Music trending. It's something all music journalists at one stage or another attempt to guess.
I wonder how accurate my method is? Over the past couple of decades, I've noticed literal connections between the worlds of fashion, film, art and music. Based on these observations, I've seen the recent saturation of popsy folk music as akin to the early '80s lollypop sweetness and the DJ obsession as similar to the mindless rantings of late '70s disco. Now what came after both of these music movements in the past? In the case of disco, punk followed. In the case of pop, goth - which then morphed into industrial - followed.
As I am also a jewellery designer, so pay a fairly keen awareness to fashion (well, moreso than most music journalists would!), I've noticed a move away from the neon 'Choose Life' '80s fashion revival into a more glamorous, vintage style: film noir - my favourite - which was quite fashionable in the early goth/new romantic phases of '80s music. There are also fringe fashion designers who are opting for quite the sado masochistic look, not unlike Vivienne Westwood's designs that epitomised punk. As fashion is usually predictive and one season ahead, sometimes I've noticed music, art etc all follow. Fashion - an industry that turns over billions of dollars, it seems, each day! - has a vested interest in getting it right, having their finger on the collective pulse of people all over the world, and cashing in on it.
So my guesses for 2010 - based on current fashion predictions and the moanings I'm hearing from music fans about the lack of depth, intensity and aggro in popular music (the recent lamentations regarding Triple J's 'Lamest 100' are a perfect example) - are that music will toughen up or darkly romanticise our existence. People want to hear music that represents what's going on in the world which - if you haven't noticed lately - is not a pretty place to be. I predict a punk-like delving into more anarchistic lyrics and simultaneously, a more gothic darkening of music in general. I believe this will eventually lead into a revival of the '90s industrial and grunge styles of music: think NIN, Ministry, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Sonic Youth, etc.
I think the time has passed for musicians who shove their heads in the sand/clouds and sing music better suited to a Prius ad jingle. Although, I'm sure, there will always be a place for it, considering humanity's propensity for apathy and self-delusion.
Let's see how right or wrong I am!