It’s customary at this time of year for the music press to not only peak at neighbours’ Ones-To-Watch lists and regurgitate a staple ten names as their own but also take a punt at next year’s alternative genre of choice. And Afrobeat is looking like a frontrunner. Yeasayer are back, as are Vampire Weekend in early 2010, with Foals not far behind and the Paul Simon-influenced Fair Ohs looking set to be on the smartest of OTW polls. Eleven-strong LA collective Fool’s Gold only stoke the World Music fire with this debut album. It all begins with ‘Surprise Hotel’, which sounds like it could belong to The Very Best, and while a bold, hip-curling start of windy guitars and smooth chants, it’s constantly bettered by orchestras of tribal melodies and Beirut-esque multi-instrumentation. Afrobeat and Fool’s Gold are a welcome way to begin the year.

By Danny Canter

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