10. I’m From Barcelona
This Swedish group have only released two singles so far but they’ve been so jolly and fun-filled that they’ve more than earned their place in the top 10.
9. Andreas Lundstedt
Andreas is another Swedish act hasn’t done too much yet, and his Eurovision entry wasn’t that great (although he was the first act from the Alexander Bard stable to get into Eurovision proper), but his first solo single Love Gun is so fantastic that on that song alone he deserves to be in this list.
8. The Feeling
I’m not generally a big fan of the basic ‘blokes with guitars’ groups so they’ve got to have something special to catch my attention. For The Feeling it was their excellent song-writing, ranging from the cheery pop of Fill My Little World to the moving balladry of Sewn, and that’s just the singles – 12 Stops & Home is one of the best albums of 2006 so far.
7. The Veronicas
While everybody else was raving about Kelly Clarkson, I was much more interested in another of Max Martin’s projects: the Australian twins Lisa and Jess Origliasso, better known as the Veronicas. I personally think their brand of the newly reinvigorated rock-pop style is the best around, and their album is consistently great. Hopefully a UK release is not too far away.
The phenomenal success of From Paris To Berlin is more than I could possibly expect for the ace Danish dance-pop act whose album was one of the best things I got for Christmas last year. Whether or not they get to release more music and become the Vengaboys of the 00s, they’ve still made a great achievement in the name of Scandipop and made Radio 1 just that bit more listenable over the past few months.
5. Fefe Dobson
She may have just been ousted from her American record company but I still hold Fefe as one of the heroines of 2006 as she has provided me with some amazing rock-pop music that has cheered me up every time I was feeling rubbish. Her voice is perhaps an acquired taste but on this album she’s found songs which really suit her and it all works so fantastically that it’s a huge shame it can’t now be the hit it deserves to be.
4. Lily Allen
The UK charts have taken a fantastic turn recently with 3 ace pop ladies having no.1s in a row. Now Nelly and Shakira have to step aside for the acest yet, Lily Allen and her lovely summery single Smile. She’s got personality, style, intelligence and she can sing as well – Lily is exactly what pop music needs right now and she might not be making the cheesy pop we’re used to supporting around these parts but I personally think Lily’s brand of cheeky urban pop is even better.
3. The Delays
It’s been a few months now since I was first getting excited about the Delays but their album You See Colours still sounds as exciting and brilliant as the first time I heard it. It was a crime that Valentine and Hideaway weren’t no.1 singles (and the best song You & Me hasn’t even been released) but it’s nice sometimes to have albums that could easily be enormous hits but only a few of us ace people know about it and it can’t be ruined by being overplayed on TV or the radio.
2. The Pipettes
When I first heard a Pipettes song it was cheap, unpolished and all a bit indie but the promise was there and I kept an eye on them as their singles gradually improved until this week they released their most amazing single yet and undoubtedly one of the singles of the year, Pull Shapes. If this song doesn’t make you smile and sing and dance and want to join the Pipettes, there must be something wrong with you. The Pipettes are here to save the souls of boring indie kids across the UK, while proving that us pop kids had the right idea all along.
1. Bodies Without Organs
As much as I love all the other acts in this top 10, 2006 so far has definitely been the year of BWO as they’ve released both the best album and single of the year and generally amazed me with their absolute aceness. Not everyone quite gets this band but those who do understand how special they are – there is no-one else like them and no other music can make me feel quite as fantastic as theirs. I don’t need to promote BWO because I know people will either love or hate them, and even some people with great taste have trouble understanding my love for this band, but to me they are so fab and exciting that I just can’t help going on about them all the time! Marina is the coolest lady in pop, Martin is the ultimate 21st century pop star and Alexander is just simply the acest man on the planet. They could be heroes? They already are!