With this encouragement, we strive on. And once again we have succeeded in finding hope among the hopeless.
Tell us what you think of this edition's featured artists, or, if you are an
unsigned or own label artist and would like to appear in future editions of
the Unsigned Guide, please write to us at
First up this edition are Manchester's 52 Teenagers and whilst they could
probably be classed as emo, they represent its rather acceptable face. Older
songs like You Said No recall Jimmy Eat World, whilst material from
their latest single moves into a darker, more tightly instrumental
Part of what really stands out about 52 Teenagers' work is its production
quality. Whilst the production on many unsigned bands' demos can be
scratchier and more intrusive than a sandpaper thong, 52 Teenagers' material
sparkles with professionalism. The talent of this band is not to be
underestimated though: instrumentally, vocally and lyrically, 52 Teenagers
are at least the match of many signed and successful bands.
At Sea have perhaps the shortest name in post-rock. It's no A Silver
Mount Zion Memorial Chorus and Tra-La-La Band With Choir for example,
but what they may lack in moniker length, they make up with the 'epic'
nature of their music. Drawing their cue from 65daysofstatic, At Sea
make music that is at once violent and somehow beautiful.
Songs like Film Script build from humble beginnings into monstrous beasts
of contorted noise that wears the name 'prog' with style and vigour. At Sea
are a young band too, and whilst superstardom doesn't exactly await (it's
not exactly radio-friendly this stuff), I think we can expect much more from
such promising beginnings
Long journeys in France with only a radio for company have left me with a
deep mistrust of any sort of music vaguely associated with the place.
William Besson is, I am pleased to say, slowly undoing the musical havoc
wreaked by president Jacques Chirac's airtime for French artists laws.
Besson was born in France but now works in London and sings in English.
He produces what he calls "electri-pop" - a fusion of electro, trip-hop and
pop. The result comes close to Portishead, but Besson adds a lyrical
dexterity that's reminiscent of Morrissey. All in all, it's certainly
strange, but it's innovative and interesting and not without a certain je ne
sais quoi, you might say.
The ColdNews is Chris Blundell, who has split his personality into four
band members: Chi, Jude, Aaron and Gideon, thus making The ColdNews "the
world's only four piece solo project". As you might perhaps expect, the
music he produces is as confusingly innovative as the back story.
It is attracting quite a buzz though and rightly so, The ColdNews produce
music that is strikingly different to anything else around. It's an insight
into the very unique mind of its architect, over an arrangement of guitar,
drums, bass and voice that you'd never have imagined before. This is one particular bandwagon that
everyone should jump onto.
If that's all a little bit too experimental for you, perhaps the simple,
acoustic style of Paul Wilkes will be a bit more up your street. Irish born,
and not lacking a resemblance to the late George Best, Paul Wilkes' music
has received praise from no less a figure than Paul McCartney.
This is gently meandering acoustic music that trickles like cream out of
the speakers. Relentlessly warm, comforting and easy to listen to, this
surpasses David Gray and Damien Rice by a mile, and whilst
obviously solo acoustic acts can descend into tiresome drudgery, this is
just too damn lovely to grow weary of.
The Pitchfork Disney
I have to come clean and say that I know members of this band, but even
if I didn't, I'd still be a big fan. The four-piece from the Lake District
(now operating mostly from Manchester) find their closest comparison in
their Lakes neighbours British Sea Power and Mancunian giants, New
Which is not to say that their music is derivative in the least. The
Pitchfork Disney are very definitely their own band with rumbling bass shot
through by sharp guitar and with the ability, like Editors say, to
pick up the tempo or slow it right down. They're great live performers too,
and even though I am, admittedly, a tad biased toward them, they're one of
my favourite bands.
So draws to an end the second instalment of our unsigned guide, taking some of the time, effort and aural abuse out of finding great new music.
* Is your music online? Are you an unsigned or own label artist? Tell
us about your new music for our next unsigned feature on 20th March at: