BLOGSOUND_2014_AVP

It’s “Best Of/Big next year” season and a day after Auntie announced the longlist for its annual “Sound Of…” poll, 59 music bloggers from the UK have revealed their alternative “Blog Sound of 2014” longlist.
Think of it as Quentin Crisp doing the Queen’s Speech on Channel 4 to the actual Her Maj on BBC One, it’s an alternative and addition to, not a criticism of.

Thanks as ever go to Robin at Breaking More Waves along with Andy Von Pip and his Express for inviting Music Like Dirt to take part.
After much gnashing of teeth I cut my own longlist down to three acts – Eva Stone, Palace & Young Fathers – all of whom promptly failed to make the final official top 16. You bloody Philistines! 😉

Here’s an easy to swallow Whyd “UK BLOG SOUND OF 2014” playlist, including my own three picks added on at the end (because you will hear them damn you).

This year the BBC and Blogger polls have only three acts in common – Banks, George Ezra and Royal Blood – which is in keeping with blogs tendency to feature less mainstream and whisper it, totally unsigned acts. The people who vote in the BBC poll tend to be industry figures and as a result arguably safer or major label signed acts tend to figure more.
That said I’d happily boot five acts off the blogging list to make room for the criminally overlooked Chance The Rapper, FKA Twigs, Jungle, Nick Mulvey and maybe Sampha too. Of the bloggers list I’d heartily endorse Wolf Alice, Hockeysmith, Lyla Foy, Marika Hackman, Sophie Jamieson, Royal Blood and Mt Wolf infact only a few leave me lukewarm and only one would cause me to cover my ears when playing. I’d guess Banks has a good chance of winning the BBC poll and slightly longer odds on taking the blogging title too.  She’s featured on this blog several times, and with that voice and SOHN’s production nous it’s hard to go wrong but like Aluna George last year she feels more like the sound of the year just gone, not the one still to come.

LETS WHINGE LIKE ITS 2012

Those who don’t like bleating liberals should skip the next paragraph or two and head straight to the embedded tracks from the 16  acts on this years longlist… BUT…

Last year I had a little moan about the painfully white and achingly guitar bias of the list, questioning how there could possibly be only two non white act in the 15 and not a single rap or hiphop artist. Unbelievably this year makes the class of 2013 look like a comprehensive school in Whitechapel with 2014 appearing to feature a 100% all white short list of 16!!

It’s a shame as I know Andy & Robin have made strenuous efforts to try to be as representative as possible but for whatever reason many of the hiphop, dance, rnb or electronica flavoured blogs invited to take part simply didn’t return their vote.

That does however leave the Blog Sound of 2014 looking like MTV before MJ and that tarnishes it’s credibility in my eyes at least.  If the UK Blog Sound of 2014 claims to be “a good representation of what UK music bloggers have been enjoying listening to” then something has to change as a cursory glance at the Hype Machine  (an aggregation service listing what music bloggers post) clearly shows that for every Haim tune posted by UK bloggers theres usually an A$AP Rocky or other hiphop artist.  I’d like to think that UK music bloggers are as diverse, culturally rich and musically varied as Great Britain itself, is that really not the case??

Anyway moan over, for the record the statistics show that bloggers really love women especially with guitars (10 of the acts include or are female compared to the Beebs 6). The BBC really really likes R’n’b/soul this year with about 6 acts on their list whereas a crude breakdown of the bloggers tastes over the last 3 years (previous years in brackets) shows HipHop/Rap 0 (0) (0), Rnb/Soul 1 (1) (2), Dance 3 (0) (0), Rock/Indie 6 (8) (8), Pop 3 (3) (4) and Country/Folk 3 (3) (2).
Food for thought perhaps? Now enough wittering please enjoy the UK BLOG SOUND OF 2014 longlist. The winning act and close runners up will be revealed on the 2nd of January in a short list of three.

 

The UK Blog Sound of 2014 Long List (Click on the artist name for their Soundcloud)

THE LONGLIST:

BANKS
Sultry electronic music with a hint of soul from Los Angeles – the only non-UK act on the list.

EMBERS
Cinematic and vast indie rock from Manchester

GEORGE EZRA
Singer songwriter with a bluesy voice

HELLA BETTER DANCER
Dark and fiery indie rock band

HOCKEYSMITH
Genre hopping sister duo from Cornwall

HONEYBLOOD
Raw d-i-y indie rock two piece from Glasgow

IYES
Edgy sweetly melodic pop duo from Brighton

KHUSHI
Endearing East London singer who sits somewhere between pop, indie and folk

LYLA FOY
Previously known as Wall, creator of delicate, brooding, intimate pop

MARIKA HACKMAN
Singer songwriter with haunting folk references

MT WOLF
Dreamy sounding band that combine electronics, acoustic music and ambient atmospherics with near operatic vocals.

ROYAL BLOOD
Brighton duo that play gritty lo-fi rock with attitude

RHODES
Stripped back acoustic singer songwriter

SIVU
Idiosyncratic singer songwriter

SOPHIE JAMIESON
Calm, atmospheric folk musician

WOLF ALICE
Edgy rock band who take references from grunge and indie.

In total over 100 artists were voted for and many of them received just one single vote. It at least shows that not all bloggers are listening to the same thing !

And finally the three I voted for that sadly didnt make the final 16:

PALACE

YOUNG FATHERS

EVA STONE

 

The music blogs that took part in the voting were

17 Seconds, A Pocket Full Of Seeds, All Noise, Alphabet Bands, Beat Surrender, Both Bars On, Brapscallions, Breaking More Waves, Brighton Music Blog, Cat From Japan, Daisy Digital, Details Of My Life, Don’t Watch Me Dancing, Dots and Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Eaten By Monsters, Echoes and Dust, Electronic Rumours, Faded Glamour, God Is In The TV, Gold Flake Paint, Hearty Vibes, I Love Pie, In Love Not Limbo, Just Music That I Like, Killing Moon, Like 1999, Little Indie Blogs, Love Music : Love Life, Music Broke My Bones, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, My Band’s Better Than Your Band, My Day By Day Music, Not Many Experts, Peenko, Pop Dodger, Repeat Button, Scientists Of Sound, Scottish Fiction, Skeletory, Sleep In Music, Some Of It Is True, Sound Influx, Sounds Good To Me, Sounds Of Now Music, Sweeping The Nation, The Blue Walrus, The Devil Has The Best Tuna, The Electricity Club, The Evening’s Empire, The Mad Mackerel, The Metaphorical Boat, The Sound Of Confusion, The Underclassed, The VPME, This Must Be Pop, Thoughts On Music, When The Gramophone Rings