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(Reuters) - The music press and labels have stepped up their search for the "next big thing" in pop, an annual exercise in identifying up-and-coming talent and promoting artists recently signed up to record companies.
In 2013, a handful of acts from Britain, the United States and beyond have caught the attention of "pop pickers" and appear on influential lists drawn up by music channel MTV, British broadcaster BBC and music magazine NME, among others.
Following is a list of names who appear on the latest "faces to watch" surveys.
1. Haim - The three sisters from Los Angeles, all in their early- to mid-20s, made it on to the cover of NME's new music edition and came top of BBC's Sound of 2013 poll.
Their infectious, fun-filled folk-pop has been likened to Fleetwood Mac among others, and critics believe they have the confidence and personality to reach the top.
2. Angel Haze - The U.S. rapper's EP "Reservation", which draws on her native American heritage, caught the attention of the music industry and she has signed up with a major label.
Her explicit lyrics may alienate some, but there is no lack of ambition and self-belief. "I will say to anyone's face I am the best out there right now," she said in a recent interview.
3. Laura Mvula - Entering the crowded marketplace for single female acts with powerful voices is the classically trained singer from Birmingham whose voice has been compared to Nina Simone and chart queen Adele.
4. Peace - the indie quartet also hails from Birmingham, central England, and has been likened to The Maccabees and Foals.
5. AlunaGeorge - Runner-up to Haim in the BBC 2013 poll, the London electro-pop duo were also one of three acts nominated for the BRITs Critics' Choice Award this year.
Alexis Petridis, music writer for the Guardian, said of them: "A bold and original electronic pop duo harking back to the days when 'people weren't afraid to try something weird'."
6. Savages - The all-female, post-punk London act has been likened by critics to Siouxsie and the Banshees yet fresh enough to give punk a new lease of life.
7. Gabrielle Aplin - The sugar-sweet tones of Aplin's voice found a wider audience when her cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "The Power of Love" was used for the John Lewis store's Christmas commercial in Britain.
The single reached No. 1 in the charts, and her debut album "English Rain" is due out in early 2013.
8. Tom Odell - The British troubadour won the BRITs Critics' Choice Award for emerging talent and has been compared to Chris Martin of Coldplay and the late Jeff Buckley.
9. MS MR - The New York synth-pop duo have got the music press excited with a sound described as "chillwave", and they are expected to release an album in May.
10. Disclosure - British brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence make up the house music pair whose catchy single "Latch" has filled the airwaves in recent weeks in Britain.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato