Tag Archives: Banks

UK Blog Sound 2014: The Winner

2 Jan

Blog Sound Of 2014

After making some not so serious predictions about what 2014 might have in store yesterday, it’s time to get a little bit more professional and talk about artists who may have a big influence on what the next 12 months look like.

You may recall that we, alongside 58 other blogs, voted for new acts whose music we love and who we want to do well in 2014. Back in December we revealed the longlist of the 16 most voted for acts and today we are delighted, and we mean delighted to reveal the Top 3 and of course, the winner.


The Result

banks and marika hackman

Congratulations go to the wonderful Marika Hackman and the much talked about Banks who tie as joint winners. It’s not the first time they have been so close, Marika was the 8th most blogged about artist by UK listed Hype Machine blogs in 2013, and Banks was the 9th.

We also offer our congratulations to our own personal top tip for 2014, Sivu who placed as runner up just one vote behind the joint winners.


The Tunes





The Opinion

To be honest, we weren’t overly optimistic about this year’s poll after seeing the longlist. While there was fewer synergies with the BBC Sound of Poll than last year, there were still a few acts that felt to us like they were more hype than substance. Still, despite our misgivings we are absolutely delighted with the result.

Marika Hackman is an artist we really love but have only recently started blogging about, shame on us, so we are made up to see her at the top of this particular tree. We adore her slightly off-kilter vocal and the lyrical intricacy and subtly she crafts atop wondrous melodies and sophisticated and engaging arrangements. It’s folky in essence but there is so much more to her music and the gorgeous elegance of her sound. Yeah, we are very happy that Marika is a joint winner of the poll.

Banks is someone who, despite the amount of blog support she received last year, we know much less about. Her electronic R&B influenced pop is nice enough but we haven’t really heard that much of it to get excited. We are not, in all honesty, surprised to find her at the top of this list, nor would we be surprised to see her near or at the top of the BBC poll next week. She has a very large online fanbase, though that is (we understand) yet to translate to sell out shows, and a lot of industry support.

As for Sivu, well we probably don’t need to say too much do we? Anyone who reads this site even semi-regularly will know we adore his music and expect big things for next year. His music is a heady mix of instantly accessible, light sounding folk popness, and dark themes born out of heartache and despair. We were very pleasantly surprised indeed to see him place as the runner-up and, at only one vote behind the winners, so close to coming top.


The Facts

The UK Blog Sound of 2014 is a poll of 59 UK based music bloggers. It asked them to each vote for their three favourite emerging artists. This is the third year the poll has taken place and for the first time two artists have tied for equal first place, each receiving an identical number of votes. Congratulations to Marika Hackman and Banks. Singer songwriter Sivu came third.

The UK Blog Sound of 2014 is a poll designed to complement the BBC Sound Of poll and is voted for only by UK music blogs. This year 139 acts received at least 1 vote from the 59 participating blogs, the vast majority of the 139 receiving just 1 solitary vote. Of the 15 acts on the BBC Sound of list 7 of them failed to secure a single vote from UK Blog Sound voters.


The Participating Blogs

17 Seconds / A Pocket Full Of Seeds / All Noise / Alphabet Bands / Beat Surrender / Both Bars On / Brapscallions / Breaking More Waves / Brighton Music Blog / Cat From Japan / Daisy Digital / Details Of My Life So Far / Don’t Watch Me Dancing / Dots And Dashes / Drunken Werewolf / Eaten By Monsters / Echoes and Dust / Electronic Rumors / Faded Glamour / God Is In The TV / Gold Flake Paint / Hearty Vibes / I Love Pie / In Love Not Limbo / Just Music That I Like / Killing Moon / Like 1999 / Little Indie Blogs / Love Music : Love Life / Music Broke My Bones / Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt / My Bands Better Than Your Band / My Day By Day Music / Not Many Experts / Peenko / Pop Dodger / Repeat Button / Scientists of Sound / Scottish Fiction / Skeletory / Sleep In Music / Some Of It Is True / Sound Influx / Sounds Good To Me Too / Sounds Of Now Music / Sweeping The Nation / The Blue Walrus / The Devil Has The Best Tuna / The Electricity Club / The Evening’s Empire / The Mad Mackerel / The Metaphorical Boat / The Sound Of Confusion / The Underclassed / This Must Be Pop / The Von Pip Musical Express / Thoughts On Music / When The Gramophone Rings

UK Blog Sound of 2014 Longlist Revealed

3 Dec

Blog Sound Of 2014

You may have noticed, it was hard to miss frankly as Twitter was all of a flurry, that yesterday (2 Dec) the BBC released their Sound of 2014 Longlist. As with the last couple of years, we bloggers have responded to the internal question we often ask (why should they have all the fun?) and produced our own list of artists we, collectively, love and have high hopes for next year.

We’ve bolded ‘love’ there, because that is the most important word. When asked to vote, the onus was put on upcoming artists we adore, not specifically ones we think could be massive. Perhaps the list would more closely resemble the BBC’s had we done so, but we doubt it this year. There is such a wide range of fantastic music spanning so many genres right now that forming any kind of consensus is going to be difficult. Indeed, over 100 acts were nominated by 59 blogs, with the majority getting just the one vote each. So anyone who thinks we all just like and post the same stuff as each other can think again.

Now, you might not agree with the list, only one of our top 3 made the Longlist and only four of our own Longlist of 15 (some are still to be revealed so you can have fun guessing who the remaining ones are) are included. So, while we have no fundamental disagreements with those who are listed below, we think you’ll agree there are a couple of surprises in there.

Before we get to the list, here’s some quick background from organisers Robin and Andy of Breaking More Waves and The Von Pip Musical Express respectively.

The Blog Sound Poll was first published in 2011. The concept of the poll wasn’t to criticise the established BBC Sound of list, but simply an experiment to see if UK music bloggers could come up with its own list of emerging artists that was more representative of their community and give the artists that were nominated some extra publicity. Indeed the idea was to compliment the BBC list in many ways by providing an alternative to compare and contrast.

The 2011 list contained some interesting alternatives to the BBC list including Mercury Prize winners Alt-J and Bastille who have found huge commercial success in the UK in 2013. The 2012 list was more similar to the BBC list with Haim being the runaway winners, followed closely by Chvrches.

The UK Blog Sound of 2014 poll is the biggest yet with 59 blogs each nominating their 3 favourite emerging artists. It has been retitled to give emphasis to the fact that it is a list created by UK bloggers, although the choices of music can come from around the world.

The Top 3 will be revealed on 2 January, but for now here are the 16 acts that made the longlist.

The Nominated Artists For The UK Blog Sound Of 2014

Banks – Sultry electronic music with a hint of soul from Los Angeles.


Embers – Cinematic and vast indie rock from Manchester


George Ezra – Singer songwriter with a bluesy voice

Hella Better Dancer – Dark and fiery indie rock band


Hockeysmith – Genre hopping sister duo from Cornwall


Honeyblood – Raw d-i-y indie rock two piece from Glasgow


Iyes – Edgy sweetly melodic pop duo from Brighton


Khushi – Endearing East London singer who sits somewhere between pop, indie and folk


Lyla Foy – Previously known as Wall, creator of delicate, brooding, intimate pop


Marika Hackman – Singer songwriter with haunting folk references


Mt Wolf – Dreamy sounding band that combine electronics, acoustic music and ambient atmospherics with near operatic vocals.


Royal Blood – Brighton duo that play gritty lo-fi rock with attitude


Rhodes – Stripped back acoustic singer songwriter


Sivu – Idiosyncratic singer songwriter


Sophie Jamieson – Calm, atmospheric folk musician


Wolf Alice – Edgy rock band who take references from grunge and indie.


The final shortlist of three and the overall winner will be announced on 2 January. See you back here for that.


The Participating Blogs

Also in alphabetical order:

17 Seconds / A Pocket Full Of Seeds / All Noise / Alphabet Bands / Beat Surrender / Both Bars On / Brapscallions / Breaking More Waves / Brighton Music Blog / Cat From Japan / Daisy Digital / Details Of My Life So Far / Don’t Watch Me Dancing / Dots And Dashes / Drunken Werewolf / Eaten By Monsters / Echoes and Dust / Electronic Rumors / Faded Glamour / God Is In The TV / Gold Flake Paint / Hearty Vibes / I Love Pie / In Love Not Limbo / Just Music That I Like / Killing Moon / Like 1999 / Little Indie Blogs / Love Music : Love Life / Music Broke My Bones / Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt / My Bands Better Than Your Band / My Day By Day Music / Not Many Experts / Peenko / Pop Dodger / Repeat Button / Scientists of Sound / Scottish Fiction / Skeletory / Sleep In Music / Some Of It Is True / Sound Influx / Sounds Good To Me Too / Sounds Of Now Music / Sweeping The Nation / The Blue Walrus / The Devil Has The Best Tuna / The Electricity Club / The Evening’s Empire / The Mad Mackerel / The Metaphorical Boat / The Sound Of Confusion / The Underclassed / This Must Be Pop / The Von Pip Musical Express / Thoughts On Music / When The Gramophone Rings