Music stars of 2011

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We introduce you to the hottest new acts of 2011 and tell you where you can see them all play live in London early this year

  • James Blake

    Critics' choice Fri Jan 14, Plan B

    One of the leading lights of the so-called post-dubstep scene, young James Blake is set for the top in 2011. His style of digital soul is as influenced by illbient hip hop and it is soul and dubstep and his upcoming debut album, due to drop in February, will be one of the debuts of the year.

  • Jessie J

    Critics' choice Mon Jan 17 and Tue Jan 25, Scala and Koko

    Attitudinal 22-year-old, Essex-born singer and songwriter (for the likes of Miley Cyrus, among others) who topped the BBC's Sound of 2011 list and whose R&B pop/electro-soul suggests her as our very own Rihanna. NB: the Jan 17 show was rescheduled from Dec 7 2010; tickets remain valid.

  • In New Music We Trust: Funeral Party + Jamie Woon + Sleigh Bells + White Lies

    FreeCritics' choice Thu Jan 20, The Forum

    BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe presents his tips for the year (plus proven chart toppers White Lies), including LA 's Funeral Party with their compelling, Rapture-like punk-funk, young nu-soul/post-dubstep vocalist Woon (also playing his own show at the Scala on Feb 24) and (pictured) NYC hipster electro duo (and MIA proteges), Sleigh Bells.

  • Teengirl Fantasy

    Critics' choice Thu Jan 20, Fri Jan 21, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, The Lexington

    Ohio's canny and off-kilter blenders of fizzy house/electronica, psychedelic pop and Philly soul – one of Time Out's tips for 2011 – show what they're made of and play from their debut LP, Seven'.

  • Clare Maguire

    Critics' choice Tue Jan 25, Wed Jan 26, Thu Jan 27 and Fri Feb 11, Bush Hall, Koko, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen and Borderline

    With a belting if slightly over-athletic set of soul-pop pipes (think, Alison Moyet) Maguire has had the likes of Jay Z and Rick Rubin scrambling to work with her. Expect to hear much of her debut LP, 'Light After Dark'.

  • Anna Calvi

    Critics' choice Thu Jan 27, Hoxton Hall

    Highly rated by Nick Cave and Elbow, no less, and tipped for big things in 2011, Calvi shows off her heady, sparsely dramatic songs, which draw on the flamenco tradition as much as they do Scott Walker.

  • The Pierces

    Fri Jan 28, Bush Hall

    NYC-based sibling duo Allison and Catherine Pierce have been making both public and music biz heads turn with their hallucinatory, slightly cabaret-toned songcraft, which suggests a rocked-up, folky Fleetwood Mac.

  • The Vaccines

    Critics' choice Sat Jan 29, KCLSU (King's College Student Union)

    Described as the saviours of British guitar rock by some, as a clone of The Strokes and The Jesus And Mary Chain by others, this young quartet favour energetic and full-tilt post-punk tunes that make no secret of their love of Phil Spector and the Ramones.

  • Esben And The Witch

    Wed Feb 9, XOYO

    This Brightonian trio take their name from a blood-thirsty Danish fairy tale, which is entirely in keeping with their sparse, neo-gothic style. The shimmering, crypt-cold melodies and intriguing electronic noise of their 'Violet Cries' debut album promise much.

  • The Naked And Famous

    Recommended Tue Feb 15, Heaven

    Fast-rising Kiwi electro-poppers with a Passion Pit/MGMT bent, but whose love of Nirvana, Ride and The Chemical Brothers surfaces in their pummelling, high-energy tuneage, showing why they've turned up on so many 'sounds of 2011' lists.

And finally...

If these ten terrific shows leave you gagging for more in the way of top new talent, check out the highly entertaining MTV Presents Brand New gigs and HMV's Next Big Thing series. The former takes over Koko on January 25-26 with the likes of Jessie J, Mona and Clare Maguire, while Skepta, Dutch Uncles and the hard-working Ms Maguire, among many others, play the latter.

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ART GUMSHOE
ART GUMSHOE

THE FRAGRANCE OF SOUND at www.reverbnation.com/johnnybonkers blessings of a wonderfilled 2011