Another year rolls round and the lists are out! Ones to watch, top tips, hot bands, whatever you want to call them - everyone's at it. So the Weekender thought it might be a good time to assess the local talent and see who's set to make waves in 2010.
We're not saying all these people will make it onto the cover of NME - but these are the fresh faces set to poke their heads above the parapet in the coming year. You'll also see some better known names who we think may see some real progress in the wider national scene in 2010. Enjoy!
Singer songwriter Billy Lockett
The son of an artist and formerly in the band Tangled Wires, this boy is by far the most talented musician I've had the pleasure to come across for a long time.
His sound borrows from pop and classical music to create what should be an MOR Radio 2 artist the Weekender would hate but he somehow reins it in with a raw, raspy rock vocal and such vulnerability and enthusiasm that it's impossible not to love him.
Serious potential here - could he be Northampton's best chance of mainstream success? We simply can't wait to find out.
Billy Lockett on MySpace
Trendy East London is already pretty enthralled with the 8-bit and midi beat sound of these two former Northampton residents, Ant and Marcus.
Forming their music solely from the sampled beats and bleeps of ancient computer consoles mixed with crooning Julian Casablancas-style vocals, it's sort of the Strokes if they got stuck in a Mario Bros game and were forced to sing along to the soundtrack.
They're already making (would that be analogue?) waves on the London scene and if the Sounds of 2010 list is anything to go by their brand of electro might just get them noticed.
Midi Midis on MySpace
As unusual as the tale they tell via their MySpace, Alastair Owen and Abigail Brennan formed Rosarsic when a near miss on an icy night led to the discovery that they had lived doors away from each other for years and yet never met.
After finding out they shared a love for film, folk and 1950s rock and roll, they formed a band.
Their fusion of anti-folk influences such as Bright Eyes combined with Aby's powerful, P J Harvey-esque vocals makes for an unsettling, yet strangely compelling, listen.
The Weekender is keen to see the next part of their story unfold
Rosarsic on MySpace
THE LIE AWAKES
Formerly the eponymous band of one Richard Peter Snapes, the Lie Awakes have managed to create an awesome video (by Tom Levinge, watch it!) and a whole album's worth of anthemic Modest Mouse meets Arcade Fire indie rock, whilst only playing a handful of gigs and not seeming to have a single idea how to get the music beyond the county.
If this album sits on producer Tom Stubbs' (New Cassettes) hard drive for another year, it will be a travesty. Somebody sit up and take notice, please?!
The Lie Awakes on MySpace
Andy Crofts has been plugging away with The Moons for a couple of years now. But this could be his year - a recent slew of upbeat singles on the underground Acid Jazz label, the help of Paul Weller, with whom he's been playing for the last year and who is featured on the B-side next single 'Nightmare Day', and indeed the riff on that song alone should be just enough to get people's heads turning.
A tour with Ocean Colour Scene probably won't hurt either. Good luck Andy, you deserve it!
The Moons' Website
AN ARMY OF LIGHTS
The most mysterious band Northampton has ever spawned, An Army of Lights kept their sound under wraps before playing their first gig, preferring to risk non-attendance than put their baby out before it was fully formed.
Turns out it's guitar pop of the highest order, with the soaring vocals of Chris (formerly of Millers Hag) transporting the sound beyond 'stale indie' status.
Is it stark enough to distract the music industry with its female-electro-folktronic obsession?! Maybe not, but no doubt they'll recruit an army of local fans before too long.
An Army of Lights on MySpace
Another not so new name on the list, but Danny Connors is going into Paul Weller's studio this year, hopefully to make the record that's going to hone his sound beyond Spencer Davies Group comparisons into something truly his own.
If he makes the record we suspect he's capable of, world domination will surely follow. Or at least, the NME might prick up its ears again like they did for his last band, The On Offs.
If not he'll likely carry on playing and recording anyway, so everyone's a winner! Catch him on tour in February for the full on electric live experience - it's well worth the effort.
The Ladders on MySpace
THE DELTA STATE
The very definition of a slow burner, The Delta State have chosen 2010 as the year to break out of inaction and take their brooding, eclectic wall of sound onto the road.
Looking for a gig near you, they're also armed with three new tracks recorded for a Weekender Session at the Parlour Studios in Kettering and a new EP.
If you've lived in Northampton for years and never heard of this band, it's because they don't view themselves part of the 'scene' - but one listen to that "loud mess", as they described it to the Weekender, and you'll be hooked too.
The Delta State on MySpace
Hurts are the Manchester electro duo who made it onto the BBC's Sound of 2010 shortlist, but that might just as well have been New Islands because Dave and Luke's sound is mere electrons away from the Northerners'.
New Islands actually started out last year, gathering apace by December, and with a few high profile club gigs and support slots by the likes of Electrilickers (who supported La Roux), they're making all the right moves to go all the right places.
NewIslands on MySpace