Sons and Lovers, The Madeleines, Von Kleet, Redneck Renegade, sparrow house, Sebastian Clark
Sons and Lovers
We've made it to musicOMH.com's sixth Unsigned Guide, and, would you Adam and Eve it, we've unearthed even more musical loveliness.
As ever, we welcome your comments, suggestions and unsigned recommendations for the next edition, on 15th May, to our forums or
So, in a timely nod to both the date and edition number, here we have six of the best - from the 73 bands and artists that were considered for inclusion in this edition...
Sons and Lovers
This time I'm going to start with the loudest and work down. Topping the decibel pile is Sons and Lovers. Hailing from LA, they make a rasping, infectious brand of rock 'n' roll that belongs on the big stage. The Unsigned Guides receives a lot of emails from bands (including this one) advertising themselves as "the best band in x". In this case, where x equals LA, and the band is Sons and Lovers - they may just have a point.
Algebra lesson done with, I'll tell you about their music. Fans of The Subways will feel at home in these riffs and vocals, though Sons and Lovers add the essence of Kings of Leon's countrified jangle. Have a listen to their best track, Highs and Lows, and I bet you'll find yourself nodding along and just about ready to ruddy well rock out.
Turning down slightly from '11', we head to the slightly more subdued produce of London new-wavers, The Madeleines. There's a slight question mark over whether this band is signed or not, but them being so good and all, I didn't want to risk not putting them in the guide.
Observe the Editors-esque driving urgency of Safety Net, marvel at the jaunty riff of Trouble which unravels into a dense Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! like beast of a track. It's terrific stuff, and if they aren't signed, they really, really should be.
Ignore the rather average track, Junkie, that pops up when you skip over to Von Kleet's MySpace page and turn very quickly to the ever-so-much better, Friends and Enemies. Tight percussion and decent vocal harmonies make this track into a bit of a pop gem.
It's frustrating to see a band with obvious talent make dross like the former track and pretty good stuff like the latter. One suspects therefore that Von Kleet is probably one to keep an eye on for the future rather than to expect a chart-busting album in the next few months.
Down another notch on the volume knob, and here we are at the fairly dreadfully named Redneck Renegade. You'd expect some kind of Texan punk band, but you'd be spectacularly wrong since Redneck Renegade is actually one man from Aberdeen making slightly psychedelic pop.
Running Out of Love, his best known work has been played by London's XFM and won demo of the month at BBC Scotland. Slightly Portishead in feel, it's a dreamy listen, pretty perfect for sunny spring mornings, in fact.
sparrow house (what's the obsession with lower case these days?) is currently supporting our new favourite band, Voxtrot. He offers a seriously relaxing listen, sporting acoustic influences in the vein of Nick Drake.
It would be easy to see sparrow house's music being used in films - it's poignant somehow. A listen to When I am Gone conjures up images of the end of a film with the co-star driving off into the dusk, his romantic engagement having gone somewhat awry. Or maybe that's just me! Still, give sparrow house a listen and you might just see what I mean.
Lastly in this edition, and weighing in with barely a whisper, is the rather interesting Sebastian Clark. His debut album was recorded inside the van that has also served as his home for the past two years. If that wasn't remarkable enough, his music's actually rather lovely - even attracting the praise of BBC 6Music's Tom Robinson.
All the cool kids are referencing the '80s in their music these days, but Sebastian Clark is one step ahead and looks to the '60s and '70s for his musical inspiration. Simon and Garfunkel would be the most obvious comparison, but Clark uses his van (and bottles of his own piss) for percussion - which I'm fairly sure Paul and Art never did. Clark (yes, in his van) will soon be doing a tour of the UK, for those of you whose curiosity has been suitably aroused.
Phew, episode six done and dusted. We hope you enjoy the music. In other news, Unsigned Guide 4's Tapes 'n' Tapes signed a record deal with XL last week, so congratulations to them. Bands that good don't stay unsigned for very long, but remember where you heard it first: the musicOMH.com Unsigned Guide.