Like the prefect restaurant menu, the musicOMH New Music Guide has something to suit every palette.
So welcome, all, to the fifth edition of the column that trawls the interweb – and our dedicated mailbox – for the very best of music talent still mysteriously without record deals, fame and fortune. Here are no less than six acts whose music, we feel, deserves to be heard.
If you’re an unsigned or own label artist, why not let us know about you for the next edition, on 1st May?
I am sure I am not the only one that thinks that in these politically incendiary times is bizarre that there is so little music that attempts to engage in any kind of political discourse. Thank heavens then for Juliet. This bunch of firebrands from the Rhondda Valley spit out caustic rock’n’roll with a message. They scream because they’re angry, not because it sounds cool.
When The Lights Go Out builds from a slow base pulse into a bruised and brutal assault. The gun shot and vocal sample at the start of Abstinence show that the band are as inventive as they are incisive. Juliet are a blast of pitch black rage and heavy riffing.
The term “cinematic” is often misused when it comes to describing music. It seems that anything with a slowly resolving string section gets this label. Well, Feedback Seed are a band that deserve the term. A loose collective based around the core of Paul Hood, Craig Gray, Michael Davidson and Giorgio Baldi, the band have written music for various Italian TV and film projects. They have a long a varied history and have been chewed up and spat out by the music industry more than once.
From the complex multi-layered nature of their sound you can tell that The Feedback Seed are masters of their craft. The music is sweeping, epic post rock in the style of Godspeed You Black Emperor. This Ghost lashes grimy guitars to beautifully restrained strings and piano, while the handclaps and sonorous bass of Soundtrack Seven produce a creeping sense of doubt and fear. They should be the soundtrack to your day.
Asphalt Thieves blend indie style vocals and melodic electronica to wonderful effect. The Portland based duo have a grasp of the dynamics of indietronic that belies their unsigned status. Just Say It First is built around a nagging drum pattern, deep bassline bliss and a guitar that drops in and out of the mix. Think Depeche Mode fronted by Conor Oberst.
The chord progression that underpins Such Tragic Stories is melancholy in miniature. Believing in Knifes is sprinkled with little backward string washes, synth chatter and a soaring acoustic guitar. This could rival Lorraine for the crown of new pop kings.
Eugenie Arrowsmith is another survivor who has followed her own path regardless of prevailing musical tide. A child of ’60s hippy parents, she recorded an LP on Virgin offshot 10 Records in the 1990s. Those recordings have never seen the light of day, but if these songs are a guide to her music then the people at 10 must have been deaf.
Thankfully she wasn’t deterred from her calling by the politics of a major label. Her sound is smooth and cool. Think Everything But The Girl, Beth Orton or Corinne Bailey Rae. With the right promotion this could be a huge crossover success.
Question: What do get when you combine influences as diverse as Run DMC and Glenn Branca? Answer: a London-based trio called The Roxie. Their music is an inspired secret collusion of big beats, sassy rapping and peskily unsettling electro hooks.
Meth Bugs itches like cold turkey, Digital Girls is the Sissor Sisters taking The Streets out for a night on the dance floors on NYC. Don’t Walk Away boast a phat beat and a base line that bounces like an Andrew Murray serve. Funky, fun, a real energy flash and frankly in need of your attention.
The Isle of Wight isn’t blessed with a huge musical heritage. Those ’80s bass slappers Level 42 are the only name that springs to mind. Cowes based Driving South could be about to change all that. It’s refreshing to hear a band that isn’t afraid to make big commercial sounding rock music.
Moist and Scarcely Awake would fit comfortably on the playlists of Virgin Radio or blasting out of car speakers heading south on Route 66. This is well crafted melodic rock in the vein of Feeder or Stereophonics. Given the right wide screen production, Driving South could soon be raiding the higher reaches of the charts.
So, from synth pop via post rock to folky trip hop and most points between, hopefully you will find enough on offer to keep you busy until the next musicOMH New Music Guide on 1st May.