Tag Archives: Loyle Carner

UK Blog Sound of 2016: The Winner

5 Jan

Blog Sound 2016

The blog hive mind has spoken and the views of 58 of us have been distilled down, the votes have been counted and the results are in. For the first time ever the Blog Sound Of poll has a male winner, congratulations to Mura Masa.

The producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has had a lot of blog support recently with his tracks “Firefly” and “Lovesick Fuck” getting millions of plays on Soundcloud and racing up the Hype Machine Chart.

Mura Masa

It’s been quite a week for 19 year old Alex Crossan who yesterday placed joint 5th on the BBC Sound of 2016 poll.

Speaking of Top Fives, here is the full top five from the Blog Sound Of 2016 poll.

1st Mura Masa
2nd The Japanese House
3rd Aurora
4th Aquilo
5th Loyle Carner

Obviously as well as being pleased for Mura Masa (who, in the interest of full disclosure we are really just starting to enjoy having not heard much of his last year) we are also delighted for longtime blog faves, Aquillo and The Japanese House (who was on our own longlist) and Loyle Carner (who was our number one vote).


We won’t bore you with the background or the rationale of the poll at this stage, as we’ve covered it before (click here if you’d like to know more, and to see the longlist). Instead we shall leave you with a couple of tunes from the winner and offer our congratulations once more to Mura Masa.




The Participating Blogs

A Pocket Full Of Seeds, A World Of Music And Madness, Across The Kitchen Table, Alphabet Bands, Beat Surrender, Bratfaced LDN, Breaking More Waves, Brighton Music Blog, Buzz Unlimited, Cruel Rhythm, Chord Blossom, Daisy Digital, Dive, Details Of My Life, Dots And Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Digital Shuffle, Echoes And Dust, Electronic Rumors, Encore Northern Island, Even The Stars, Faded Glamour, Get Into This, Get Some, God Is In The TV, I Love Pie, Just Music I Like, Kemptation, Killing Moon, Little Indie Blogs, Love Music: Love Life, Metaphorical Boat, Monkey Boxing, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, Music Umpire, Neon Filler, Not Many Experts, Popped Music, Pursuit Of Sound, Rave Child, Record Rewind Play, Scientists Of Sound, Some Of It Is True, Spectral Nights, Sweeping The Nation, Synth Glasgow, The Blue Walrus, The Devil Has The Best Tuna, The Electricity Club, The Evening’s Empire, The Mad Mackerel, The VPME, This Must Be Pop, Thoughts On Music, Too Many Blogs, What If I Had A Music Blog, When The Gramophone Rings

2016 Preview: Artists to Listen out for Part Five

24 Dec

Listen Out For... (4)

After a short unscheduled pause, we conclude our look ahead to next year with our top three Artists to Listen Out for in 2016. We’ve already talked about 12 of our favourite bands right now (old and new) who we are excited to hear more from in the coming months, and these three are the ones who have us most hyped up.

Should you want to re-acquaint yourselves with the previous 12, the links to our previous posts are below. Otherwise, let’s crack on.

Part One (here)
Part Two (here)
Part Three (here)
Part Four (here)


#3 – Seyr

Seyr

We first heard enigmatic London duo seyr just a few short weeks ago when we were asked to write about them for The Tipping Point. Instantly we felt foolish for not having heard of them before and simultaneously very excited for their blend of smooth, soulful r&b infused electronica was right up our proverbial street.

Talking about their divine “a love” we said;

”It’s late night emotional turmoil made into something gorgeous. Heavy with emotion it’s a bold marbling of style, anguish and the tumultuous seas of heartache into a state of aural dreaminess. As couples sway almost imperceptibly with the beat, they will find their grip on one another tightening and an unexplainable longing for their partner swelling up within.”

They’ve been about for a couple of years now, putting out a release here and doing a show there, and they seem to be getting better and better. Hopefully, 2016 will see us hearing much more of the pair.


Stalk Seyr: Website / Twitter


#2 – Transviolet

Transviolet

Transviolet were one of those new acts that appeared seemingly fully formed in 2015. With a solid team and label support behind them and an EP for release, the group came, saw and pretty much conquered in a very short space of time.

Their debut track, “Girls Your Age” went over huge with the blog world and likewise did the follow ups from their eponymous debut EP. Our favourite was probably the anthemic and rousing “New Bohemia” which stirred something within that makes you want to get up and stand for something.

Standing at the opposite end of the grand spectrum to the creeping beauty of “Girls Your Age”, it represented a rather stunning debut from this new young band and one that we hope to see built on in the coming year.


Stalk Transviolet: Facebook / Twitter


#1 – Loyle Carner

Loyle Carner

While he has been pretty much synonymous with new artist tipping in the last few weeks, appearing on the BBC Sound Of and Blog Sound Of polls as well as countless other online publications 2016 preview lists, it may be a surprise to some to see Loyle Carner top our list of acts for next year.

This is because this is actually his debut appearance on Alphabet Bands. Although us not posting about someone is not an indication of a lack of love on our part, more our somewhat slack approach to writing over the last few months.

Some may be put off by the excessive amount of swearing in some of his tracks, but this is not profanity for the sake of it look-at-me-and-my-bling-in-the-club-with-some-bitches rap; this is honest, raw and powerful hip-hop / spoken word. It’s brutally open and refreshing, confessional and laidback like Gil Scott-Heron atop Jurassic5 style beats. It’s magnificent and refreshing and we look forward to hearing much much more in the coming years.


Stalk Loyle Carner: Website / Facebook / Twitter

UK Blog Sound of 2016 Longlist Revealed

3 Dec

Blog Sound 2016

2015 has been a pretty good year for music, especially for new and emerging artists breaking onto the scene and getting people very excited. As is customary at this time of year, music publications and British institutions alike start to look ahead and think about who of those new acts could do incredible things next year. The BBC recently revealed their choices and while ours are more about our favourite acts than surefire industry megahits, the UK Blogging community today reveals our own Sound of 2016 Longlist.

As always, the poll is conducted and adjudicated by the esteemed Robin Seamer of Breaking More Waves and this year, 58 UK based blogs took part. Each voted for their three favourite acts and the top 15 of those acts comprise the Blog Sound of 2016 Longlist. To qualify for a vote any act chosen must not have had a UK top 20 single or album, either in their own right or as a named collaborator prior to 6th November 2015.

The longlist is below and after it you will find a playlist of all the artists, some voting data from Robin, some thoughts from us and a more general point about the BBC poll and the continued importance of blogging. So stick around for that.

But first the longlist.

*drumroll*

The Blog Sound of 2016 Longlist

AQUILO

AURORA

BILLIE MARTEN

GEORGE COSBY

HAELOS

LISS

LOYLE CARNER

MABEL

MURA MASA

MT WOLF

NAO

PLEASURE BEACH

THE BIG MOON

THE JAPANESE HOUSE

YAK


Having been very much off the pace as far as writing and listening to new music this year is concerned, there are plenty of artists there we are not overly familiar with. Which is a good thing as last year we felt the list was too obvious and safe. This year sees much more diversity in musical style which is also, we believe, a fantastic thing. There are artists on there we are massive fans of, Aquillo, The Japanese House and Loyle Carner for example, yet only one of our votes made it onto the list.

While there is a reasonable amount of crossover with the BBC poll, five acts appear on both lists, most notable is the artist that doesn’t appear on the blog sound but who looks favourite to win the BBC poll. Jack Garratt has already been crowned BBC Introducing artist of the year and picked up the Brit’s Critic’s Choice award yet not one blog voted for him. In fact he wasn’t on the longlist last year either, having just narrowly missed out on a place in the final 15. Depending on your point of view, this could mean a number of different things.

  • The BBC Poll is much more commercially skewed than the Blog Sound and as such will always favour bigger artists where blogs like niche acts.
  • The Blog Sound Poll is ahead of the game and while we all still love Jack, we feel his is already established and no longer ‘new’.
  • The BBC judging panel don’t know what they are talking about.
  • The Blog Sound voters don’t know what they are talking about.
  • It’s probably no surprise to learn that we lean towards the second position, with a little of the first thrown in. This isn’t just some biased “Blogs are great” spiel though, there is merit in the argument as well as some statistical evidence to back it up. For example, in recent years the blog sound has featured Wolf Alice the year before the BBC poll, and the likes of Alt-J and Bastille who didn’t feature on the BBC poll at all.

    Blogs are quick to give support to artists and are often very loyal to those acts they particularly love. With the sheer volume of new music available for us to consume, we can also be very quick to find a new ‘new’ act and as such our sense of what is new is different to the majority of rest of the population. Take Aurora for example. She’s been featured on blogs a fair bit in this last year, bothered the Hype Machine chart and racked up the soundcloud plays. Yet when she was revealed as the artist on this year’s John Lewis advert the overwhelming reaction was ‘who she?’.

    We live in a little bubble. A bubble of new music, of social media and of like minded people getting excited about similar things. Robin has spoken before of the difference between internet fame and real fame and he is spot on. Being a big deal on the internet (soundcloud plays, hype machine posts, twitter frenzies etc) doesn’t always equate to being a big deal as far as records and gig tickets sold. The Blog Sound Of poll, to an extent, operates within the ‘big deal on the internet’ bubble while the BBC has a more ‘is becoming a big deal in the outside world’ feel about it. Hence us occasionally featuring artists before the BBC or, in the case of (the excellent) Jack Garratt, not at all. These artists are already a big deal for us and we want them to go on and become a big deal for everyone else as well.

    For the record, we fully expect to see Aurora on the BBC list next year and possibly The Japanese House as well.


    Interesting stats and exciting data from the voting

  • This year 142 acts received at least 1 vote from the 174 total votes cast, showing that the UK music blog scene has a wide range of taste.
  • This year’s voting was the closest and broadest ever – the winning act only received votes from 8.5% of the 58 voters.
  • The vast majority of acts chosen were UK based even though the bloggers could choose acts from any part of the world. There are no American acts on the list, although there are acts from other European countries.
  • One of the acts on this year’s longlist (Mt Wolf) already featured on the Blog Sound of 2014 poll, but then promptly split up. Now reformed, they find themselves once again on the Blog Sound of 2016 list.
  • 5 of the acts on the BBC Sound of 2016 also appear on the Blog Sound Of poll, namely Billie Marten, Loyle Carner, Mabel, Mura Masa and Nao.
  • The Tunes

    The Participating Blogs

    A Pocket Full Of Seeds, A World Of Music And Madness, Across The Kitchen Table, Alphabet Bands, Beat Surrender, Bratfaced LDN, Breaking More Waves, Brighton Music Blog, Buzz Unlimited, Cruel Rhythm, Chord Blossom, Daisy Digital, Dive, Details Of My Life, Dots And Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Digital Shuffle, Echoes And Dust, Electronic Rumors, Encore Northern Island, Even The Stars, Faded Glamour, Get Into This, Get Some, God Is In The TV, I Love Pie, Just Music I Like, Kemptation, Killing Moon, Little Indie Blogs, Love Music: Love Life, Metaphorical Boat, Monkey Boxing, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, Music Umpire, Neon Filler, Not Many Experts, Popped Music, Pursuit Of Sound, Rave Child, Record Rewind Play, Scientists Of Sound, Some Of It Is True, Spectral Nights, Sweeping The Nation, Synth Glasgow, The Blue Walrus, The Devil Has The Best Tuna, The Electricity Club, The Evening’s Empire, The Mad Mackerel, The VPME, This Must Be Pop, Thoughts On Music, Too Many Blogs, What If I Had A Music Blog, When The Gramophone Rings