Milby on Music column

James Bay.

James Bay.

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I must start by wishing you a very happy New Year. I hope 2015 is fantastic for us all.

Last week we discussed established artists who are expected to furnish us with a new album in 2015. This week I’m intrigued to know what new artists we will be talking about this time next year.

Every year the BBC gather together experts from the music industry in their ‘Sound Of’ poll and try to determine who are the artists to look out for. Previous winners include Sam Smith, Adele, Jessie J and Ellie Goulding.

I’ve been listening through this year’s shortlist and I have some favourites. James Bay is a folk singer and songwriter.

James is 24 and was discovered when a fan uploaded a video of him performing in a pub. He has built an amazing following on Twitter and done some pretty big stuff including opening for the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park in 2013.

Lapsley is unique. She is only 18 yet is a classically trained singer. Her music is a stripped down haunting electronic sound the sort of thing that sets the mood when you are feeling emotional at two in the morning. Her voice is stunning, she will go far.

Wolf Alice are an angsty grunge band fronted by 22 year old Ellie. They have been compared to bands like Hole. It’s nice to hear some thrashy guitars again. Wolf Alice will perform their biggest gig to date soon when they support Alt-J at London’s 02 Arena.

Slaves are a duo. They also make a lot of noise with guitars and have been signed to a major label due to some serious hard graft.

They booked all their own tours after sending out hundreds of emails every night. They make catchy grungy riffs that is perfect for moshing too if your hair is long enough.

My favourite of them all is Lancashire lass Rae Morris. She is 21, from Blackpool. Her voice is comparable to Florence Walsh. She crafts her piano influenced ballads beautifully. Her songs are inspired by PJ Harvey, Kate Bush and Feist.