1. Villagers - Awayland
With Elbow taking a year off, the big question is which well-respected, but moderately-selling, act will 'do an Elbow' and make the leap into wider public consciousness. Having toured with them last year, it could well be Ireland's Villagers. Ostensibly the vehicle for frontman Conor O'Brien, they were nominated for the Mercury with their debut Becoming a Jackal in 2010 and have spent the time since touring and diligently building their fanbase. Heartful, beautiful and intricate songs are their speciality and - if they choose to - they could make the step into the big league. Mind you, Elbow took four albums and 10 years before they went into supernova, so it might be a little early - a great album should be expected nonetheless.
Release date: 14th January