My Top Five Unsigned Artists of 2018

My Top Five Unsigned Artists of 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, I want to take the time to reflect on some of the great unsigned or independent talent I have discovered throughout what has been an interesting musical year. This list is in no particular order, it is just a list of unsigned artists I have discovered and really admire.

1) Orla Gartland

45208142_10156052955682956_6301618678601351168_oYou would’ve seen two features of Orla Gartland for the blog this year. I reviewed her latest release “Between My Teeth” recently and also featured her on “Artist Spotlight” when I first discovered her. Since I last wrote about her, she is doing extremely well, releasing new content regularly as well as touring for the rest of the year, I’m excited to see what 2019 holds for Gartland and will be following her career closely.

Listen to “Between My Teeth” HERE.

2) Harry Cash

48363143_1831417893653339_2486844231126089728_n
Photo Credit: GEth

Musician & Producer Harry Cash has started to make a bit of noise recently as a solo artist, deciding to release a single “Beauty” which was his first solo release in five years. With the help of the mysterious, yet clever “GEth”, Harry has been able to gain lots of exposure and create a big buzz behind his music, receiving requests for signed photos from across the world as well as having regular airtime on local radio. Who knew that gaining himself a new girlfriend would spark such a creative fire inside of him!

Watch the official music video for “Beauty” shot by Reiss Beckford Media and GEth Films HERE. 

3) Harry Adams

accessory harry coverAnother “Harry” who caught my attention this year was the intriguing Harry Adams. The most recent winner of the “Undiscovered Live Music Project” in Essex, Adams has gone on to release a brilliant single in the form of “Accessory” and perform lots of live gigs around London and hopes to continue her studio work across 2019. I for one, am looking forward to seeing what tricks Harry has up her sleeve!

Watch the music video for “Accessory” HERE.

4) Past Kings

36242408_872541842955482_8268561800060993536_nPast Kings are a 4 piece indie rock band hailing from Essex. They are perhaps the most fresh faced band outfit to feature on the blog, still gelling together and honing their crafts as individuals and as a band. Nevertheless, they certainly made an impression on me, especially with their original material and arrangements. They have been rather quiet recently but do have gigs booked and recording time planned so be sure to keep an eye out for these lads!

Stream their latest track “Night Time” HERE.

5) Fortify

20108470_1778540555771568_2682495840622307881_n.jpg

Last but by no means least are Easycore band Fortify. These guys caught my attention when they supported my friends “Fyresky” at Chinnerys, Southend a while back. They too have been in the shadows recently but we are assured it is for a good reason! I intend to go and watch a few of their live shows next year whenever the chance comes up!

Listen to their E.P “Valhalla” HERE

 

Live Review: Past Kings @ The Edge, Basildon

Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 5.46.06 PM.png
Past Kings @ Canvey FC. Pictured left to right: Jack Smith (Guitar), Sam Charles (Vocals), Matt Cruise (Guitar) and James Holland (Drums)

Past Kings are a 4 piece indie pop band from Essex made up of Sam Charles, Jack Smith, Matt Cruise and James Holland. All four of these lads are great musicians and song-writers in their own right, some may be more experienced on the live band circuit than others but that does not stop them making a huge impact on the Essex music scene with their infectious lyrics and laid back stage manner.

I’ll admit this review is very late as they performed at The Edge back in June, sorry boys! This was the second time that I had seen them live and I was thoroughly impressed with their stagecraft despite it being early days for the lads.

 

36242408_872541842955482_8268561800060993536_n.jpg
Past Kings playing a live acoustic session @ Phoenix Fm

One of the things I admired about these guys from day one is the fact that all of the songs in their set bar one or two are original writings, they haven’t done the typical “new band” thing by starting their time on the circuit by playing covers and then progressing to original music, this takes real guts in my opinion because of course, music is a subjective thing and to be brave enough to share your creations with an audience from the word go, definitely shows me that these guys are serious about this whole music thing and definitely want to achieve success.

The best part of all of their performances for me, is the way they plan their sets. I always feel like I’m taken on a journey throughout with songs of varying tempo, style and lyrical meaning. The songs are also quite catchy, my favorite one is definitely “Night Time”, an indie pop ballad with the perfect blend of drums vocals and guitar.

Past Kings live shows are also quite interesting based on the fact that they don’t have a live bassist, instead, they choose to use an electronic bass sound generated by an SPDX drum pad. I’ll come clean right now and say that to start with, I was rather skeptical of this idea and even thought of the band to be a bit lazy because they didn’t have a “full line up”. Of course, I was instantly proven wrong and now see this as a potential unique selling point for the band.

Overall, these guys are great. They’ve got the right attitude, the talent and great songs to top it off, although they are a little green, I predict great things for Past Kings!

Check out their song “Night Time” HERE!

Past Kings on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

How to enjoy music when you do it for a living

Like many young musicians and creatives, I always dreamed of being able to play my instrument for a living one day. Well two years ago, this dream came to fruition. I started playing keys for various different bands, writing scores for some indie films and also teaching keyboard to a few students.

This has now steadily progressed to turning into a semi full time job alongside my university studies. I have had great experiences and performed alongside some pretty prestigious artists and don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret a single second, however, there has also been times when I’ve wanted to flat out quit. This has been down to purely not enjoying Music, I’m sure some of you can relate to this, thankfully, I’ve found various ways of being able to do what I love for work and also get pleasure out of it. I am going to share these ways with you today:

1) Play music that you enjoy

We all know what its like having to play music that we hate in order to make ends meet. I’ve done it more times than I can count and its really not beneficial to you or the artist you’re working with/for. So if you can afford to, make sure to say yes to projects that excite you on a musical and personal level, that way your client will always get the best out of you and you will always enjoy going to work.

2) Try and play as many different genres of music as you can

As a session musician, I’m lucky to be able to be involved in several different musical genres. This includes: general covers, acoustic singer-songwriter, Folk rock and progressive rock. I have always felt that being in a singular band playing the same genre every weekend can get rather stale pretty quickly, thus causing you to fall out of love with it, something every musician wanting a long-lasting career should avoid.

3) Get along to some local jam nights!

This is one thing I never have done enough of and definitely something I’m glad to be doing more of! I’ve recently started attending a jam night at The Bull in Colchester every Tuesday night after uni and its definitely one of the best things I’ve done! I think that giving yourself the chance to play freely with other musicians without the constraint of charts or a click track in your ears is a brilliant way to not only meet and network with different instrumentalists but also a chance to play whatever you want for a change!

4) Go to some gigs!

Us musicians spend so much of our time on stage that we sometimes forget how much fun it is being a member of the audience! I’ve always done my best to go out on my nights off and support my friends in local bands, this is the only way to keep local music and local venues alive after all!

Follow these four pieces of advice and I can pretty much promise you that you will all enjoy your music a lot more!

Review: BLAB – Everything Is Everyone Else’s Fault

Review: BLAB – Everything Is Everyone Else’s Fault

We are back with the wonderful Frances Murray again today as she releases her debut E.P. “Everything Is Everyone Else’s Fault”. This day has been eagerly anticipated by many and the wait has been very worth it!

The 4 track release starts with “JOHHNY”, I reviewed this track a while back and I sang it’s praises. I was wondering if the E.P. would live up to the high expectations that BLAB’s first release had set. Thankfully, I feel it lived up to the hype and expectations with ease!

I really think Frances has found her sound within this E.P., the fact that she already has that “I know who that is from the first bar” thing sussed so early on in the game is really great to see. I haven’t heard the sort of sounds that Frances has produced on this record before, at least not in my life time, she’s clearly been exposing herself to lots of the old stuff throughout her life, you can hear all of her influences in this one record!

One thing that caught me off guard is the sudden change in a calmer direction with track 4 “Deep Blue Seafront”. This track is definitely my favourite out of them all, I prefer it, you can really hear her lyrics and they are excellent!

A bright future for BLAB, if her debut is anything to go by!

You can listen to “Everything Is Everyone Else’s Fault’ here:

Track Review: BLAB – Johnny

Track Review: BLAB – Johnny

BLAB, an interesting name right? What is it? It is one person, 17 year old Frances Murray. Frances, under the BLAB alter-ego, creates rough but great sounding indie rock from her bedroom. All instruments are played by her, apart from drums which is programmed in, the joys of technology eh?

BLAB’s first release “Johnny” caught my attention immediately, not only is the song insanely catchy, it is something out of the ordinary, something you hardly ever hear in today’s mainstream music media and certainly not something I’d expect a 17 year old in today’s world to produce.

The track is so raw and completely off the cuff, there hasn’t been much mixing or mastering done to it from what I can hear, and to some, that has been a huge negative. However, for me, the imperfections are what gives the track it’s charm. You can hear many punk/ indie influences in not only the music but also the lyrics, it’s refreshing to hear something different from a musician of my age group.

BLAB has already been given kudos by well known blog “Little Indie Blog” and rightly so too. I don’t think it will be long before BLAB is a name to be reckoned with in the local and possibly national music scene,I have high hopes for this project and can certainly see it going far if Frances keeps up her hard work!

You can listen to “Johnny” here:

connect with BLAB online

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/BLABSOUNDSS/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BLABSOUNDS

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blabsounds/

Artist Spotlight: Charlie Sansom

 

742024348098100068_1383816277_edit2

Charlie Sansom is a Jazz/Swing singer and club DJ from Basildon in Essex. He has been entertaining for many years and has gained a stellar reputation in doing so, with the client feedback to prove it.

I first met Mr. Sansom at a local open mic night, “Boombox Essex Live Lounge”. He immediately caught my attention with his captivating charisma and stage presence, with a great and unique voice to complete what I now see as the full package. Since we have met, Charlie has gone on to release various tracks (that are available on Bandcamp for download) and perform at weddings, parties and other events across the country.

He has also picked up various awards in his time as a performer, some of these include:

Jaks Factor Runner-up 2010

Thorney Bay Talent Winner 2011

Canvey’s Got Talent Runner-up 2012

Her Majesty’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services to Radio 2013

As you can see, Charlie’s hard work and dedication to his craft is not going unnoticed! If you would like to go and check out Charlie for yourself live, he is going to be performing at David Lloyds Gym in Basildon THIS SATURDAY as part of their relaunch, trust me, you won’t regret going to see him perform.

Also, if you would like to hear two of his latest releases, you can find them here:

My Baby Just Cares For Me [Single] by Charlie Sansom

One For My Baby [Single] by Charlie Sansom

Take a look at Mr Sansom on Social media, and give him a like/follow whilst you’re at it!

website: http://www.charliesansom.com

Facebook:wwww.facebook.com/charliesansomofficial

Twitter: @charliesansom

Instagram: @charliesansom

Snapchat: @charliesansom

Review: Asylums – Necessary Appliances

1934543_455016448026462_7634065397089430074_nSouthend based indie rock band “Asylums” are back with yet another hard hitting single! Their latest release “Necessary Appliances” grabs you by the balls and takes you on a loud, high energy 3 minute joy ride. Having already received radio airplay on BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 1 and  BBC Introducing, this track is another step towards Asylums’ take over. This track, along with “Missing persons”, “Joy In A Small Wage” and various others, will be on their debut album named “Killer Brain Waves”, set to be released this Summer!

I cannot wait for this album to drop, it’s definitely going to be worth the investment if these singles are anything to go by!

“Necessary Appliances” is set to be released on the band’s own label “Cool Thing Records” on 29th April!

Take a listen for yourself HERE: