So it’s that time of year when the bloggers get together and pick out the bands or artists they hope will do well in 2015. And we moan. It’s a tradition. I guess the problem and perhaps part of the fun with such lists is that if they aren’t rammed wall to wall with acts you personally love, its very easy to have a pop, and we wouldn’t want to disappoint, now would we ;)… The act who received the most points in the poll will be announced on January 2nd 2015.
But for now here’s the long list
The Full Blog Sound of 2015 Long list (In alphabetical order)
All We Are
So let’s get the negative bit over with – and at the risk of alienating everybody – for our part we’d say if we never heard around 2/3rds of the acts on this year’s list ever again we’d be doing our ears a favour! Some of it sounds oh so very “Radio Nice”, very safe, very much in line with the sort of PR campaigns that have been sodomisng the ears of blogs this year – if the trends on Hype Machine are indicative of bloggers tastes. It’s certainly very ‘on trend’, but oh dear, oh dear it just comes across as so very ‘middle class,’ But never fear we’ll be doing our own list before Christmas and people will have the chance to slag that off.
It’s very much a case of each to their own and all that ….But listening to some of the music on the list for some reason called to mind a scene from that old Paul Whitehouse sitcom ‘Happiness’ in which Paul’s character puts on an old punk record at a dinner party. Everybody looks on aghast, morally outraged at the explosive nature of the music and in no small part embarrassed when Paul begins to air guitar, clearly enjoying himself he happily chirps ‘who remembers this one guys?’ until one of the party angrily yells above the noise “for fucks sake Paul, what’s wrong with just putting the fucking Corrs on.”
Of course, there are no rules to say blogs by definition should be underground and edgy… but crikey, the majority here sounds so mainstream it hurts (not that the mainstream is always a bad thing…no, hang on …fuck it, I’m kidding myself it generally IS!) And if you simply cannot live without ghastly omnipresent empty neo-soul, arch Alt-J/Dutch Uncles Brit school meanderings and insipid Foals-lite ‘sobbing- over- lost- love- as- they- quietly- wet their- pants’ guitar bands, then fill your boots…. Passionless is a word that springs to mind.
The positives? Well it is hugely refreshing and somewhat amazing that a band such as Halfricannot made the list, this felt like the equivalent of somebody lobbing a hand grenade at ‘Corporate Man’ and his dinner party music. In fact, it almost felt like the days when bands such as Damned, The Cure, or The Jesus and Mary Chain snuck onto ‘Top Of The Pops,’ – exciting outsiders, loners and freaks who somehow managed to infiltrate the sea of manufactured dross, and it felt like a victory!
The list does feature one band we voted for, the marvellous Black Honey, who in their previous guise were one of our tips last year. It also includes the wonderful Sophie Jamieson, who has the sort of evocative voice the world has been waiting for and Deers sound well worth investigating.
Mind you, in the “Blog Sound Of’s” defence it’s worth noting that there were a huge number of votes cast over a wide and varied range of acts – and well over 100 just received 1 vote. If any of those had received more votes, it certainly could have been a radically different list! So it’s all decided by the thinnest of margins.
And it’s an interesting exercise to compare with BBC’s Sound Of List, ironically the Blog Sound started when we had a good old moan to Robin (the voice of reason) of Breaking More Waves Blog, Jessie J being a particular nadir about the BBC lists a few years ago. Yet this year’s BBC list is better than previous years and does stand up well to the blog list! (Although any list that doesn’t include Haim or Sam Smith is bound to be an improvement) This again surprises us for many reasons as for the first time in years the BBC’s panel contains no bloggers… Hmmm…. Saying that, artists on the BBC list such as Rae Morris, Slaves,Lapsey and the totally brilliant Wolf Alice were tipped by bloggers a good few years back, so it’s nice to see the Beeb’s tastemakers catching up, doubtless they’ll probably start using those new fangled mobile phones any day now 🙂 But as we’ve often said being first to blog about an artists isn’t necessarily a sign of quality… sometimes it’s a sign of desperation.. throw enough at the wall and see what sticks innit ? There, we think we’ve successfully alienated everybody connected with new music 😉
Anyway, here is the background to the Blog Sound of List
What Is The Blog Sound of 2015?
The Blog Sound of 2015 poll aims to showcase some of the best new emerging artists. However, unlike the ubiquitous BBC Sound of poll, just industry experts(whatever that means) don’t pick the artists nominated. Instead, they’re voted for by music bloggers, a small number of whom may work in the music industry, but the majority of which are just hardcore fans who write their blogs because of their genuine passion for music, normally with no financial incentive to do so.
This poll is not about picking acts who bloggers think will be famous. The bloggers involved are asked to vote for their favourite acts, irrespective of chances of commercial success.
How The Voting Worked
This year the Blog Sound Of 2015 poll canvassed 62 UK music blogs in November 2014, the most ever since its 2011 start. It asked each one to pick its three favourite emerging artists and rank them in order of preference. In total 148 artists received at least 1 vote, showing the diversity of bloggers’ tastes. The acts scored 3, 2 and 1 points respectively. The bloggers could choose any artist they wanted, providing the artist had not had a top 40 hit (including as a collaborator on a song) by the time voting started and that they weren’t related to or have any financial interest in any artist they selected. Where two artists tied on the same number of points, the artist with the most first place votes was ranked higher.
The 15 most popular acts that form the long list include artists that are on major labels as well as indie and unsigned ones, such as Brighton based indie band Fickle Friends, fuzzy sounding Glasgow punks Halfrican, soul singer Chloe Black, recent XL signing Lapsley and singer songwriter Sophie Jamieson, an artist who appears on the list for the second time running having also appeared the previous year.
The Blogs That Participated In This Year’s Poll:
17 Seconds, A New Band A Day, A Pocket Full Of Seeds, A World Of Music And Madness, Across The Kitchen Table, Alphabet Bands, Beat Surrender, Beat2aChord, Both Bars On, Brapscallions, Bratfaced LDN, Breaking More Waves, Brighton Music Blog, Daisy Digital, Dots And Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Echoes and Dust, Electronic Rumors, Even The Stars, Everything Flows, Getintothis, God Is In The TV, Hearty Vibes, Hitsville UK, I Love Pie, Just Music That I Like, Kemptation, Like 1999, Lipstick Disco, Little Indie Blogs, Love Music : Love Life, Music Broke My Bones, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, My Day By Day Music, Never Enough Notes, Not Many Experts, Notes For A Road Sign, One Album A Week, Popped Music, Queen Beetch, Rave Child, Scientists Of Sound, Some Of It Is True, Song By Toad, Sounds Good To Me Too, Sound Of Now Music, Spectral Nights, 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 Paper Penguins, This Must Be Pop, Thoughts On Music, Three Beams, Too Many Blogs, The VPME, What If I Had A Music Blog,
3 thoughts on “The Blog Sound Of 2015 – Long List”
None of my bands made the list and in its defence, Years And Years are not in it, which can only be a good thing. 2015's Maverick Sabre, Michael Kiwanuka, that forced X Factor type singing rolled up behind meaningless soulless soul music.
Agree it’s largely inoffensive and with the rare exception I doubt I’ll find myself craving these artists in a few months time. (To be honest, that includes Black Honey, but shh. Let’s not go there as you’ve been nice to Sophie!)
However, if you look at it from an independent point of view, bloggers have been far more supportive this year. Even Coasts, arguably the most commercial sounding band on the list, release through their own label. That’s been the crux of my problem with previous lists – that bands with massive budgets and heavy mainstream backing have come out tops. This year I can’t see that happening, for the simple fact they’re – correct me if I’m wrong – all unsigned or independent.
That and the fact none of them make my ears bleed per se, is enough to keep me happy!
Aye I take your point, and I do admire independents, but I guess it comes down to the music, big label or bedroom DIY’er if I like the music, I’m not THAT bothered where it comes from..and sometimes indifference is even worse than loathing. 2/3rds do nothing either way for me.