Blog Sound of 2016

The Blog Sound of 2016 is a poll of UK-based bloggers to determine the most popular and favourite emerging acts among those polled. As a UK-based blog, Record Rewind Play was invited to take part (well, it was an open invite, and we jumped at the opportunity) this year and we submitted the names of three artists we love and for whom we wish nothing more than success, riches and critical acclaim in 2016. Nothing more.

And the exciting news is that none of our picks made it onto the longlist. Ho-hum.

And so, on to the list anyway, with some introductory words from Robin @ Breaking More Waves, who created and runs the poll:

The aim of the Blog Sound of poll is identical to the BBC Sound Of list; it attempts to showcase new and emerging artists, but it differs in so far as many of the voting bloggers do not work in the music industry, they are simply fans who have a passion for writing about the music they love. In previous years the Blog Sound poll has identified a number of acts such as Alt-J and Bastille that didn’t feature on the BBC list, and has been slightly ahead of the game, featuring the likes of Wolf Alice a year before they appeared on the BBC Sound of list. Each year there is also some cross-over with the BBC list and this year is no exception. For the 2016 poll 58 music blogs each voted for their 3 favourite acts and the top 15 of those acts form the Blog Sound of 2015 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.

Here’s some of the 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 years 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 although 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 years longlist (Mt Wolf) already featured on the 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.
  • Jack Garratt, winner of the BBC Introducing Award, Brits Critics Choice Award and a nominee on the BBC Sound of Poll didn’t receive one vote from the voting blogs, even although he qualified. However, last year Garratt almost made the Blog Sound of 2015 poll, missing it by just one single vote and finishing in sixteenth position. This is probably because bloggers no longer consider Garratt as emerging.

You can listen to a track from each artist on the longlist above. To help you filter, we’ve appraised them all:

Aquilo – The kind of Oh Wonder-like downtempo electropop that we’re rather partial to, as it happens.

Aurora – Norwegian singer who you shouldn’t hate for being involved in the creeping John Lewis soppification of Christmas.

Billie Marten – Yorkshire based acoustic singer songwriter.

George Cosby – The next big “oh, you’re into this sort of thing, aren’t you?” thing.

Haelos – Remember Temptation by Heaven 17? This is that, millennialised. Not saying that’s a bad thing, you understand.

Liss – The bad thing. The song you always skipped on early Now! compilations.

Loyle Carner – Sweary spoken-word. Potty-mouthed poetry.

Mabel – Slick. Neneh Cherry’s daughter, doncha know.

Mura Masa – Sorry, I popped into the other room to make a coffee while this was on. There were bleeps and a violin, though, I’ll tell you that.

Mt. Wolf – featured on a previous poll, split up, reformed, and now have their second Blog Sound nomination. To my eternal shame I was supposed to cover this single recently, but time has not been my ally. Simultaneously my favourite on the list and the least likely to be headlining the O2 this time next year.

Nao – Capturing with perfect precision the twenty-first century penchant for writing and recording a perfectly decent song and then fucking with it until it’s more or less unlistenable if your ears are old enough to drive.

Pleasure Beach – When they first popped into my inbox they were described as Bastille vs The XX, which was enough for me to move on. I was right. See George Cosby, above.

The Big Moon – Proving that I’m a big fat hypocrite, this shares traits with acts I’m happy to be casually bitchy towards, and yet it reels me in. Maybe it’s a female vocal thing. Maybe it’s a gently understated undulating melody thing. Maybe it’s not a thing at all.

The Japanese House – For a moment I thought I was going crazy – so sure I’d posted about The Japanese House, but found nothing on the website. And then I remembered I’d included a track as an early newsletter exclusive (Sign up, by the way). The track featured here, Still, was Zane Lowe’s last ever “hottest track” before he left Radio 1. One for the fact fans, there.

Yak – Raucous pysch rock. The good stuff, even if it’s not something I’d reach for very often.

The most voted for and top 5 acts on this longlist will be revealed on the 5th January 2016.

So there you have it. Fifteen acts I didn’t vote for, none of which make me think I should have thought harder. But that’s my problem, not yours. And not The Blog Sound of 2016’s. Maybe I’m very far behind the curve. Maybe I’m very ahead of it. Or perhaps I’m just to the side of the curve, looking askance.

The most striking feature of the vote is this: the spread is very thin. 174 votes were cast, for 142 different acts. The winning artist received votes from 5 blogs. This is a very similar picture to last year, when 62 blogs cast 186 votes, and 148 artists picked up votes. In a draft post I wrote twelve months ago but never published, I crunched the numbers and decided:

It seems overwhelmingly possible, in fact, that some of the longlisted artists received just two nominations.

I even made a spreadsheet with a projection of how many votes each artist might have received.

I know.

This year, it’s a similar story. In the spirit of those books of logic problems you used to buy from WH Smith in railway stations, we know that 174 votes were cast, and 142 artists received votes. We also know the winning artist received 5 votes. This means that a maximum of 29 artists received more than one vote, and at least 113 received only one vote. That’s pretty diffuse – and this is no Ballon D’or either, it’s not like you have a potentially wide voting spread but a small number of obvious front-runners. On the plus-side: Breaking More Waves is no FIFA: a corruption scandal seems highly unlikely here.

It also means, I think, that at least two of the fifteen artists in the longlist received just two votes. What I’m saying is that there’s a cigarette paper between some of the names on the longlist and all of the top choices of the bloggers now sitting at home reading the longlist and wondering why their picks aren’t on it.

In a narrow sense, then, the Blog Sound of 2016 longlist doesn’t really represent the 58 blogs that voted. Last year I concluded that at least 23 blogs voted for artist no-one else voted for. The same is probably true this year. Going against my logical grain, and hazarding a guess, I’d suggest that no more than half of the voting blogs voted for one of the artists on the longlist.

But please don’t take this as a moany criticism. I’m certainly not suggesting the rest of us might as well have not bothered. In a wider sense, we are all represented by the poll. If not in the names on the longlist, then by the remarkable number of artists we all voted for. To me it doesn’t show that there’s a vast ocean of mediocrity out there, it shows that there’s a vast ocean of possibility: just as the Best Album Of The Year lists flooding the internet at this time of year represent a chance to discover albums you’ve overlooked or never heard of, the votes from all the blogs listed below, when they are published, will give everyone a chance to discover some new names. And, in the closing words of last year’s unpublished post, updated by a year:

You might like them, and want to write about them, and before you know it they’re getting a little bit more known, and maybe they’ll end up in the Blog Sound of 2017 longlist, in whatever form it happens to take.

The blogs that voted in this years poll were:

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

Field Music add US tour dates, announce Commontime preorder

Having recently shared “The Noisy Days Are Over”, the first track from Commontime, their forthcoming fifth album together, Field Music’s Brewis brothers have now made the album available for pre-order and added US tour dates to their 2016 tour.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Commontime is out on February 5th, and is available to pre-order on:Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Pre-order the album and you’ll get the “The Noisy Days Are Over” as an instant download. The first orders will also receive a limited edition signed A3 art print.

Field Music 2016 tour dates

Feb 25 Newcastle, The Cluny
Feb 26 Newcastle, The Cluny
Feb 28 York, The Duchess
Mar 03 Cardiff, The Globe
Mar 04 Exeter, Exeter Phoenix
Mar 05 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
Mar 10 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
Mar 11 Manchester, Band on the Wall
Mar 13 Glasgow, CCA
Mar 18 London, Islington Assembly Hall
Mar 19 Southampton, Engine Rooms
Mar 20 Brighton, The Haunt
Mar 24 Washington DC, DC 9
Mar 25 Philadelphia, PA, Johnny Brenda’s
Mar 26 New York, NY, Rough Trade
Mar 27 Boston, MA, Great Scott
Apr 01 San Francisco, CA, Independent

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Everything you need to know about that new Adele single

Happy Global Adele Release Day everyone!

ICYMI (somehow), here’s what I learned from Twitter over the course of an hour or two this morning. Adele is:

  • You know who
  • Back (with a serious bang)
  • Sounding triumphant (vocally)
  • Mourning a failed relationship
  • Doing a good interview
  • A mum (but album about that scrapped because boring)
  • Not in the new Smashing Pumpkins video (for some strange reason)
  • Still using a flip phone
  • Not Beyoncé
  • Funnier than Aziz Ansari (unconfirmed)
  • Silly

“Hello” is:download Moonlight movie

  • [her] first single in three years
  • Here
  • New
  • Brand new
  • Among today’s big new releases
  • First single from new album 25
  • Quite something (isn’t it?)
  • A rather tasty comeback
  • Striking, witty and lovelorn
  • Black-and-white
  • Sepia (obv)
  • Unveiled
  • Moving
  • Epic
  • Cinematic
  • Meeting expectations (possibly)
  • Some tear-jerker (aw)
  • Now available to buy
  • Out TODAY!
  • A pretty big tune (x2)
  • Evocative
  • Pretty wonderful
  • Amazing (along with other stuff)
  • Bloody good (actually)
  • Not a Lionel Richie cover (but still pretty good)
  • Weird
  • zou even goed een oude kunnen zijn

Here’s the video in case you need to confirm any of the above:

Tindersticks announce new album: “The Waiting Room”

22 years on from their self-titled debut, Tindersticks have announced the release of their 10th studio album, The Waiting Room. Due for release On January 22nd 2016, the album features a guest appearance by Jehnny Beth of Savages on “We Are Dreamers” and a duet with dear lost friend of Stuart Staples, Lhasa De Sela. It includes brass arrangements by Julian Siegel and comes dressed in a sleeve by legendary french photographer Richard Dumas.

The album is also an ambitious collaborative film project. Each track is accompanied by a short film by a different director. Contributors of these visual interpretations of the album’s eleven tracks include Christoph Girardet, Pierre Vinour, long-time Tindersticks collaborator Claire Denis, Rosie Pedlow and Joe King, Gregorio Graziosi, Richard Dumas and Gabriel Sanna.

The Waiting Room will be available as a limited edition CD/DVD, LP /DVD and very limited clear vinyl LP/DVD via City Slang on Jan 22nd 2016.

Pre-order the album from City Slang | iTunes | Amazon

Tindersticks - The Waiting Room

The Duke Spirit return with new album and London show

The Duke Spirit have announced that they are back with a new album and live date, leading with a brand new track from forthcoming album KIN (due out early in 2016). You can listen to the utterly gorgeous and dreamy new track “Here Comes The Vapour” here; the band’s official single is due this autumn.

Speaking of the new album, singer Leila Moss promises a “great sensuality and luminosity” in the new material. She describes the band’s shift in sound:

We took some time away. We had to loosen the grip, change the pattern. Let in fresh prana.

The Duke Spirit play the historic Wilton’s Music Hall in Whitechapel, London on October 22nd to celebrate their return.

Tickets are available from 9am on Wednesday 9th September from gigsandtours.com.

http://www.thedukespirit.com/

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The Broken Heed, in support of CALM

The Broken Heed is an album comprising 10 original songs written about and through depression. The project aims to raise funds for male mental health charity CALM. CALM is a relatively young charity, but does a great job promoting awareness of depression and other mental illnesses amongst men.

100% of profits will go to the charity. The only costs to the project are the pressing of CDs (a successful crowdfunded campaign was set up to cover the cost of pressing a small run of CDs (50) to accompany the album’s digital downloads) and the 10% cut the download provider will take. All administrative and musical time and effort are at no cost.

Read more about CALM at www.thecalmzone.net

The Broken Heed is the first new music released by Johny Nocash (music: The Irony Board, Echolalia, Broken Down Lorry and writing: Dukla Prague Away Kit, EverythingIndieOver40, Toppermost) since 2012.

You can buy The Broken Heed from Bandcamp. It’s available on CD for £7, or digitally for £5.

Colder announces Many Colours, first new album in nearly ten years

After a nine year gap, unhurried darkwave artist Colder (Marc Nygen Tan) has announced the release of his third album. Due out on November 6th on Bataille Records, Many Colours is only the third full length release of a career that started back in 2002 with the release of debut album Again. A second album, Heat, followed in 2005, and the single “To The Music” in early 2006, followed by a lot of silence.

This year’s new material is as cool and distant as you’d expect, and gives off just the right level of whateverness to dust off and use a fancy word like insouciance.

Watch the video for Turn Your Back:

Watch the video for Midnight Fever:

Pass me a Gitanes.

Gengahr announce UK tour support, release tour video

Gengahr have announced the supports for their upcoming UK and European headline tour. The band will be joined by their friends Oscar, Cash+David and Puma Rosa for their Autumn dates. The band have also shared a tour film they made during their European tour earlier this year with Wolf Alice and alt-J.

The last time we toured Europe we put this short film together.
We had an awesome time supporting alt-J and are now looking forward to bringing some friends with us on our own headline tour in November!Hugh Schulte

Gengahr’s debut album, A Dream Outside, is out now on Transgressive Records

iTunes: http://geni.us/3xD
CD/Vinyl: http://gengahr.com/

Get tickets for Gengahr’s tour HERE:

Listen to Beast – the new and final Pearl and the Beard album

Earlier this summer, Pearl and the Beard announced that their time together as a band would come to an end after eight years, with the release of their final album, Beast, and a farewell show at Bowery Ballroom.

Beast is out today, and you can listen to its splendour and gorgeousness right here. Pearl and the Beard’s farewell show will take place on November 19th.

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Pearl and the Beard announce break-up, final album

After nearly eight years together, Pearl and the Beard have announced that Beast, due for release on July 21st, will be their final album. In a statement, the band also announced a farewell show at Bowery Ballroom on November 19th.

After many months of mindful consideration, we have decided that Pearl and the Beard must say good-bye. Our album release show in New York City will be our final show as a band.

After almost 8 years together, we couldn’t be more proud of the music we’ve made, the footprints Pearl and the Beard will leave, and the lives our songs have touched. As our parting gift, to be released July 21, we offer you BEAST, our final work. We hope it finds its way into your ears and hearts and remains there as a token of our sincere love and gratitude of what you have helped us accomplish. We love you the way you are, the way you’ve always been

As is customary for this blog, we were late to the party, but fast became fans when we heard “Again Animal” earlier this year. We’ll bring you a review of Beast, which contains that track alongside ten others, in due course.

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Empathy Test and Vivien Glass Jura Demons tour

Long-time RRP favourites Empathy Test have joined forces with Vivien Glass for the Jura Demons tour. With a couple of dates already under their belts, June and July will see the two bands criss-crossing the UK, with support from local acts.

As well as the tour, Empathy Test have announced a remix EP, to be released on August 18 via Stars & Letters Records. They hope to release their debut album, Demons, later this year.

Listen to the Thomas Datt remix of Here is The Place from the EP:

Vivien Glass will release their second album, Jura, on September 1st. Listen to a teaser for the album here:

https://soundcloud.com/vivienglass/jura-album-teaser-part-1

The band’s effortless style seeps through into all aspects of their creativity. Whether it be their direction of their own romantic, film noir tinged music video for lead single “Julius”, or their exciting live performances, complete with; strobes, smoke machines and dramatic stage costumes.
Rhythym and Booze

JUNE 19: 24 Kitchen Street – LIVERPOOL – with TBC
JUNE 20: Kraak – MANCHESTER- with Factory Acts + Berlyn Trilogy
JULY 10: The Rocking Chair – SHEFFIELD- w/ SOFT RIOT + DRAG Radio Show DJs
JULY 11: The Fenton – LEEDS – with Sidewalks and Skeletons + Ravens
JULY 18: Sebright Arms – LONDON – with Eyeshadows + Automatic Writing
JULY 25: Chameleon Arts Cafe – NOTTINGHAM- with I Am Lono
AUGUST 15: The Hope & Ruin – BRIGHTON – with Vile Electrodes

For full details and to buy tickets, CDs and other merch, visit the tour page at www.jurademons.com.

And finally… listen to a playlist featuring Empathy Test, Vivien Glass, and some of the acts who will be supporting them through the tour.

https://soundcloud.com/empathytest/sets/empathy-test-vivien-glass-jura

Manett releases new EP – Stigma-style

Stigma-Style is the new EP from Guam-born, now Brooklyn resident Rosa Bordallo, who records under the name Manett.

Born and raised on the Pacific island of Guam, and descended from the indigenous people of the Mariana islands, Bordallo chose the name Manett as a reference to her maternal grandfather, Manuel, whose Chamorro pronunciation sounds much like “Manett”. Now living in New York, Bordallo writes and records during whatever spare moments can be found away from the office job: weekends, evenings, journeys to and from work…

Listening to the EP’s dreamy opening track “A New View”, it’s hard to square the sounds – the soft, lilting reverbed guitar and toms – with the brusque, hectic environment they were born in. The second track on the EP, “The Birds (for Paulo)”, begins with birdsong and an affecting and simple melody, before a collision of rhythms takes over, like trying to remember a dream but finding the details never quite agreeing with each other. The track is inspired by and dedicated to Paulo Henrique Machado, who Bordallo read about in a news article: Paulo has lived in a Brazilian hospital for more than forty-five years, on a 24/7 artificial respirator, and is now a computer animator despite his debilitating condition. For closing track, “Treehouse”, it’s back to more relaxing territory, with guitars and drums shuffling, and and a sweetly innocent sounding Bordallo singing of being young, being a treehouse (“and you my tarzan, swinging from the limbs, lying in my shade”); “if the world was a maze I’d get lost in it”, she concludes.

Stigma-Style will be available for download for free from Bandcamp on March 28, 2015. A special-edition cassette release, including a bonus track, is available for pre-order from $5 (plus shipping).

https://manett.bandcamp.com/album/stigma-style-ep

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