers Buenos Aires, acoustic-pop outfit The Daydream Club, infectiously groovy Park Bench Society and finally singer – songwriter with a voice to die for Nancy Dawkins.

Also at this year’s Summer Sundae Weekender, taking place atThe Watering Hole on the morning of Sunday 19th August is The Acoustic Café. This will feature performances from some of Leicester’s hottest local talent including the dramatic and mysterious Siobhan Mazzei, the free flowing, soulful vocals of Prash Gor, a dash of a cappella and barbershop from The Simpletones and the ukulele equipped Skunk Boy Project.

DAY BY DAY LINE-UPS

FRIDAY 17TH AUGUST:

ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION / BASTILLE / BOWERBIRDS / CHARLEE DREW / CLEAN BANDIT / CLOCK OPERA / DAN MANGAN / DATAROCK / ELIZABETH CORNISH / FRANCOIS AND THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS / GHOSTPOET / JACK BEATS / JAKE TWELL / KAPPA GAMMA / KATY B / KYTE / LONEY DEAR / OLUGBENGA (METRONOMY DJ) / PATRICK WOLF (ACOUSTIC) / SWAY / TINY RUINS / UNCLE FRANK / WALTER BOTTLE / WILLY MASON / Y NIWL

SATURDAY 18TH AUGUST:

ADAM ANT & THE GOOD THE MAD & THE LOVELY POSSE / AGNES OBEL / AKALA / BUENOS AIRES / CASHIER NO 9 / THE DAYDREAM CLUB / DEATH IN VEGAS / DOG IS DEAD / FRIENDS / GOODNIGHT LENIN  / HIP HOP SHAKESPEARE  / JAKE BUGG / JONATHAN RICHMAN / KENWORTHY / LIANNE LA HAVAS / LITTLE NIGHT TERRORS / LUCY ROSE / MAHALIA / MAN LIKE ME / MICACHU AND THE SHAPES / MOLOTOV JUKEBOX / NANCY DAWKINS / OCEAN COLOUR SCENE / PARK BENCH SOCIETY / THePETEBOX / RACHEL SERMANNI / SPEECH DEBELLE / THESE FURROWS / TIM EDEY & BRENDAN POWER / tUnE-yArDs / VOWS

SUNDAY 19TH AUGUST:

BELLAWAVE / BETH ROWLEY / BILLY BRAGG CELEBRATES WOODY GUTHRIE’S 100TH BIRTHDAY / THE BLACK SEEDS / COWBOY / DEER TICK / DJANGO DJANGO / FURIES / GOLD PANDA / GRACE PETRIE / HER NAME IS CALLA / HEY SHOLAY / JAPANDROIDS / JERSEY BUDD / JUAN ZELADA / KING CHARLES / LAZY LESTER AND FRIENDS / THE LEICESTER ALL SKA’S REGGAE BIG BAND / LEWIS FLOYD HENRY / THE MAGIC TOMBOLINOS / MAYBESHEWILL / MIDNIGHT WIRE / PRASH GOR / PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED / REVEREND AND THE MAKERS / THE SIMPLETONES / SIOBHAN MAZZEI / THE SKUNK-BOY PROJECT / THE STAVES / STAY+ / TEAM ME / THE TWILIGHT SAD

 

COMEDY AND CABARET LINEUP:

BIG DIFFERENCE COMPANY PRESENTS:

THE LAUGHING HYENA LATE NIGHT COMEDY & SHOW

COMPERED ON BOTH NIGHTS BY THE EVER-AFFABLE JIMMY MCGHIE

Brought to you by the people behind Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, the Laughing Hyena Late Night Comedy & Cabaret Show will take place on Friday 17th & Saturday 18th August at the Into The Wild Stage and will play host to some of the finest comics and cabaret acts from the UK and beyond.

FRIDAY 17TH AUGUST:

RICH FULCHER / TOBY / CARLY SMALLMAN

SATURDAY 18TH AUGUST:

DAVID MORGAN / JOEY PAGE / JOE BOR

AND CABARET FROM:

RICHARD GARAGHTY/ GORONWY THOM/JON HICKS AND MORE !

OTHER ARTS & ENTERTAINMENTS:

FROM DUSK 2 DAWN SECRET SAFARI • THE POETRY BROTHEL • STORYTELLER RACHEL ROSE REID • POET TALIA RANDALL • THEATRE FROM GALLI GALLI • TWYCROSS ZOO CONSERVATION STATION • CBBC DEADLY ART SAND SCULPTURE AND WORKSHOPS • THE ANIMAL OLYMPICS • JUNGLE FEVER TENT • GORILLA KNITTING • PEDESTRIAN GALLERY • INTERACT GALLERY • FROM DUSK 2 DAWN JAZZ ART CAR •LIVE SAFARI PHOTO SHOOT • FACE PAINTING • KIDZONE CURATED BY SPARK CHILDREN’S ART FESTIVAL • AND MUCH MUCH MORE!

The 2012 Summer Sundae site will be teeming with other interactive arts and entertainments for you to enjoy, all based around our wild and wonderful Safari theme.

Innovative local Arts Network & Magazine From Dusk 2 Dawn will be leading an interactive Secret Safari trail across the festival site. Expect music, dance, animal magic, fancy dress, and most of all expect the unexpected! Follow twitter and facebook or find them at their base camp in The Garden to get involved.

Hosted by Leicester based poet Mr Timothy Grayson, the Poetry Brothel will be bringing its wild and wonderful  carnival of artisans and offering ‘poetry whores’ providing one-on-one readings in their den of literary iniquity. This is sure to bring out your animal side!

Plus in Curiosity Corner and The Garden, you will find a veritable jungle of interactive delights. Get competitive in the wacky races at our Animal Olympics, show off your best fancy dress and face paint in our Live Safari Photo Shoot, find your animal spirit in our Jungle Fever Tent, or check out some crazy animal artefacts at Twycross Zoo’s Conservation Station. And there’ll be art and installations from Interact Gallery, Pedestrian Gallery and many more local and national artists and institutions. Plus workshops galore including that new craze everyone is talking about ‘Gorilla Knitting’!

The Bandstand will this year be moving to The Garden where it will host storytelling from ‘Queen of the New Wave of storytellers’ Rachel Rose Reid, poetry from the spellbinding Talia Randall, theatre from local Social Enterprise Galli Galli, BBC Radio Leicester live broadcasts, special musical performances and more!

And of course The Kidzone will have plenty to entertain the festival’s Cheeky Monkeys and their families. Including sand sculpture workshops from CBBC’s Deadly Art Presenter Nicola Wood, face painting, circus skills, jungle artwork, theatre and craft workshops and a whole lot more.

SUMMER SUNDAE CHOIR:

 Following the success of last year’s event, which saw amateur singers who had never met before give a near professional performance to a packed out audience, the Summer Sundae Festival Choir is back! If you love singing and are already in possession of a weekend ticket for the festival, email summersundaefestivalchoir@gmail.com  listing your name, contact and experience before 1st August 2012 to take part!

Led by choral conductor and vocalist Hannah Brine, rehearsals will take place on the Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, leading to a live performance on the Sunday on the festival’s Main Stage. This will be a very special performance and there might even be some animal magic involved here too!

NEWS: Summer Sundae Announce More Acts!

SUMMER SUNDAE WEEKENDER 2012!
DE MONTFORT HALL AND GARDENS
17th 18th 19th AUGUST 2012
Presented by Coda and DMH

FIFTH WAVE OF ACTS ANNOUNCED FOR THE SUMMER SUNDAE 2012 BILL:

MICACHU AND THE SHAPES/ MAN LIKE ME
JAPANDROIDS/ BETH ROWLEY
THE STAVES/ BASTILLE
HER NAME IS CALLA
CHARLEE DREW/ KYTE/ VOWS
COWBOY/ BELLAWAVE

 AND THE ACOUSTIC CAFÉ WITH:
SIOBHAN MAZZEI/ PRASH GOR/ THE SIMPLETONES/
THE SKUNK-BOY PROJECT

Summer Sundae Weekender are delighted to announce the fifth wave of artists on 2012’s line up, establishing the event once again as an essential date in the summer music calendar.

Micachu and the Shapes take pop into unchartered territory and have been known to take to the stage with an array of customized and homemade instruments. Amongst their musical inventions is a xylophone constructed from light bulbs, and a musical ‘Cloud Chamber’ made out of Pyrex dishes. Signed to Mike Skinner’s record label, Man Like Me is one of the most hotly tipped acts around. Their highly energetic mix of vibrant beats, cheap synths and strange sounds is intoxicating. Brit Award nominee Beth Rowley drifts seamlessly through many different musical styles, melding blues, country, folk, gospel and Latin American music into her own soulful sound. The Staves songwriting is striking and exquisite, a melding of still, bright English Folk and sublime West Coast pop that when performed live is capable of plunging an audience into awed silence. Bastille began as an alternative identity for Dan Smith whose ‘Flaw’ video went viral at the start of 2011. Since then Bastille has continued to soak up the spirit of revolution and change that his name connotes producing an array of mesmerizing noir ballads and infectious anthems. Leicester singer-songwriter Charlee Drew has acquired an impressive online following over the course of the past year. Having featured on Skepta’s album and joined him on tour he is now working on his anticipated debut album. Also added to the bill are Leicestershire locals Ktye who bring shimmering ambience to the world of pop, Cowboy who have have reformed and are back this year with their new EP and finally legends of the local music scene Bellawave.

Joining the Drowned in Sound stage are Japandriods. On a musical mission to be ‘maximal,’ The Canadian duo’s dynamic sound runs the gauntlet of rock & roll sub genres and could easily be interpreted as the output of five or more musicians. Post- Rockers Her Name is Calla have gained critical acclaim for their dazzling take on dynamic guitar music.

Also at this year’s Summer Sundae Weekender, taking place at The Watering Hole on the morning of Sunday 19th August is The Acoustic Café. This will feature performances from some of Leicester’s hottest local talent including the dramatic and mysterious Siobhan Mazzei, the free flowing, soulful vocals of Prash Gor, a dash of acapella and barbershop from The Simpletones and the ukulele equipped The Skunk-Boy Project.

TICKETS:

A limited number of 2012 Day Tickets are now on sale at 2010 prices!

Weekend and Camping Tickets also remain pegged back to 2010 prices.

For more ticketing information including live-in vehicle and camping tickets, please see our website www.summersundae.com/tickets

Please note that due to planned building work at Regents College, all camping for Summer Sundae 2012 will be on Victoria Park. We will still have family and quiet(er) areas at this campsite.

TICKET TYPE

FULL PRICE
Adult Weekend £105
Young Persons (14-17) Weekend £70
Child (5 -13) Weekend £35.00
Adult Friday £35
Young Persons (14-17) Friday £25
Child (5-13) Friday £12
Adult Saturday OR Sunday £45 each
Young Persons (14-17) Saturday OR Sunday £30 each
Child (5-13) Saturday OR Sunday £15 each
Child (0-4) Weekend or Day FREE with an Adult

DAY BY DAY LINE-UPS

FRIDAY 17TH AUGUST:

ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION / BASTILLE / BOWERBIRDS / CHARLEE DREW / CLEAN BANDIT / CLOCK OPERA / DAN MANGAN / DATAROCK / ELIZABETH CORNISH / FRANCOIS AND THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS / GHOSTPOET / JACK BEATS / KAPPA GAMMA / KATY B / KYTE / LONEY DEAR / OLUGBENGA (METRONOMY DJ) / PATRICK WOLF (ACOUSTIC) / SWAY / TINY RUINS / UNCLE FRANK / WALTER BOTTLE / WILLY MASON / Y NIWL

SATURDAY 18TH AUGUST:

ADAM ANT & THE GOOD THE MAD & THE LOVELY POSSE / AGNES OBEL / AKALA / BUENOS AIRES / CASHIER NO 9 / THE DAYDREAM CLUB / DEATH IN VEGAS / DOG IS DEAD / FRIENDS / GOODNIGHT LENIN  / HIP HOP SHAKESPEARE  / JAKE BUGG / JONATHAN RICHMAN / KENWORTHY / LIANNE LA HAVAS / LITTLE NIGHT TERRORS / LUCY ROSE / MAHALIA / MAN LIKE ME / MICACHU AND THE SHAPES / MOLOTOV JUKEBOX / NANCY DAWKINS / OCEAN COLOUR SCENE / PARK BENCH SOCIETY / THePETEBOX / RACHEL SERMANNI / SPEECH DEBELLE / THESE FURROWS / TIM EDEY & BRENDAN POWER / tUnE-yArDs / VOWS

SUNDAY 19TH AUGUST:

BELLAWAVE / BETH ROWLEY / BILLY BRAGG CELEBRATES WOODY GUTHRIE’S 100TH BIRTHDAY / THE BLACK SEEDS / COWBOY / DEER TICK / DJANGO DJANGO / GOLD PANDA / GRACE PETRIE / HER NAME IS CALLA / HEY SHOLAY / JAPANDROIDS / JERSEY BUDD / JUAN ZELADA / LAZY LESTER AND FRIENDS / THE LEICESTER ALL SKA’S REGGAE BIG BAND / LEWIS FLOYD HENRY / THE MAGIC TOMBOLINOS / MAYBESHEWILL / PRASH GOR / PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED / REVEREND AND THE MAKERS / THE SIMPLETONES / SIOBHAN MAZZEI / THE SKUNK-BOY PROJECT / THE STAVES / STAY+ / TEAM ME / THE TWILIGHT SAD

The Kaje’s Top 20 Albums 2011!!!!

2011 has been an eventful year in music. While it could be argued that the female soloist has continued to battle against the folk-pop contingency for chart domination, here at The Kaje we have been more than a little blown away by the sheer diversity of the tracks hitting the airwaves.

While we initially intended to compile an album Top 10, we felt there were far too many notable releases missing from our list so have pushed the boat out a little further, but still somehow we didn’t have room for The Kaje favourites Washington, The Grates, The Wanted and Ed Sheeran…

Though we could sweet talk about those who narrowly missed out, we would rather just head straight to our 20-1 countdown..

20. Bonjah – Go Go Chaos

2009’s “Until Dawn” put Bonjah on the musical map when it saw the quintet nominated in the Best Album category at both the Apra and Air Awards.  While they may not have walked away with the prize they so deserved, the boys wasted little time in recording this blindingly brilliant sophomore record.

19. Britney Spears – Femme Fatale

Britney is back and better than ever. With killer dub beats and ‘I am what I am’ attitude, Britney wasted no time in showing more recent pop princesses Lady Gaga and Jessie J that she is far from ready to give up her crown.. Here at The Kaje we are more than happy for Britney to rule the airwaves!

18. Hanson – Shout It Out

Hanson have been written off by many as a one-hit wonder. Though ‘MMMBop’ is without doubt their biggest chart hit to date, the Tulsa based trio have to their name an impressive catalogue of Blues and Soul influenced records. However, 2011 saw Hanson return to the pop domain which saw them hit the top spot some 15 years ago and boy can they still make those booties shake!

17. Darren Hayes – Secret Codes & Battleships

Former Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes may have confused his loyal fan base slightly with his more experimental 2007 release ‘This Delicate Thing We’ve Made’, prompting a break from his solo career. Having spent time writing for an array of other acts, Hayes noted that he was simultaneously compiling a set of songs for a solo return. The result is the sublime “Secret Codes & Battleships”. The perfect fusion of Savage Garden-esque questioning ballads and Darren Hayes experimentation, “Secret Codes & Battleships” is Hayes’ best release to date.

16. Melanie C – The Sea

Former Sporty Spice Melanie C is the most successful solo spice. Her debut album still tops the poll of solo records from one of the world’s biggest girl bands ever. Yet despite consistently strong releases, Melanie C’s albums have failed to capture the public imagination in the same way. Post 2007’s “This Time”, Chisholm headed to the West End and it seemed like the solo dream was over. But Chisholm was simply biding her time and her 2011 comeback record “The Sea” warrants celebrating.

15. Ane Brun – It All Starts With One

Ane Brun decided to postpone her solo career when Peter Gabriel asked her to be his backing singer on tour. While she was keen to follow-up 2008’s “Changing Of The Seasons”, she felt uninspired and needed time to collect her thoughts. The time off has clearly worked wonders as 2011 saw her return with this deliciously delicate collection.

14.  Kelly Rowland – Here I Am

Kelly Rowland’s solo career has been somewhat tumultuous. While her 2002 debut album “Simply Deep” was both a commercial and critical success, her 2007 follow-up “Ms. Kelly” was largely overlooked. With Rowland written off by many, she focussed her energies on profile sustaining guest vocals while working hard on ensuring her third release “Here I Am” was able to hit the mark. And boy, it does far more than just that…

13. Frankie & The Heartstrings – Hunger

Sunderland’s Frankie & The Heartstrings have spent the past couple of years building up a reputation on the live circuit. With the distinctive on stage presence proving increasingly popular, the boys finally bit the bullet and unleashed their irrepressible debut album “Hunger” at the start of 2011. With their riotous rawk perfectly captured in album’s 10 tracks, this record is just brief appetite warmer for a band that may just be Britain’s biggest export in years to come.

12. Clare Maguire – Light After Dark

Birmingham’s Clare Maguire was selected by the BBC as one of the acts to watch in 2011. The honour is seemingly a curse, with the pressure piled up the selected acts to deliver commercially and critically. The praise lauded prematurely upon Clare Maguire saw many a critic slam her album upon release somewhat unfairly. With one of the most powerful and distinctive vocals of 2011, “Light After Dark” reveals more of its beauty with each listen. This may be a slow burner, but there is nothing wrong with a lack of radio friendly immediacy.

11. Adele – 21

By rights “21” should be at number 1 on our list. Londoner Adele is without any question the real star of 2011, however, with the record released at the start of the year, here at The Kaje its sheer over exposure has caused us to put it to the back of our shelf for a while. Though it may have very temporarily lost its sheen, there is no denying the innate artistry in Adele’s heartbreak. Seemingly effortlessly Adele manages to capture the  devastating beauty of break-up blues. Magically chilblain inducing.

1o. Kami Thompson – Love Lies

The daughter of folk legends Richard and Linda Thompson has spent most her adult years running away from the inevitable – that she is a musician to the core. Having tried an array of careers, Thompson finally faced up to her genetic disposition and set about work on her own material, a move which the whole world will soon be thankful for. “Love Lies” is at times tender at others playful debut effort, but its real beauty lies not in its diversity but the charm of its dexterous vocalist.

9. Charlie Simpson – Young Pilgrim

Charlie Simpson left boy band Busted while they were going from commercial strength to strength. There was little the pop trio could do wrong, but Simpson felt he was being disloyal to his musical roots and instead launched the rock heavy Fightstar. The move built his credibility and proved his diversity, therefore few eyebrows were raised when Simpson took his baby steps to solo success with 2010’s “When We Were Lions” EP. Rather than rushing a record, Simpson bided his time as he crafted his debut album “Young Pilgrim”, a wise move, as it supersedes all his other musical outings to date.

8. Oh Mercy – Great Barrier Grief

2011 marked the return of Oh Mercy minus founding member Thom Savage. However, the subtle charm of frontman Alexander Gow ensured that “Great Barrier Grief” topped 2009’s “Privileged Woes”. Sincere, sturdy, clean-cut and minimalist, “Great Barrier Grief” is a romantically charged effort.

7. Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Make A Scene

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has always been a star in our eyes. With Theaudience’s only record to date still a regular feature on our stereo, we simply cannot get enough of Janet Ellis’ stunning daughter. With Ellis-Bextor having focussed her attentions on motherhood in recent years, “Make A Scene” packs a sophisticated punch and builds on Ellis-Bextor’s distinct sound.

6. Will Young – Echoes

Will Young has come so far from his Pop Idol days that he is barely recognisable from his early recordings. Having taken time to return to tread the boards, Will Young’s “Echoes” is an understated Richard X soulful dance influenced effort that easily walks over his past efforts. Will Young is back and better than ever.

5. Kimbra – Vows

Kiwi Kimbra may be best known globally for her Gotye collaboration “Somebody That I Used To Know”, but her debut album “Vows” shows that she can more than hold her own away from an established partner. Playfully innovative, Kimbra is an artist who understands how to create no-nonsense pop music that oozes credibility.

4. Nicola Roberts – Cinderella’s Eyes

Nicola Roberts is not Cheryl Cole, nor does she want to be. While Cole may have dominated the post Girls Aloud solo output with her conventional auto-tuned pop slices, Roberts has relished in her lesser profile allowing her creative freedom. Far from a typical pop record, Roberts has pushed the boundaries and the raised the bar with this humour filled, synth pop treat.

3. Little Comets – In Search Of Elusive Comets

Little Comets should be one of the biggest things since sliced bread. Having more than proved their ingenuity on stage, the Newcastle troupe came the attention of Columbia Records way back in 2009. They hit the studio and crafted what they felt best represented their appeal, to find that the big label bosses wanted them to be something they weren’t. Rather than sell their soul for success, the lads stood their ground and finally released the ingeniously crafted “In Search Of Elusive Comets” at the turn of 2011.

2. Georgia Fair – All Through Winter

School pals Jordan Wilson and Ben Riley have never believed in rush releases. Though they have been playing together since their early teens, the duo never felt they had quite the right set of songs to record a full length record. Rather than force their creativity, the focussed on honing their skills on the live circuit and releasing a set of stellar EPs. With their profile steadily rising, the pair finally bit the bullet and headed Stateside to work with Band of Horses’ Bill Reynolds. The result is a no-nonsense,vocally centred record that ensures Georgia Fair are at the forefront of the indie-folk movement.

1. Dionne Bromfield – Good For The Soul

Dionne Bromfield first came to public attention as the child prodigy God-daughter of the much-missed super talent Amy Winehouse, but she grown into an artist who is so much more than a ‘by-association’ act. “Good For The Soul” leaves you breathless. Bromfield boasts a classic soul vocal and it is clear she has learnt more than a trick or two from Winehouse.With 60 and 70s soul vocals applied to contemporary urban pop, Bromfield ensures she is a step ahead of the pack. Aged just 15, Bromfield is still at the beginner’s block career wise, but “Good For The Soul” is light years ahead of many artists twice her age.

WIN!!!! Many of our Top 20 Album acts have been kind enough to donate signed copies of their releases for a big bumper prize pack! To get your hands one of the mix bags then simply tell us the title of Dionne Bromfield’s debut album… Answers by email to jeremy@the-kaje.com by January 15.

VIDEO: Kimbra “Settle Down”

New Zealand may not be the largest country in the world, but in musical terms, its productivity is on a par with the equally disproportionately talented Iceland. As if Crowded House, Ladyhawke, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, The Bedingfields, Tiki Taane and Bonjah are not amply diverse for your collection – we suggest you add the name Kimbra to your list of Kiwi capables. Based currently in Melbourne, Kimbra has just launched her debut album “Vows” which we hope gets a UK release very bloody soon! In the meantime this is our personal favourite of her YouTube clips…

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