SOUNDS NEW –
A follower on Twitter posted and tagged me into a link to an unsigned band he loves, his actual comment was ‘this is the best unsigned band in the UK at the moment’. Add them you will enjoy their music. This was backed up shortly after with a Tweet from someone else who likes them. Anyway to cut a long story short it seems unwittingly I became involved in a plea for a record deal. I sat back and watch it unfold. I get added by a lot of musicians on Twitter, probably because I post music and they want a retweet to the masses. I also often get sent links and messages via DM to ask me to check their music out on YouTube, mixcloud or soundcloud. Often the music is really good and I can’t quite understand how these bands are unsigned. However there must be hundreds and thousands of them out there all desperate to make it in the music industry, this begs the question, ‘Do Social Networks Really Help Musicians’? Is it productive in reaching the masses or do social networks create so much opportunity for musicians that overcrowding, by and large, has a negative effect? Social networks do what they are designed to do. Bands can build a loyal fan base, keep them updated on their progress and up and coming gigs. In return they will unwittingly promote you and spread the word.
I read an article recently about Ed Sheeran. Ed said he initially struggled to get a record deal because he was “ginger and chubby”. He said he had to perform to empty gig venues and felt every venue he played, less and less attended. He claims that the fact that he was slightly chubby and ginger wasn’t a good marketing tool. However he maintained self-belief and eventually it paid off. “I wanted it so badly”, and just kept on and on at it. Ed promoted himself on social networking and to be honest it would be stupid not to.
I have listened to music, enjoyed it, downloaded it, recommended to far more people online than I ever could word of mouth. So in my opinion social network sites are now imperative in band promotion which will hopefully result in a record deal.
This week I have picked some tracks that have either been sent to me as recommendations or I’ve read articles about. All new artists to me and relatively newish. Some signed and some not. But my point is, without the power of social networking would I be listening to their music? Hope you enjoy my choices.
ST PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES – HALF THE CITY
St Paul and The Broken Bones, a 7 piece soul band from Alabama, USA. They formed in 2012. Paul is the vocalist (sorry bit obvious that) and the Broken Bones on instruments key board, guitar, bass guitar, drums, trombone, and trumpet. In 2012 Jess and Paul (bass and vocals) met back in the studio to try a last attempt at a project before splitting and focusing on other careers. Something ‘clicked’ as they say and they walked away with the start of an EP ‘Greetings From St Paul and the Broken Bones. This release gained them attention from managers and labels alike. They released their first album, Half the City in Feb 2014 to much public acclaim. They are currently touring in North America and Europe.
I bloody love this band, music is great and vocals are amazing, proper old fashioned soul sound. I’m sure the lead vocalist and Alan Carr were separated at birth though ha!!
BLOSSOMS – BLOW
The Blossoms a five piece band from Stockport formed in 2013. All the members played in different local bands until as they described it firmed a Stockport super group. Their genre is a 60s psychedelic sound which they describe as ethereal nostalgic sonance! (I have no idea either). The gossip is they are about to explode into the mainstream following the release of their debut single on the 20th October. Following this they are about to commence a tour as support for The Charlatan’s.
They have made a video of their first song on a budget of £60, filmed in the warehouse where they rehearse. They built a set and rented a smoke machine, they ask us to check it out and remember that from little cars grow big bands.
I think they are all slightly mad, however I love their effortless, flowing guitars, vocal melodies and trippy sound. I love them, so here it is all, £60 of it.
FOXES – YOUTH
Foxes well she is one person, Louisa Rose Allen from Southampton. The 25year old singer/ song writer is cute, stylish and according to the music critics is going to be one to look out for in 2014. Her electro-pop beat sound is catchy and her vocals perfect. She released her first album glorious this year. Foxes featured in an episode of Dr Who, Mummy on the orient express, where she sang don’t stop me now.
The track I’ve chosen is Youth. Great vocals, she describes her sound as experimental pop. It has a unique sound and her voice is quite melancholy sounding. I’m not sure if I will like all her music but I enjoyed this. What I do like to see is a beautiful normal looking pretty girl making something of her musical talent.
ERIKSSSON DELCROIX – WALKING
There is very little to read about this unique band and what there is, is in Flemish. I was recommended this album on Instagram and to be honest was more interested in the album covers art work. However I’ve listened to this track and it definitely has a country vibe, which I don’t usually like, but it’s so different It’s wacky and unusual, the video is simple but I just love it. It reminds me of my wacky family sitting around our kitchen table. Although it’s been a while since I had a tache!
THE TRANSPERSONALS – LAND OF DREAMS
The Transpersonals are a 3 piece band from Bristol, playing their own brand of cosmic psychedelia. While trying to find out more information on their profile I came across a review about them, this is how the writer describes them. “The Transpersonals music sounds like the kind of thing you’d find if you carved open the mind of a 60’s free love and fucking, acid popped freak and were drowned underneath a kaleidoscope stream of musical notes”. Wow, quite a description, to live up to. They describe their genre as “not a time or a style its Transpersonal”! Oh ok! This is the band that I mentioned earlier. I became involved in a tweet fest, was it a loyal fan, a friend or even family trying to get them signed? It was all a bit surreal. Anyway he asked me to listen and see what I thought. His aim is to spread the word about what he considers to be the ‘best unsigned band in the UK’.
It is certainly a strange video. Its starts off like an episode of Dr Who and actually the lead vocalist in my opinion would make a great Dr Who. It’s like a really badly acted out film, but so bad you keep on watching. The music and vocals I really don’t know. I’m drawn to it but I certainly don’t think they are the best unsigned band I’ve heard. I kind of think I’m missing something. I don’t get them? Saying that half way through the video I was thinking, ‘Ah that’s me Mam’s Ikea duvet’. Mad or what? My friend who’s into Psych music big time thought it was a parody and that I was taking the piss. Have a listen see what you think.
Here are a few of the bands that have asked me to listen to their music and I have enjoyed and 2 of them are signed now.