Tag Archives: Palma Violets

Blog Sound of 2013 – The Top 5

3 Jan

blogsound2013 LOGO

The year is barely a few days old and already the hills are alive with the sound of new music. The BBC are in the process of revealing the Top Five acts in their annual “Sound of…” poll and today we can reveal the Top Five in this year’s The Blog Sound of 2013 Poll. You no doubt recall that we, alongside 48 other UK Blogs, voted for acts we think will blow up in 2013 and the longlist of 15 acts was announced back on 3 Dec.

So, without further ado, the Top five are…

5th The Neighbourhood

3rd= Savages

3rd= Pins

2nd Chvrches

1st Haim

HAIM - Dont Save Me2

Keep reading for some details about the poll as well as a handy playlist of tracks from each of the Top five (courtesy of the lovely Robin at Breaking More Waves), first though some of our thoughts.

Our Thoughts
We were not surprised to see Haim top the list. While they didn’t make it into our personal top five, they were on our own long list and we have loved their super-infectious pop, rock and r‘n’b hybrid sound (the more we hear “Don’t Tell Me”, the more we dance).

Haim were the only ones of our own personal long list to make it into the top five and while we don’t have a problem with that at all, some people decried the long list for feeling a bit too safe. It’s understandable but easily explained. The poll was bigger than ever this year with 49 blogs taking part. Getting any kind of consensus from a small group of people is never easy, getting it from 49 bloggers each with diverse and eclectic tastes is going to be nigh on impossible. As a result it will always be the acts that appear most often, though not necessarily at number one, on bloggers lists that will rise to the top and the three sisters from California have been one of the most talked about bands of the last few months and were the second most blogged act by UK Hype Machine listed bloggers in 2012. Not too shabby we think you will agree and a good indication of why they have topped this poll.

The result may not be a slew of artists you have never heard of, or artists from way out in left field but it is a good list of quality acts nonetheless and again includes some that have not featured on the BBC list at all. Also, if you feel like these are safe choices, what about the inclusion of the already extremely successful and established The Weeknd on the BBC poll? Now that is a safe choice. Anyway, we think this is a good list of bands who will do well this year and who knows, may even contain another Mercury award winner?

The Tunes

The Facts
The Blog Sound poll was run by Robin Seamer from Breaking More Waves and Andy Von Pip from The Von Pip Express asking 49 UK music bloggers what emerging acts they were particularly excited about. The poll wasn’t intended to criticise the BBC’s Sound of list, but to simply represent the tastes of the voting bloggers.

The 2013 Blog Sound long list contained 7 acts that were also then revealed to be on the BBC Sound of List (AlunaGeorge, Chvrches, Haim, Laura Mvula, Palma Violets, Savages and Tom Odell) and 8 that weren’t (Curxes, Daughter, Mo, Pins, Randolph’s Leap, Rhye, Seasfire and The Neighbourhood).

In total just over 170 acts received at least 1 vote in the poll, but Haim and Chvrches were way ahead of the chasing pack when it came to the final count. Pins and Savages, tied for third place with The Neighbourhood, the second US act on the list after Haim in fifth.

Of the five most voted for acts all of them are bands and four of them have lead female vocalists. Two of the bands (Haim and The Neighbourhood) are from the US.

The Participating Blogs in alphabetical order:
A New Band A Day / A Pocket Full Of Seeds / All Noise / Alphabet Bands / Both Bars On / Brapscallions / Breaking More Waves / Brighton Music Blog / Details Of My Life So Far / Don’t Watch Me Dancing / Dots And Dashes / Drunken Werewolf / Eaten By Monsters / Electronic Rumors / Faded Glamour / Folly Of Youth / Flying With Anna / God Is In The TV / Harder Blogger Faster / Howl / In Love Not Limbo / Just Music That I Like / Killing Moon / Kowalskiy / Love Music : Love Life / Mudkiss / Music Broke My Bones / Music Fans Mic / Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt / My Bands Better Than Your Band / Not Many Experts / Peenko / Real Horrorshow / Scottish Fiction / Skeletory / Song By Toad / Sounds Good To Me Too / Storm’s Brewing / Sweeping The Nation / The Blue Walrus / The Electricity Club / The Mad Mackerel / The Metaphorical Boat / The Music Hoarder / The Recommender / This Must Be Pop / Von Pip Musical Express / 17 Seconds

Blog Sound of 2013 Long List Revealed

3 Dec

blogsound2013 LOGO

We hope you have been enjoying our 2013 Preview feature; we’re in the home stretch now with the final five of our artists to Listen Out For being revealed this week. We’re not the only ones who have been getting excited about what next year may bring. Alongside 48 other UK Blogs, we voted for acts we think will blow up in 2013 in The Blog Sound of 2013 Poll, in fact the five we are revealing this week were our votes.

Below are some details about the poll and the Long List of nominated artists, which was revealed today and includes four of our own long list of bands to Listen Out For. The top five and ultimate winner of the poll will be announced in January.

“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.

Last year’s final long list provided some interesting alternatives to the BBC list; most notably it included Alt-J, this year’s Mercury Prize winners, who didn’t feature on the BBC list at all.
The Blog Sound of 2013 poll has expanded with 49 UK blogs nominating their 5 favourite emerging artists. Just over 170 acts received at least 1 vote. The winning act received votes from around 25% of all bloggers.

The long list represents the very best of new music and draws from major labels, indie labels and completely unsigned acts. The likes of Haim may be featuring on a lot of new music tip lists at the moment, but the Blog Sound poll also highlights lesser known bands such as Curxes and Randolph’s Leap, bands that do not have big PR representation, and this is what makes the Blog Sound list fascinating and exciting.

The poll was organised by Robin Seamer (Breaking More Waves) and Andy Von Pip (The Von Pip Express). “Each blog was allowed to vote for five acts and the diversity of the nominations was staggering. Based on the evidence of the spread of votes anyone that says that music bloggers are sheep and are all writing about the same artists has got it wrong. However, the results of the poll show that certain artists do have a lot of support and love from a significant portion of UK bloggers and those artists make up the Blog Sound of 2013 list,” says Robin”.

The Nominated Artists For The Blog Sound Of 2013

In alphabetical order:

AlunaGeorge – Infectious R&B influenced pop from London
“Your Drums, Your Love”

Curxes – Dark industrial-pop electronic duo from Brighton and Portsmouth

Chvrches – Scottish electro pop trio formed from a variety of other bands
“The Mother We Share”

Daughter – Minimal / ambient sounding folk

Haim – Classic rock from LA with pop sensibilities
“Don’t Save Me”

Laura Mvula – Jazz / soul singer hailing from Birmingham

– Hip soulful female vocal electronic pop from Denmark

Palma Violets – Raw and energetic indie rock band
“Best of Friends”

Pins – Edgily cool and raucous all female indie band from Manchester
“Shoot You”

Randolph’s Leap – Glasgow based indie folk pop with a twist of brass

Rhye – Smooth and blissful pop duo
“The Fall”

Savages – Intense post-punk with female vocals
Savages – Flying To Berlin

Seasfire – Modern rock band from Bristol who mix electronic beats with guitars
“We Will Wake”

The Neighbourhood – Atmospheric Californian 5 piece rock / pop band
“Let It Go”

Tom Odell – Piano based singer songwriter originally from Chichester
“Another Love”

The Participating Blogs

Also in alphabetical order:

A New Band A Day / A Pocket Full Of Seeds / All Noise / Alphabet Bands / Both Bars On / Brapscallions / Breaking More Waves / Brighton Music Blog / Details Of My Life So Far / Don’t Watch Me Dancing / Dots And Dashes / Drunken Werewolf / Eaten By Monsters / Electronic Rumors / Faded Glamour / Folly Of Youth / Flying With Anna / God Is In The TV / Harder Blogger Faster / Howl / In Love Not Limbo / Just Music That I Like / Killing Moon / Kowalskiy / Love Music : Love Life / Mudkiss / Music Broke My Bones / Music Fans Mic / Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt / My Bands Better Than Your Band / Not Many Experts / Peenko / Real Horrorshow / Scottish Fiction / Skeletory / Song By Toad / Sounds Good To Me Too / Storm’s Brewing / Sweeping The Nation / The Blue Walrus / The Electricity Club / The Mad Mackerel / The Metaphorical Boat / The Music Hoarder / The Recommender / This Must Be Pop / Von Pip Musical Express / 17 Seconds

Sights of the City – Norwich Sound & Vision In Pictures

19 Oct

First we previewed Norwich Sound & Vision then, having enjoyed a fabulous three days of music, we gave a quick review of all the shows we were able to take in (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). Now it is time to share some of the sights.

We were lucky to have two extremely talented photographers in attendance over the course of the festival, and below are 22 of the amazing shots that they took. Enjoy!


Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

Eugene McGuinnes



Cold Specks
Cold Specks


Palma Violets
Palma Violets




Bwani Junction
Bwani Junction




Public Service Broadcasting
Public Service Broadcast

Public Service Broadcast

Dad Rocks!
Dad Rocks!

Dad Rocks!

Tall Ships
Tall Ships

Tall Ships

The Neutrinos+

Common Tongue
Common Tongue

Photo Credits:
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Eugene McGuinnes, Grasshouse – Sarah Ann Corlett
Cold Specks, Nobis, Palma Violets, Paws, Bwani Junction, Vuvuvultures, Public Service Broadcasting, Dad Rocks!, Tall Ships, The Neutrinos, Common Tongue – Adam Shoesmith

Sounds of the City: Norwich Sound & Vision – Friday 12 October Review

17 Oct

We are still on a high from the amazing three days of the Norwich Sound & Vision Festival, so much so that anyone asking us ‘how our weekend was’ is having to sit down for quite a while to take it all in. Luckily for you, you don’t have to hear it all, you can just read some.

Continuing our day by day look at the music on the festival, today we will be looking at who we saw and what we thought on Day 2, Friday.

HIGHLIGHT – Vuvuvultures
The evening kicked off with one of the performances of the festival from one of our favourite bands of the year. Singer Harmony’s shy walk on stage gave no indication of what was about to kick off as the drums thundered out and the guitars licked their surroundings. Stage presence is a gift and Harmony has it in spades, undulating, cavorting and dancing around as she captivated an audience that was rapidly swelling as word spread of the brilliance of their performance, not least from our Twitter account. We were treated to the premiere of two new tracks, both of which sounded immense alongside the infectious moshing grooveability of “Ctrl Alt Mexicans” and the sinister sexuality of “I’ll Cut You” in particular. It was a special performance from a special act.

So good was it that we would recommend them to anyone, their next show is on 1st Nov, click for details and get a ticket.

Don’t forget you can also win a signed 12” EP from the band.

Bwani Junction
Frankly, anyone would have struggled to follow the incendiary Vuvuvultures set but Bwani Junction made a pretty decent fist of it. Sitting somewhere between Bombay Bicycle Club and Vampire Weekend, their danceable tribal pop was met with enthusiasm by the large crowd still buzzing from what had gone before.

Hey Sholay
The sound of Hey Sholay has been described in many ways and that variety of opinion is understandable. There is rock, there is pop, there are synths, effects and energy, lots of energy. Guitarist Laurie strides around the stage, flailing his axe around like an impressively coiffured member of a heavy metal band. Musically they sound like the missing link between Scouting for Girls and the Arctic Monkeys but much better than that description would suggest and there is definitely something about them, though it is hard to express what, they are certainly worth checking out. Expect to hear more from them in the near future.

Palma Violets
Perhaps the buzz band of the entire festival and fresh off their appearance on the cover of the NME, Palma Violets took to the Artrocker stage in front of an eclectic crowd of frenzied fans and curious onlookers. Certainly the NME feature had drawn a lot of people who otherwise may not have been interested, keen to see what all the fuss was about. They were treated to a frantic set of jagged guitars and raw energy. Despite this, beyond the first three rows, the crowd seemed fairly disconnected, no doubt ruminating on how familiar it all sounded and even feeling a little disappointed.

Deaf Club
Our evening ended with the doleful yet subtly dancey tunes of Deaf Club up at Open. What we had anticipated as being a fairly downbeat and swaysome end to the night proved instead to be pleasantly upbeat and bouncy with a series of surprisingly poppy rhythms taking hold of the audience and compelling them to dance.

So that was our Friday. Don’t forget you can read about what we got up to on Thursday here and come back tomorrow to hear about our last night at the festival.

Vuvuvultures picture credit – Adam Shoesmith

Things to see and hear: Norwich Sound & Vision 2012 Preview

9 Oct

“I just want to hear something I haven’t heard before” ― John Peel.

It’s a fairly big week in music for the fine city of Norwich as the 3rd annual Sound and Vision kicks off this Thursday (11 Oct) and this year promises to be bigger than ever. In particular, and the main focus of this piece, the music element has been ramped up a notch or seven. With the blessing of his widow Sheila Ravenscroft, who is a patron of Norwich Sound and Vision, the ‘sound’ part has been rechristened the John Peel Festival of New Music and has attracted some of the very best and most exciting new acts from across the UK and beyond.

The ethos behind the festival is one the legendary DJ would have appreciated, speaking to the Eastern Daily Press one of the festival’s organisers and Director of the Norwich Arts Centre (the festival’s principle venue) Stuart Hobday explained, ”It’s not about the headliners but emerging bands and individuals.
“The festival is making a statement for new music. Nostalgia in music, particularly in live music, is all over the place with bands reforming. Each of these acts that we all liked from the past were a new band at some point trying to elbow their way in and that is what John Peel represented – getting that new music through to people.”

Making a statement for new music is right. The three nights of the festival, across ten venues in the city, promise to be a buzz with excitement and activity as music lovers take in show after show after show from some of the brightest new artists. Our wristbands have been bought and paid for, the excitement level is ramping up somewhat and Thursday cannot come soon enough. At the last count, 75 acts were due to play the festival (though that number is still going up daily), including some of Norwich’s finest bands and solo artists, and we will most likely be running like lunatics through the streets to see as many of them as possible.

Here’s our quick preview on what we will be looking out for on each of the three days. Feel free to come along and say hello, we’ll even let you buy us beer.

The honour of effectively opening the festival (well, they are the first band to play according to the latest timetable we have seen) fittingly goes to a Norwich band. King Laconic will get us underway at The Bicycle Shop at 18:00 and the music comes thick and fast thereafter.
The undoubted big draw of the evening is likely to be the amazing electro dance of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (Open, time TBC) who has promised this will be his last tour of this type. Whether that means no more headdresses in the future, we don’t know, but from the snapshots he has posted online so far, it promises to be something special.
The Waterfront has an eclectic night lined up, featuring the very radio-friendly rock sounds of both The Summer Set(20:55) and Mayday Parade (21:50) on the main stage, while the Studio will be treated to the chilled out electro sounds of Dam Mantle (23:00) and Errors (00:00) until the small hours.

Where we’ll be:
Things could get messy for us almost immediately as, following a likely dash between King Laconic (The Bicycle Shop, 18:00) and Kamilla Lovett (St. Lawrence’s Church, 18:30) will be another flurry of legs as we try to take in both Parakeet (Artrocker at the Hog In Armour, 20:00) and Virals (Norwich Arts Centre, 20:30). After that we will bimble up the road in readiness for Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (Open, TBC), followed, possibly, by a late trip for Errors (Waterfront Studio, 00:00).

The biggest attraction for Friday could well come from one of the smaller venues as the Artrocker stage at the Hog In Armour pub plays host to both Paws (21:00) and Palma Violets (22:00), the latter fresh off the cover of NME and generating much excitement. Elsewhere, The Bicycle Shop will provide a showcase of some of Norwich’s finest songwriters with Milly Hirst (19:00) and Heart Of A Dog (20:00) playing. While the Arts Centre has an eclectic line-up starting with the dark and foreboding synth infused sounds of Vuvuvultures (20:00) and culminating with the crisp soulful voice of Cold Specks (22:25).

Where we’ll be:
Another early start for us to see Jessica Alice and Milly Hirst (The Bicycle Shop, 18:00 and 19:00 respectively) before hotfooting it over for Vuvuvultures (Norwich Arts Centre, 20:00) who we are very excited to be seeing. From then we hope to bounce back and forth from Paws (Artrocker at the Hog In Armour, 21:00) to Hey Sholay (Open, 21:30), back to Palma Violets (Artrocker at the Hog In Armour, 22:00) and then back again for Deaf Club (Open, 22:15). Though we fully expect those plans to unravel fairly quickly.

The last day of the festival will be here all too soon (we are trying not to think about it too much, it’s upsetting) and seeing us off into the night will be the ambient electronic sounds of The Soft (Waterfront Studio, 01:00). Before that there is a truckload for everyone to get their ears around with loads of great acts performing. The Arts Centre will be hosting one of the bands of the moment right now, Tall Ships (21:20) as well as the always wonderful Liars (22:10) and, in the bar, the fantastic Dad Rocks! (23:00). Local electronica guru Luke Abbott will close the festivities at Open (23:00) and he is proceeded by what could be the standout performance of the whole festival from Public Service Broadcasting (22:00).

Where we’ll be:
A bit of a no-brainer this one really. Regular readers will already know how much we love Public Service Broadcasting (Open, 22:00) so expect to find us wearing a huge grin while they perform. Beforehand we’ll be pootling around some of the venues we haven’t yet got to, possibly down to see The Neutrinos (The Undercroft, 19:00) and The Little Unsaid (St Lawrence’s Church, 20:30). Then it will be on to Tall Ships (Norwich Arts Centre, 21:20), and Dad Rocks! (Norwich Arts Centre Bar, 23:00) before either home to bed, or on to Lost Levels and The Soft (both The Waterfront Studio, 00:00 and 01:00 respectively).

Sunday will be for sleeping and resting before (hopefully) bringing you all lots of wonderful festival related content in the next few weeks and getting ready for next year.

For more information on the John Peel Festival of New Music, a full list of performer and programme of gigs, visit the Norwich Sound and Vision website.