This year has been another great year for Unsigned music. As we are constantly told that the music industry is not producing millionaires anymore and that record sales continue to drop, you would expect the level of Unsigned Bands to drop somewhat. 2014 proved otherwise.
Here’s our pick of this year’s bunch
5. The Yetis
“Their splicing of modern influences with the 60′s pop sensibilities which run through each song make this a beautifully balanced morsel of west coast living. Sounding like a Weezer/Beach Boys sandwich, there’s plenty to whet your appetite.”
The Philadelphian band proved to us that you don’t have to be from the West Coast to produce some amazing surf-rock. Our favourite came in the form of ‘Warm California’ a piece of bleary eyed, balanced guitar riffs looking back into the wondrous 60’s. The Yetis gave a little warmth to the harsh Autumn.
4. Loyle Carner
“There is a confidence to Carner’s output, but this never risks becoming overbearing. He’s not too stiff-lipped to let insecurities infiltrate his lyrics – something that adds a level of empathy, welcoming the listener to come into his world and experience it with him.”
Having since collaborated with friend Kate Tempest and Speedy Wunderground mogul, Dan Carey, Loyle’s stock has dramticaly risen. But we first heard him with his beautifully honest and authentic hip-hop on the jazz-sampled ‘Pieces’.
3. Green Circles
“It can be hard to peddle an essentially over-populated style and sound but Green Circles are doing just that and their doing it with a concerted and concise amount of style. Laced with thick guitar riffs and creamy melodic vocals Green Circles are proving that retro or not there is always room for a little Mod and of course a few jars.”
Newcastle Mods Green Circles came up in the summer with a little piece of lad rock-come-blues with their track ‘Morning After Blues‘, it had all the sensibilities of as piss-up in a freezing Northern town with the added class of a Saville Row tailor. Perfectly Mod and perfectly fitted for a Friday night.
2. Three Days Dark
“Born out of the Essex countryside Trent Halliday’s solo effort is as fitting today as it will be in 20 years, this timeless sound is both comforting and calming allowing the airy blues Halliday speaks of to rush and blur over your eyes and leave one in the serenity of his sound. Drenched in 60′s vibes it is neo-psychedelia at it’s best, it’s not too hard to decipher or purposely irrational; it is accessible but with enough bite to really sink you teeth in to.”
The project of former DeepSeaGreen front man Trent Halliday, Three Days Dark is behind this beautiful mash-up of 60’s psychedelia with modern accents and deviance laden throughout. It’s a thoroughbred band built not through the constant need for obtaining approval but for the love of music, fairly faceless but with the biggest heart and mind in the country.
” Arriving from Leigh-On-Sea in Essex the decaying glamour of the British seaside rings through every note and that accepting of the inevitable is what lends a little more existential substance to whatever his subject may be.”
Another man from Essex we spent most of the first part of the year asking everybody we could find #whoislongy? A staple of the London scene it was damn near impossible to find out any information on Longy after we spotted him in May. What we did know is that he wrote some damn find tunes. Dripping with veracity and as shaped and fully-formed as an artist in their prime he spoke of social injustices without being patronising, love with out being wishy-washy and then smashed us over the head with his riffs and rhythm. We are still asking the question #whoislongy? and we hope some record companies are as well.
2014 was pretty incredible for a lot of Unsigned artists. A lot of them proving that as long as you work hard there is still a life to be had in music. 2015 has a lot to live up to.