Tag Archives: 2015 Preview

2015 Preview – Listen Out For – The Full List

8 Dec

2015 Previews The Full List

After 15 individual posts, our countdown of artists we think you should Listen Out For in 2015 was completed this morning when we unveiled Brighton’s Fickle Friends as our #1 tip for next year.

Before we crack on with our end of year lists (tracks first), for those amongst you who are lazy/busy/just like things all in one place (delete as applicable), we have collated the full selection of artists and a handy playlist of tunes from each of them below for your enjoyment. Should you wish to read more about each, just click on their name to see the full article.


#15 – Let’s Eat Grandma

”Rosa and Jenny are two stupefyingly imaginative and creative 15 year old girls who play a multitude of instruments in a multitude of different ways at a multitude of different times within a single song. Not sure if that makes sense? That is just a small part of the joy of Let’s Eat Grandma.”

#14 – Treasureseason

”…their recent Julep EP which is as good as anything they have done and juxtaposes Jess’s rich, lush vocals with their trademark icy and almost Scandinavian in style, electronic production.”

#13 – Chløë Black

““27 Club” is infused with touches of r&b and gospel, as well as [an] elegantly gothic and rich sound”; it is a compelling and captivating tune.”

#12 – Saint Agnes

”They make music that should soundtrack great western epics; epics that would have bar-fights aplenty, harsh inhospitable landscapes and, deadly predators waiting to pick you off at every turn.”

#11 – Waterbed

”Flourishes whistle and call like digital whale song as Cat’s vocals entice and beckon to your ears. It’s Blue Hawaii, Us Baby Bear Bones and MYPET; it’s dance music, has hip-hop beats and is frenetic electronica. It’s pop and it’s great.”

#10 – Daisy Victoria

”She rocks and croons, bounces, dances, spins and swirls, is dark, light, carefree and theatrical, all in the space of five tracks that are not only fantastic but that are also available for free (though we know once you hear them you’ll want to pay something for them).”

#9 – Jagaara

”Their songs are full of emotion and pain, entwined with first delicate then powerfully distressed arrangements. They make music that is not only evocative and often heart-wrenching, “Marble Arch” was wrought with a fist pounding frustration that stirs emotions within and had a suitably belt-it-out-when–you-think-no-one-is-around chorus, but it can also feel soothing and becalming.”

#8 – Black Honey

”…their fuzzy, retro-tinged garage pop sounds are fantastic and in just four tracks they have had us and our contemporaries all of a quiver. They make music that excites, it is dark and fantastical yet sun-tinged and born from very real emotion and desire and we love it.”

#7 – Osca

”Their debut track in particular, “Blood”, had many an esteemed publication pushing the button marked ‘gushing’ when determining which kind of praise to adorn them with. Like most of their songs, the piano driven ballad was simultaneously divine and foot stompingly catchy.”

#6 – Wooden Arms

”We’re massive suckers for the sweeping melodies, the orchestral arrangements, harmonies and ebbing rhythms. They make music to close your eyes to, music to get lost in, music for cold crisp mornings and for late summer evenings.”

#5 – Vérité

”She expertly walks the tightrope between mainstream and chic, with some commentators referring to her as alt-pop, though we like to think of it as just pop. Extremely good, extremely entertaining and enjoyable pop.”

#4 – Yumi Zouma

”We love Yumi Zouma, like properly love Yumi Zouma. Their debut EP was probably the most played release of 2014 at Alphabet Bands HQ and their follow up single “Alena” (as well as their love letter to Air France) has been played to death since its release. They are, for us, one of the bands of the year and we fully expect more of the same in the next 12 months.”

#3 – Rag’N’Bone Man

”Soon we were exploring and dived head first into his (still free) EP, Wolves, which, while lighter on the hip-hop element, is equally fantastic. His Mark Lanegan-esque vocals are raw, powerful and full of soul, yet they also feel tender and brittle with emotion at times.”

#2 – Laurel

”Her soft, ebbing melodies can, in the case of “Shells” for example, like a walk through a silent, dusky wood. Intricate rhythms reveal themselves like branches cracking underfoot as you walk, discovering new wonders behind each tree, beyond each hillock and ditch.”

#1 – Fickle Friends

”Their super light, bright and bouncy pop tunes lit up the year despite often dealing with disillusionment heartbreak and despair. In fact, despite their predilection for lyrics reflecting melancholy and confusion, seem incapable of making music that sounds like anything less than a glorious summer of fun and frivolity. The melodies and arrangements are gloriously infectious and playful and are perfectly complemented with soft, silken vocals.”


2015 Preview: Listen Out For #1 – Fickle Friends

8 Dec

Fickle Friends

Five people, three hype machine topping singles, hundreds of blog posts, countless festival appearances and nearly a million plays on soundcloud all added up to one thing for Brighton’s Fickle Friends; one totally amazing year.

Their super light, bright and bouncy pop tunes lit up the year despite often dealing with disillusionment heartbreak and despair. In fact, despite their predilection for lyrics reflecting melancholy and confusion, they seem incapable of making music that sounds like anything less than a glorious summer of fun and frivolity. The melodies and arrangements are gloriously infectious and playful and are perfectly complemented with soft, silken vocals.

America is already on notice with Billboard featuring the band a couple of months back and with an EP in the works for release next year, 2015 could see the band receiving similar adulation stateside to that which they have already received here. With any luck next year will see them translate their massive internet love into chart appearances and more mainstream recognition, they are certainly more than good enough to do so.


Stalk Fickle Friends: Website / Facebook / Twitter

2015 Preview: Listen Out For #2 – Laurel

7 Dec

Laurel

Way back in March we let our mind wander off on its own while listening to Laurel’s stunningly dark, dramatic and mesmeric “To The Hills”, and it came back with a highly entertaining but frankly ludicrous theory as to what it meant.

We shouldn’t have been surprised really, partially because when our mind tends to wander there is no telling where it is going to go (as anyone who read our Saint Agnes preview would testify) but also because Laurel has a habit of taking your mind on a journey with her music. Her soft, ebbing melodies can, in the case of “Shells” for example, feel like a walk through a silent, dusky wood. Intricate rhythms reveal themselves like branches cracking underfoot as you walk, discovering new wonders behind each tree, beyond each hillock and ditch. Her voice is enchanting, almost choral at times and definitely the kind that would cause many a shipwreck were she inclined to spend her time sat atop a rock by the sea.

She is about to release her latest EP, Holy Water, which includes the fabulous “Memorials” and the stunning “Come Together” (which features and was co-written with Sivu, another blog favourite of ours). The latter is gorgeously different to its predecessors, it pulses and throbs with dark, seductive electronics; their respective vocals entwined in a dangerously hypnotic manner, almost as if they are enticing you to a den of inequity, ready to corrupt your fragile and willing mind. The track is almost liquid like, dripping and undulating, finding a way into every crevice of your soul.

Holy Water is due out on 15 December for what should surely be the first wave of a full on assault on 2015. We stand ready to be corrupted and we expect many many others will be as well.


Stalk Laurel: Website / Facebook / Twitter

2015 Preview: Listen Out For #3 – Rag’N’Bone Man

7 Dec

Rag'N'Bone Man

We first encountered Rag’N’Bone Man when our good friends at Breaking More Waves started getting excited about his most recent release, “Hell Yeah”. Soon we too were getting very excited, perhaps even more excited, about this huge tune of soulful hip-pop.

Soon we were exploring and dived head first into his (still free) EP, Wolves, which, while lighter on the hip-hop element, is equally fantastic. His Mark Lanegan-esque vocals are raw, powerful and full of soul, yet they also feel tender and brittle with emotion at times.

As well as the very modern production and occasional guest verses from up and coming rappers and Mercury nominated Kate Tempest (donchaknow) Wolves is rich with historical music references. These are most notably blues, soul and gospel but also with repetitive call outs that put one in mind of the songs of the Underground Railroad, which suggests that Rory Graham is a real student of music as well as a damn good creator of it.

He’s already selling out shows and having venues upgraded and has worked with some very impressive people (the aforementioned Miss Tempest for example) making some utterly fantastic and raw music. So the fact that only two hype machine blogs (including our own) has featured him so far is quite bewildering to us. He is reportedly working on new music for next year so with any luck, 2015 will see that change for the better.

The ‘Wolves’ EP is out now and available as a free download here.


Stalk Rag’N’Bone Man: Website / Facebook / Twitter

2015 Preview: Listen Out For #4 – Yumi Zouma

6 Dec

Yumi Zouma Alena

We love Yumi Zouma, like properly love Yumi Zouma. Their debut EP was probably the most played release of 2014 at Alphabet Bands HQ and their follow up single “Alena” (as well as their love letter to Air France) has been played to death since its release. They are, for us, one of the bands of the year and we fully expect more of the same in the next 12 months.

In fact, such is our adoration for the New Zealand trio that we find ourselves surprised that they have not been talked about more in other year-end review and new-year preview lists. Almost to the extent that we have questioned the legitimacy of including them here ourselves? Did we miss a trick this time last year and they were actually all over the 2014 previews or is it more that the EP was released at the start of this year and people have forgotten them? Whatever the reason is, we don’t care. It’s our site and we think they are utterly fantastic and will continue to write about them whenever we can (spoiler alert, they will be featuring again before the end of this year – year end lists are coming after all).

We’ve talked before about the EP, about how the melodies drift effortlessly like a row boat on a still summer lake, about how the vocals drip gently like perspiration on an ice cold beer and how the whole thing is idyllic and heavenly. We’ve talked about it but it is worth re-iterating, it’s like swimming to the edge of a perfect temperature infinity pool and bathing in the breathtaking vista of melody before you.

Their live performances are wonderful as well, “Alena” hinted at a slightly more up-tempo yet still languid disco pop sound and their gigs certainly embrace that aesthetic.
The songs feel more alive, more upbeat and full of verve as the band and audience bounce and bob enthusiastically together and they even start to sound and feel a little sexy, what with the low lighting and aural seduction of their bewitching sound.

A second EP is due in 2015 and hopefully there will be an album as well. If they carry on being as amazing as their initial releases have shown, there will certainly be more love from us.


Stalk Yumi Zouma: Facebook / Twitter