Haim / BBC Sound of 2013

Friday the 4th of January, around 7.15am, Huw Stephens announces the BBC Sound of 2013 award winner. Which becomes a tense and rarely exciting moment for Mojo20 at such an hour, as our hopes have been placed directly for one band/artist. This prestigious nod to any musician or musical collective can be invaluable to the winner, as some have triumphed from its exposure, such as Keane, Jessie J, Adele, Ellie Goulding, 50 cent & Little boots to name a few. With strong competition, it seemed almost unlikely, that the one band Mojo20 have been backing almost religiously, and in some ways romantically, could take the prize, no matter how deserving. Yet in some incredible twist of fate, exactly what i was willing to hear, was announced, and HAIM, we’re voted, the BBC’s sound of 2013.

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This recognition meant a lot, not only for a band that we had grown to adore, and also get to know, through interviews, reviews, personal meetings, attendances at live performances, as well as general chit-chat on an almost day-to-day basis. This victory was special, as this bunch of genuinely great girls, became what they really deserve to be. With a small catalogue of incredible songs, derived from EP’s and single releases alone, these young ladies, with their infectious enthusiasm and talent, had managed to win the hearts and opinions of enough people in the UK to be rewarded a great honour, which will undoubtedly lead to promotion, that would be otherwise inaccessible. With a shortlist of extremely worthy competitors, they were seen to be the best, and that is huge win, for a band that is so new, and so diverse in their tradition.

Mojo20 first stumbled across Haim, not much less than a year ago, and has become besotted ever since, not only with their insightful, relevant, relative and intelligent lyrics, but their fresh, driving California sound that hasn’t penetrated anything commercial in years. Whilst writing this, I want to try and deconstruct their songs into adjectives, but it’s so hard to do. The bass licks, the riffs and use of effects on guitar. The synths, which make sure you know this isn’t an attempt at a retro sound. It’s surely taking the best of the retro sound, and making it so much better, making it Haim. The songs can not be deconstructed unless you have A LOT of time on your hands. Even then, why spoil something great? These girls deserve to win, and we’re certainly ecstatic that they have, and anticipation for the album in mid 2013, has heightened considerably.

This year especially, showcased a lot of really great new bands. Palma Violets introduced us to one of the catchiest, raw indie hits, since the Strokes first started out, with ‘Best of Friends, and Peace has stolen many a hearts with the most modern hipster guitar based rock since the Horrors. It was also inspiring to see that some acts that may be considered BBC friendly like AlunaGeorge and Angel Haze didn’t pick up the prize as they appear to be very radio friendly, and easily to manipulate into being the next Corinne Bailey Rae or so on or whatever.  It’s an incredibly prestigious accolade to even be in the nominations for such an honour and all involved will undoubtedly be successful throughout 2013. One personal issue with the nominations comes in one word…

BASTILLE

This band most definitely should have been in the nominations, if not a close contender for first place. As
another band that Mojo20 has backed, and supported since we first found them in a tent at Leeds fest, right up until their songs are being used on ITV adverts, they deserved a spot on the list. Maybe it’s a BBC/ITV issue, who knows… who cares? To be fair, Friends would have been an ideal nomination for the award wouldn’t they, or are we not considering them a new act anymore? The lead singers gorgeous, do we need anymore than that?

Anyway I digress! Finally, another well deserved congratulations for the BBC’s sound of 2013, the one; the only, the incredibly talented and charismatic, our friends… HAIM!

Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)

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