HAWK - Can't Explain
One of the best things about working with independent bands over a long period of time is being able to watch them grow and evolve. HAWK have been with us for four years now and they’re one of the most accomplished bands on the roster. Julie’s voice is completely unique, and no matter how indie rock, ethereal or experimental the band sound, they always sound very… HAWK! That’s the sign of a great band. HAWK are HAWK, no other band I can think of, or that we’ve worked with, sound quite like them. I love all the bands on our roster but this year HAWK returned with Can’t Explain and it’s an absolute belter. The band are a three piece now and their sound has become even bigger - I can’t wait for HAWK to stamp their mark all over 2018.
Greta Isaac - Tied
We started working with Greta Isaac earlier this year and she’s quickly become one of my favourite new artists. Tied is an absolute banger from start to finish and I literally played it on repeat for about a week when I first heard it. Greta’s staple glitchy electro-pop sound is truly refreshing and the fact that she incorporates issues about destructive human tendencies makes her music all the more important.
Gallery 47 - Cold Fire
Jack Peachey aka Gallery 47 has released an array of material over the past few years that has connected with me emotionally on so many levels, but his most recent release, Adversity Breeds, shines above and beyond his previous work. The single Cold Fire grabbed my attention as soon as I heard it. The lyrics “I’ll get up and move on” always send shivers down my spine when listening, and motivate me to fight through any significant tasks or problems that come to mind within the London bubble where I reside.
The Nyx - Fire Breathing Lady
The Nyx exploded into the year with their self-titled debut EP, and since then I haven't been able to get enough of their intense, raucous energy and immense, electrifying creations. Whilst the whole EP is a gritty sonic delight, the stand out single for me has been Fire Breathing Lady, which hits you with a fierce, empowering strength like nothing you’ve heard before. I’ve had this track on repeat throughout the year - its thrashing power having seen me through the trials and tribulations of 2017, and marked these exceptional women out as a real force to be reckoned with.
HAWK - Below
Berlin-based HAWK return with the sweeping passion of new AA-side Can’t Explain / Below out on 17th November. Below is available to stream now.
LIEZA - Eyeliner
Nashville-based artist Meghan Roner - aka LIEZA - has finally found her sound and has now released her sparkling new single Eyeliner.
Gallery 47 - Adversity Breeds
Alt-folk songwriter Gallery 47's colourfully political album, Adversity Breeds, is out now.
Megan Henwood - Seventh
Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Megan Henwood returns with another majestic alt-folk single, Seventh.
Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy
Right Said Fred recently spent a weekend in the studio having fun with I’m Too Sexy and Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do. The video for the live mash-up premiered on Billboard.
Mt. Doubt - Mouthwash
Edinburgh's Mt. Doubt have released their instantly infectious single, Mouthwash. The single premiered on The List.
Here is your run down of the latest ABOF releases for your listening pleasure:
Belle Mt. - Hollow
The cinematic new single from Matt Belmont and co. premiered on Mahogany.
North Atlas - Another Ocean
The dynamic new single from Glasgow's alt-rock quartet premiered on Team Rock.
Nav Attack - Centipede
The glitchy, dystopian-themed single from LA-based nav/attack will send shivers down your spine.
The Deportees - A Single Truth
The Aberdeenshire five-piece offer dark melodic folk sounds in this latest single, which is taken from their upcoming debut album The Birth Of Industry, due out on 3rd November 2017.
Seyd - Another World
The beautifully ethereal single from this new alt-pop artist premiered on Gigslutz.
Laura Elvin - Wonder
The idiosyncratic songwriter's latest creation is a spellbinding sonic delight.
The Bara Bara Band - The Seeds Inside (The Grapes Upon The Vine)
This new album from the South London band effortlessly blends the new with the old to create a cocktail of feel-good folk.
East Of My Youth - Broken Glass
The celestial new single from the Icelandic synth-pop duo premiered on Clash.
Liv Austen - The Next Time
This infectious slice of country-pop from the Norwegian born singer-songwriter is set to seduce listeners across the globe.
Portishead - Dummy (1995)
This album came left of centre and was a refreshing side step from the pretty generic Britpop that was beginning to dominate the charts at the time. Portishead’s Dummy really threw me, it was such a fresh, intriguing sound... Dark, melancholic in places and moody, all shades which spoke to me during my teenage years! The album still sounds great today, the sign of a seminal piece of work.
The Invisible - The Invisible (2009)
The Invisible are one of those bands many people have heard of but haven’t actually listened to. The fact they were nominated alongside the likes of Bat For Lashes, The Horrors, Kasabian and La Roux further highlighted the fact that they were a band creating music far removed from many of their fellow nominees. Off kilter yet surprisingly danceable, The Invisible are the type of band who skip to their own beat, managing to step away from the current trends, creating a brand of melancholic, yet uplifting, music that they would build upon, and possibly better, through their brilliant 2012 release Rispah.
Amy Winehouse - Frank (2004) and Back To Black (2007)
As a singer, Amy Winehouse has always been one of my biggest inspirations. Her ability to write heartfelt, harrowing lyrics combined with her musical influences of jazz, crooners and motown are incomparable, in my opinion. I actually never realised that both Frank and Back To Black were nominated and how neither of them won it is beyond me. The latter obviously being her more famous album but Frank I think is equally as important. It shows Winehouse at her most unpolished and unsure and the more I listen to this album, the more I fall in love with it.
Leftfield - Leftism (1995)
A fresh exciting album that was a game changer in a lot of ways. Leftfield were one of the most innovative dance artists to come along at the time and for an album like this to be produced and stand out in 1995 when it was one of the strongest years for new music is testament. The production on this is stunning and the ideas behind each song are mindblowing.
The Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future (2007)
Described as acid rave sci-fi punk funk, Klaxons have churned out an eclectic mess of indie party anthems over their tenure in the spotlight. The album Myths Of The Near Future was released the same year that I turned 18, so I vividly remember hearing the single ‘It’s Not Over Yet’ in every indie and alternative club night that I began to attend whilst growing up in the Midlands. This album was full of energetic mayhem from start to finish, incorporating electronic synths that lifted your mood with every listen, alongside fast paced drum beats that made the whole room spontaneously dance. The rigorous feel and nature of Klaxons has never left me and I continue to compare bands to their electronic fuelled energy to this day.
PJ Harvey - Rid Of Me (1993)
In my opinion, one of the most important albums ever made, PJ Harvey's Rid Of Me is a barrier-breaking, era-defining creation that continues to set the bar for what an innovative rock LP should be. Today, twenty four years after its initial release, it is as powerful as ever. Those distinctive gritty, impassioned vocals and thrashing riffs that shine through in tracks such as 'Man Size' and '50 Ft Queenie' get me every time and, as Polly Jean repeatedly howls "Hey, I'm king of the world", I can't help but agree. She continues to be an immense presence in the world of music, and a role model to many, as this album continues to stand out as one of the best ever made.
Check out our Mercury Nominees playlist below:
So, if you're thinking of heading over to Glasgow Green this weekend, be sure not to miss these three acts:
Scottish indie four-piece The View celebrated the 10th anniversary of their debut album Hats Off To The Buskers with a 10th anniversary limited edition vinyl release for Record Store Day earlier this year.
Since their debut, the band have gone on to release five albums in total, 2015’s Ropewalk being their most recent release, produced but The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. and Gus Oberg. The band have been praised for their trademark indie rock style that has matured through their last five releases but has never succumbed to music’s ever changing fashion trends.
Glasgow based four-piece The Van T’s have imposed their reverb-laden brand of alt.rock upon the musical landscape over the past twelve months or so. Their relentless sound has resonated on both sides of the Atlantic; picking up impressive support both at home in the UK and Europe as well as some of the most notable North American tastemakers. The Van T’s continue their impressive run of releases with their raucous new single Fresh Meat, out now via LAB Records.
Be Charlotte are fronted by teenager Charlotte Brimner who is already regarded as one of the most prestigious and cutting edge songwriters on the Scottish music scene, illustrating a rare ability to transcend genres with ease; incorporating pop, hip-hop, beatboxing, electro and indie pop, crafting unmistakable soundscapes that are as playful as they are poignant. Tackling social issues her listeners can easily identify with, Be Charlotte creates vibrant, captivating music while skilfully integrating intelligent, affecting songwriting.