FFS New Bands Panel: The Best of 2010 Playlist

Since the New Bands Panel was launched early this year, we’ve reviewed more than 80 bands and counting. The vast majority are unsigned, but we’ve also seen a number of our alums begin to enjoy some greatly deserved success as the months have gone on.

To celebrate some of the great talents we’ve discovered along the way, we asked our panellists to vote for their favourite acts to date.

We then got those bands to agree to offer up one of their tracks as a free download for the month of December, so today we can present to you our end-of-year playlist, The Best of the FFS New Bands Panel 2010. The downloads will be available either until our download limit has run out or until December 31st comes – whichever is first – so get cracking. You can download each track individually, or skip to the bottom to get them all in one.

The voting took place a few weeks ago now, so no doubt some of the acts we’ve come across since will have to make do with a spot on the 2011 list, but for now, take a listen. It’s well worth it. And do let us know who we’ve missed!

Without further ado (and in no particular order), we give you our favourite finds of 2010.

The Last Battle

The Last Battle released debut album Heart of the Land, Sea of the Sea late in 2010, and the buzz has been growing steadily since. Here’s some of what the panel had to say to add to it.

“I’ve had to ban myself listening to The Last Battle’s album Heart Of The Land, Sea Of The Sea at work. It’s so absorbing and stirring, I find myself tapping along to the hypnotic strum of the guitar, maybe humming along and definitely doing a little boogie at my desk” – Emma Dalby-Bowler

“The Last Battle are both traditional and unique. Originality of sound is sort of beside the point, as heartfeltness and lyrical competence are the priorities here, and they show through in clear, sparkly abundance” – Alice Sage

The Son(s)

After a three-piece became a one-man band, the Son(s) found their voice. With a debut album due next year following the upcoming release of the Radar single, it could be time for take off.

“It is easy to get lost in The Son(s)’ music, especially amidst the warm vocal counterpoints and subtly infectious melodies” – Jono Ganz

“Each track works perfectly by itself, but listening to them together offers us a glimpse at a truly talented band. The way the background vocals always seem one step behind the lead singer’s, the gentle feeling of experimentation without becoming obtuse and the generally ethereal atmosphere of it all tells me that The Son(s) are onto a winner here” – Joe Skrebels

Erica Buettner

Debut album True Love And Water is due early next year from this young American, who has clearly soaked up lots of influences during her time in Paris.

“Through peppering her songs with tragic lyrics like “At the fountains of sorrow you don’t make a wish/ Everyone learns to swim like a fish” she proves that she has the intelligence and wit that audiences delight in the world over. Buettner more often than not holds her own through vocals alone, the instrumentation that she scatters about her lyrics is simply an extra joy to behold” – Mary Machin

“Erica Buettner immediately brings a broad palette of influences to the table. Applying them to wistful, often abstract lyrics and unusual reference points, she is a captivating and engaging presence” – Tom White

Phil King