MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS. Marina Lambrini Diamandis is off to a good start, placing #2 on the BBC Sound of 2010 poll. losing only to Ellie Goulding. An advocate of wonky pop, Marina delivers Regina Spektor/Mika-esque records with twists and quirks of her own. The Family Jewels, her debut LP, is a solid effort with a handful of standouts such as the theatrically glam Shampain, Marina's Stateside obsession Hollywood, and the upcoming quirky fast-paced single Oh No!, among others (Obsessions, I Am Not A Robot, Seventeen, Rootless, Guilty). She's looking to crack the US with The Family Jewels, and if you're up and raring for something different from the generic songs on American radio, I highly recommend Marina.
SCISSOR SISTERS. Jake and the gang haven't exactly been well-received in their native America in terms of chart success, but Europe, particularly the UK, welcomes their sad disco records with open arms (and why shouldn't they?). It pains me to say that I've just found out about the Scissters and I feel like I've missed a lot in music because of it! Nonetheless, Jake Shears and Babydaddy have co-written and produced one of my favorite Kylie Minogue singles back in 2004, I Believe In You (I just love plugging Kylie, don't I?). The first single off their upcoming third album Night Work is mind-blowingly good. I've already said enough about Fire With Fire ("mini-explosion of disco", "brilliance") so just give it a listen.
KELIS. "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they're like, it's better than yours!" Sounds familiar? Kelis is definitely back with a bang this 2010. Garnering positive reviews for her Flesh Tone LP, the Milkshake singer raised the standards for electropop dance albums. Kelis is avant garde without being excessive, and it shows in the Acapella music video which totally blew me away. Who knew gray hair could look so attractive? Anyway, have a listen to her upcoming single 4th of July (Fireworks).
NATALIA KILLS. Actor/director/singer/songwriter/puteverythingelsehere Natalia Cappuccini is a total breath of fresh air. Early 2008 she reached #1 unsigned artist on MySpace with just two demo songs, and eventually got discovered by Will.I.Am and signed to Cherrytree Records where she coined her stage name. Both buzz singles off her upcoming debut album Perfectionist emulate a dark, electro pop sound which is more than welcome at my doorstep. The later one, Activate My Heart has a very dramatic feel, slightly robotic yet lush. Aside from her wonderful music, Natalia also has a video series going at the moment called "Love, Kills xx" with a new episode airing on YouTube every Monday. Natalia describes the series as a glimpse of her dark imagination and a visual counterpart to Perfectionist. Amazing.
JANELLE MONÁE. Yet another great artist I've just found out about. American indie pop soul singer, critically-acclaimed and Grammy-nominated Janelle Monáe blew me away with The Archandroid, showing great artistry and setting herself apart from the rest of the R&B scene. Tightrope, the first single released from the LP, is an old school R&B funk number that I found myself loving more than Janelle's bombastic pompadour (which I ADORE). It's fun, it features OutKast's Big Boi, and the verses are slightly tongue-twisting.