All she had left was a pen, some paper and her thoughts. Thoughts filled with melodies. Thoughts filled with words. And that is all she really needed, so she kept traveling in galaxies of the abstract kind, knowing that this was her home. With her calm, intensive voice, 19-year-old Veronica Fusaro sings about all the little things, and with a little help of a few instruments, she makes them sound big. After canceling her guitar-lessons, Veronica taught herself everything she needed to produce her first EP in her parent’s basement. This resulted in Lost in Thought, – a collection of songs about hope, fear, the world and life – calmly played, but with a big impact on everyone who listens to it. Her music can be described as cool indie-pop with a touch of electronica. She won both the Pop and Demo of the Year awards at the M4Music Festival 2016 in Zurich and is the featured vocalist on the upcoming Klischée tracks “I Don’t Know” and “Man on the Moon” to be released in October from the album Bend The Rules.
Dublin’s Tara Lee is a rising singer/songwriter/producer and actress now based in London. Citing influences ranging from Blondie to Massive Attack to heartfelt songwriters such as Tori Amos and Diane Warren, Tara has the unique ability to write raw emotional and connecting ballads to contemporary edgy pop songs. Tara was asked to compose the theme song for the International TV series Jack Taylor and was also featured in the new series The Fall, the hit BBC drama where she starred alongside Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. Tara had a busy 2015 filming the UK movie Moon Dogs, where she performs a leading role, directed by Philip John (Downton Abbey). Tara will also be playing the lead support role in the new Irish film A Date for Mad Mary, produced by the award winning director Ed Guiney (The Guard/Garage), which won Best Film at the Galway Film Fleadh. Tara is an accomplished songwriter and in recent months has written with Blair MacKichan (Paloma Faith, Sia, Lily Allen), Justin Broad (Jessie J, Raleigh Ritchie, Izzy Bizu) and Jonas Quant (No Doubt, Hurts, Kylie Minogue). She’s currently writing and recording with renowned producer Jonas Quant and is due to release her new EP over the coming months.
Jason Aaron Coons was born in Birmingham, Alabama; during his high school years, he moved to Indiana, where he studied Fine Arts at The Jacobs School of Music. Once considered a well-kept musical secret, Jason, known best under the stage name JAC, has emerged as one of modern music’s most credible and promising new artists. Equipped with glowing press accolades, capacity-attendance headlining club shows, and support gigs for Ben Folds, Andrew W.K., Robert DeLong and She Wants Revenge on his resume, excitement continues to build around him and his music. As his tunes and videos continue earning thousands of plays online, and his ever-growing fan base uniting around his infectious, lyrically candid songs, it would seem that fortune is truly on his side.
STREAM: "How We Operate"
Indie-pop trio Middle Kids is Sydney’s latest music export. Members Hannah Joy, Tim Fitz and Harry Day released their debut single “Edge of Town” and set the bar pretty steep for their upcoming EP, due later this year. The track is essentially the story of a girl who was consumed by the world, featuring Hannah’s powerful vocals, united with the clever music created by Tim and Harry. This summertime feel-good song displays the confidence of Middle Kids and makes you hunger for more.
STREAM: "Edge of Town"
Brothers Aris (vocals, guitar) and John Anagnos (bass) along with Ovais Malik (drums), together, are one of Southern California’s most thrilling rock upstarts called The Rift. Formed seven years ago, the musicians have played alongside the likes of Exodus, Yngwie Malmsteen and The Misfits and have received nominations at the Hollywood Music Awards and Ventura County Music Awards. After releasing two EP’s last year, The Rift have returned with their debut studio album in March, Inventions, which has drawn comparisons to Thirty Seconds To Mars, Stone Temple Pilots and Foo Fighters.
STREAM: "The Music Stops"
Annapolis, MD born artist Kinney is on a mission to make a positive change in the world; seeking to inspire those around her with music and love. Now based in Los Angeles, the talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is also a certified Vinyasa Yoga teacher and dancer who incorporates the art of Acroyoga and acrobatics into her live show, bringing audiences a unique visual and musical experience that is all her own. Kinney’s debut single “Soul” has drawn early comparisons to Zero 7 with elements of Massive Attack. Her musical essence combines elements of fashion, art, global musicality and a unique creative vision, which makes Kinney truly stand out as a genuine ‘artist!’
Johannesburg-based quintet Prime Circle is one of South Africa’s most successful rock bands, ever. All six of their albums released have been certified multi-Platinum or Gold status. They’ve done extensive touring in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, even performing at the legendary Nelson Mandela 46664 shows twice, a series of AIDS charity concerts played in honor of Nelson Mandela by S. African and foreign musicians. This year, the five-piece is focusing on the European market with a full diary that has already included key events at the Champions League Festival for the UEFA Champions League Final in Milan, the Hamburg Harley Days, Germany’s biggest Harley event and Kieler Woche, the biggest sailing event in the world. The year is filled with a number of festival dates in addition to performing as the special guest for the German multi-platinum rockers, The Boss Hoss, on an eight-date German festival tour. Prime Circle’s latest single “Ghosts” has received over 1200 spins at German radio stations in the last few weeks and has entered the German radio Top 150.
James Robinson, Liam Grindell, Jack Richards, Dan Parker and Michael Branam, collectively, are the band Affairs. From scattered countries throughout the UK, the Alt/Indie/Electro outfit met at Hull University, drawn together by their mutual appreciation for great music, art, slick hair, tight jeans and loose hips. Affairs have earned a reputation as being a well-dressed quintet armed with ethereal and theatrical live performances. Their music contains elements that are simultaneously uniquely modern and nostalgic, as laptop-made samples and loops combine seamlessly with vintage guitars accompanying a dramatic vocal style. Comparisons have been drawn to artists as diverse as Foals, David Bowie and The Smiths. Their debut forthcoming EP, Stained Gold, is set to be released this summer.
The Ruiins is a duo comprised of Adam Dooker and Pat Sugden from Australia, who create raw blues and vintage rock music. Sean Cook, former Yves Klein Blue bass player known for his work with Big Scary, produced The Ruiins’ debut single “Eventually.” The single showcases their captivating riffs, heart filled vocals and their rich personalities. Experienced on stage, performing in front of audiences throughout Sydney to the trendiest venues in Brisbane, the twosome just wrapped up an Australian tour, which featured stops in Sydney, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and more.
Blossoms, comprised of Tom Ogden (vocals, guitar), Charlie Salt (bass, backing vocals), Josh Dewhurst (lead guitar), Joe Donovan (drums) and Myles Kellock (keyboards, backing vocals), are a mosaic five piece formed three years ago in Stockport, UK. Musically influenced by the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, ABBA and Oasis, the guitar-pop outfit have been heavily supported by London’s Radio X Head of Music Mike Walsh and were named one of the finalists on the BBC Sound of 2016 list, which features the hottest new acts for the year. In addition, they’ve garnered support globally on the syndicated radio program Passport Approved. Following up with their success of the Blown Rose EP released last July. The quintet released “Charlemagne,” taken from the EP of the same name, which drew praise from both radio and online bloggers. The four song EP served as a precursor to the self-titled album, which is due in August. Blossoms are becoming one of the hottest live bands in the UK, performing at a number of festivals including SXSW, The Great Escape, T in the Park, Latitude, Reading & Leads as well as two shows in Tokyo. Upcoming gigs this month include Best Kept Secret Festival in the Netherlands, the Northside Festival in Denmark, Glastonbury in the UK and the Bravalla Festival in Sweden.
Englishman Matthew Irons (guitar, vocals) and Swede Egil "Ziggy" Franzen (drums, backing vocals) along with France's Romain Decamp (bass, backing vocals) joined forces on the streets of Brussels to form Puggy over a decade ago. Their first three studio albums won them a loyal following, not only in their local playground, but also in France, where they began to perform at an impressive number of festivals and concerts, initially as support acts for Incubus, The Smashing Pumpkins among others, before rapidly rising to the top of the bill at such legendary French venues as the Olympia Bruno Coquatrix in Paris, Le Transbordeur and the Toulouse Bikini. The Belgian trio recently released their fourth album Colours, which is currently available in France, Switzerland and Belgium and soon to be released in the Netherlands later this month, with other countries to follow. The new album illustrates the exuberant multi-colored approach that has become the group’s trademark over the years. Colours was produced by David Kosten, the grand sound wizard behind Bat For Lashes and Everything Everything, who performs in his own right as Faultline. Puggy’s road diary is quickly filling up with confirmed dates in Switzerland, France, Belgium, Canada and more approaching.
STREAM: "Lonely Town"
Formed in Wellington, New Zealand in 2009, Bakers Eddy is Ciarann Babbington (guitar/vocals), Ian Spagnolo (bass, backing vocals), Jamie Gordon (drums, backing vocals) and Alex Spagnolo (guitar, backing vocals). Musically their influences range from Green Day to Arctic Monkeys and The Hives to Shihad as they present a new take on the sound of 90s/early 2000s rock, one honed through countless hours spent in their practice room and on stage. All lean muscle, sweat and passion, Bakers Eddy’s songs weld infectious melodies, sing-along group vocals and ascendant guitar riffs to class rock themes. Loud and heavy but accessible, they subscribe to Dave Grohl’s philosophy that bands are made by practicing in the drummer’s garage, not discovered on televised talent shows. Since forming, they’ve evolved from raw punk into a driving rock excellence. London’s Asa Bennett, best known for his work with Heaven 17, The Rapture and La Roux, produced their new single, “Wallbreaker.”
Formed in October of last year, Athy, Ireland’s Picture This began promoting their music via social media and quickly saw their fanbase grow. In February, they announced their first ever live performance in Dublin’s Grand Social and it sold out in 15 minutes due to the phenomenal demand. In fact, the demand was so high, the gig was moved to Dublin’s Academy, a larger venue that holds 850, where they sold out six weeks in advance, becoming the first ever band to achieve this with their debut show. Last month, they announced their second headlining show at The Olympia Theatre in Dublin, selling over 1,000 tickets the first day alone. The gig has since sold out and the show isn’t until mid-November. Next month, Picture This will perform their first gig in London and their socials continue to rise with over four million views on their Facebook page and 300,000 on their YouTube channel.
STREAM: "You & I"
SMITH & THELL
Smith & Thell, the Swedish duo consisting of Maria Jane Smith and Victor Thell, met each other as young teens at a local music event in their hometown of Helsingborg. Since then, they have spent their time establishing themselves as two of Sweden's most sought after songwriters. They have contributed as writes on songs for major label artists that have combined to be streamed over 100,000,000 times already in Scandinavia alone. After launching their own musical project, they submitted the original song "Statue" to be considered for Sweden's prestigious Denniz Pop Awards. With a panel led by well-respected producer Max Martin, the jury selected Smith & Thell as the 2015 New Artist of the Year, which is the same honor that was given to Tove Lo in 2014. The latest single is a taste of the upcoming and highly anticipated debut album due sometime this year which has been supported very early on here on Passport Approved.
Katéa, an incredibly gifted Helsinki, Finland-based chanteuse whose musical sounds are inspired by Amy Winehouse, Adele, Lorde, Florence + The Machine, Tove Lo and Lana Del Rey, is one of the most inspiring new female artists to emerge in recent years and is poised for global success. Her music is a unique blend of indie-folk and experimental pop, crafting songs with both piano and guitar-driven tracks topped with bright, yet strong, warm and heartfelt vocals. Her debut single, "That Ain't Love," which was co-written with the Swedish writer/producer team Moneybridge and earned airplay in a number of countries. Her second single, "Louder" was just released and is already in the Top 50 most viral songs in Finland and found its way into radio Ylex's playlist and has earned over 20,000 streams on Spotify in a matter of days. Katea's music was world-premiered exclusively on Passport Approved back in 2014 as a new music pre-discovery artist.
RUSTY ANDERSON AFTERNOON
Rusty Anderson Afternoon is the brainchild of Paul McCartney's lead guitarist Rusty Anderson. Rusty has toured the world numerous times and has played on Paul's records since 2001. He has also joined a host of other artists in the studio to record multi platinum hits with Lana Del Rey, Elton John, Michael Buble, Willie Nelson, Regina Spektor, Fishbone, Cat Stevens, The New Radicals, Little Richard, Gwen Stefani & Santana among many others, including the Ricky Martin mega-hit, "Livin' La Vida Loca". We're very excited here at Passport Approved to bring you the premier of Rusty's brand new single 'Evidence', another amazing snapshot of the true raw talent that Rusty embodies. Be sure to tune in this week to hear the track!
Lauren Waller is currently an unsigned Los Angeles-based artist, singer, songwriter, performer, musician, producer and stage manager. She’s currently pursuing a college degree in Theatre Arts Production and Design, with an emphasis in stage management. Musically, she’s influenced by Sara Bareilles, Ron Pope, Marina and the Diamonds, Daughter and Passenger. Her soulful, compelling voice, with a touch of grit, draws the listener to come along through this satisfying sonic release of substantive, straightforward, self-penned lyrics and complex arrangements. As a performer, she has previously shared the stage with several world-renowned musicians including Berlin featuring Terri Nunn, The Fixx and Helen Reddy. She debuted her single “Never Were” on RTE, Ireland’s National Television, at the Rose of Tralee International Festival, one of Ireland’s largest music festivals, where the single was acclaimed by Ireland’s celebrity host, Dáithí Ó Sé, “Brilliant, absolutely brilliant and from the heart.”
STREAM: "Never Were"
Notorious for their live shows, Scotland's Ded Rabbit have been making noise with their music for the past couple of years. Passport Approved is very excited to be bringing you the premiere of their music video for the hit new single "Only Dating" right here on PassportApproved.com! The Indie Rock quartet from Edinburgh consists of the Gaine brothers: Eugene (vocals/rhythm guitar), Fergus (lead guitar), Donal (bass) and Eoin (drums.) Citing Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles as musical influences, the siblings released their Moving In Slow Motion EP in July of last year. Ded Rabbit has supported The 1975 and Man Made as well as performed at T in the Park in 2015. The unsigned quartet released a double-A side single consisting of the songs "Only Dating" and "Never Gonna Learn" last month and have upcoming gigs confirmed for Edinburgh on April 9th and Kendal Calling at Hackthrope on July 29th.
VIDEO PREMIER: "Only Dating"
NEW BEAT FUND
SoCal four-piece New Beat Fund combines sunny surf rock with elements of hip-hop, garage pop and west coast punk, tossing it all in a blender to cook up a colorful mash-up they call “G-Punk.” Their debut album, Sponge Fingers released by Red Bull Records to whom the band were signed by the label’s A&R executive Kenny “Tick” Salcido, was co-produced by Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5), mixed by Tony Hoffer (Foster The People, Beck) and was recorded at LA’s legendary Sound City Studios has produced the singles “Sunday Funday “ and “Sikka Takin’ The Hard Way,” which were played at KROQ Los Angeles, WLKK Buffalo, KRXP Colorado Springs, WZNE Rochester, WROX Norfolk and many other stations. For the past three years, New Beat Fund has been touring across the country, playing everywhere from local frat parties and bars to shows with Blink-182, Mod Sun, New Politics and the Vans Warped Tour. The quartet have released the new single “No Type” and have announced a tour with American Authors which kicks off today in San Francisco and goes until April 9th in Dallas which includes stops in LA, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, St. Louis, Nashville and Austin. New Beat Fund have also confirmed performances at BuzzFest 35 in Houston in April, Move Music Fest in Albany in April, the BottleRock Music Festival in Napa Valley, CA in May and the Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, MI in June. The new single is already spinning on KNDD Seattle, WKQX Chicago, WRFF Philadelphia, CIMX Detroit, KDKB Phoenix, KXTE Las Vegas and more.
STREAM: "No Type"
Originally hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand, Andrew and Victoria Knopp are the duo that makes up Vancouver-based indie-pop act The Response. Determined to faithfully translate their expansive albums from tape to stage, The Response have crafted a live show that utilizes every one of their limbs and will leave you wondering exactly how a mere two people can make so much noise. Their new album, North of Nowhere, builds on The Response’s defining second album and finds a band at home in eclecticism, showcasing a sound that is fresh and varied. Produced independently, all duties from writing, recording, mixing and mastering to artwork were undertaken by the resourceful pair. The new album has sounds ranging from reverb-drenched banjo to synth pop and fuzzed-out guitars, brought together by a strong songwriting voice drawing influence from dominant indie acts such as Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, The Postal Service and Sufjan Stevens. “When they sing together, the harmony is searing,” notes Hannah McGowan on NZ website The Audience. “They are simple, understated, yet powerful. Unashamedly indie-pop, and damn good at it, too, they prefer a hands-off approach to songwriting, mastering the art of seeing what emerges without trying too hard. Their jazz school background is revealed in immaculate and cunning compositions, far more sophisticated and subtle than your usual pop façade.”
Joon Moon is a new collaboration between Paris-based producer Julien Decorate and singer Krystle Warren, originally from Kansas City but recently exiled to Paris. After a few solo albums and collaborative projects with Hercules & Love Affair, Hugh Coltman and Rufus Wainwright for Krystle and adventures as side-man and producer with Nouvelle Vague and Accident in Paradise for Julien, the direction of the newly-formed band was clear and after a few months in the studio, the Chess EP was born. Released late last year through Kwaidan Records, the Pop/Soul mix with precise arrangements has earned comparisons to Sade, Nina Simone, Tracy Chapman and Amy Winehouse. The music has already earned support at BBC Radio 2, 3 & 6, KCRW Los Angeles, Radio France Internationale, FluxFM Radio (Germany), Couleur 3 (France) and many others.
STREAM: "Apple Day"
Known as one of the best live performers in Norway, Egil Olsen is unlike any other singer/songwriters. His live show is a mix of music and his unpredictable humor, carefully balanced with his vulnerable, beautiful and naively honest songs. Since his 2007 debut album, he’s been an independent artist, releasing music on his own label, with self-made artwork and music videos. He’s created music for films and television, earned over a million views on Chinese YouTube, was featured as a 3D animated character performing his own songs in the computer game Dreamfall, made an ongoing weekly tour blog for radio and done countless live shows. He has his own comic strip about himself and the “somewhat pathetic life of a relatively unknown superstar,” and even has a tribute album to his music, released on limited vinyl, with Norwegian artists like Thom Hell, Jenny Hval, Sondre Lerche and Robert Post. Egil Olsen recently released his fourth album, Oooh What Happened, to rave reviews. The album was successful and later released as a stripped down live album and film, recorded direct to tape. Egil Olsen is currently writing and recording new material for his next album.
STREAM: "Find A Way"
PALACE OF THE KING
Just when you thought Rock music was written off comes the musical stylings of Palace Of The King. Steeped in bluesy swagger and riff-heavy psychedelia, this Aussie outfit leaves a trail of denim-clad soldiers and converted non-believers in their wake. Formed four years ago, the members recorded a three-track demo and developed the vision of a six-piece blues-infused Rock & Roll band. Far from a grave robbing retro trip, Palace Of The King has just as much in common with Rival Sons, Graveyard and Jack White as they do with Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Having spent their formative years storming stages in every corner of Australia, alongside bands as varied as Airborne and The Tea Party, and priming themselves for an international assault, Palace Of The King took their finely-honed live show through Europe last October. Armed with two EP’s, a full-length vinyl LP and their debut album White Bird/BurnThe Sky, this is a band that has earned their stripes and wears them with pride.
STREAM: "White Bird (Bring Your Armies Against Me)"
In just a few years, All Mankind has gone from busking on the street corners of Sydney, to playing some of the largest festivals in Europe, alongside acts like Mumford & Sons, Kasabian and The Temper Trap. Along the way, the two brothers and their two friends have seen their songs featured in the multi-million dollar selling FIFA games by EA, and heard in some of the highest rated shows in the U.S., UK and Australia including the theme song for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Gossip Girl, Jersey Shore and The Real World. The band’s debut full length Simple Desire, released in 2012, was produced by one of the UK’s hottest producers, Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, Jake Bugg). The album spawned the single “Break The Spell,” which was heard on radio stations globally, including KROQ Los Angeles, BBC Radio 2, Triple J Australia and Radio EINS Berlin. The quartet has spent the last three years traveling and touring across the world and wrote a song about returning home to the people you love in the place you know best, called “Welcome Home” - The song was recorded in Sydney and mixed by 7x Grammy Award-winner Michael Brauer (Coldplay, Muse) at Electric Lady Studios in New York.
STREAM: "Welcome Home"
Copenhagen based band D/troit is a band that consists of former members from two garage rock outfits from Denmark, The Magic Bullet Theory and The Breakers. The latter was signed to Little Steven's Wicked Cool label and has toured extensively in Europe and the U.S., even some shows as the opening act for Bon Jovi. D/troit includes members Toke Bo (vocals), Klaus (guitar), Mads (keys), Stefan (drums) and Jackie (bass) who uploaded a few self-produced tracks to Soundcloud and Danish radio immediately caught on. Their single "The 45" was aired repeatedly and was considered an instant classic to the listeners. Music label Crunchy Frog (Junior Senior, The Raveonettes, PowerSolo and more) loved the music and signed the band in early 2015 and things progressed rapidly from there. Their first two singles were playlisted at P3, P4 and P6, the Danish equivalent of BBC Radio 1, 2 and 6. D/troit also performed more than 40 shows in Denmark in 2015 alone, which is unheard of for a debut band formed in late 2014. Their debut EP Do The Right Thing is due for release internationally on February 5th featuring the single of the same name.
STREAM: "Do The Right Thing"
White Eskimo is four lads from Manchester consisting of members Will Sweeny (vocals), Alex Lewis (drums), Ryan Smith (guitar) and Brad Nevinson (bass). The quartet met at a recording studio at a music college class, where their now-bassist engineered what was due to be their debut EP, before they scrapped it and set their sights even higher. After two years with their current line-up, and enough gigs under their belts to be able to bounce about on small stages, the band released their debut EP 100x (Jack No No Records) in April of last year. The EP contains four instantly catchy, smartly structured songs mostly about girls and making mistakes, topics not necessarily unrelated. The EP was recorded at OMD frontman Andy McCluskey’s Motor Museum studio in Liverpool and produced by James Lewis (Rudimental, Rae Morris, Sunset Sons). The UK four-piece have been hard at work writing and recording new material and with the New Year has come new music in the form of the single “Game Time.”
STREAM: "Game Time"
THE BONGO CLUB
The Bongo Club is a four-piece Rock & Roll outfit hailing from Borås, Sweden. Jesper (vocals/guitar), Erik (guitar), Fabian (bass) and Jonatan (drums) were childhood friends who created the band three years ago with their great hooks, deadly melodies and inescapable beats. Best known for their energetic live shows, they don't use computers, backtracks or DJ's to deliver music and get their audiences active and sweaty; it's truly all about the performance. The average age of the quartet is only 22, but they’ve already managed to perform nearly 200 shows and toured through 16 European countries, including showcases in Denmark, Scotland and Spain, in addition to festivals in the UK, Denmark, Latvia and Sweden. Last March they released their debut album Be Careful Not To Stare and are very proud of the outcome. If you are in the Netherlands this week, you can experience The Bongo Club perform in Groningen on Wednesday at Cafe de Kar, Thursday at Cafe de Zolder, Friday at Cafe de Toeter and Saturday at Orkz Bar.
STREAM: "All She Said"
The DMA’s are Johnny Took, Matt Mason and Tommy O’Dell, three friends who came together making nostalgic garage pop in a bedroom in Newton, UK. Having met while playing in other bands, DMA’s are three writers, three friends and three frontmen, all with a common sense of purpose and musicality. The trio wrote a few songs together and recorded them in Johnny’s bedroom studio, which led to immediate attention, before they released an official track or even played a single show. After signing with tastemaker label IOHYOU, the DMA’s released their debut single “Delete” to rave reviews from blogs and radio stations. Support from such stations as Channel V, Triple J and XFM along with NME picking them as a buzz band to watch. The trio is about to release their debut album Hills End next month on IOHYOU/Infectious/Mom+Pop.
When NIHILS decided it was time to push their creative boundaries beyond building lethal ski jumps and plummeting down mountains, forming a band seemed a natural progression. The three young Austrians spent seven years refining their special blend of electronic alternative music with a vision to produce high-quality music; to inspire and entertain their audiences and to remain responsive and true. Their previous release “Help Our Souls” became an instant anthem and the remix for the single via Urban Contact Remix on Epic/Ultra, climbed the Australian charts and became a radio staple with over four million streams to date. Their success crossed over to the states where they showcased at SXSW in Austin in March, which led to them supporting 30 Seconds To Mars. Ramon, Florian and Thomas have since returned with a more refined and mature sound as an appetizer to the long-awaited album due in 2016. The single “Not A Man Of Violence” was inspired by the vibrant international electro scene, as they worked with producers Niko Stössl (Crystal Castles, IAMX) and Paul Kinski. Their live performances are always highly energetic, interactive and draw repeat audiences.
STREAM: "Not A Man Of Violence"
LYDMOR & BON HOMME
Lydmor & Bon Homme is the unification of two very different personas and well-established artists from the Nordic music scene. First, there’s the eccentric Bon Homme, born Tomas Høffding, who’s mostly known as a singer and bassist in the Copenhagen-based experimental pop trio WhoMadeWho as well as an esteemed remix artist who previously worked with Digitalism, Hot Chip and 2 Many DJ’s. Secondly, there’s Lydmor, born Jenny Roosander, who is a young singer and producer that has toured the world both as a solo act and in collaboration with established acts such as Arsenal, Alle Farben and more. Lydmor also showcased at MUSEXPO Los Angeles this past April that earned immediate positive comparisons to Björk, Imogen Heap and Ellie Goulding. Together as a duo, Lydmor & Bon Homme combine the best of their respective qualities; a lethal concoction of pounding beats, captivating synths and hook-ridden melodies. They are both known for their outrageously intense live sets, which can be seen in upcoming shows in Denmark, Belgium and Switzerland in the next few weeks as well as future plans to tour in support of their debut album Seven Dreams of Fire.
STREAM: "Things We Do For Love"
THE BONGO CLUB
The Bongo Club is a four-piece hailing from Borås, Sweden. Best known for their energetic live shows, they don't use computers, backtracks or DJ's to deliver music and get their audiences active and sweaty; it's all about the performance. Jesper, Erik, Fabian and Jonatan released their debut album Be Careful Not To Stare and are very proud of the outcome. They are primed to attract more recognition with their music and ready to prove they live up to the hype with their on stage performance. In the past five years, they’ve performed at a number of festivals and hundreds of shows throughout Europe, earning fans and building their fan base organically. The Bongo Club is currently making noise at tastemaker radio and online blogs with their single “All She Said” which has been compared to the likes of The Wombats and Royal Blood.
STREAM: "All She Said"
Sydney’s Lime Cordiale has consistently built momentum over the last two years with their breakthrough single "Bullshit Aside" and their song "Sleeping At Your Door." While turning heads throughout Australia, they scored their first ever airplay on the independent internationally syndicated tastemaker radio show, Passport Approved. Last year the quintet, fronted by brothers Oliver and Louis Leimbach, released their Falling Up The Stairs EP (Chugg Music) in North America, performed on the inaugural Passport Approved Live Tour, showcased at Canadian Music Week and SXSW. They've also performed alongside the likes of Ball Park Music, The Griswolds, The Rubens and Cosmo Jarvis. Lime Cordiale had completed studio sessions with producer Jean Paul-Fung (Theophilus London, Birds Of Tokyo, Jet) and the result was the Falling Up The Stairs EP, released in 2013. The Australian duo continues to release quality music and their latest single “Not That Easy” impresses both fans and critics alike. If you are in Australia, you can see Lime Cordiale on The Road To Paradise Tour with upcoming stops in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and more.
STREAM: "Not That Easy"
THE BLUE VAN
The four-piece rock outfit from Denmark started as a band when they were just 12 years old after hearing Jimi Hendrix for the first time in a commercial. Years later The Blue Van, still in their 20s, have no signs of slowing down. TBV have earned many music sync placements, including a worldwide Apple iPad ad, a featured track in the Samsung Behold cell phone commercial, a song in the major motion film Magic Mike, the theme title for the hit TV series Royal Pains and placements in Television shows such as NCIS, 90201, CSI and an MLB video game. The quartet is no stranger to the road either, spending many days on the road touring Europe, dates in the U.S. and performing at a number of global festivals where they leave their audiences begging for more. After releasing multiple albums and singles in the last decade and a half, The Blue Van has returned to digital retailers last month with their latest track infectious rock single, “White Heat.”
STREAM: "White Heat"
GO GO BERLIN
The Danish quintet Go Go Berlin, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Christian Vium, guitarist Mikkel Dyrehave, bassist Emil Rothmann, drummer Christoffer Østergaard and organ player Anders Søndergaard, plays classic, timeless rock with roots in the storied ’70s, which echoes the sounds of The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin mixed with the likes of The Strokes and Kings of Leon. Two years ago, Go Go Berlin proved themselves to critics with their highly-acclaimed debut album New Gold and has since returned to digital and physical retailers with the follow up, Electric Lives (Mermaid Records). The 12-track album has pleased fans and helped them increase their fan base, along with constant gigging from countless smaller stages in their native Denmark to more prestigious venues throughout the world in addition to the biggest Danish festivals such as Roskilde Festival, Spot Festival, Smukfest, Nibe Festival and Jelling Festival as well as at the inaugural Global Rock Summit in Los Angeles which led to int’l rock industry interest and various festival opportunities worldwide for the band. Despite their young age and wildness, Go Go Berlin possesses a professionalism that makes them deliver a fast-paced and intense live show – every time. The five-piece knows their musical craft, has mastered the style and attitude and consistently delivers at a level that reaches far beyond the stage.
STREAM: "Famous Till The End"
Copenhagen’s Goblins is the meeting of a couple of like-minded eccentrics. Lars Iversen, one half of the band The Asteroids Galaxy Tour along with Jacob Bellens, the vocalist behind Murder and I Got You On Tape are the duo that created the project that functions like a hobby for the both of them. Their latest creation is the track “Heartbreak City,” a simple and compelling song about love lost. The single has been garnering support on Scandinavia’s P3 radio network as well as globally on Flux FM Germany, KNRK Portland, Radio Doble Nueve in Peru and many others. The tune is synth pop at it’s best, complete with a charming whistle and a crafty flute, reminiscent to Peter Bjorn and John’s 2006 smash “Young Folks.”
STREAM: "Heartbreak City"
THE PRETTY LITTLES
The Pretty Littles are a four-man Indie/Rock/Pop outfit from Melbourne, Australia. Their debut release, Mash, was recorded with Alex “Rudie” Markwell of The Delta Riggs and received comparisons to Jet and Eskimo Joe. In 2014 the quartet recorded their fourth release Gospel, with Neil “The” Grey which is too long for an EP, but too short to be labeled as an album. According to Rolling Stone Australia, “The Pretty Littles are all killer and no filler with their latest albumette Gospel. A release that sees the Melbourne four-piece take their next great leap forwards.” They earned high praise from their showcase at BIGSOUND in Brisbane last month and continue to entertain fans throughout Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. One of the standout tracks from the release that has been gaining attention at radio is “Dangerman.” If you are in the Victoria area of Australia, The Pretty Littles are playing at The Evelyn Hotel on Friday October 23rd and then will start writing for their next album.
Copenhagen based band D/troit is a band that consists of members from two garage rock bands from Denmark, The Magic Bullet Theory and The Breakers. The latter was signed to Little Steven's Wicked Cool label and has toured extensively in Europe and the U.S., even some shows as the opening act for Bon Jovi. The band, consisting of members Toke Bo (vocals), Klaus (guitar), Mads (keys), Stefan (drums) and Jackie (bass) uploaded a few self-produced tracks to SoundCloud last year and Danish radio immediately caught on. Their single "The 45" was aired repeatedly and was considered an instant classic to the listeners. The song has done very well on the Danish equivalent to BBC 6 Music and they've already been booked on DR's big Christmas live show. Even though D/troit has only released their EP in Scandinavia thus far, they will end up playing 30 shows in Denmark alone this year—which is unheard of for a band with a debut EP. Music label Crunch Frog (The Raveonettes, PowerSolo) loved the music and signed the band, knowing they'd be a great fit. The sound of D/troit has quite a twist of Northern Soul, and it's no use trying to hide it. The lads have performed at several festivals and appearances and are on everyone's radar in Scandinavia.
STREAM: "The 45"
Born in Brisbane in 2011, but now balancing time between London and Brisbane, Starlight Theatre is a band bursting with ambition, amazing live, and is one of the most promising new globally impressive alternative bands to emerge from Australia since The Temper Trap. Their influences are, inevitably, big name acts who exist as much in the present as they do in the past – U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles and Justin Timberlake among others. In just twelve months, they have played close to 200 shows, supported Evermore in 1000+ capacity venues up the Australian east coast and released an EP made with ARIA Award-winning producer Magoo that rewarded them with radio play. When one song from that EP, “The Window,” picked up interest in the UK, the band packed everything they owned to make the move immediately. The EP itself Castles, Clocks & Cathedrals entered the iTunes Top 10 in the quartet’s home country Australia, no small feat for a completely independent ensemble. Last summer, Starlight Theatre met manager/producer Jon O’Mahony. One of the gems that came out of the sessions is “Oceans,” which earned airplay at tastemaker radio in the U.S., UK, Australia and more.
Musicians, such as, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men and Vance Joy have created a residence at radio for some time now with their upbeat folk-sound. As that sound continues to be successful, radio may need to find a vacancy for Paris, France’s Broken Back, with his style of indie-dance-electro-pop that fits perfectly next to the elite musicians of today. Jérôme founded Broken Back in 2013 and gave his first musical offering in the form of the infectious single “Halcyon Birds,” released at the top of the year. The singer-songwriter then released “The Happiest Man On Earth” and received comparisons to Milky Chance and Bon Iver with the earthy, surf-vibe track that takes each listener on a fun-filled journey with every listen. Both tracks can be found on the debut EP Dear Misfortune, Mother of Joy, which acts as an anthem for the 90s generation, where everything was recorded at a home studio.
STREAM: "Young Souls"
South London's Longfellow is comprised of Owen Lloyd (vocals), James Thomas (guitar), Ali Hetherington (keyboards), Lewis Fowler (bass) and Tom Warhurst (drums). Just two years ago, the quintet played their first gig live and released a trio of singles; "Gabrielle" on their own label, "Siamese Lover" on the Fandango Label and "Kiss-Hug-Make-Up" on Fierce Panda. Next, Longfellow released the Prelude mini album, which included the previous singles and the B-sides “May The Light,” “The Convent” and “Wolf Cry,” along with fan favorites “Polaroid” and “Lullaby,” which were all recorded in their home studio. They've received endorsements from Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music and Jo Whiley on Radio 2, were nominated as BBC Introducing Band of the Week by Huw Stephens on Radio 1, supported Keane at their intimate 10th anniversary show and toured with Hall & Oates across the U.K. Last year they performed at SXSW in Austin along with other industry showcases and began to write and record their EP, Remedy (Fierce Panda/Ooh La La). Longfellow return to the stage in London to headline the BBC Introducing stage at Hyde Park on September 13th and they are confirmed to perform at the Electric Ballroom with Walking On Cars on October 23rd. Longfellow’s latest single “Choose” will be available at all digital outlets on September 11th and is the 300th single released through Fierce Panda.
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE
Swiss rockers Death By Chocolate have clocked up a number of significant milestones in recent times, performing with Bon Jovi at Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich, at Woodstock Festival Poland and at the EXIT Festival in Serbia. At home, they were nominated by the Swiss Music Awards in the category "Best Live Act 2015." Alongside the highlights, there have been long periods of hard and intense work. Their debut album From Birthdays To Funerals and their current release Among Sirens, produced by Ronald Bood and Mando Diao, are worlds apart, not so much in terms of musicianship but rather in the rapid transformation of the band from newcomers to a self-confident band with a purpose. The latest album delivers a courageous, rough, no messing around rock sound. The songs reflect the determination of the band's five members to create their particular brand of rock music. They have over 100 live appearances in their back pocket not only in Switzerland but abroad including performances at Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles and several European tours including one with The Blue Van in Denmark. Recently, they broke into the Swiss Top 10 album charts and were chosen by national radio station SRF3 as Best Talent. Authentic, punchy, uncompromising and determined, Death By Chocolate gives their all both on stage and on record.
They’re loud! They’re raw! They’re memorable! Fronted by redheaded powerhouse Leah Martin-Brown, Evol Walks are bringing rock back to its roots. Enjoying regular commercial airplay for their first two singles “Heartbreakin’ Woman” and “Buzzed,” the Valhalla quintet have now returned with their latest single "The Other Side," produced by Brian Howes (Airborne, Hinder, Simple Plan, Daughtry). Evol Walks are performing their unique brand of hard-hitting rock to audiences around the globe. The first ever unsigned Australian band to play the 750,000 strong Woodstock Festival in Poland earlier this month, Evol Walks has shared the stage with some of the best acts in the world, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Label Society and Flogging Molly to name a few. They just finished a European tour and are kicking off an Australian tour next month in support of their debut EP The Other Side.
STREAM: "The Other Side"
Dublin’s Tara Lee is a rising singer/songwriter/producer and actress. She secured a worldwide publishing deal with BMG thanks to A&R Worldwide’s support earlier this year and is co-managed by David Reid and Edison Waters (worldwide manager of Irish global buzz artist Gavin James who is currently on tour in the U.S. with Sam Smith). Citing influences ranging from Blondie to Massive Attack to heartfelt songwriters such as Tori Amos and Diane Warren, Tara has the unique ability to write raw emotional and connecting ballads to contemporary edgy pop songs. Last year, Tara released her debut EP Soundtrack (Irish release only) that reached No.4 on the Irish iTunes Albums chart. She recently was asked to compose the theme song for the International TV series Jack Taylor and also featured in the new series The Fall, the hit BBC drama where she starred alongside Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. Tara is currently filming the UK movie Moon Dogs, where she performs a leading role. This film being directed by Philip John (Downton Abbey). Tara will also be playing the lead support role in the new Irish film A Date for Mad Mary, which will be produced by the award winning director Ed Guiney (The Guard/Garage). Tara has also performed on a number of soundtracks and has a slew of forthcoming soundtrack work as well.
Two childhood friends met on the midnight train home after a night out in downtown Gothenburg, Sweden. Victor Crusner and Fredrik Folkstad discussed old memories and had a great time connecting. They stayed in touch and began making music together. Ideas and visions turned into songs, which they then recorded piece by piece at different locations. Together as Manfred Kidd, the duo created an amazing and unique sound with their debut EP, Where Were You When You Were Us, which has been compared to the likes of The Killers and Passion Pit. The Wild Honey Pie music blog touts the debut as "one of those EPs that manages to never dull, only heighten as it progresses, ending with an inevitable repeat play - i.e. infinite plays." Their debut single "Lights" was an energetic indie pop piece that earned fans worldwide and global radio airplay. The Swedish twosome has since returned with new music in the form of the single "Treetops."
Gavin James is a 22-year-old Dublin native who’s already on his way to becoming one of this year’s international breakthrough successes. His very first single won Ireland’s Choice Prize for “Song Of The Year” and his debut Irish EP, Say Hello, James’ charted for more than six months, leading to a string of sold-out headline dates and supporting tours with such artists as Lianne La Havas, Beth Orton and Marina & The Diamonds. James’ music caught the attention of one of the industry’s most-respected A&R men, Christian Tattersfield, who signed Gavin to his Good Soldier Songs last year. The signing came as a result of A&R Worldwide’s introduction and recommendation of Gavin James to Tattersfield and his team. Last year, James recorded a rapturously received hometown show at legendary Dublin venue Whelan and the resulting album, Live at Whelans—released by Capitol Records in the U.S. and by GS Believe internationally—climbed to No.1 on iTunes in Ireland shortly after the pre-order launched. The release included his cover of The Magnetic Fields’ classic "The Book of Love," which reacted across Europe and America and was praised by a number of online blogs. He embarked on his first U.S. tour in early 2015, opening for Seinabo Sey and is now on tour as the support for Sam Smith in the U.S., with upcoming stops in Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Utah, Washington and more through mid-August.
New Zealand has always produced creative musicians; some successful examples include Lorde, Neil Finn with Split Endz and Crowded House, OMC and Flight of the Conchords. Judging by the debut single "Got It Bad," you may be able to include Leisure to that list soon. Managed by Saiko, Lorde's former management company, Leisure earned nearly 200k plays on their SoundCloud page in just one month after posting the song. The Pigeons & Planes music blog describes Leisure as "elements from Tame Impala, Pharrell and Gorillaz mashed up into a smooth, funky, playful mix." Not too shabby of a breakthrough for a band with minimal details available, yet a volume of talent.
STREAM: "Got It Bad"
At 21 years old, South London's producer and vocalist Huntar first earned attention last year with his debut track "Expectations" and has now returned with his mixture of twisted pop and futuristic R&B. He's received an influx of praise following his debut live show on the esteemed BBC Introducing Stage at last month's Radio 1 Big Weekend and will be headlining London's sold out Electrowerkz next month. Annie Mac, who unveiled the title track from his EP Love I Know (Good Soldier Songs), along with Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart have all supported the new single "Autumn" on BBC Radio 1. The new song is "a light dreamscape of bright melodies" according to All Things Go Music.com. Huntar has also received positive reviews from leading tastemaker blogs Hillydilly, Earmilk, Indie Shufle and The 405.
Katéa, an incredibly gifted Helsinki, Finland-based chanteuse whose musical sounds are inspired by Amy Winehouse, Adele, Lorde, Florence + The Machine, Tove Lo and Lana Del Rey, is one of the most inspiring new female artists to emerge in recent years and is poised for global success. Her music is a unique blend of indie-folk and experimental pop, crafting songs with both piano and guitar-driven tracks topped with bright, yet strong, warm and heartfelt vocals. Great songs, an incredible voice and a strong work ethic, original and charismatic stage presence and a unique artistic vision that sets the creative bar very high: this amazingly talented young singer recently signed to a worldwide publishing deal with BMG Scandinavia. Katéa has been writing music and performing since she was nine and has written some great songs, including her amazing debut single, “That Ain’t Love,” co-written with hot Swedish writer/producer team Moneybridge. The single has already seen success in Finland, as it was playlisted at YLEX, where it peaked at No.1 on the YLEX most wanted list. "That Ain't Love" has also been added to Yle Suomi, as well as all of their local stations and X3M, in addition to seeing airplay at Voice and Suomipop.
STREAM: "That Ain't Love"
THE LULU RAES
The Lulu Raes are a four-piece outfit from Sydney who combine a love of pop, Motown harmonies and catchy weirdness to create their own danceable and infectious brand of indie/pop/rock. Members Eddie, Taras, Marcus and Tom were influenced musically by The Strokes, The Flaming Lips and The Pixies and have been compared to the likes of Talking Heads and the now defunct Aussie band Yves Klein Blue. The Lulu Raes debut single “The Way Life Runs,” reached No.4 on Triple J’s Unearthed charts and their follow-up single, “Reputation,” earned support on Triple J for a number of months. The Australian quartet have shared stages with The Vines, Little Bastard and DMA’s and will soon be touring Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in support of their new single “Swing Me On A Vine of Sunshine.”
STREAM: "Swing Me On A Vine Of Sunshine"
At 21 years old, South London’s producer and vocalist Huntar first earned attention last year with his debut track “Expectations” and has now returned with his mixture of twisted pop and futuristic R&B. Huntar’s supporters include the likes of Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens and most recently Annie Mac, who unveiled the title track from his EP Love I Know (Good Soldier Songs), on her BBC Radio 1 show. He’s received an influx of praise following his debut live show on the esteemed BBC Introducing Stage at this month's Radio 1 Big Weekend and has just announced that he will be headlining London’s Electrowerkz in August. Huntar has also received positive reviews from leading tastemaker blogs Hillydilly, Earmilk and The 405 and has been generating international support on tastemaker radio stations from Germany, U.S., South America and Australasia. There are currently two EPs available to download for free on his SoundCloud page, where you can listen to his latest single “Love I Know,” a song about a relationship breakdown. Huntar is signed to the U.K. independent music company Good Soldier Songs who recently inked the sensational Irish talent Gavin James and U.K. buzz act Coasts.
STREAM: "Love I Know"
Growing up on the Isle of Mull in the Hebrides Islands off the west coast of Scotland, Sorren Maclean began playing in bands at the tender age of 11. He recorded his debut album, Island, with Colin MacIntyre of Mull Historical Society, which led to Idlewild singer Roddy Woomble inviting Sorren to co-write his second solo album, The Impossible Song and Other Songs; they’ve been working together ever since. Sorren regularly works and records with composer Donald Shaw of Capercaillie, creating music for the soundtracks to BBC Two’s acclaimed Hebrides series and the award-winning children’s TV show Katie Morag, as well as many BBC documentaries including McQueen of Scots. Sorren’s delicate indie folk sound perfectly captures the desolate beauty of his homeland on the Isle of Mull. Possessing a warmth to both his voice and guitar playing that gives the listener a feeling of closeness, there is a definitive and accomplished quality to Sorren’s sound that allows his vocals and six-string work to share the spotlight simultaneously. Sorren’s undoubted talent has seen him transcend his own musical projects, having performed on over 20 albums, including upcoming releases from Nashville singer Eliza Lynn and one of Scotland’s finest exports, King Creosote.
STREAM: "Way Back Home"
Brighton, UK duo Miamigo offered their first musical experience with their single "Opinions" last year. Like other new-age pop acts that captured the 80s sound, Miamigo drew early comparisons to St. Lucia, M83 and Chvrches, with their addicting hooks, mesmerizing synths and intelligent songwriting, not to mention their drum tracks that are reminiscent of Phil Collins post-Genesis days. After nearly a yearlong hiatus, Miamigo return with their second single, "Hard To Love," taken from their upcoming debut EP of the same name, due for release next month. The single has larger than life hooks and continues where "Opinions" left off. The twosome have their debut show at The Great Escape festival on Thursday and will no doubt have other performances on their schedule soon.
STREAM: "Hard To Love"
Born in Brisbane in 2011, but now balancing time between London and Brisbane, Starlight Theatre is a band bursting with ambition. Their aim is to write songs that stand the test of time; that they could play aged 50 and still have an arena howling along to their tunes. Their influences are, inevitably, big name acts who exist as much in the present as they do in the past – U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles and Justin Timberlake among them. In twelve months, they have played almost 200 shows, supported Evermore in 1000-capacity venues up the Australian east coast and released an EP made with ARIA Award-winning producer Magoo that rewarded them with radio play. When one song from that EP, “The Window,” picked up interest in Britain, the band upped sticks immediately. The EP itself, Castles, Clocks & Cathedrals, entered the iTunes Top 10 in the quartet's home country Australia. No small feat for a completely independent ensemble. Last summer, Starlight Theatre made the move to London, where they met manager/producer Jon O’Mahony. Recording sessions last summer saw almost an album’s worth of material written and recorded. Now, the band are gearing up for a showcase at Los Angeles’ MUSEXPO 2015 next Monday, April 27th at 9PM at SIR Studios Hollywood.
Swedish singer and songwriter Mathias Melo describes himself as “a 21st century hippy with a whole lot of love,” which his music definitely reflects; his creative and caring lyrics show the same love and passion prevalent during the hippie era, whilst his musical style displays influences of soul, jazz and pop, all combined with authenticity. His passion as a youth was mainly for his professional football career, but he soon found a true connection to his own music and creativity. Mathias graduated from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm in 2013 where he also collaborated with other professional artists and musicians. He is currently signed with X-Level Studio in Stockholm and is generating an early buzz in Scandinavia. He’ll be doing his first official N. American showcase in a couple of weeks at MUSEXPO in Los Angeles.
Siobhan Wilson’s story begins in her native Scotland, where she studied classical music by day while ransacking her father’s record collection each night. Joni Mitchell, John Martyn and Willie Nelson informed her inquisitive young ears, while the likes of Regina Spektor and Nina Simone helped to inspire the music you can hear today. A well-traveled artist, Siobhan studied music and composition in Edinburgh and then Paris, where she relinquished the classical world for a burgeoning interest in jazz and immersed herself in the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Jacques Brel. A six-month sojourn to the U.S. followed, which she spent collaborating and recording with artists and musicians in Woodstock. Now back in Scotland, Siobhan has been mesmerizing audiences throughout the country with performances in front of packed rooms in venues such as The Queens Hall, Edinburgh and the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, as well as UK tours supporting the likes of Willy Mason, Justin Currie (Del Amitri) and Lau. She also recently garnered critical acclaim for her stunning “New Voices” commission for Celtic Connections and will showcase in Los Angeles next month at MUSEXPO.
STREAM: "Say It's True"
Growing up in California, splitting his time between Venice and Sacramento, Sean Kelly had a number of musical influences that range from SoCal greats Sublime, Slightly Stoopid and Rebelution to Hip Hop pioneers Slick Rick, Big L and E-40 to the timeless talents of Jeff Buckley, The Doobie Brothers and Super Tramp. As a youngster, all he wanted to do was create and perform his own music. Drawing inspiration from the singing styles of Michael Jackson, Prince and Otis Redding, Sean came up with his own unique style of music that incorporates the California surf and beach sound. His debut single “Hands In The Sky” received airplay in the U.S., Ireland, Germany, China, South America, Peru and Australia. Radio station GFM.FM Hong Kong cited that Sean’s music is “R&B, but in the classic sense, with a Cali-seaside twist,” while Australia’s music blog Noise 11 states that Sean is “an artist to watch in 2015.” Hard at work writing and recording new material, Sean Kelly created the perfect summer-feel song with his latest, “57 Chevy.”
STREAM: "57 Chevy"
Matt Cronert hails from the city of Västerås, just outside of Stockholm in Sweden. He’s been writing songs for as long as he can remember, but eight years ago a song written to his newborn daughter called “Spread Out Your Wings” started his musical journey. Since then a lot has happened. He has been involved in various musical adventures, fronting bands in different genres, but now he is focusing all his energy on his own project. Matt’s music, though rather simple, is honest, but always from the heart. The lyrics he writes portray the troubles we all face, whether it’s about forsaken love, the injustice of the world or our troubled spirits. For Matt, music is a way to access the divinity that lies beyond our daily routines, a way of meditation and something that truly connects people that is, if it comes from the heart. When singing, he tries to connect to that divinity so that others can take part in it, if only for a song. Matt’s been influenced by some of the greats, including Coldplay's Chris Martin, Simon and Garfunkel, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder, among others. This melting pot of great sounds has made his music what it is today: organic, playful and thoughtful, with influences from many genres.
STREAM: "One Last Time"
Ruh, which means “Soul” in Arabic, formed in Stockholm, Sweden ten years ago by Fredrik Sundberg (vocals) and Jens Handell (guitar). The band was completed with Daniel Sellberg (bass), Axel Bellinder (piano) and Magnus Frid (drums). Their repertoire grew quickly as Ruh started gigging at the local bars and clubs in the Stockholm area. After being discovered by Kattis Blom, a booking agent at Live Nation, Ruh started performing at bigger venues all over the country. During a nationwide tour, the band played together with successful Swedish and Scandinavian acts such as Bo Kaspers Orkester and The Ark. During this time, their debut album 01 fell into the hands of members of The Who, which liked what they had heard and asked Ruh to be their opening act in Ericsson Globe Arena, Sweden’s largest indoor arena. Ruh went back to the studio to record their sophomore effort, Find the Essence and Multiply, which was very well-received. The album was launched in a rather unique way with 11 exclusive gigs featuring one song each, performed live face-to-face at the homes of 11 fans. Ruh continues to write and record for their third album Meanwhile which presents a massive sound that combines the two earlier albums in style, but also takes a leap forward with sonic expressions.
STREAM: "The Music"
Named after her passionate and exuberant personality, Scarlette is the pseudonym for the UK singer-songwriter, Karen Barrow. Over the past few years, she has co-written material with the likes of Metrophonic (James Morrison), Grant Black (Craig David), Julian Emery (Lissie), Paul Simm (Neneh Cherry) and Tolga Kashif (Queen Symphony). Musically, Dusty Springfield, Annie Lennox and Ella Fitzgerald influence her while she appeals to the fans of Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge and Natasha Bedingfield. Her music has been featured on the VH1 Television show Tough Love and she's been featured in PopJustice, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Star Magazine, Music Week, Record of the Day, Look Magazine, Gay Times, Diva Magazine, NME and more. In addition, she’s enjoyed some Billboard club chart success too with a remix of one of her previous singles. Her music has been supported by the likes of BBC Radio 2, while her latest song “Helena” has begun to see an increase of airplay in the United States. She is currently on a West Coast U.S. tour and has had her new single produced by Cenzo Townsend (U2, Snow Patrol, Florence + The Machine).
Behind the curious and self-ironic name Lydmor, Danish for “Mother of Sound,” you'll find the 25-year old, Danish singer-songwriter and producer, Jenny Rossander. Despite her young age, Lydmor has experienced more than most musicians ever will. She has toured most of mainland Europe and Southeast Asia on her own, been on “trust tours” all across the European continent, where she performed, lived and slept in the homes of her fans. She collaborated with renowned European artists such as Arsenal from Belgium and Alle Farben from Germany and has established herself as one of the most promising underground artists in her native Denmark. Exposing herself in the quest of achieving true artistic integrity, she is about to take her career to an entirely new level with the release of her new self-titled album. Stacked with intensity, emotion and personal experience, the album portrays a woman far beyond her age telling stories of love, lust and tragedy with Lydmor’s fragile and yet breathtaking voice, on top of an ambient and oddly catchy, electronic landscape.
STREAM: "I Love You"
MONKS OF MELLONWAH
Monks Of Mellonwah is a quartet from Sydney, Australia who are quickly establishing themselves on the indie music scene. Formed six years ago by high school friends, Monks of Mellonwah combine various creative energies to create a timeless fusion of alternative, indie and film-inspired rock/pop. Last March, they released their long-awaited debut album Turn The People (Gatcombe Music) as they teamed up with Grammy-winning producer Keith Olson (Fleetwood Mac, Ozzy Osbourne) and acclaimed engineer Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons). Since its release, the album has received critical acclaim as well as significant radio airplay in the U.S., Australia, UK, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Russia, Peru, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa on such stations as KNRK Portland, KNDD Seattle, KFRQ McAllen, BBC Radio 2 and Triple J. Monks of Mellonwah have also built their fan base from the ground up in the states through live shows by supporting the likes of Scott Stapp (the voice of Creed), Sevendust and Saving Abel. They are currently touring in Australia and are in the studio recording the follow-up to Turn The People, due out this year.
STREAM: "Tear Your Hate Apart"
Unsigned Canadian singer/songwriter Forest Blakk is raising a lot of eyebrows with his incredible songwriting style and captivating live ability. Blakk, born Jesse-James Cameron, was the lead singer and songwriter for the successful roots/reggae outfit Makeshift Innocence before finding a new path and musical identity. Blakk's new sound was discovered just before his pseudonym was inspired by the Black Forest in Germany, the birthplace of his favorite author and Nobel Prize winner, Hermann Hesse. Forest Blakk's past has seen him living on the streets of Jamaica and rising above a difficult childhood to find his path in life, centered around the powerful and emotional music he creates. Inspired by roots, rock, reggae and soul, Forest Blakk blends a multitude of styles into a very organic, yet inspiring contemporary musical fusion. His recently released lyric video for his first single, "Love Me," has captured the attention of fans and industry alike.
VIDEO: "Love Me"
Born in 2013 amidst the ashes of three totally diverse bands, Melbourne’s Villainettes create music from a dark and strange place. Impressive shimmering synth-like guitars, pumping beats of claustrophobia and bass full of hypnotic grit, drive their sound. With influences ranging from The Stone Roses, Joy Division and The Horrors, the quartet that includes members Michael Lindquist, Jonathan Reisacher, Francis White and Josh Dawes, have a distinct energetic restlessness burning in their souls. Having released their debut EP Love Cuts with legendary producer, Paul “Woody” Annsion (Children Collide, Howl, Black Cab) in October and soon to begin working on their debut album, it’s now time to bring their musical demon to life! They've already gained airplay support on multiple Alternative tastemaker stations both in the U.S. and internationally. Their single “Diamonds” has drawn comparisons to The Clash and Kasabian from fans and is beginning to gauge interest from bloggers and A&R executives.
Formed in Abilene, TX and now calling Austin home, The Rocketboys swiftly achieved critical acclaim from their debut EP Sing, Bird, Sing as well as their debut album, 20,000 Ghosts. Their 2012 breakthrough release Build Anyway took them from regional indie heroes to a wildly popular national act. Members Brandon Kinder (lead vocals/guitar), Justin Wiseman (keyboards), Josh Campbell (bass), Josh Rodgers (drums) and Lang Freeman (guitar) create music that often equates to seminal artists as Coldplay, Arcade Fire and Death Cab for Cutie, highlighting their prolific songwriting, artistic depth and ability to retain mass appeal. Earlier this month, they released their latest EP Left I Right (Black Magnetic Records), recorded and mixed by 10x GRAMMY-winning producer Joe Chiccarelli (U2, The Killers, Morrissey) and mastered by GRAMMY nominee Emily Lazar (Foo Fighters, HAIIM, Vampire Weekend). With music placements on hit shows such as Glee, Elementary and Private Practice as well as a strong live show; The Rocketboys are poised for a big year. The quintet is currently on the road with upcoming stops in Philadelphia, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and more.
STREAM: "Loud and Clear"
Five years ago, Bjørn Tveit and Hans Thomas Kiær spent their summer as workers on a farm. Without any experience, they spent their savings on guitars, a microphone and a sound card. Six months later, their first song was completed under the moniker Alfred Hall and after the second gig ever, the rave reviews started coming in and the band quickly became the band to watch out for in 2012. The debut single “So Bright” was a hit on international tastemaker radio stations and on Norwegian radio making way for the album Wilderness, which was released exclusively in Norway. The single “Lose That Gun” was featured at several short-film festivals and the video was nominated as “Scandinavia’s best music video” at the Bergen International Film Festival last year. Next, the band landed a synch placement with Netflix, using their song “Safe and Sound” on the official trailer for the Netflix original series Derek. Soon after, the Mexican beer brand Cerveza Pacifico Clara used their song “Someplace Beautiful” in their release campaign in the U.S. Last month, Alfred Hall released their latest self-titled EP globally on iTunes and Spotify through Waterfall/Phonofile – already Alfred Hall are generating some great early response on their new music. The 2013 MUSEXPO alum are releasing a new single in Norway next month through Sony Music Norway called “The King of Cape.”
Germany’s Malky is a duo comprised of singer Daniel Stoyanov and producer Michael Vajna. When Daniel met Michael, they both shared the same vision; music was their passion and their future. Together they wrote songs for various Germany pop stars but writing for other artists wasn’t the main goal for the two so they moved to Leipzig, Germany to break free, step out of their comfort zone and find their own sound. The result is a debut album that musically jumps between the past and the present, taking its roots from Motown and The Beatles, but also from contemporary artists. They’ve built up quite the reputation as some of the biggest German newspapers are declaring the album a masterpiece, giving Malky the ability to sign with every German major record company right now. The duo just finished a sold-out tour in Germany and executed very successful showcases at the Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg and Sonic Visions in Luxembourg last year. In addition, they’ve been generating tastemaker radio support worldwide. They are scheduled to perform at Eurosonic 2015 this week as one of the buzz acts at the event followed by their next tour.
STREAM: "History Of Broken Hearts"
Based in Berlin, Germany, FANCI has been making music since the age of six. His sonic journey started behind the piano, which then inspired him to pick up the guitar under the tutelage of guitarist Rudy Stevenson (George Benson, Nina Simone) with whom he also began to write songs. FANCI’s early demos were heard by Diana Music & Vision Publishing, who quickly signed him, which led to his debut release of two songs under the Berlin-based indie label, Wemby Records. The tracks entered the musical landscape under the moniker of Gemini and led to regional success. From there, FANCI continued to evolve as an artist and musician and also began producing for a number of other German artists. In the midst of his production work, FANCI began to write songs for his first album, with an international appeal in mind. Musically blending rock, soul, pop, new wave and funk, FANCI draws from influences that include Jamiroquai, Prince, Curtis Mayfield, Peter Gabriel and David Bowie.
STREAM: "Funky Sexy Cool"
Growing up in California, splitting his time between Venice and Sacramento, Sean Kelly was influenced by SoCal Reggae greats Sublime, The Expendables, Dirty Heads, Slightly Stoopid and Rebelution as much as early rap icons like Slick Rick, Big L, Mac Dre and E-40. As a youngster, all he wanted to do was create and perform his own music. Drawing inspiration from the singing styles of Michael Jackson, Prince and Otis Redding, Sean came up with his own unique style of music that incorporates the California surf and beach sound. The debut single, “Hands In The Sky,” has created a bond with the warm sun and the motion of the ocean, providing the perfect summer-like backdrop whilst taking musical inspirations from Jack Johnson, John Mayer and Vance Joy. There is a long list of goals that this young artist and pro surfer wants to accomplish, with standards set as high as the Cali sun, the sky is truly the limit for Sean Kelly.
STREAM: "Hands In The Sky"
At the age of four, Laurel knew she wanted to become a singer. Born and raised in a small UK town between Southampton and Portsmouth, at the age of seven, she wanted to be Britney Spears. A few years later she discovered the music of Laura Marling, picked up a Spanish guitar and started to figure out how to play folk music. Since then, the now 19 year-old has discovered her own style of music which can be heard in her self-penned and self-produced, cinematic songs that hinge on seductive, sultry vocals and have a haunting blend of piano, beats and strings. Signed to Turn First Artists, home to Iggy Azalea, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora and Dan Croll, on the strength of a single demo two years ago, she moved to London to work with a host of A-list writers and producers. Her debut single, “Fire Breather” has garnered an incredible amount of success hitting over 500,000 views on YouTube and over 250,000 plays on SoundCloud. Following on from there Laurel released her debut EP in April, from which she unveiled two additional singles: “To The Hills” which now has over 1.5 million plays on Spotify and “Shells” which was added to Radio 1’s BBC Introducing playlist and was also featured on Zane Lowe’s Next Hype. She’s toured with John Newman and Dan Croll, performed at the BBC Radio 2 Live Lounge with Sam Smith, has received further airplay support from Radio 1's Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens and she’s already confirmed for SXSW next March in Austin.
In 2013, Laurie Erskine uploaded the songs “Loot” and “Long Drive” on SoundCloud under the moniker Club Kuru and then the London songwriter/producer’s music was mysteriously taken down. Instead of fading into obscurity, he returned with a euphoric, ethereal R&B-laced track called “All The Days” back in April. That set the pace for Club Kuru, who is back with a new flawless indie/electronic production called "”Seesaw.” The haunting track with smooth vocals already impresses fans and the tastemakers in the blogosphere, who are demanding repeated listens and more music. Club Kuru’s music was also embraced last year by the influential tastemaker global radio program Passport Approved, which helped introduce Club Kuru’s music to fans worldwide and fuel further interest for this talented writer and artist.
THE MAJORITY SAYS
The Majority Says is a Swedish pop rock outfit formed in 2010 composed of Timo Krantz, Mathias Jonasson, Jonathan Lennerbrant, Emil Berg, Axel Engström and Hanna Antonsson. On Valentine’s Day of 2012, they released their debut EP Best Night Ever featuring the single “114.” That track was featured in a large Television advertising campaign in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe for the new Viasat Film Channel and other songs by the band were featured in Pretty Little Liars, MTV’s Catfish and The Real L Word as well as garnering U.S. and global radio support on Passport Approved on various influential FM radio stations. In October of the same year, they released their album Under Streetlights exclusively in Scandinavia. In December of last year, they released their second EP, Between Love And Simple Friends. The band’s international debut self-titled album was released in August of this year through Queenside/Warner Music Germany.
STREAM: "Silly Ghost"
Jérôme Amandi was born in Bordeaux and began making music at the very young age of four. After being influenced by the likes of Supertramp and Neil Young, he wrote his first song at 13 years old. Under the stage name Talisco, his first EP My Home was released last year on the independent label ROY Music and those five tracks laid the foundation for his Electro-Funk debut album, Run, which was released this year on ROY Music/Virgin Records Germany. He was featured in this newsletter early last year and has since gone on to European success. Talisco has performed at several nationally known festivals this year in Germany including Energy In The Park in Munich and the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg. Talisco is currently on the road through the end of the year with stops in Switzerland, France, Germany and more.
STREAM: "The Keys"
Combining an inventive mixture of groovy indie-pop, blues and Rock & Roll is Iceland’s Kaleo. Formed just 18 months ago, members Jökull Júlíusson (vocals/guitar), Davíð Antonsson (drums/vocals), Daníel Ægir Kristjánsson (bass) and Rubin Pollock (lead guitar) have experienced considerable success and earned quite the buzz in the Icelandic musical landscape. Last year’s single “Vor í Vaglaskógi” helped ignite their fire and since then, they've had three No.1 hit singles in Iceland. Their self-titled debut album peaked at No.1 and they were nominated in every possible category at the Icelandic Listeners Awards, where they won for Best Singer, Newcomer of the Year and Best Album. They also won the Best Newcomer Award at the Icelandic Music Awards, solidifying their connection with the fans in Iceland. Kaleo have performed at a number of festivals, signed with the Sena record label and have received airplay support on multiple radio stations and are currently being courted by numerous labels and publishers.
STREAM: "All The Pretty Girls"
Sydney, Australia's Little Bastard is a mighty seven-piece punk-string band that incorporates guitars, bass, fiddle, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, beats and a load of voices and memorable tunes that will undoubtedly draw you into their sound. Formed just two years ago, they’ve rapidly become one of Australia's most entertaining and undeniable live acts as members Ross Tipper, Johnny Took, Ed Rowe, Daniel D’arcy, Trevor Davies, Liam Hoskins and Matty Took give it their all on stage. Their self-titled debut album (FourIIFour) has drawn inspiration of everyone from Earl Scruggs and Neil Young to Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac and fans have compared them to the likes of Los Angeles' Flogging Molly, Australia's The Smith Street Band and Chicago’s The Tossers. The Bastards, as they are also known as in Sydney, smashed out their debut album in just eight days with producer Lachlan Mitchell (The Jezebels).
STREAM: "Be My Kind"
Júníus Meyvant is the artist name of Vestmann Islands born singer-songwriter Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson. In his early 20s, he stumbled upon a beat up guitar at his parent’s house and started experimenting with it. Using the guitar as an outlet, he managed to tame his inner beast and his sense for songs and melodies that burst like rockets. The uncontrollable urge for writing music and the constant flow of ideas kept him tossing and turning every night and day, forever and a day. For a while, he filtered his ideas through a band that didn't live up to his creative requirements so he decided to pursue his own path under the alter ego Júníus Meyvant. The sound he has created is a rich and afflicted take on freaky folk-pop with a familiar and soulful feel. The feeling you get from listening to the debut single “Color Decay” is equally as comfortable as resting under a thick wool blanket with a hot cup of cocoa or enjoying an exotic beverage on a hot sandy beach far and away. Unnar is currently in the studio working on his debut album (through Record Records who originally signed Of Monsters And Men), which should see release next Spring.
STREAM: "Color Decay"
Racing Glaciers, the five-piece outfit consisting of Tim Monaghan, Danny Thorpe, Matt Scheepers, Simon Andersson and Matt Welch, was originally conceived as an on-off collaboration. Their debut EP was recorded and produced in just five days in a living room, hit No.1 on Bandcamp and help build the band’s UK fan base. In early 2014, Racing Glaciers released their sophomore EP Ahead Of You Forever, which was mixed by Barny Barnicott (Arctic Monkeys) and allowed the band to receive critical acclaim, including reviews by Neon Gold, All Things Go and Clash. The quintet decided it was time to bring in an external producer for their third EP, Don't Wait For Me, and enlisted the talents of Jolyon Thomas, who has worked with Daughter, Sigur Ross and M83. Together, they have created the spacious stadium sound that Racing Glaciers has always strived for.
THE BLUE VAN
Denmark’s The Blue Van consists of Steffen Westmark (vocals and guitar), Søren Christensen (keyboard, vocals and guitar), Allan Villadsen (bass) and Per Jørgensen (drums and vocals). The quartet started at the young age of 12 when the members were inspired after hearing Jimi Hendrix for the first time in a TV commercial. The Blue Van have seen over 65 music placements, including music featured in the films and trailers of The First Time, Magic Mike, American Reunion, The Boys Are Back, Fright Night and That’s My Boy. The Blue Van has also seen their music placed in a variety of Television shows including Dallas, Hellcats, NCIS, CSI, 90210, Entourage, Hard Times of RJ Berger, Lie To Me, Shameless, Revenge, Body of Proof and Private Practice. Companies such as Samsung, T-Mobile and Red Lobster have made use of their music and the band’s track “There Goes My Love” was featured in the commercial for the initial launch of the Apple iPad. The Blue Van are also two-time BMI TV Music Award winners in 2010 and 2012 for their track “Independence,” which was named the Best TV Theme Song for the show Royal Pains. After releasing five albums to date, they’ve decided this time around to leave the traditional, and the safe, album format behind, in order to release only singles. “Illusion,” The Blue Van’s latest single in a string of ten, is about the point in life when you find “the one” and the anticipation of the life you’ve created together.
THESE REIGNING DAYS
These Reigning Days is made up of three experienced musicians that include Dan Steer (lead vocals), Joe Sansome (drums) and Jonny Finnis (bass/vocals). The trio have now firmly established themselves on the musical landscape as a formidable and impressive live band with strong songwriting skills. They’re one of the most promising unsigned U.K. rock bands with global potential to emerge in recent years since Coldplay, Muse, Keane and Radiohead. The forthcoming album, Opera of Love, produced by Yoad Nevo (Air, Morcheeba, Goldfrapp), was remixed by Grammy Award winner Adrian Bushby (Muse, Foo Fighters) and is expected to be released on September 21st. These Reigning Days are no strangers to the road, either; they’ve supported Bon Jovi in Milan, Italy at the San Siro stadium in front of 80,000 screaming fans (and had a No.1 rock single on the Italian charts) and they performed at the main stage of 2013’s Polish Woodstock. They just performed at the V-ROX Festival in Vladivostok, Russia a couple of weeks ago and are gigging throughout Europe for the next couple of months as well as preparing for major city tour dates in India with MTV and VH1 India. The band recently garnered support on XFM UK as well as early support on key influential U.S., German and Australian radio stations.
THE LULU RAES
The Lulu Raes are a four-piece outfit from Sydney, Australia comprised of members Eddie, Raras, Marcus and Tom, who combine their love of pop, Motown harmonies, and catchy weirdness to create their own danceable and infectious brand of indie/pop/rock. Having written with Sticky Fingers and influenced by The Strokes, The Flaming Lips and The Pixies, they have a sound that is best described part Talking Heads and part now-defunct Brisbane Indie quartet Yves Klein Blue. The Lulu Raes invite you to join them on their journey to your hearts with their single “The Way Life Runs,” which has been receiving extensive support on the global tastemaker radio show Passport Approved. The track, which has been compared to the likes of Phoenix, is a lively indie track complete with a chipper hook.
STREAM: "Way Life Runs"
Jodee is a singer/songwriter who comes from the rural environs of a small town in Pennsylvania, the same state that has produced a number of other successful female artists, namely P!nk, Christina Perri and Vanessa Carlton. Utilizing everything from traditional hymns and vintage records, to playful harmonies and made-up material, making music quickly became a passion for Jodee. She now resides in an artistic community of fellow singer/songwriters and performs regularly in both Los Angeles and Manhattan, earning comparisons to Dido, Sia, Lissie and Norah Jones. Jodee has been hard at work putting together her latest EP, After The Hurricane, which showcases her smoky tones and impassioned vocal abilities. The title track is an up-tempo number with lyrical references to one of the greatest films of all time, The Wizard of Oz.
STREAM: "Emerald City"
Born and raised in Germany, music has always been a priority in Michael Schulte’s life. When he was a young child, he would always be singing and constantly serenading his family with his early vocal skills. After teaching himself to play the guitar when he was 16, he began to cover popular songs and uploaded them to YouTube. Since 2006, the number of fans increased, reaching the millions, and the response was overwhelmingly positive; his cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” gathered over 4.5 million views. Michael’s debut album, Wide Awake, was released in 2012, and immediately earned him a No.1 in the Germany Newcomer Charts. Michael has returned with his sophomore album, The Arising, which turned the small stories of his everyday life into brilliant songs. With the new album, the 24 year-old is giving honest music straight from the mind of a mature artist; music that will not only touch you, but grip you, that doesn’t just move you, but will send you on a journey.
One summers night some years ago, Dylan Frost (vocals/guitar) was finishing up a night of busking when Paddy Cornwall (bass/vocals) walked past and the two struck up a conversation. Bonding over mutual hobbies, the lads added Seamus Coyle (lead guitar), Freddy Crabs (keys/synth) and Beaker Best (drums/percussion) to form Sticky Fingers. Musically, they describe their sound as a melting pot of reggae, psych, pop and bourbon, with comparisons to The Clash, Pink Floyd and Arctic Monkeys. The Sydney quintet released their debut album, Caress Your Soul, in March of 2013 that resulted in multiple charting singles and a spot on the Triple J Hottest 100. The album produced three singles that reached high rotation on national Australian radio where the song “Caress Your Soul’ peaked at No.17 on the ARIA single charts. Tickets to see Sticky Fingers sold just as fast as the album did, nearly selling-out every venue that they performed at; playing 32 dates in 40 days in Holland, UK and France on their European tour. Their sophomore album, Land of Pleasure, was just released on August 1st containing the single “Just For You,” which packs a massive, must-listen chorus. Sticky Fingers is promoting the album by touring Australia throughout September and October.
STREAM: "Just For You"
Two childhood friends met on the midnight train home after a night out in downtown Gothenburg, Sweden. Victor Crusner and Fredrik Folkstad discussed old memories and had a great time connecting. They stayed in touch and began making music together. Ideas and visions turned into songs, which they then recorded piece by piece at different locations. Recorded partly in a 19th century inn as well as in a cabin in the Swedish west coast archipelago, the two created a full-length album under the moniker Manfred Kidd. With an amazing and unique sound, this is a band to be reckoned with. Their debut EP, Where Were You When You Were Us, has been compared to the likes of The Killers and Passion Pit. The Wild Honey Pie music blog touts the debut as “one of those EPs that manages to never dull, only heighten as it progresses, ending with an inevitable repeat play - i.e. infinite plays.” The duo are currently available for global signing, licensing, publishing and booking.
Twenty two year old Dubliner singer songwriter, Gavin James kicked off 2014 with two No.1 EP’s in Ireland followed by winning the Irish Choice Music Prize Award for “Song Of The Year.” His rise and development in his home market, has gained him sell-out headline dates across Ireland and support tours with acts such as Marina & the Diamonds, Ingrid Michaelson, Kodaline, Lianne La Havas and in March of this year with James Blunt on his sold-out stadium tour across Europe. Gavin’s talent comes from his mother’s side of the family. His great, grandparents were both famous Irish opera singers and had their own album released in the early 1900’s. Gavin began to play guitar at age eight. After leaving school, James gigged around Dublin's Temple Bar and quickly began getting himself heard. While working on his live technique, his confidence was growing also, which led to early support from A&R Worldwide back in 2012 and he ultimately signed his U.K. record deal and a few weeks ago publishing with Good Soldier Songs.
STREAM: "Remember Me"
Brighton, the city best known for giving the world Fatboy Slim and more recently the buzz rock act Royal Blood is now sharing their latest musical gem, Miamigo. The duo, consisting of members Liam and Jamie, has labeled their style of music as “Dark Pop” and the proof is in the pudding with their debut single “Opinions.” The track, layered with synths, massive hooks and intelligent songwriting, would fit perfectly in today's mix of bands that are bringing back the 80s sound with a modern twist, a la Chvrches, St. Lucia and Panama while possessing the same commercial potential of Bastille and The 1975. There is a major online and A&R buzz on the band and it’s only a matter of time before their international breakthrough. The band is currently writing and recording new material for their debut album – a global deal is imminent!
MONKS OF MELLONWAH
Monks Of Mellonwah is a four-piece outfit based in Sydney. The band consists of Vikrim Kaushik (vocals/guitar), Joe de la Hoyde (lead guitar), John de la Hoyde (bass) and Josh Baissari (drums). Winners of the awards for International Rock Artist of the Year at the Los Angeles Music Awards (2012) and Best Indie Rock Band at the Artists in Music Awards (2012), their musical influences range from such classic artists as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin to contemporaries such as Muse. Taken from their debut album, Turn The People, their latest single “Tear Your Hate Apart” was produced by Joe de la Hoyde and mixed by Grammy Award-nominated Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees). The Australian quartet recently finished the Passport Approved Tour on the West Coast, which also featured Lime Cordiale, Hamish Anderson and Giorgi + Leo, and just finished an East Coast tour supporting the voice of Creed, Scott Stapp. On Thursday, they began supporting Saving Abel, which will take them to Seattle, Portland and Las Vegas among other cities before they begin supporting Sevendust in August, which takes them to IL, IA, KS, OK and WI.
STREAM: "Tear Your Hate Apart"
Travis Caudle is an Australian-born singer/songwriter, who now calls North America his second home, that specializes in guitar-based songs that are lyrically preoccupied with transcending the trappings of the mind, living in the present moment and reinvention. He has toured all over Australia and North America, invited to perform at a number of international festivals including and his music has been featured in The CW’s Gossip Girl and ABC’s FlashForward. His latest EP, It's Just You, was released in December and recorded with Grammy-nominated Australian producer Mark Moffatt, best known for his work with Neil & Tim Finn, Divinyls and Keith Urban. A seasoned touring artist, Travis has performed over 600 tour dates in the past five years, supporting a variety of diverse artists including Kasey Chambers, Sia, The Black Crowes, Marty Willson-Piper of The Church, Hinder and many more.
STREAM: "Somewhat Grey"
Some of the most successful bands in Australia hail from Sydney: AC/DC, Midnight Oil, INXS, Divinyls, Icehouse, The Church, Wolfmother and the list continues to grow. Sydney’s latest offering may not be included on that list just yet, but their talent shouldn't stop them from being a global success. Enter Oli (guitar/vocals) and Tom (drums) who, together, are The Faults. Formed in a garage, ironically, the duo released their five-track Patients EP in 2012 which was produced be The E.L.F. (ex-Gerling frontman Darren Cross). Their 60s indie lo-fi rock sound has increased interest from both radio programmers and A&R executives with their demo single “Alexander,” which can be recommended to the fans of Jack White, The Strokes, The Libertines and The Raconteurs. The song is an absolute smash and surprisingly has yet to be discovered by Australian radio; The Faults have the ability to export globally like artists such as The Temper Trap, Gotye and Birds of Tokyo and are on the cusp of great global success.
Born in 2013 amidst the ashes of three totally diverse bands, Melbourne’s Villainettes create music from a dark and strange place. Impressive shimmering synth-like guitars, pumping beats of claustrophobia and bass full of hypnotic grit, drive their sound. With influences ranging from The Stone Roses, Joy Division and The Horrors, the quartet that includes members Michael Lindquist, Jonathan Reisacher, Francis White and Josh Dawes, have a distinct energetic restlessness burning in their souls. Their sound radiates a musical mix of The Temper Trap and Arcade Fire on a musical sound clash with The Pixies. Having recently recorded their debut EP with legendary producer, Paul “Woody” Annsion and soon to begin working on their debut album, it’s now time to bring their demon to life! Their single “Death Notice” has recently started to get support in the U.S. on Specialty Radio shows on such stations as KNDD Seattle, KNRK Portland, KAFA Colorado Springs, KFRR Fresno, KWSS Phoenix, WLKK Buffalo and many others before any Australian radio support to date.
STREAM: "Death Notice"
Dustin Tebbutt relocated from Sydney, Australia to Sweden for two years where he wrote and recorded his music. The result was the four track EP, The Breach (Eleven Music). Dustin wrote, produced and mixed the EP as well as played the majority of the music, which pays musical homage to Sigur Rós and Jose Gonzales. His debut single “The Breach” touched the hearts of many fans but also received support at radio; the song entered the Top 50 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 annual poll and other Australian radio advocates including FBi and Unearthed Radio. Zane Lowe at UK's BBC Radio 1 gave the track multiple spins along with airplay support Dustin earned on the influential Netherlands station, Radio 3FM as well as early support last year in the U.S. and worldwide via various tastemaker radio stations on the Passport Approved syndicated radio program. The EP is nearing Gold sales in Australia and he continues to impact globally, selling out shows in New York, London and Amsterdam.
STREAM: "The Breach"
Mike Del Rio and Crista Russo are the New York/Los Angeles electro-pop duo, best known as Powers. Mike Del Rio has previously written for Cheryl Cole, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, LP, Kylie Minogue and Skylar Grey while Crista has worked with Icona Pop. During a writing session last year, both Del Rio and Russo created a song called “Birthday.” That track was recorded by Selena Gomez and featured as the lead track on her debut solo album. Powers wrote and recorded the infectious track “Gimme Some,” which was featured in the J. Crew Mastercard Masterpass commercial during the Christmas holiday. The track combines an alternative, electronic/pop edge that is a smorgasbord of sounds from Capital Cities, LMFAO and Ting Tings all combined into one. The song has garnered its first radio support initially in Germany with DJ Franky’s show on Delta Radio and worldwide now on Passport Approved, which broadcasts on 41 FM stations across the globe. The song, which has a Passion Pit vibe to it, was available as a free download on their website and many fans took advantage. Powers is a head above the competition and should stay on your radar.
STREAM: "Gimme Some"
Back in the summer of 2005 vocalist Fredrik Sundberg and guitarist Jens Handel traveled to Cairo, Egypt, seeking musical inspiration. They took what they had - a half-finished song - and played. The audience was very touched and kept using the same word to describe the music: “Ruh,” which means “soul.” When the guys returned to Sweden, they came back with more than musical inspiration - they also returned with a name. The group was completed with bassist Daniel Sellberg, keyboard player Axel Belinder and drummer Magnus Frid, who each added their own personal touch to the band. The repertoire quickly grew and the quintet began playing live in Stockholm, building a fan base and attracting the attention of Kattis Blom, a booking agent at Live Nation, who set them up in larger venues. Their debut record, 01, somehow fell in to the hands of members of The Who, who asked Ruh to open their show in Globen, one of Sweden’s largest arenas. Afterward they retreated to a cabin in northern Sweden to create their second album, Find the Essence and Multiply, which includes happy-go-lucky ’60s pop and dramatic horn arrangements - and pretty much everything in between. After a few years of writing, recording and touring, Ruh was ready to create their third album, Meanwhile, a reflection of a stormy period in the bands life. It was a period of personal tragedies intertwined with great triumphs. The sound of the album combines the overall aesthetics of their first two albums in style, but also took a leap forward with sonic expressions inspired by the 80s.
STREAM: "The Music"
Though just 22 years of age, singer/songwriter/guitarist Hamish Anderson has been making waves in his native Australia since 2009. He is recognized for an impressive live show that encompasses a mix of blues, rock and folk with moments of loud, electric blues-soaked songs as well as delicate acoustic balladry. He’s also recorded with an impressive cast of accompanying musicians, including Wallflowers founding keyboardist Rami Jaffee and bassist Rob Calder (Kanye West). Since 2010 Hamish has released a trio of songs on Triple J’s Unearthed platform including: “Winter,” “Comes a Day” and “Nobody,” all of which charted within the rock/pop charts, peaking at No.1, No.2 and No.5, respectively. After topping the Triple J Unearthed charts, Hamish recorded a self-titled five-track EP in BJB Studio with American producer Eric J. Dubowsky (Art vs. Science, Weezer). The EP was engineered by Jean-Paul Fung (Birds of Tokyo, Silverchair) and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Dr John, The Shins), featuring the song “Howl.”
Irish five-piece Buffalo Sunn is comprised of songwriter Daniel Paxton (vocals/guitar), his brother Conor (bass/pedal steel guitar), Patrick McHugh (guitar, backing vocals), Jimmy Cullen (keys) and Donagh O'Brien (drums). They incorporate sounds from the '60s up to the present day, mixing big, reverb-laden vocals with tasty guitar work. The group was born in October 2013, emerging from the ashes of previous moniker Sweet Jane (under which name they'd performed with such luminaries as Suede, A Place to Bury Strangers and Glasvegas) with a change in musical direction, style and lineup. Their debut album, By the Ocean By the Sea, was released to great fanfare in Ireland in October 2014 and bowed in the Top 15. Produced by Pat McCarthy (U2, REM, Waterboys, Madonna), it earned universal acclaim from the Irish press: in four-star reviews, the Irish Daily Star praised Buffalo Sunn's "harmony-drenched vocals and psychedelic flavours," while the Irish Times noted the quintet's "strong, intuitive sense of West Coast US music." Buffalo Sunn has earned a formidable reputation as a live band, noted for their three-part vocal harmonies and inventive guitar and percussion. No strangers to the festival circuit, they've played CMJ in NYC and Music Matters in Singapore, along with Ireland's biggest fests, Oxegen and Electric Picnic.
STREAM: "By Your Side"
In a world where nearly every musician is put into a genre-specific box, we have been graced with a handful of artists as of late that defy that game. Someone that refuses to be put into a box is producer and songwriter Max Frost. We first mentioned Frost early last year after Atlantic Records Chairman Craig Kallman told us they’d just signed Frost to the major label. Hailing from Austin, TX, Frost developed his eclectic style of music playing in various projects while in his teens. After hearing the likes of Erykah Badu and D’Angelo, Frost began to incorporate hip-hop elements and touches of R&B into his blues-infused music. The result can be found in his debut single, “White Lies” which exploded online when it was released, topping The Hype Machine’s “Most Popular Tracks on Blogs Now” and the infectious track was featured in a recent Beats Music commercial. The song is taken from his five-song debut EP Low High Low which was released last year and has been building a foundation in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Germany and other territories and is poised to break globally in the coming months.
STREAM: "White Lies"
Kaitlin Riegel was born in Portland, Oregon and raised in the United States until the age of 12. Then her perfectly sane family ventured across the world and uprooted Kaitlin to Auckland, New Zealand. Now after living nearly half of her life in each country, she’s proud to be an American and a Kiwi. Learning to play piano and sing throughout her childhood became much more than a hobby. Kaitlin launched into songwriting when she performed at a local Arts Centre Coffee House open mic night, amongst the folk and country singers at a ripe young age. Now, her passion for music has never been stronger. Most of the music she creates revolves around intricate vocal parts but almost everything she writes is composed on her beloved Roland keyboard. Her goal, as for many musicians, is to get the music to reflect the lyric, which then bonds together to create an image in the listeners mind. She loves to experiment with sound to create an atmosphere and tell a story. The final result can be heard with her songs that were produced by Simon “Berkfinger” Berckelman (The Temper Trap, Silverchair, Wolfmother) which has drawn early musical comparisons to Lorde and Kimbra with a touch of Adele. Her single “Silhouettes” (the KIDFORCE radio mix) is already starting to draw early buzz at tastemaker radio worldwide and she recently released her debut EP, A Thought That Counts. Kaitlin Riegel is destined to be another great New Zealand-based global export and follow the success of Lorde, Naked & Famous, Gin Wigmore, Kimbra and many others.
Musical revolutions have become rare nowadays…but Manuel Bissig hopes to change that with his project ROZBUB, which will create a stir in German-speaking Switzerland. The 24-year-old guitarist, singer and songwriter connects dirty Jimi Hendrix-style riffs with dialect lyrics and is about to wake the Swiss dialect lyrics scene from its hibernation. Bissig released his debut album Wait A Second under the pseudonym “Manao,” which proved to be very popular, earning airplay on several different radio stations in Switzerland, TV appearances (“SF2 Musiclab”) and main stage slots at a few concerts (Honky Tonk Festival, Schuur, Huis-Festival). Recruiting bassist Lukas Kurmann and drummer Simon Gautsch, Bissig launched ROZBUB, which didn’t take long to find its first fans, amongst them acclaimed musician Reto Burrell. The band’s unique and energetic rock sound has been generating strong media, radio and live support across G/S/A (Germany, Switzerland, Austria).
STREAM: "Pay For Me"
In March 2008 Ingrid Olava released her debut album, Juliet’s Wishes, to both commercial and critical acclaim. It quickly reached Gold status in her native Norway and garnered three Norwegian Grammy nominations, for Best New Artist, Female Artist of the Year and Best Song. In February 2010 she followed up that success with her sophomore effort, The Guest, released on her own Daring Viola label through Universal. The album reached No.2 on the Norwegian album chart, No.1 on iTunes and Ingrid received the Best Female award at the 2011 Norwegian Grammys. She released the Please Welcome EP in November 2010 as her first international release, receiving a warm reception from European media including NME.com, Sunday Times Culture, Music Week and Drowned in Sound. For the past three years Ingrid has recorded film soundtracks and made her mark as an actress, with prominent roles in movies and TV series such as “Oslo,” “31 August” and “Lily Hammer” – but now she returns with her third album, Summer House, a diverse, eclectic effort featuring songs that are pure pop, others that are stripped-down ballads, a few with programmed beats and a lot with a great big layered synth sound.
STREAM: "Jackie Kennedy"
Gavin James began to play guitar at the age of eight. After leaving high school, he gigged around Dublin’s Temple Bar and quickly began getting himself heard and building a good local audience. The 21-year-old singer songwriter's career continues to shine as this red headed Dubliner, armed with an incredible voice and songs, had two No.1 EP’s in Ireland. He built a lot of industry attention and interest in Los Angeles in 2012 when he performed his first ever N. American show at MUSEXPO and the Worldwide Radio Summit in LA and also captured very early support on the influential tastemaker radio show Passport Approved. Last year, he won Ireland’s Choice Music Prize Award for “Song of The Year.” His rise and development in his home market has gained him sell-out headline dates across Ireland and supporting opportunities with Marina & the Diamonds, Ingrid Michaelson, Kodaline, Nouvelle Vague and Liana Le Havas. Just last month, he won his second Irish award - the “Rising Star Award” at the Irish Entertainment Awards 2014 and over the next few months, he will tour the UK and Europe with Island's new signing Lauren Aquilina, join Heather Nova on her European tour, support Kodaline in Dublin and tour with James Blunt on his European Tour in France, Ireland, Belgium and Switzerland.
STREAM: "Remember Me"
The Cornelius are a Spanish, rock-spirited band influenced by old records and contemporary pop sounds, composed of Andoni Arcos (bass), Toni B. Willisch (rhythm guitar), Davie Caneda (lead vocal/acoustic guitar) and José A. Vilas (keys). Formed seven years ago, they've managed to release three studio albums: Greatest Hits, 1960 and 2013's Walking In Circles, which was mixed by Adrian Hall (The Pet Shop Boys, Robbie Williams, The Black Eyed Peas) and mastered by Alan Douches (The Ramones, Fleetwood Mac, The Chemical Brothers). In the past few years, The Cornelius have performed alongside Morcheeba and Juliette Lewis at the finale of the Global Battle of the Bands and Villa de Bilbao as well as at MTV Galicia with The Temper Trap and Arcade Fire. Their latest achievement has been to be a part of the Coca-Cola Music Experience, where they recorded one of their best-known songs to date with “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.”
STREAM: "Everything's Alright"
Born into a musical family, Emma Longard’s life has always revolved around music. At the young age of 11, she began singing in an opera chorus while playing the violin and the piano. Her passion and love for Motown Soul and classical songwriters soon made it clear to her that she wanted to be a professional musician. Over the years, she continued her musical education and began to write her own songs and play in bands. Her unique voice and rare sense for melodies and lyrics became an important expression of herself. Today, it’s not only the soul of the 60s that makes Emma’s music as she found herself a mixture that is hard to describe; it’s the emphatic unpretentious way of Aretha Franklin meeting Bon Iver with Indie Soul. Her five song debut EP, Elle, was released on Modernsoul in June and has earned global blog and radio support.
GIORGI + LEO
Every so often a musical chemistry is made by the merging of two great talents who meet each other on the journey of life. Giorgi + Leo may come from two different sides of the world, but when they are together, they create beautiful music. Their life story involves journeys in Africa, Europe and the U.S. and their love story began when they met in Los Angeles, where Leo had moved to pursue a career in music. Leo produced a version of “When Doves Cry,” the top selling U.S. single of 1984 by Prince, which caught the attention and approval by Quinton Dean, a guitarist for Prince, who asked if he could play guitar on the track. After a few months of writing and producing their forthcoming album in London, the duo have returned to Los Angeles to put the finishing touches on a debut album and also garnered strong brands and synch interest.
STREAM: "When Doves Cry"
Hailing from Hamburg, Germany is the duo Hundreds. Formed just four short years ago and comprised of siblings Eva and Phillip Milner, their music has a minimalist electronic approach that includes extensive melodies and pop greatness. Their sound has been compared to Massive Attack, Dido and Little Dragon as they create a precise blend of post rock, synth pop, R&B, folk and electro. Their live show is purely epic and will appeal to fans of Imogen Heap, Frou Frou, Faithless and other intelligent electronic-based alternative music. Hundreds has been playing festivals all over Europe - Paris, London, Milan and Brussels among others. Hundreds spent 18 months working on their sophomore album, Aftermath, which reflected on their experiences of the last four years and have been in the studio writing and recording new material, which will be debuted in Los Angeles this spring. Hundreds creates music that thrives on tension, dynamics and hypnotic arcs of suspense. A sample of their latest creation can be found in the organically constructed song “Circus.”
Born in the late 80s/early 90s and sick of the values of our current generation's celebrity worship and glorified karaoke contests, Fake Club is the antithesis to a modern brand of music. Their tunes will make you tingle in places that were left behind when rock ‘n’ roll was a lifestyle. To their peers they are a threat; to the general public they are their new favorite band. The band exerts the onstage energy of a female Guns N’ Roses meets Rage Against The Machine in their own distinctive and infectious style. The U.K. all-female quintet comprised of Chloe, Carmen, Rosie, Aicha and Aisha approached their first album with an old school style; they recorded it live with a maximum of two takes per song. Appealing to the fans of The Veronicas, The Ting Tings and Bat For Lashes, Fake Club has received positive press in The Guardian, Arjan Writes, Digital Spy, XO Magazine, Front Magazine, VOLT and many other outlets. Fake Club curated the music for the British Comedy film The Powder Room starring Sheridan Smith, Jaime Winstone and Kate Nash that was released in the U.K. last month. One of the standout tracks from the upcoming album expected to be released soon is the bodacious “Generation.”
Born in Sydney, songstress Megan McInerney goes by the stage name of Meg Mac. At age 18, she moved to Perth to attend school and now at 22, she resides in Melbourne. Her influences include Adele, Sam Cooke and Amy Winehouse as well as the Motown sound and heavy doses of Soul music she grew up with. Her husky vocals have drawn comparisons to Nikka Costa and Macy Gray and she made a name for herself with her debut single, “Known Better.” Mac is currently working on her album, which is set to be released sometime next year. Her new single “Every Lie” is already getting Triple J Unearthed support and has been a recent music blog favorite. Meg is currently available for signing, licensing, booking, publishing and synch licensing in various markets worldwide.
STREAM: "Every Lie"
Eric Zayne is a soul infused pop-rock musician and record producer who blends electronics to create a sound that is edgy, yet unique. At the tender age of 13 years old, Zayne started developing himself as a musician by playing in multiple bands throughout his home city, Montréal. His first major gig was a five-year tour across Asia where he played keyboards, guitar and sang in a funk band; these formative years taught Zayne about songwriting, performing and how to connect with an audience. Less than a year ago, Zayne arrived in Los Angeles and opted to focus his music on pop alternative, through his influences, which range from Prince to The Beatles, Lenny Kravitz to James Brown. He spent the summer in the golden state touring and promoting his music, while recording and producing his first EP, Between Us (What If Records). Fans have compared Zayne’s music to Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Robin Thicke and Gavin DeGraw.
STREAM: "True North"
FIVE MILE TOWN
The young quartet from Auckland known as Five Mile Town is made up of Louis McDonald (vocals, guitar), Adam Quigley (guitar), Levi Heeringa (bass, vocals) and Ryan Wilson (drums, vocals). As they evade requests to define their sound, they have admitted that if they had to describe it, they'd say it’s alt/country/folk/rock. Nonetheless, they’ve managed to get support from Triple J Unearthed, international support from the globally syndicated Passport Approved radio program and even won the 2012 International Songwriting Competition in the teen category for their debut EP. Five Mile Town’s demos were sent to A&R Worldwide last year by Ian McDonald who turned the previously unsigned Lorde on to Universal Music New Zealand who signed her several years ago. Five Mile Town have been working non-stop writing and recording new music and the result is their latest single, the infectious and melodic “Curious Creature,” which is taken from their new EP.
STREAM: "Curious Creature"
When Talisco was a teenager, he discovered music and the guitar. Inspired by the likes of Slash, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder, he began to write his own songs. Soon his bedroom was transformed into a home studio with machines weaving hypnotic canvases for the guitar riffs along with his vocals, somewhere between the fragile soul of Nick Drake and the lyrical genius of Jeff Buckley. Walking the fine lines of trip hop and pop folk songs, in between is where you'll find the Talisco sound. His debut EP, My Home (Roy Music/Universal) was released this year and gained a ton of momentum with the single “Your Wish.” Another track that is not found on the EP but starting to gain notice from radio programmers worldwide is the vulnerable, yet beautiful song “So Old.”
STREAM: "Your Wish"
Suvi Richter, best known to her fans as simply “Suvi,” is an artist and songwriter from Stockholm. Her sweet voice together with the electro influence brings a world of sounds and images to an intimate and secret place. Suvi creates music that contains cinematic beats and melodies with orchestral elements and some light hints of folk; drawing comparisons to Sweden’s Tove Lo and Kate Boy. In a crowded world of female electro-pop artists, Suvi stands out with her soaring melodies and brilliant, yet not overdone production. She collaborated with producers Julius Duhs and Robin Svensk, best known as Robin Rocks & Rubio, who have worked with Nervo, Miike Snow and the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Loreen. Releasing her material on her own label/record company called BeatRoot, “Bleeding From Your Love” is her latest single, which is beat-heavy and bass driven. The song reached the Top 10 on Hype Machine’s Popular Chart and continues to build momentum at radio.
STREAM: "Bleeding For Your Love"
Formed last year in Stockholm, Cape Lion is the outcome when producers/songwriters Carl-Johan Sevedag and Martin Wiklund put their heads together. Coming from widely scattered musical backgrounds, Carl-Johan grew up listening to and producing hip-hop while Martin had an indie pop background. Together, the electro pop duo delivers music with timeless hooks and melodies that stick right from the start. Their first single, “You Kept Dreaming” was released in early spring, giving the masses their first taste of Cape Lion. Their second single, “Jennie” pays homage to the 90’s with the thick synths and upbeat groove. The song was born out of studio sessions that weren’t originally intended for the public but has earned praise from music blogs and is starting to get noticed globally on radio stations thanks to the influential syndicated radio program Passport Approved. Cape Lion has also been gaining the attention of several major labels and publishers.
Matthew Daniel Siskin began writing songs under the stage name Gambles in August of last year. There wasn’t a specific goal or motive, other than addressing the past few years of his life with things that had gone unsaid for far too long. Raised in upstate New York on heavy doses of Joni Mitchell andMotley Crue, his father gave him his first guitar as a child, when he taught himself nearly 100 Leonard Cohen songs. His single and EP of the same name, “Far From Your Arms,” has drawn the attention and praise of some of the most influential online music outlets in the world, including Pitchfork, The Fader, Elle, Spin, Stereogum and more with his lo-fi folk that conveys heavy lyrics and an innocent voice. The New York City-based artist is preparing to release his full-length debut soon and will finish up the year on the road stateside and in the UK. He is booked by ITB’s Lucy Dickins (Adele, Mumford & Sons).
STREAM: "Safe Side"
Jett Rebel, born Jelte Tuinstra, grew up on a heavy dose of his family’s musical influences, as well as his own soul records. Before he could walk on his own two feet, Jett was picking up instruments, which sparked his early curiosity. At a very young age, he started using a tape recorder and a toy recorder to make music, while writing songs and performing them in front of anyone that would pay him attention, all by the age of 10. Exploring musical boundaries while playing a variety of genres, from Funk to Rock, Jazz to Medieval choir music, Jett would sing them all. Now the Amsterdam-based artist creates his own style of music that is best described as Indie Soul as musical influences can be heard from Sly Stone to David Bowie and Prince to Paul Simon. His latest track “Do You Love Me At All” has started to build momentum on blogs and radio.
STREAM: "Do You Love Me At All"
Matthew Mole admits he may not be the best at speaking, but through his music, he’s a natural. The Cape Town, South African electronic/folk-inspired musician who was featured in the A&R Worldwide newsletter at the start of this year, tries to live his life a little different to the way most people think it should be done. With so many influences, ranging from Mumford & Sons to Gold Panda, Matthew creates folk with an electronic backbone. He recorded a number of demos at his home studio which ended up becoming his Same Parts, Same Heart EP. His track “You And Your Crown” won the Converse “Get Out Of The Garage” competition, which enabled him to perform at London's legendary 100 Club on Oxford Street and fly to New York City to record a song for their “Rubber Tracks” campaign in November of last year. His debut album, The Home We Built, was released in July and made South African chart history by becoming the first domestic artist to debut at No.1 on the iTunes SA chart. The album, recorded with producer Matthew Fink (Tailor, Shadowclub, Nakhane Toure), outsold the entire Top 10 charting artists the week of its debut, which included JAY Z, Robin Thicke, Imagine Dragons, Michael Bublé and The Rolling Stones combined and is the biggest selling domestic artist on SA iTunes this year; No.1 for three weeks and still Top 20 three months after its debut. Matthew has been featured as the Record Of The Day in the UK three times this year, performed in front of 28,000 screaming fans at 94.7FM Highveld Stereo’s Joburg Day (as seen here) and performed at the V-Rox Festival in Russia. There is strong label and booking agent interest from both sides of the Atlantic.
STREAM: "Take Yours I'll Take Mine"
Formed in 2008 over their mutual love for records, Los Angeles history and the beach, Allah-Las consists of members Miles Michaud (singer/guitar), Pedrum Siadatian (electric guitar/vocals), Spencer Dunham (electric bass/vocals) and Matthew Correia (drums/percussion/vocals). In the infant stage of the band, Correia, Dunham and Siadatian were also co-workers at Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard, one of the largest independent music stores in the world. They released their own first 7” in 2011, “Catamaran" b/w "Long Journey,” followed up with their second single “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind” b/w “Sacred Sands”a year later. In September of last year, Allah-Las released their self-titled debut as they toured effortlessly throughout Europe and along the California coast; where they built a reputation as a laid-back, grooving band with an incredible live show and have received positive feedback from bloggers and music sites globally, including ink from Brooklyn Vegan, Aquarium Drunkard and NRGM. Their latest release on Innovative Leisure is “Had It All” b/w “Every Girl” on 7” 45 RPM vinyl, released last month, with a digital release of January 2014. Allah-Las just completed a sold out UK/European tour from May through August playing 75 dates. They also kept busy last spring and summer on the road performing at all the major European festivals including “Primavera,” “Great Wide Open,” “Pukkelpop,” “La Route du Rock,” “Way Out West,” “Open Air Basel, Festival Yeah!,” “Green Man” and more. Their track “Every Girl” will be featured in the new AMC show Low Winter Sun and they have upcoming shows at the Mercury Lounge in New York City this Thursday and the Troubadour in Los Angeles on Wednesday, October 2nd. Look for them to be signing to a major shortly.
At the impressionable age of 13, when most kids are only interested in video games and spending time with friends, B Robin began playing the guitar after spending several years playing the trumpet. In no time at all, he knew that this was the path that was paved for him and a career in music was not only his passion but in his soul. Impressing fans and industry alike with his talent, B Robin recently signed a worldwide publishing deal with BMG Chrysalis leading to future collaborations on upcoming songs by multi-Platinum global recording artists. B Robin has just released a new single titled “I Don’t Like To Wait,” which can easily be described as one of the most anticipated debut singles from an up and coming Swedish artist. His soulful voice will fit comfortably on the radio between the Justin Timberlakes and Robin Thickes of the world, but also shines through with his originality and writing. B Robin is currently unsigned for the world.
STREAM: "I Don't Like To Wait"
KITTENS OF THE INTERNET
The fresh new band called Kittens of the Internet has absolutely nothing to do with Sylvester from Looney Tunes, Tom of Tom & Jerry or even Heathcliff from the old school comic strips. The duo consisting of Mauhuia Bridgman-Cooper and Katie Scott is based in Auckland, New Zealand and describe their sound as “Alternative Dream Pop.” These cool cats (pun intended) began making music together in January of this year and have built quite the momentum recently with their debut single, “Living The Dream,” which has garnered strong international radio support on the influential new music syndicated radio show Passport Approved. The duo met while Katie was making coffees at a recording studio where Mahuia came to compose jingles. The two bonded immediately over their love and inspiration of music, films, theatre and life experiences. Having successes before starting KOTI, Katie was an accomplished songwriter and Mahuia an acclaimed producer. Between the two, they’ve worked with an impressive who’s who of names in the New Zealand music scene including Ladyhawke, SJD, OMC, Brooke Fraser, Midnight Youth and more. With the current success of Lorde and the talents of KOTI, New Zealand may just be the next musical hotbed for export music.
STREAM: "Living The Dream"
MARTIN & JAMES
Martin & James’ story began in the town of Coatbridge, just east of Glasgow, Scotland. The two have known each other as long as they can remember. The chemistry was immediately apparent, their experiments facilitated and encouraged by James’ father, who kept a small Roland 8 track recorder at his home. A member of The Silencers, contemporaries of celebrated 1980s Scottish acts like Simple Minds, Del Amitri and Big Country, he ensured that the dream of becoming a musician was less far-fetched than it might have seemed. After years of working on their music, in the late 2000s they received an unexpected call from a German management company which discovered their songs online and wanted to set them up in the German capital for the summer. Aware that chances like this are far and few between, Martin & James quit their jobs and their confidence paid off: Universal Records Germany offered a deal. Relocated to Berlin, their reputation spread fast, fueled by social networking sites and the buzz of the internet. The release of EPs in 2009 (Bad Dream) and 2010 (Wrong Directions) helped propel their ascent, while collaborations with Travis’ Fran Healy and Iain Archer (Snow Patrol) found their way onto 2011’s eponymous debut album. The duo toured heavily, opening for The Stereophonics, Bryan Adams, Paul Weller, Jake Bugg, Razorlight and James Morrison. Life's A Show marks a huge leap forward for Martin & James; recorded in Berlin and Los Angrles, the backbone of every song embodies their harmonies.
THESE REIGNING DAYS
These Reigning Days music is anthemic, epic stadium rock, fusing layers of strong but understated guitar lines with a twisting, indie-pop synth sound quietly driving the compositions. Drawing on a great range of influences their songs, penned by Dan Steer, are memorable, danceable and instantly accessible whilst still retaining much depth for those who want to glean more from their music. Dan's stunning vocals and soaring guitar are underpinned with a pulsing rhythm section from drum phenomenon Joe Sansome and formidable bassist Jonny Finnis. They have been referred to in the industry as "the best live three piece since Muse" on a number of occasions.
The band first received acclaim supporting Mercury darlings Metronomy and have rapidly gained a reputation as a powerful and impressive live act. They are currently being championed by BBC Introducing in the UK which has led to National BBC Radio airplay. As a result of a barnstorming performance in Los Angeles at Musexpo recently, they are now one of the buzz bands of 2013 and the band's management are now reviewing multiple label, licensing, publishing and sync offers. In August they are playing the main stage at the Polish Woodstock in front of 500,000 people and Live Nation recently invited them to support Bon Jovi as the only support band at The San Siro stadium in Milan.
In the last year they have released two singles which have had global airplay. They've recorded a phenomenal album with producer Yoad Nevo (Goldfrapp, Duran Duran, Sugababes, Pet Shop Boys) which will be released later this year. Their cinematic sound lends itself well to the big screen and a track has just appeared in a major feature film starring Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Ecclestone. This Summer they have a full festival schedule including headlining a stage at Glastonbury, Liverpool Sound City, Go North in Scotland and The Polish Woodstock. Later this year they will be touring in Europe and the US.
The three-piece alternative rock outfit Dinosaur Pile-Up broke out of the enthusiastic Leeds, England rock scene at the end of the last decade as their debut album Growing Pains received complimentary comparisons to the cream of ’90s college rock music, while touring with the likes of Pixies, Feeder, Cage The Elephant and Twin Atlantic. With three singles added into rotation at BBC Radio 1, they quickly became one of the hottest-tipped of a new generation of UK rock acts, and the latest incumbent of the “grunge revival” at the hands of a media hungry for one. Last month Matt Bigland, Mike Sheils and James Sacha released their sophomore effort Nature Nurture, an album that builds on the crisp, euphoric power-pop of their debut, but paints it in broader colors and a wider emotional range. While retaining what made the rock world fall for them in the first place, it revels in the rich history of British pop from the 60s and 70s with a distinct element of the 90s. The lead single “Arizona Waiting” has been named the “Hottest Record In The World” by Zane Lowe (influential DJ on BBC Radio 1) and they just finished their headline tour in the UK, with future U.S. dates to be named shortly.
STREAM: "Arizona Waiting"
Vance Joy has an original voice which at first he kept to himself. Feeding on a diet of The Pogues, Paul Kelly, and whatever else was playing, he cut his teeth performing at open mic nights in Melbourne. It is folk music with pop influences. His songs capture the familiar pulse of everyday experiences in a unique and celebratory manner, while his lyrics will reach out to you and hold on for a moment. A perfect example is his latest single, “Riptide,” taken from his God Loves You When You're Dancing EP. The song has worked its way into fans’ hearts, winning more and more people over with each passing day. As the song continues to climb the charts it was recently certified Gold by ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) and reached No.1 on Hype Machine’s Most Popular Chart within hours of release. Vance Joy shows signs of following the success of Gotye and fellow Australasian Lorde – flawless musicianship, great musical melodies and intelligent lyrics! Following his signing to Atlantic Records, he’s been busy on tour criss-crossing the globe for tours in Australia, Canada and the US.
Kingswood is an indie rock outfit from Melbourne consisting of Fergus Linacre (vocals), Alex Laska (guitar), Mango Hunter (bass) and Justin Debrincat (drums). These Triple J darlings have made quite a name for themselves in Australia with their first three singles “Yeah Go Die,” “Medusa” and “She’s My Baby.” They have returned with their fourth single “Ohio” and are building momentum across the pond. The latest single is taken from their Change Of Heart EP Deluxe version that is currently available on iTunes (Australia) and from the band's website www.kingswoodband.com. The eight-song limited edition release has hints of Led Zeppelin and Queens of the Stone Age, which draws from their blues and rock influences. The unsigned rockers are getting ready to travel to Nashville to record their debut album next month.
THE ROYAL CONCEPT
Robyn, Tove Styrke and Veronica Maggio are successful singers from Sweden - and behind their voices are the musicians and band members who have stepped out on their own to form The Royal Concept. Based in Stockholm, the quartet which was originally known as The Concept Store and simply The Concept features David Larson (vocals/guitar), Filip Bekic (guitar), Magnus Robert (bass) and Frans Povel (drums). The band debuted in 2010 with the single “Damn!” and instantly received comparisons to Phoenix with their electronic indie pop sound. The next year they gained even more fans with the singles “D-D-Dance” and “Gimme Twice” around the same time of the final name change to The Royal Concept. In April of last year the foursome signed with Jason Flom President & Founder Lava Records and released their self-titled debut EP in June. The band also signed with the booking agency Paradigm in the US, X-ray Touring in Europe and Luger in Sweden. They have returned with a brand new track called “On Our Way” which is taking radio and the internet by storm, which you can listen to by clicking HERE. The infectious tune is already the No.21 most viral track of the week on Spotify and continues to build.
STREAM: "On Our Way"
Twenty-one-year-old Scottish singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni is a storyteller who packs an almighty punch with her earthy folk melodies, dexterous fingerpicking and a voice to blow all others out of the water. Rachel self-released her debut EP, Black Currents (Rough Trade), to critical and peer acclaim. Elbow frontman (and BBC 6 Music presenter) Guy Garvey says, “Really really something special. She’s amazing. Listen to her voice. Quite astonishing!” The EP went straight to No.1 in the Coalition Singles Charts, where it stayed for two weeks. Produced by marvel Ian Grimble (Manic Street Preachers), it showcases her unique talent through four beautiful tracks, which conjure a kaleidoscopic reverie of sights and sounds. Rachel has since released her debut album, Under Mountains (Middle of Nowhere Records/Rough Trade), a collection of 12 songs that debuted at No. 2 in the UK independent charts. She has headlined two UK and European tours, appeared at both Folk Alliance and MUSEXPO last year, which led to multiple licensing, publishing and booking opportunities. Rachel’s razor-sharp wit and natural affinity with any audience belie her young age and have led to support slots with the likes of Elvis Costello, Rumer and Ron Sexsmith. Her first Canadian tour is already confirmed for September and her first Australian dates are secured for December. Rachel just had an amazing performance at the Go North Festival in Scotland, which resulted in immediate U.S. licensing interest from a major US TV network.
STREAM: "The Fog"
FALLING OFF MAPS
Falling Off Maps is a five-piece outfit from Nottingham, UK consisting of Dave Wright (vocals/guitar), Dane Prewett (bass/electronics), Joe Watts (guitar), Tom Harrison (piano) and Jay Wright (drums) and have been compared to the likes of Radiohead, Alt-J, Bon Iver and Arcade Fire. Their album title and band moniker were in place before a single note had been written or recorded. Falling Off Maps were a thematic concept in mind first--then came the music. Their brilliance sits in the intimate spaces created in their minimalist music dramas – it’s there in the things they have chosen to leave out as much as what is committed to a recording. The end result: a well of emotions. A widescreen, cinematic work. A thing of beauty. The album A Seaside Town In Winter featuring the single “The Redeemer” is a place you will want to re-visit time and time again.
STREAM: "The Redeemer"
The Fluxx, five fresh-faced boys from Oslo, Norway made up of lead singer Daniel Stähler, guitarist Stephan Gracia Slaaen, Bassist Iver Paulsberg , keyboardist Jan Kristoffersen and a Drummer Lars Andre Hagensen, were never daunted by hard work or accused of a lack of perseverance. The guys have known each other since their schooldays and have been performing together from an early age. These deep roots have grown into a fiery passion to succeed, fueled by a sense of camaraderie amongst the quintet that’s blossomed due to the fact that the individual members are always there for each other. They’ve done this through relentless gigging in their native Oslo and support slots with multi-platinum Eurovision artist Alexander Rybak, and expanded their profile through performances in the UK. The Fluxx have garnered early airplay support with their songs “Take You Back” and “She Cries” on a variety of global radio outlets. The Trey Sheppard (Zero Hour)-produced and Steve Fitzmaurice (Depeche Mode, Olly Murs, U2)-mixed single, “Kids On The Radio,” is a refreshing pop tune that proves their talent is a force to be reckoned with. The Fluxx are one of the best guitar-pop live acts from Scandinavia and have HUGE global potential. The band will be showcasing at MUSEXPO on Monday May 6 at 10pm at S.I.R. Studios.
STREAM: "Kids On The Radio"
Spending her early childhood traveling around with her parents who were in the film industry, Kita Klane needed some company as she traveled in a different city every few months. She found comfort in the music of Billie Holiday, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan and Peggy Lee. After five years in Los Angeles, Kita returned to her traveling roots and spent time soaking up the culture and energy of cities such as New York and Paris. Realizing it was time to take the life experiences and put them into songs, Kita returned home to LA where she rekindled a friendship with childhood friend, Frankie IV, who became her writing partner. One night after performing a packed house at The Roxy, the two met Jeff Greenberg, long-time LA promoter, manager and owner of the world famous Village Studios. He invited them to the studio and offered to help them record their music. Greenberg introduced them to DJ/tastemaker Nic Harcourt (now host of the weekly morning show on 88.5FM KCSN Los Angeles) who has helped launch the careers of Coldplay, Norah Jones, Sigur Ros and David Gray in the US. Impressed with their talent, Harcourt decided to head into the studio as a first time producer. “There was a raw passion and energy about the music, but perhaps more importantly Kita, I knew she was a great singer, It was about arranging the songs in a way that allowed her voice the space to really sing,” said Harcourt. The debut EP In Love With The Enemy, a four song release, includes the early buzz track “The Enemy” (produced by Harcourt) and three new tracks such as “Running Circles,” which delivers a hypnotic peek into Kita’s unique brand of indie, soul, jazz and cabaret. Kita is currently available for worldwide signing, booking, publishing, and licensing.
STREAM: "Running Circles"
FOU DE TOI
Erik Hääger (vocals/guitar), Johan Malmberg (guitar) and Daniel Karlsson (bass guitar) together are Fou De Toi. Formed just two short years ago by Hääger after returning to Sweden from touring in the states with Carolina Liar, he felt the need for something new and fresh, musically. The Göteborg and Stockholm trio create indie pop music on the same level that the Scandinavians have perfected. Their melodies are addictive and simply brilliant. In 2011, they released their debut EP The Impossible Thrill and landed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell. After impressing fans with their 2012 tune “Pick Up The Phone,” Fou De Toi returned with another gem in “Heartless.” The band has picked up strong global radio support via the syndicated Passport Approved radio program which reaches millions of new music fans worldwide and the band is already seeing a growing fanbase and good early digital sales from those radio markets, as well as more increased online activity.
Equipped with multiple instruments, a loop station, pedals, a capacity to sing and a beat-box, “one-man-band” Jeremy Loops creates textured tracks that transform convention and align the fresh with the familiar. His performances center around crowd participation and collaborations with other skilled musicians, most frequently the lyricist Motheo Moleko, as well as Jamie Faull on the sax, which brings a completely unique and positive sound to new school world folk music. Jeremy has been hugely successful of late, playing on the main stage at Oppikoppi, one of the biggest festivals south of the equator, to a crowd of 22,000 people. A&R Worldwide saw Jeremy Loops in South Africa last year courtesy of Sheer Music’s Damon Forbes and noted that Jeremy Loops has the global potential like Mumford & Sons, Gotye and fellow South African Dave Matthews. Jeremy’s first ever show outside of South Africa will be at MUSEXPO LA this year and flocks of agents, publishers, labels and music supervisors are sure to swarm all over this hidden musical gem. The critics have been quick to take notice too: Mahala online, South Africa’s arbiter of cool, said about Jeremy Loops, “Then, out of nowhere this hipster kid with a feather in his hat came out and blew the (expletive) roof off the place. By far the standout act of the festival, Jeremy Loops brought something fresh to the table. Very cool loops layered over each other, a good grasp of a range of instruments, loads of energy, loads of funk. The crowd went completely nuts.”
The Helsinki, Finland quartet Sunrise Avenue consists of Samu Haber (vocals, guitar), Raul Ruutu (guitar, backing vocals), Sami Osala (bass, backing vocals) and Riku Rajamaa (drums). Known for their catchy and melodic songs as well as their live performances, they’ve sold over 1.5 million singles and over 800,000 albums to date. Their single “Hollywood Hills” has sold over 500,000 copies alone, was the most played song in Sweden and reached No.1 on the Airplay Chart in both Germany and Austria. The single has been certified Platinum in Germany, Sweden and Switzerland as well as being certified gold in Finland and Austria. Their amazing live show was shown in 14 movie theaters in Germany and Austria last year and they've performed more than a thousand shows in 20 European countries and Japan. They’ve also performed at several major sports events including the sold out Champions League final viewing party at Munich Olympic stadium before Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea last May and the Track and Field World Championship opening ceremony in Berlin in 2009. The band is currently on the Big Band Theory tour with upcoming dates in Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Austria and more.
STREAM: "Hollywood Hills"
Brisbane’s Cub Scouts had a rollercoaster ride in 2012, starting the year with their infectious ditty “Evie” taking over the airwaves, landing in high rotation on Triple J, solidifying their reputation in Australia and bookending the year with “Told You So” eclipsing that success and becoming a buzz single on U.S. radio. In between, the quintet toured nationally with the likes of Ball Park Music, Pluto Jonze and Loon Lake and won the Queensland Music Awards Song of the Year for their second single “Do You Hear.” This year has so far seen the band going from strength to strength with interest building extremely fast overseas. The band are scheduled to make a special appearance in Los Angeles early May and have also been selected to perform at seminal UK festival The Great Escape in May, with their new UK team already working the band and adding more European dates daily and global interest spiraling at a rate of knots as a result. In short, Cub Scouts are one of the hottest bands to emerge in 2013 and A&R and publisher interest is reaching fever pitch across Australia, the US and Europe. Preview “Told You So” taken from the Cub Scouts' debut EP of the same name.
STREAM: "Told You So"
BIRDS OF TOKYO
Perth, Australia’s Birds Of Tokyo who have been a regular favorite of ours for a number of years and have returned with their first new music in quite some time. Over the course of their first two studio albums, 2007’s Day One and 2008’s Universes, Birds Of Tokyo carved out a niche for guitar driven anthems. Lots of touring around Australia gradually turned them into Triple J favorites and indie chart toppers. With their eponymous third release in 2010, things shifted up another gear. They won the ARIA Award for “Best Rock Album” and the APRA Award for “Best Rock Song.” They enjoyed genuine hit singles with “Plans” and “Wild At Heart” and earned multiplatinum certifications. With the addition of two new members, Glenn Sarangapany on keys and Ian Berney on bass, they consciously reinvented their approach to songwriting with a new Sydney studio space, plus time spent together in a remote French farmhouse helping to blaze new trails for the group. And if that wasn’t enough, they then went to Los Angeles to record with both a new producer, Dave Cooley (Silversun Pickups) and a new mixer, Tony Hoffer (M83, Beck, The Kooks). Birds Of Tokyo recently released “Lanterns,” an early taste of the upcoming album, March Fires, which is scheduled for release next month. The band played MUSEXPO a few years ago and garnered quite a bit of label interest and they are currently in serious talks with a number of US majors and independents. The band is currently available for signing, licensing and booking in various markets worldwide.
A true family affair, siblings and band members George, Amy and Emma Sheppard started performing together at a young age. Joining forces with songwriter/guitarist Jay Bovino, guitarist Michael Butler and drummer Dean Gordon, the sextet is simply known as Sheppard. The Brisbane, Queensland (Australia) pop outfit has had quite the busy last year, which included a world tour performing in South Africa, the UK, the US, India and their native Australia. They released their five-song, self-titled EP with the lead track, “Let Me Down Easy,” that received a lot of international attention by way of blogs, television appearances and radio outlets. The melodic tune may have been born in Australia but contains cool alternative pop music with the potential to cross over to a variety of formats. The track was one of the most requested songs at influential commercial Alternative KNRK “94/7 FM” Portland by the end of 2012, which saw the band play a sold-out 1400 capacity show in Portland. The single has also been successful with college radio, even charting on the CMJ Top 200. Continuing the momentum built from the lead single, another track from the EP that has been getting some attention as of late is the charming, melody-driven “Pebble Road.” The band has been in talks with a number of labels and publishers internationally and is currently available for signing, licensing, publishing, sync and booking; they are managed in partnership with legendary promoter Michael Chugg.
STREAM: "Pebble Road"
Dido is no stranger to the music scene. She has a close history with A&R Worldwide as her first ever radio plays in the world for her demo tracks back in 1995 were by A&R Worldwide founder Sat Bisla on his import radio show (two years prior to her signing with Arista Records in the US), which he received from Cheeky Records Co-Founder Mel Medalie (the label that originally supported and signed Dido). Her first two albums No Angel and Life For Rent are among the best-selling albums in UK Chart history and are both Top 10 best-selling albums of the 2000s in the UK. After making her recording debut with Faithless, she released her debut single “Here With Me” in 1998. The hits continued with “Thank You,” which was sampled for the Eminem smash hit “Stan,” “White Flag” and “Sand In My Shoes” to name a few. She has been featured on songs with Santana, Annie Lennox and was a part of the Band Aid 20 ensemble in 2004. Dido has sold over 38 million albums worldwide and is ready to return with a new album, Girl Who Got Away, next month. Dido's fourth studio release has been rumored to feature production from Dido’s brother, Rollo Armstrong, in addition to Sister Bliss, A.R. Rhaman, Jon Brion and Brian Eno. The first offering was the collaborative track “Let Us Move On” with Compton, CA rapper Kendrick Lamar in late 2012, which gave a glimpse of the new material. She has since released the next single, “No Freedom.” Written by Dido and Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer Rick Nowels (Robyn, Ellie Goulding, Marina and the Diamonds), the track was produced by Rollo along with Dido and Nowels. The song mirrors the sound of “Thank You” and “White Flag” and has already seen early support from Triple A and Alternative radio.
STREAM: "No Freedom"
Moto Boy aka Oskar Humlebo is a Swedish musician who creates lush, romantic pop songs. With emotive pop and impressive operatic vocals, the result is hair-raising music that evokes feelings parallel to that of a Jeff Buckley song or a David Lynch movie. His music appeals to the fans of Radiohead, Muse, Depeche Mode, Hurts and The Temper Trap. Last summer he toured with The Cardigans as the guitarist and composed the soundtrack to Lubiewo-Kärleksön, the adaptation of Michal Witkowksi’s great novel of the same name. Not only did Moto Boy create the soundtrack but he also acted in the play. His music has received positive reviews from NME, Pop Justice and Cool Hunting, while Zero Magazine states the music is a “10/10.” If you’re searching for a musical journey, let Moto Boy take you there with his new 2013 mix of the cinematic and effervescent “The Heart Is A Rebel.” The original version of this epic and radio friendly track has already won over Swedish audiences and is set to have a global reach as more people are getting turned on to the new mix of this song. Moto Boy is currently working on his third studio album. Listen to other tracks and find out more information, tour dates and more on Moto Boy at http://motoboy.se. Available for signing, licensing, synch and booking opportunities, contact Gisela Sotomayor at ninteeen95 artist management firstname.lastname@example.org.
STREAM: "The Heart Is A Rebel"
The Maneken is an electronic rock artist from the Ukraine. When he first arrived on the music scene in 2008, DJs from Ukrainian radio stations dubbed him the “Ukrainian Jamiroquai.” Today, his compositions are a wonderful combination of modern dance music and pop rock culture heritage from the past decade which includes hints of Air, Coldplay, Keane, The XX and Empire of the Sun. The Maneken has traveled the world and performed in Moscow, Russia, Lithuania, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and many other destinations. In 2009 his debut album, First Look, was released by the French label Somekind Records and was distributed throughout the Virgin Megastores, available in European countries and Japan. The Maneken’s music videos have been showcased on music channels in Europe and the Middle East, including Music Box Italy, MTV Baltic, MTV Arabia, Mad TV in Greece, Sola TV in Spain, QTOM in Germany and World Chart Express on MTV European. Last year The Maneken released the single “Safe Connection,” which was a song devoted to the AIDS epidemic in Ukraine. The track was so popular that it became the official anthem for the project of the same name that was implemented by the Elena Punchuk ANTI AIDS Foundation. A new track called “Stop!” featuring Open Kids is a conscience record that speaks for the future. After some of the tragic events that have happened in the world as of late, this song is a breath of fresh air and really makes the listener think. The Maneken is available for booking and licensing outside of the Ukraine and is currently in negotiations with companies from Germany and the U.S. for an upcoming album release due in the spring. Contact Igor Tarnapolsky for more details at email@example.com.
Formed by frontman Liam O'Donnell in London just two short years ago, Various Cruelties is an alternative indie soul incarnation. The four-piece outfit fuses classic British guitar pop with Stax grooves to create a form of shabby Motown pop. Their self-titled debut album has been made available through their own label, Almanac Recordings, which is climbing the iTunes Alternative charts and currently in the top 50 whilst climbing to No. 77 in the Billboard New Artist Chart. The album was recorded by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Goldfrapp, Foster The People) and the track “If It Wasn't For You” is currently used in the holiday TV commercial for the diamond jeweler, Zales, which will be utilized for Christmas and Valentine’s Day, where previous artists Alabama Shakes and Black Keys were used. Various Cruelties have supported Kasabian, The Vaccines and Grouplove and have appeared on the BBC’s Later with Jools Holland alongside Lou Reed, Metallica and Aaron Neville. Their cover of Ian Brown’s “F.E.A.R.” is currently being used as the trailer for the a HBO series “Banshee” and they are in negotiation for other U.S. sync opportunities whilst considering U.S. label options. They are available for worldwide licensing, publishing futures and U.S. booking. The band is managed by Jon Chapman (firstname.lastname@example.org), a veteran in the business who A&R’d for Island and Virgin working with Stereophonics, Placebo and scouting Daft Punk for Zomba Publishing. Reach out to Jon for more information.
STREAM: "If It Wasn't For You"
Echotape was formed in mid-2010 by a quintet of like-minded individuals from the music scene in a small, off-the-map town in the South of England. In the spring of 2011, one of their early demos found its way into the hands of Killing Joke bassist and legendary producer Youth (Dido, The Verve, Futureheads and one-half of The Fireman along with Paul McCartney). On their third meeting, Youth declared that he wanted to record Echotape’s debut album--with no label or media yet aware of the act's existence, Youth asked the five-piece to decamp to his studio in the hills outside Grenada, Spain. Echotape’s first commercial release was a four-song EP entitled Sky Above Quarley Hill. Their songs “Unstable,” Riding For A Fall” and “Came Into My Blood” all earned global airplay in the UK, U.S., Germany, South Africa and Japan, helping to build their international fan base. Echotape just wrapped up UK support tour dates with one of Russia's most successful bands, Mumiy Troll and will continue to gig throughout the rest of this year. Their latest single, “Far From Heaven,” was mixed by GRAMMY-Award winner Simon Gogerly (U2, No Doubt, Massive Attack) and will be a great fit at radio and for sync options. For available signing, licensing, publishing and booking opportunities, contact Andrew Sharland ASharland@clintons.co.uk.
STREAM: "Far From Heaven"
Mexico City, Mexico singer/songwriter Daniel Sobrino always had a love for music since childhood. At the age of 19, he picked up the piano as his principal instrument and began crafting his own songs. That journey took him on the best ride of his life by discovering new colors and sounds with his instrument of choice. His musical influences range from the legendary Sir Elton John to current standouts such as John Legend, Adele, Regina Spektor and Michael Bublé. At the end of 2011, Sobrino performed alongside Justin Bieber and Drake for the “A Time To Love” event with Stevie Wonder at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. He’s currently in the studio working on his own material and recently released his first official offering, “Losing It.” The timeless track already has U.S. specialty radio interested and earned some early comparisons to Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson and Gnarls Barkley. The song was recorded with Platinum selling producer/writer Fingazz and A&R’d by A&R Worldwide’s Monte Malone.
STREAM: "Losing It"
Formed just over five years ago by Jesse and Kay Nambiar, the Dutch group Valerius has been getting great feedback from both radio stations and TV shows in the Netherlands with their latest single, “I Cannot Put Us Back Together.” The band had major success in 2009 and 2010 with their major breakthrough hit, “She Doesn't Know.” Their debut self-titled album entered the Top 3 charts in various countries including Indonesia, where the band had a No.1 chat position for several weeks and played various sold out shows, the first for any Dutch act. Having done a variety of tours and support shows throughout the world, Valerius entered their studio last year to write their next album. Adding a keyboard player turned out to be the key to their new sound, with electronic synths and beats throughout the album, without leaving their signature funky guitar sound. Their new album, Marilyn White, is due for release in early 2013.
STREAM: "I Cannot Put Us Back Together"
In 2007 lead singer and songwriter Jesse-James Cameron formed Makeshift Innocence, a four-piece that also includes Tammy Amstutz on bass guitar, Brad Simons on lead guitar and Fred Brenton on drums. Cameron lived and went to school in Negril, Jamaica, where he fell in love with the tones and feel of reggae--music that now infuses the Canadian group’s rock, reggae, pop and roots sounds, with key influences ranging from Bob Marley to Sublime. Known as one of Western Canada’s best live acts, they were chosen to showcase at several industry conferences, including Canadian Music Week, COCA (Canadian Organization Campus Activities), MUSEXPO Los Angeles and the Worldwide Radio Summit. Although Makeshift Innocence was built around a live show, they remain one of the few Alberta-based acts that can expect to receive major commercial radio airplay. Independently, they have already received radio play at Canadian CHR and Hot AC stations as well as numerous stations in the states, Germany, South Africa, UK and Japan.
STREAM: "All You Need Is Love"
Growing up in a small town in the Netherlands, Thomas Azier focused most of his free time on making music because, frankly, there wasn't too much else to do. What started out as a childhood hobby, translated into a full-time career for Azier. Like many young musicians today, he began producing songs on his computer. At the age of 19, he left the Netherlands and moved to Berlin on an ambitious whim. After four years of tirelessly honing his sound, he emerged with his debut EP, Hylas 001, released on his own label, Hylas Records/BMG Rights Management. Bridging the analog and digital worlds with symphonic precision, Azier’s music is an anthem for the present, pulling from the past and looking to the future. He is set to release the Hylas 002 EP on October 22nd. The new EP continues to deliver beautiful soundscapes that Thomas has been known to create, especially with the epic and haunting gem, “Angelene.”
Queensland is a state of Australia that is known for their outdoor lifestyle with world-class beaches, rain forests, national parks and waterways. Queensland is also a hotbed for musicians as it’s responsible for the likes of Dead Letter Circus, Hungry Kids of Hungary, The Boat People and many others. Hoping to join that list is four-piece Brit pop outfit, Oceanics. Their love for similar music brought them together in 2005 and they've been able to turn many into bonafide fans. With Elliot (guitar, vocals), Jackson (guitar, vocals), Andy (drums) and Matt (bass, vocals), the Oceanics have been gigging relentlessly in Australia, increasing their fan base one show at a time. They have performed at Big Sound, Caloundra Music Festival and played in front of 27,000 in the audience at a Gold Coast Titan’s (Rugby) semi-final. Their latest offering from their Bright People EP is the upbeat and infectious single, “The City,” which is already getting support from Triple J. The Oceanics are currently touring Australia with The Salvadors with upcoming stops in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.
STREAM: "The City"
Nashville, TN may be best known as a Country music mecca, but there is another movement that is coming from the south and it's the return of rock & roll. Leading that movement is The Kicks, a four-piece eclectic, indie rock outfit that bring massive melodies, epic guitar riffs, irresistible rhythms and lyrics that do it all without the hipster tag. The band grew up on heavy doses of Queen, The Beatles, The Byrds and Foo Fighters which can be heard in their music. Formed after meeting in college four years ago, The Kicks ended up being one of the most talked about non-Country bands in Nashville. They’ve supported John Mayer and Los Lonely Boys, showcased at Austin City Limits and performed on the Van’s Warped Tour. Their song, “Good Morning,” was used in a national television ad campaign for Lowe’s, which was heard by millions and other tunes were used in TV shows such as “The Vampire Diaries”and “Pretty Little Liars.” Their new album, Tonight Changes Everything, with the guidance of Grammy Award winning producers Mitch Dane and Vance Powell (Jack White, Kings of Leon), was released last week and features the infectious track “Hawk Eyes,”.
STREAM: "Hawk Eyes"
THE TOXIC AVENGER
French DJ, songwriter and producer Simon Delacroix has been creating music for the last five years under the stage name, The Toxic Avenger, as an ode to the cult horror film of the same name. Like many DJ’s today, The Toxic Avenger would create his own music, but also work on remixes for other artists. Some of the most notable remixes to date include re-workings of songs by Blur, Dragonette, Ladytron, Roger Sanchez, Benny Benassi and Kings of Leon. His debut album, Angst (Roy Music), was released in 2011 as Rolling Stone dubbed him an “Artist To Watch.” Returning with new music, The Toxic Avenger has unveiled “To The Sun,” featuring Tulip, which boasts elements of Daft Punk, MGMT and Broken Bells. The single is from the forthcoming album Romance & Cigarettes, scheduled to be released February 2013.
STREAM: "To The Sun Feat. Tulip"
The Kumpnee is a five-piece hip hop, soul and funk band that originated in New Zealand but now calls Sydney, Australia home. Their sound has been described as an unpredictable blend of urban funk, soulful harmony and hip hop, combining electronic synth, live instruments and a raw feel to split genres and form a new sound. They have often been compared to OutKast, Gnarles Barkley and The Black Eyed Peas. The Kumpnee is comprised of co-founder Josh Gage (vocals, keys, turntables), co-founder Ronnie Lavendar (vocals, keys, guitar), Stevie Taylor (drums), Huia Ratapu (bass) and Gino Hawkins (bass, guitar, vocals) and describe their music as “hip hop your grandma can listen to.” With over 30 years combined on stage experience, The Kumpnee brings their confidence to the stage with high-energy performances at all their live performances. They’ve performed at large festivals including the Ngati Awa Festival 2011, Ngati Awa Te Toki 2010 Festival, NZ Hip Hop Summit, Bring it On, Roc The Blok and The Burbs along with club gigs like On the Real and Stars of Night & One Community as well as playing venues such as The Basement, Sydney, The Annandale Hotel and the Factory Floor. Their album, The Kumpnee Ball, has been released in Australia and features the track, “2 Bux,” which is starting to gain attention at a handful of U.S. radio stations thanks to the recommendation of NZ On Air.
STREAM: "2 Bux"
London’s Strangers are fronted by lead singer David Maddox-Jones, joined with producer Glen Nicholls (The Prodigy, Snow Patrol, Depeche Mode, Future Funk Squad), drummer Ralfe Hacking and Piers Sherwood-Roberts on synths, who create a dark style of pop music. They’ve toured with Niki & The Dove, released three EPs, received radio support from BBC Radio 1, XFM and the globally syndicated import show “Passport Approved,” all within the last year. The next step for the band is releasing their EP, Safe/Pain, on August 31st. The lead single off the EP, also titled, “Safe/Pain,” has been described as a contemporary 80s synth pop sound. Speaking of 80s, there have been rumors that Strangers also have a remake of the worldwide smash “Shout” by Tears For Fears on the upcoming EP. What has been confirmed is that “Safe/Pain” also has official remixes by Youan, Black Light Odyssey and Rednek.
Versives is Alan Matthews and Kevin J. Power, a two-piece electronic pop outfit from Cork, Ireland that have drawn musical comparisons to New Order and the Pet Shop Boys. After carefully crafting their sound over a series of EPs with producer Ciarán O’ Shea (ex-Cyclefly), Versives’ first single “Kicking Up a Brand New Storm” was picked up by BBC Radio in the UK and led to a deal with Leeds-based independent label TAKEA!MF!RE, who are digitally releasing the band’s music in Britain. In Ireland, Versives were featured on TV3’s The Apprentice (“Backstage Pass” Best Unsigned Bands Compilation CD) and have appeared on the playlists of RTE 2FM, Today FM, Phantom FM in addition to stations in Cork (96FM, Red FM), Limerick (Live 95), Waterford (WLR, Beat FM) and Galway, featured on as well as touring nationwide with an intense, sharp live show. Their latest single, “Two Enemies,” takes the big beats down a notch or two from their first single, with a fragile, Mark Linkous-style vocal easing the electronics along before gently peaking with some sumptuous keys.
STREAM: "Two Enemies"
THE BLUE VAN
Growing up in the northern region of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula, there aren’t a lot of distractions. So, one quickly tends to entertain themselves. That was the rationale of the four members of The Blue Van, who in sixth grade began jamming in the basement of a fortunately hard–of–hearing grandmother. After adopting the name The Blue Van (Danish slang for the ambulance that transports patients to mental institutions), they relocated to Copenhagen and self–financed their first EP, A Session with The Blue Van, and backed it up with an acclaimed performance at the Roskilde Festival. They recorded their debut full–length, The Art of Rolling, in Hamburg, opting to record live in the studio, only adding in vocals later, in order to capitalize on the band’s live strengths. The album landed them an American deal with TVT Records and the group started splitting time between Denmark and the Bed/Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn while recording their second album, Dear Independence. Now with the indie Iceberg Music Group, The Blue Van returned to Hamburg to record their third album, Man Up, which spawned the hit song “Silly Boy.” They’ve been all over the international airwaves with “There Goes My Love,” which was utilized in Apple’s TV campaign for the iPad. Their fourth album, Love Shot, was released two years ago, where Allmusic.com gave it 3.5 stars.
STREAM: "Would You Change Your Life?"
With the current wave of successful female artists across the globe, it’s quite evident that a talent such as Nova Delai is sure to follow the successful footsteps of European artists such as Adele (England), Caro Emerald (Holland) and Birdy (signed to Warner Music, UK), all of whom blend infectious vintage sounds with modern day pop music nuances. Nova Delai signed with Sony Sweden worldwide earlier this year thanks to the early development and support of her manager Bello and A&R Worldwide in Los Angeles.
Nova Delai (real name Michelle Zarati) is a Swedish recording artist, musician and writer. She was raised by a single mother in the southern Sweden area of Skane in Malmö. At age six, Nova Delai began to play classical music on the piano and started getting interested in playing guitar at the same age. She later attended Rytmus Music School in Sweden and is currently working on recording her debut album. She returns with the upbeat, “Should I,” which is produced by John-Alexis. The single will be available on Spotify and iTunes July 30th in Sweden.
STREAM: "Should I"
Cape Town’s Captain Stu is one part ska, one part funk, a mix of punk and soul with a lot of African flavor. This eclectic, urban mix of music started in 2002 when the band originally formed. Since their start, they’ve delivered three studio releases: The Untold Tales (2005), The Adventures of Captain Stu (2009) and their latest EP, Free Music. Produced by the legendary Neal Snyman (David Bowie, Crowded House, Rollo), the five song EP is the perfect summer soundtrack and goes for an excellent price--absolutely free and available to fans on their website. Their music has been compared to the likes of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish and Rancid which can be heard with the lead track, “The Day.” The band has already generated radio support on national network 5FM as well as many local stations.
STREAM: "The Day"
LOLA KING & THE KICKSTARTS
Lola King & the Kickstarts is a brand spanking new band from London that’s built around the excellent songwriting partnership between former Kyoshi frontwoman Lola King and her brother/studio owner Dan. Formed only recently after they recruited the hottest rhythm section they could find in BBC Philharmonic bassist, Christ Curtis and young virtuoso drummer Shaun Lee.
The band have wasted no time and already caused quite a stir winning themselves a slot at Radio One’s biggest event of 2012, Hackney Weekend, alongside the likes of Florence + the Machine and Rhianna. Since that appearance at Hackney Weekend two weeks ago, the band have since won prime slots at a string of prestigious festivals across the country and the buzz on this band is fast turning from a ripple to a wave. Their music has been compared to the sounds of Lily Allen, Florence + The Machine and No Doubt as Lola King’s lyrical influences draw from Bob Dylan and Lauryn Hill to contemporary Rap. Her unique, rhythmic phrasing combined with her jazz/pop melodies and noticeably British accent sit beautifully on top of the guitar-based, raw-indie sound of the Kickstarts. The UK-based music zine, Noise Addiction reviewed the band and stated “...They are downright lovable even to the skeptics as singer Lola raps and sings her way through three energetic, foot tapping, get up-and-dance tunes.
The South London based quartet, Fractures, offer soaring and mighty rock that will immediately grab the attention of any die-hard Weezer fan. Composed of members Freddie Murray, Matt Gwyer, Sam Cook and Gaz Southwell, their unique sound has caught the attention of BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe as well as Xfm’s John Kennedy, who had the band in for a live studio interview and performance. Their debut single “Ride” was produced by Dave Eringa (Manics, Idlewild) and is a dangerously hypnotic melody that displays an attitude and aggression that allures the young to rebel and the old to reminisce. NME listed Fractures as “Ones To Watch 2012'”and stated (Fractures are) “...The kind of indie band that has become all but extinct in recent years. Imagine Kasabian but without the massive egos.” Their schedule includes performances at multiple UK festivals that started at Brighton’s The Great Escape in May and shows no sign of ending anytime soon with recent news that they will be opening for the band Razorlight.
KIDS ON BRIDGES
Kids On Bridges (K.O.B.) is the brainchild of Christian Bragg, who has made it his vocation to produce dirty filthy electro-pop music. The band’s eclectic sound of rock on a synth-pop trip has drawn comparison with The Killers, Daft Punk, Phoenix and Depeche Mode. The singles and forthcoming album feature production by The Chemical Brothers collaborator Steve Dub, and K.O.B’s radio-ready and melody-heavy sound pays homage to the big beat pioneers. Xfm UK Music Director Mike Walsh is a fan of the music as he was quoted saying, “Kids On Bridges are not shy of the BIG chorus and their debut album is full of tunes that will satisfy fans of sophisticated electro-pop as much as lovers of a lad-rock sing-a-long.” Kid On Bridges recently supported electronic legends O.M.D at the reopening of Eric’s in Liverpool and were guests at the legendary Tipitina’s in New Orleans after being heard on WOZ (the radio station in the HBO show “Treme”). Their track “Y Don't U” was featured in the UK Television show, “The INbetweeners” and they’ve been hard at work remixing the likes of 2012 Grammy winner Ledisi, Lenny Kravitz, UK buzz act The Chevin and Australia’s All Mankind. Besides focusing on their upcoming album, This Is Widescreen, Kids On Bridges just wrapped up remixes for INXS’ “Calling All Nations.” The mix refreshes the 1988 vocals of Michael Hutchence and gives it a 2012 feel, without alienating the true INXS sound. Fans will be very happy with both the original remix and the Dance Radio Edit remix.
STREAM: "Calling All Nations (Remix)"
Alban Nwapa grew up listening to the pioneer of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti and the originator of funk music, James Brown. At age 23, he began studying dentistry. In order to be able to finance his college studies, Nwapa started making his own music. During this time he worked as a DJ in the well-known Stockholm club Alphabet Street. He began to build a name for himself while he would sing over the records he was playing. Alban finished his schooling and even opened up his own dentistry practice, but kept the DJ gig as a lucrative sideline. In 1990, he met Denniz Pop (Ace of Base, Britney Spears, NSYNC) and together with Rap Queen Leila K, Alban made his first record called "Hello Africa." Taking the stage name of Dr Alban, an ode to his dental studies, his debut album sold nearly 1 million copies worldwide. In 1992 his second album, One Love, was released and contained the global smash "It's My Life." His third album, Look Who's Talking, was also a success and by 1994 he sold over five million albums and six million singles worldwide. Dr. Alban has made a return to music in 2012 with the single, "Freedom." His latest track fits very well with today's musical landscape and picks up where his "This Time I'm Free" and "Mr DJ" songs left off. Dr Alban is available for the world, outside of Scandinavia, South Africa and Israel.
The Chevin (pronounced “The Shev-In”) are four young men from Otley, West Yorkshire, consisting of Coyle Girelli (vocals), Mat Steel (guitar), Jon Langford (bass) and Mal Taylor (drums). Fans of the West Yorkshire tourist board are already sure to know that The Chevin is also the name of the hill that surrounds the band’s hometown…and home is very much where the heart is for The Chevin. Girelli, Steel and Langford started playing music together at school in Otley, while the group’s lineup was ultimately completed when they later enlisted the services of drummer Taylor, another old school friend. Now they are called The Chevin--and they are about to shake the alt-rock world to its floundering foundations. The Champion EP, released on Halloween 2011 through Fierce Panda, is The Chevin’s first-ever release. The featured title track is insanely epic, manically widescreen, heroically uplifting and destined to soundtrack Goal Of The Month montages, “X Factor” breakdowns and all manner of valedictory celebrations for years to come. The Chevin recently performed at the Worldwide Radio Summit and MUSEXPO Los Angeles and were one of the most talked about bands of the week. Their upcoming diary is filled with a support slot with Franz Ferdinand and later this year, they'll be touring with MUSE. One of the standout tracks from the debut Borderland, which is forthcoming on Fierce Panda/SO Recordings is the title track. This is a band that you'll be hearing a lot from in the near future.
KIDFORCE is the brainchild of Rhett Raha, who started performing in a hard rock band at age 14, began writing and recording by 15 and played his first gig at the same age, where he won a “Battle of the Bands” at B.B. King’s at Universal CityWalk, in Los Angeles. When he was 19 years-old he dropped out of school to pursue music as a career with his band Kid Force; they were offered recording deals but declined them. They recorded an EP on the sly that garnered a thousand downloads over eight months and began gigging with acts such as Far East Movement, Shwayze, The Knux and Trouble Andrew, who approached them to remix his song “Chase Money,” which made it on Fuel TV's Elektro Circus snowboarding commercial in 2010. A chance meeting in Hollywood with Euro-pop band The Black Pony led to a swift collaboration with guitarist Eugene Flitner. The resulting song, “Crush,” made the band’s album and was a hit on their “Crush Tour 2011.” By the summer of 2011 the other members had left Kid Force, so Rhett appropriated the name KIDFORCE for himself. Now as a solo artist, he completed his debut release, Doom Box EP, with Fingazz (Snoop Dogg, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani) behind the boards and is starting to receive attention with the lead single, “Brunettes (Do It Better).” KIDFORCE has also been keeping busy in the studio working on remixes for other artists, which have been kept under wraps but will be revealed soon. He recently signed a label deal with the newly launched Slice Me Nice label and will be doing a number of upcoming shows in LA. KIDFORCE is available for licensing booking and synch representation.
STREAM: "Brunettes (Do It Better)"
Australian quintet Alibrandi mixes infectious melodies with hard-hitting riffs to create their own brand of alternative indie-rock. Their debut EP, The Emergency, received national airplay in Australia with the lead single, “Even Lions May Fall,” featured in high-rotation spots on such taste-making independent stations as Melbourne’s Triple RRR. The EP and single were produced by Shane Graham and mastered in Seattle by Troy Glessner (Death Cab For Cutie, Anderlin, Underoath). This debut is chock full of tight rock anthems reminiscent of Manchester Orchestra and Bloc Party with hints of Sparta. Last year also included an east coast Australian tour, with 2011 being bookended by packed local shows; now, 2012 brings the next step in this Australian act’s career. Alibrandi has been selected for the FUSE Festival, one of Australia’s most respected music industry showcases. They’ll also perform on the national Rock the Schools Tour, a commercial high school tour encompassing each state of Australia that will witness Alibrandi perform at ten schools to over 5000 young adults between the ages of 13-17. Additional information, tour dates and music can be found at http://www.myspace.com/alibrandionline. Alibrandi will perform their first N. American music industry showcase at the Worldwide Radio Summit on Saturday April 28th at 9.30PM at S.I.R. Studios Hollywood (for guest list information, E-mail email@example.com).
STREAM: "Even Lions May Fall"
Formed a little over two years ago in Dublin is five-piece pop-rock outfit, Keywest. The brainchild of childhood friends Andrew Kavanagh and Andrew Glover joined another duo consisting of Sam Marder and James Lock to form the band, making it complete with drummer Harry Sullivan. Although only together as a five piece just under a year, the band have made numerous appearances on national TV and radio as well as appearances at high profile gigs such as Oxegen, one of Europe’s biggest music festivals Galway Arts Festival and International Arthurs Day, as well as supporting slots for The Black Eyed Peas, Paolo Nutini, Blondie, Mel C along the way. The band’s debut album, The Message, released in February. The band, starting from humbling beginnings playing on the streets of Ireland, quickly caught the eye of Grammy nominated Mark Needham (The Killers, Neon Trees, The Sounds) who took the band under his wing have also attracted support from production heavyweights, Dan Frampton (Dido, The Script, Ronan Keating) and Steve Marcussen (Rolling Stones, Keane, Kelly Clarkson) who respectively mixed and mastered the album. With a diverse selection of influences ranging from legends Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, to more contemporary bands like, U2, Snow Patrol and The Killers, Keywest have been building up a dedicated and committed fan base from all over the world. Keywest have recently signed a global publishing deal with peermusic in the U.S. and are currently available for signing, licensing and booking in multiple territories.
STREAM: "In The Fight For Love"
The UK’s Push & Run label, known for their love of unexpected music ranging from Hip Hop to Electro, has three artists, including the brand new single "Pressure" by U.T.R.B Cardiff's U.T.R.B, which stands for Until The Ribbon Breaks, is a mysterious band that can’t be pigeonholed into any one genre, a la Gnarls Barkley. The brains behind U.T.R.B is Pete Lawrie, who until now, has been writing songs under his birth name and producer extraordinaire Rollo Armstrong (Faithless, Dido, One Eskimo) who sent A&R Worldwide these new recordings. The song contains elements of various styles including R&B, Soul, Electro and influences with some early adapters comparing it to The Weeknd. The song is slowly finding its way onto specialty radio in the U.S. including our very own Passport Approved syndicated radio program and has also been getting spins from KCRW’s Anthony Valadez in Los Angeles. If this song is any indication of what U.T.R.B has to offer, then Push & Pull have much success in their near-future. The release is currently a free download at http://www.utrb.co.uk.
KIDS ON BRIDGES
Kids On Bridges (K.O.B.) is the brainchild of Christian Bragg, who has made it his vocation to produce dirty, filthy electro-pop music. The band’s eclectic sound of rock on a synth-pop trip has drawn comparison with The Killers, Daft Punk, Phoenix and Depeche Mode. The singles and forthcoming album will feature production by Chemical Brothers collaborator Steve Dub, and K.O.B’s radio-ready and melody-heavy sound pays homage to the big beat pioneers. Kid On Bridges recently supported electronic legends O.M.D at the reopening of Eric’s in Liverpool and were recent guests at the legendary Tipitina’s in New Orleans after being heard on WOZ (the radio station in the HBO show “Treme”). They have remixed recent Grammy winner Ledisi’s next single “Pieces of Me” and are currently working on remixes for Lenny Kravitz. K.O.B’s latest single, “This Rock,” is a guitar laced track fused with a thumping bass-line with the spirit of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” (originally inspired by Killing Joke’s track “’80s” and an infectious chorus). K.O.B. is available for sub-publishing (U.S. and World), licensing (U.S. and Europe), synch opportunities, Booking Agent and DJ sets and remixes. The outfit is a favorite of Xfm London and Xfm Manchester, England Music Director Mike Walsh. Kids on Bridges will showcase in Los Angeles next month at the Worldwide Radio Summit www.worldwideradiosummit.com.
STREAM: "This Rock"
Originated in 1996 by DJ Slow, JA–Jazz and James Spectrum, Pepe Deluxe was formed in Helsinki,
Finland. Their music is an experiment of hip–hop, big beat, break–beat and
down–tempo. Five years after the trio was formed, DJ Slow departed to pursue
a solo career. JA–Jazz also left in 2008, when Paul Malmstrom became an
official member leaving the band performing as a duo. Pepe Deluxe has done a
variety of remixes for artists, including Tom Jones, Eminem, The Cardigans
and more. They’ve released four albums through Catskills Records, including
their latest, Queen of the Wave, which was released at the end of January
which can be best described as an esoteric pop opera–based on the legendary
books on Atlantis. Feedback from the press has been very positive, including
reviews from CLASH, MOJO, Mixmag, Artrocker and more.
STREAM: "A Night And A Day"
Sweden has consistently given the world some of the biggest names in the music business to date. Success stories include ABBA, Roxette, Ace of Base, Europe, The Cardigans, Robyn, Peaches, Teddybears, The Sounds, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, Miike Snow and a host of many others. Proving there isn’t a shortage of talent in the country is the latest musical export, Roshambo. The indie–pop trio formed in the summer of 2009 and is comprised of Daniel Nilsson (guitar/vox), Niclas Berglund (drums) and Mathias Nilsson (bass/vox); they released their debut in September. Their influences range from The Black Keys to Kings of Leon and can be heard throughout their new album, Stress Me, but they shine with their own mode of expression and infuse an energy that the Swedes are known for. The second single from the album, “Cigarette Lemonade,” best represents their style; rock mixed with a hint of the ‘60s influence that works very well the entire two and a half minute track.
STREAM: "Cigarette Lemonade"
Midnight Youth, a quintet formed in 2006, had their first two singles achieve Top 40 airplay on New Zealand radio and TV and the group was deemed one of the top unsigned bands on MySpace in 2008. Their self–funded efforts were more than enough to get them noticed, with Warners NZ/Australia signing Midnight Youth in September 2008 and subsequently releasing “The Letter,” which became the No.1 most played song on New Zealand radio and remained in the Top 10 most played for more than 15 weeks. Their next single release, “All on Our Own,” upped the ante, spending 11 weeks as the most played song on New Zealand radio. The debut album The Brave Don’t Run was released in spring 2009 and bowed at No.1 on the iTunes album chart and No. 2 on the New Zealand album chart and reached Platinum status. Midnight Youth closed out 2009 by being nominated for eight New Zealand Music Awards, bringing home the hardware for Best Rock Act, Best Group and Best Engineered Recording. The band spent much of 2011 on the road playing alongside Birds of Tokyo, Opshop, Brooke Fraser, Jimmy Barnes and even supported Crowded House at the opening of the Rugby World Cup waterfront stadium. Midnight Youth also unleashed their sophomore album, World Comes Calling, which debuted at No. 4 on the national RIANZ chart, No. 1 on iTunes and is quickly approaching Gold status. Their latest release, “Who Said You’re Free,” was recently named the No.1 Rock track in New Zealand and has drawn comparisons to Jet and U2.
STREAM: "Who Said You're Free"
Give a couple of part time farmhands some guitars and synths, and they’ll make sweet, sweet sophisticated pop; sometimes things really are that simple. Alfred Hall is the band that has managed to find the perfect pop formula on their first attempt; something other bands spend years trying to figure out. What this duo, consisting of Hans Thomas Kiær and Bjørn Tveit, has to offer is pure star spangled pop heaven. “So Bright” has been a hit on Norwegian radio and big favorite on the int’l syndicated radio program Passport Approved, and the debut album is on its way. The band has been working with the production company that originally developed pre-signing Ting Tings and Ida Maria. After the band’s second gig ever, the rave reviews started coming in, and the band quickly became Norway’s “The band to watch” in 2012. After their gig supporting Wolf Gang in Oslo, Scandinavian music mag GAFFA's Øyvind Rones stated “... The most refreshing performance I have seen and heard from a Norwegian band in ages... Such beautiful pop music is hard to come by."
STREAM: "So Bright"
LINK: Alfred Hall Facebook
Formed in mid-2010 in a small town south of England, five men in their early twenty's came together with a passion for creating music. As they began writing together about their life experiences and convictions, they teamed up with a series of left-field producers to record their first demos. Some of their early recording found their way to the original bass player from UK’s post-punk band Killing Joke, legendary producer Martin "Youth" Glover. Aside from Killing Joke, Youth is best known for his production efforts with Missy Higgins, Dido, The Verve, Beth Orton, James, Crowded House and many others.
Youth was impressed with what he heard in the demos and could see the potential in Echotape. He called them in for a writing session and after just a few short meetings, decided he wanted to record the band's debut album based on his believe in the band the creativity that they had formed. The result will be heard in March next year with the release of Sky Above Quarley Hill, along with an extensive tour across the UK and dates in the U.S. and Europe. One of the early fan favorites from the release is “Riding For A Fall,” which appeals to the fans of Smashing Pumpkins, Arcade Fire and The Stone Roses, can be heard HERE.
STREAM: "Riding For A Fall"
Twenty-One year old Elena Tonra hails from North London and started to make noise with her six-minute single, “Love.” Under the moniker Daughter, the support grew naturally, even slowly at first. But that changed as her music began climbing the Most Popular Song Chart on The Hype Machine music blog. Within a month, her music was at No.3 and she was featured on The Independent, noting her “beautifully-sung, literary folk” and her
“ethereal melancholy” as they tipped her as One To Watch. After releasing her debut EP, His Young Heart, she was soon being supported by BBC 6 and invited to perform sessions for Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music and Rob Da Bank on BBC Radio 1.
Word began to spread about the EP and in August, iTunes (U.S.) offered Daughter the weeklong free Spotlight Feature for the tune “Landfill,” resulting in over 150,000 free downloads of the track, which triggered the full EP itself to climb the upper reaches of the iTunes singer/songwriter charts on both sides of the Atlantic. One of the tracks that have stood out from the EP is “Youth.” This track showcases the innocence of Daughter’s vocal ability and appeals to both radio programmers and synch supervisors.
Danish chanteuse Aura Dione is truly a citizen of the world as the first seven years of her life were spent sailing the high seas on her parents’ boat! Originally born in New York City but raised in the rocky Danish island of Bornholm, trapped in the waters between southern Sweden, Germany and the Baltic countries. Aura writes all her own music and lyrics, with influences ranging from Dolly Parton and Tracy Chapman to Antony & the Johnsons and Jeff Buckley. At 26 years of age, she’s already drawn comparisons to Feist, Shania Twain and Gwen Stefani, all while tackling darker subject matter than the average pop singer. “I write about subjects like incest, suicide, prostitution, homosexuality, and what it must be like to have a dick,” she reveals. “But also simple love songs and poems--I want to bring it all, no censorship. I’ll camouflage it in simple pop melodies and hope that it will reach the masses. I write with humor and irony and with a wish to make a positive difference with my music and my voice, my life, while I’m here.” The critics seem to appreciate this approach: Berlingske, the Danish equivalent of the Herald Tribune, raved, “One of the best Danish debuts ever... already the world star she deserves to be.” Universal Music released her sophomore effort, Before the Dinosaurs, with the lead single, “Geronimo,” in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. The song reached No. 1 in both Denmark and Germany; making her the first Danish artist to debut at No, 1 in Germany.
South Africa’s Shadowclub is comprised of Jacques Moolman (vox/guitar), Louis Roux (bass) and Isaac Klawanksy (drums). Their debut album, Guns & Money, is an appealing mix of blues, punk, soul and old fashioned rock and roll, completed in just nine days. Their sound was born from the members playing eclectic styles and musical influences; Shadowclub's music hints at rock legends from the 60s and 70s, but its frontman Moolman’s vocals that makes this group truly a unique act. Their live show is a ferocious, untainted and uninhibited rock and roll experience. The trio’s debut was produced by Matthew Fink and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Jane’s Addiction at Magic Garden Studios). Shadowclub’s desire to make stripped down songs stems partly from the bands they were listening to when they formed at the end of 2007. “We were big White Stripes fans,” says drummer drummer Klawansky. “We liked Kings Of Leon who, back then, were still quite tough and bluesy and a bit underground. Wolfmother had just come out and we adored The Black Keys. Throw in the old blues that Jacques grew up with – Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson – and that combination became the basis of our sound.” Shadowclub is currently touring South Africa now until the end of 2011 with gigs in Johannesburg, Cape Town and more. They are currently available for signing, licensing, publishing and booking (ex-South Africa).
STREAM: "Good Morning Killer"
BLONDE ON BLONDE
Blonde On Blonde are an established Australian five-piece consisting of friends drawn together by a love of music, Jack Daniels and the burning desire to quit their day jobs. After uploading demos onto their MySpace page and garnering worldwide attention for their debut track “Oh My Oh My,” they decided to temporarily withdraw from the debauchery of the Brisbane Valley, save their money and make a record. Ably assisted by Brisbane legend Dave Atkins (Resin Dogs, Wolfmother), the group entered the studio to record their debut EP. Many months of mixing and mastering later, Blonde on Blonde unleashed the eagerly anticipated EP, Tease, upon the world. The Tease EP received rave reviews from street press and online blogs including whothehell.net, and Time Off magazine, beating out other artists such as Weezer and Jay-Z to take out the “Single of the week” spot. The EP was added to high rotation on local Brisbane radio station 4ZZZ, and reached the number one spot in the Top 20 charts, two weeks in a row. Momentum continued to build for the band as they played alongside Wolfmother, Sugar Army, The Art, and an east coast tour with Dead Letter Circus. The band also graced the cover of “Brisbane News” labeled as one of the cities “next big things.” Their latest material, in the form of the No Lust EP, was produced by Aidan Nemeth of Wolfmother and shines with the single, “Oh My Oh My.
STREAM: "Oh My Oh My"
THE DOMINO STATE
The Domino State is a five-member ensemble from London, which developed from the romantic indie-wave Band At the Lake. Lead singer Matt Forder and the two guitarists Jim Machin and Tim Buckland formed the band, and added a new rhythm section by integrating the bass player Will Padley as well as drummer Richard Simic in their music project. The Domino State has created an epic and effect loaded sound that has a lot in common with the energy of the post-punk of the British Shoegaze scene but also a whole lot of pop potential. Additionally, the dynamic intensity of their live shows brought them a support slot for Coldplay in the O2 arena London before an audience of 20,000 in addition to gigs with M83,Longview and The Boxer Rebellion. The Domino State has also extended its reach to Germany, where they won over audiences in Berlin and Hamburg. They've also performed at major UK festivals, namely Glastonbury, Beautiful Days and Summer Sunday Weekender. Musically, they've had success with their single releases, getting support from UK and Germany radio outlets such as BBC, Xfm, NME, Kerrang!, FluxFM, RBB, Radio Fritz, You FM, Delta, NDR and stations in the U.S., Peru, Italy and more. The first single “Firefly,” had been released on iTunes UK, as well in Germany, and the promotion work for this single has aroused first interests at the media. The band is currently available for licensing, publishing, signing and booking in various markets.
STREAM: "We Must Not Shut Ourselves Away"
As with most musical undertakings, Redcoats started in a suburban living room four years ago. Rhys and Andrew, who went to grade and high school together, were joined by vocalist Emilio. They gradually worked their way from the living room into the thriving live scene around Melbourne. In 2009, Neil moved from the country town of Bendigo and landed in the middle of this jamming trio. Redcoat’s new musical direction soon started to take shape. A few months later, Redcoats worked with Rob Long at Birdland Studios to record their first collection of songs. The following year, the quartet made the decision to drop everything and focus solely on their band. After deciding the best place to create music was tucked away in isolation, Redcoats headed off on a series of writing trips in Victoria (AUS). Following some great gig experiences including Bass In The Grass (Darwin), Redcoats returned to Birdland Studios in July 2010 with some new tunes under their belt.With growing industry awareness, Redcoats were invited to showcase at International Music Conference One Movement MUSEXPO Asia Pacific in Perth in October 2010. Later that month they signed with their Management company, Blue Max Music. This year Redcoats returned to Birdland Studios to begin mixing their debut EP with Lindsay Gravina. In March, Redcoats released their debut single, “Dreamshaker,” which was added to the Triple J (AUS) playlist. The week after the release of their debut single, Redcoats headed out to tour nationally with legend rockers Stone Temple Pilots. In June, Redcoats signed with Island Records/Universal and released their debut EP the following month.
Evolver One is one of South Africa’s premium rock acts, having completed 20 national tours, performed over 500 shows and played just about every one of South Africa’s major music festivals and events, from charity gigs to audiences of 27,000. The group has shared the stage with many international greats such as 3 Doors Down, Staind, Hoobastank, Snow Patrol and Oasis. Evolver One’s debut album, Get Up (2006), produced a number of hit singles and music videos with songs such as “Get Up,” “Closer to You” and “Keep on Moving” doing especially well. In 2008 the four-piece released their second album What’s The Story? and the songs “Go All The Way,” “Pretty Thing” and “Why We Lonely” did well on the SA charts. The recently released self-titled album became a conversation piece in the South African music industry with the success of the single “Criminal.” The track reached No.1 on 94.5 Kfm/Highveld’s Homebrew and many songs from the album appeared in the South African movie soundtrack to The Race-ist. The members of Evolver One have come together internally to take their philosophy of “One” to the world through their music and actions. The group’s sound has been compared to the mass-appeal sounds of The Killers, Depeche Mode and Maroon 5.
The Trip is an Australian trio which is best known for their amazing live performances and quirky personalities. The members include Wes Roy (drums/vox), Chad Kendrick (guitar/vox) and Marco Yellin (guitar/vox), who have recently started to bring the game of frisbee back to the forefront of people’s minds. Their video for “On The First Time” shows fantastic frisbee skills that will make you want to try yourself. The video has been so popular that it has been played on Australian video outlets such as Rage, Channel V and Music Max. The Trip won the Rock Artist of the Year award at MusicOz 2010 and their single was fifth most added to commercial radio in Australia. “On The First Time” can be found on the EP - Volume 1 release, through MGM distribution. The EP contains two additional songs, “Still Water” and “Sweet Surrender,” plus the Dead Sexy Remix Paris and Beat Live Project Remix versions of “On The First Time.”
STREAM: "On The First Time"
Kidda is a Brighton, England-based electro and video producer signed to Skint Records, home of Fatboy Slim. His first album, Going Up, was released in 2008 and he also has a handful of single releases dating back to 2004. The first single off the album, “Smile,” was used as the theme song for the BBC sports show “Ski Sunday,” while the tune “Under The Sun” was used in a Bacardi worldwide TV advertising campaign. Remixes for the song by British producer Herve resulted in the it being supported by the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac and Kissy Sellout and licensed to a number of compilations including Ministry of Sound’s The Annual 2009 among others. Pulling double duty as a video producer and animator, Kidda also worked with the Lo-Fidelity Allstars and X-Press 2 as well as doing animation for the stage shows for Rihanna and Kanye West. Kidda is focused on music now, putting the finishing touches on the next album, Hotel Radio. One selection from the release is laid-back 80s-infused number “The Whistler,” which delivers an infectious electronic-pop melody which is already emanating across the US radio tastemaker airwaves.
STREAM: "The Whistler"
When your band's name is Goodluck, one would initially think they are from Las Vegas or have had a streak of good luck to get to where they are. Ironically, neither is the case with Capetown, South Africa’s Goodluck--a trio of music lovers who are lighting up the night skies with their jazz-infused beats. They have been described as a mix of serious talent; plenty of soul and an overload of passion and their goal is to take over the dance floors of the world. With a sound that blends electro beats with the distinctive sounds of sax, drums and keyboard, their music just makes you feel great. Influences like Morcheeba and Faithless can be heard as they bring forth their live instrumentation in their electronic dance-styled music. A dash of jazzy keyboards and funky sax adds just the right amount of spice to this hot combo. Formed in 2008, they have already taken their sound to the dance floors of St. Ives, FTV, Taboo and Club INC, have jammed alongside Paul Oakenfold, DJ Fresh, Just Jinjer and toured as the opening act for South Africa's Goldfish. Last month they toured in Holland and the UK as US fans eagerly hope for their arrival stateside.
STREAM: "Taking It Easy"
Teddybears formed almost two decades ago in Sweden and are still putting out quality music today. After releasing five albums of their own music, including successful collaborations with Caesars, Kleerup and Robyn, they return with their sixth studio album, Devil's Music. Originally distributed overseas last year, a revamped version is set to be released July 5 in the United States. One of the songs that’s been altered for the US version is “Get Mama A House,” which now features Atlanta rapper B.o.B, best known for his hits “Nothin’ On You” and “Airplanes.” The track continues to showcase the Teddybears’ unique and distinct style of production, mixing pop, rock, electro and hip-hop, reminiscent of the grooves of “Cobrastyle” and “Jerk It Out.” Many Swedes are familiar with the track for some time now since the original song was used as part of the advertising campaign for a Swedish real estate company two years ago. Devil's Music will also feature collaborations with Cee-Lo Green, The B-52's, Robyn, Eve and The Flaming Lips. Devil’s Music is sure to score huge syncs worldwide and substantial radio airplay.
STREAM: "Get Mama A House"
Liam Bailey, who was featured over a year ago in the A&R Worldwide newsletter, is a singer-songwriter born in Nottinghamshire, England. He is an accomplished soul musician with references spanning musical legends such as Sam Cooke and Otis Redding through to contemporary influences like Oasis and Lauryn Hill. Liam has worked with hip-hop producer Salaam Remi, renowned for his work with Nas, Amy Winehouse and The Roots drummer ?uestlove. Early in his career, Bailey has already shared the stage with fellow-UK artists and Critics' Choice BRIT Award winners Ellie Goulding and Jessie J. In November he supported Chase & Status on their UK tour, where he also provided vocals on their hit single, “Blind Faith.” The single was released in January and was a successful introduction to his work as it debuted at No.5 in the UK. Now focused on releasing his debut album, Out of the Shadows, Bailey has released a promotional single for “You Better Love Me” and the video has quickly reached over 100,000 views. Another track that has recently surfaced, “Heartbeat,” is starting to gain momentum from Internet bloggers, appearing on various podcasts and radio playlists on both sides of the Atlantic. Bailey was signed and A&R’d by Polydor’s Nick Shymansky (Amy Winehouse, La Roux, Jamie Woon). Leading up to the album release (tentatively scheduled for September), Bailey will be performing at a variety of summer festivals, including Glastonbury, the Wireless Festival, Lounge on The Farm, the Big Chill Festival, Bestival and more.
Emma Panas and Duncan McDougall are an alternative/electronica duo from London known to their fans as Paper Crows. A&R Worldwide received their demo single last summer from UK plugger Sean Denny and it impressed us right away. The duo first met at college and instantly connected through music. Emma is the lead vocalist, while Duncan produces the music and the result is a mixed batch of pop, alternative and indie rock. The duo released their first single last year, “Stand Alone,” which helped them raise their profile in the UK and giarnered them a little airplay on BBC Radio 1 via Nick Grimshaw and features in various blogs. Other songs have been added to their websites since their debut and they recently signed a deal with the production team Future Cut, best known for their production, mixing and co-writing of “Smile” by Lily Allen. Future Cut is composed of drum ’n’ bass producers Darren Lewis and Tunde Babalota who have also worked with Shakira, Professor Green, Natasha Bedingfield, Kate Nash, Dizzee Rascal and a host of many others. They are collectively putting together material for the Paper Crows’ debut album, which will be released on the newly re-launched independent dance label FFRR via Warner Music UK.
STREAM: "Folie A Duex"
The Maneken is an outstanding artist working in one of the most trendy music directions--electronic rock. Using musical styles as an outfit for creation of his ideas, he made several unique collections which have found their fans not only in former CIS countries, but also in Europe and United States. When The Maneken first burst on the scene just three short years ago, DJs from Ukrainian radio stations called him the “Ukrainian Jamiroquai.” Today his compositions are a wonderful combination of modern dance music and the broad pop-rock cultural heritage of the last decades, ranging from Air, Coldplay and Keane to The XX and Empire of the Sun. The Maneken's debut album, First Look, was released in 2009 by French label Somekind Records--and thanks to Virgin Megastore distribution, the record was sold in leading European countries and Japan. When Yevgeniy Filatov, lead singer of The Maneken, met up with German songwriter and movie director Charley Stadler, a turning point was made. The two built a friendship that resulted in Stadler writing most of the lyrics for The Maneken's second album, Soulmate Sublime, which was released last month. The four-piece recently performed at a packed SIR Studios in Hollywood as part of MUSEXPO Los Angeles and has drummed up interest from labels and music supervisors as a result.
Hailing from Denmark is the indie outfit known as Moi Caprice. The band formed back in 1993 was previously known as Concrete Puppet Frog, and rose to fame four years later as the first unsigned act to top the Danish alternative music charts in 1997, despite the fact that they never released a studio album. Although young in age, the four-piece lead by frontman Michael Møller, are already veterans in the Danish music scene. In the last seven years, they have released four acclaimed studio albums and are one of the most productive and beloved acts in their homeland. They consistently please their fans as well as the critics, while increasing their fan base year after year. Moi Capice recently released a singles collection, All We Fear Is Love, which displays their romantic indie-pop, which is clever, sophisticated and ambitious, but also catchy and addictive. The release is a double album, which also contains the bonus record, The Past Is A Foreign Country, with alternative versions of some of their earlier songs--a perfect collection for fans both new and old.
STREAM: "My Girl You Blush"
MAN WITHOUT COUNTRY
Their name carries an instant intrigue. The band themselves, a Cardiff, Wales-based trio all in their early twenties, have said that it derives from “a sense of not belonging.” Since forming in 2007, and evolving into a wildly different beast--glacial guitar ripples spliced with electronic ambience and synth-pop pulse, yet with the ability to morph into a capital-A Anthem when you least expect it--in the last two years or so, they’ve turned that sense to their advantage. Man Without Country name-checks some of the standard-bearers for this kind of stately, FX-heavy swirl: Radiohead, The National, Sigur Ros, M83. The band were recent winners of the BBC Radio 1 Introducing Int’l which debuted last week in Los Angeles and has seen the band garnering early support on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, KNRK Portland, MotorFM Germany and many others. Man Without Country’s 10-song debut album Foe was produced entirely in the band’s bedroom. Man Without Country is currently available for signing, licensing and publishing. They are managed by the same management team that’s represented Moby, Robyn and others in the UK/Europe.
STREAM: "Closet Addicts Annonymous"
Queensland is a state of Australia that is known for the outdoor lifestyle with world-class beaches, rain forests, national parks and waterways. Queensland is also a hotbed for musicians and is responsible for the likes of Dead Letter Circus, Hungry Kids of Hungary, The Boat People and many others. Hoping to join that list is the talented four-piece outfit Oceanics. Their love for similar music brought them together in 2005 and they've been able to turn many into bona fide fans. With Elliot (guitar, vocals), Jackson (guitar, vocals), Andy (drums) and Matt (bass, vocals), Oceanics has been gigging relentlessly in Australia, increasing their fan base one show at a time. They have performed at Big Sound, Caloundra Music Festival and played in front of 27,000 in the audience at a Gold Coast Titan’s rugby semi-final. The Queensland quartet are getting ready to release their debut EP this year after working with Govinda Doyle (Lady of The Sunshine, The Fumes) and their latest single is “Funs Over.” Sample the song here and if you'd like additional information on the available opportunities, contact manager Dan Ceh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STREAM: "Funs Over"
Melding vintage rock & roll with soulful funk, the Southern California quintet known as Capra has utilized an arsenal of swaggering rock tunes and funkadelic grooves to quickly build a name for themselves on the fiercely competitive Los Angeles club scene. Recently signed to Hollywood Records, the group is enjoying some early success even without a completed album in the marketplace. Capra has already secured three key synch opportunities, including the worldwide Expedia advertisement for their single “Low Day,” which was heard by over 106 million people when it was aired numerous times during last year’s Super Bowl. The tune has also made its way on to the Guitar Hero 5 video game and as one of the theme songs for the movie Sky Runners, which stars Capra lead singer Kelly Blatz (who also played the title role in the Disney XD series “Aaron Stone” and is currently in TBS's “Glory Daze”). Capra recently completed work on their forthcoming debut album for Hollywood Records with Matt Harris, A&R Director for the Burbank, CA-based label, which is due out this summer. The album is produced by Matt Wallace (Maroon 5, Sheryl Crow, Faith No More). The first single from the album is “If I Was...” which is a perfect fit for multi-format radio worldwide today that includes addicting hooks and a catchy chorus. Capra is confirmed to perform at the Worldwide Radio Summit Saturday, April 30 at 10pm in Hollywood. For available opportunities, contact manager Andrew Recke at email@example.com.
STREAM: "If I Was... (Michael Jackson)"
Melbourne’s Redcoats is a four-piece ensemble that exudes a big desert rock sound fused with vintage blues and ethereal vocals. The group consists of Emilio Mercuri (vocals), Rhys Kelly (bass), Andrew Braidner (drums) and Neil Wilkinson (guitars), who received high praise and early support from their home country. They just released their debut single, “DreamShaker,” and have a busy March calendar filled with five gigs supporting the Stone Temple Pilots. The track was recorded by Rob Long and mixed by Lindsay Gravina at Birdland Studios, which is the first official single from the forthcoming EP that has already been added to Triple J radio (Australia). The tune was secured last year to launch the new Australian “Iron Man” series on Australia’s leading Sport channel, One HD, and has just been added to iTunes Australia. The song delivers the mesmerizing guitar melodies of Led Zeppelin blended with the modern rock nuances of Wolfmother but melded with Redcoats’ own unique rock personality. The band is currently available for signing, licensing, booking and publishing in multiple territories worldwide.
In the 21st century, it’s nearly impossible for bands to go under the radar with the available technologies and various web outlets. With that being said, it’s very impressive that Strangers from North London has done just that--stayed undetected on the interweb. What has been confirmed is that the band is recording an album and studio wizard Glen Nicholls (remixer of Prodigy, UNKLE, White Lies, Mylo and Yaz) is heading up production. Strangers seem to be very mysterious to date, as you can see on their official website, http://strangersofficial.com, which is limited to the logo and a teaser track that sounds similar to what you would hear in a movie score. If you check their Facebook page, there is a picture of what looks to be nine tracks listed as an album. One of those tracks, “In Chaos,” can be sampled here. This dark pop track is epic, to say the least; the way the song builds and leads to a magnificent chorus that is mesmerizing. Strangers are currently looking for publishing and label opportunities. with all inquiries going through firstname.lastname@example.org.
STREAM: "In Chaos"
ONE NIGHT ONLY
Understanding where One Night Only is with their second album cannot be done without referencing how far they’ve come since the first. Two years ago, when they emerged into the spotlight with the Started a Fire debut, the Helmsley five-piece had everything in front of them. They were very young--singer George Craig was just 17--chasing the kind of dreams of pop stardom most young men fantasize about but never realize. But then it actually happened: “Just for Tonight” and Started a Fire both crashed into the Top 10 and One Night Only were stars. Since those heady days of breaking through, they have had a taste of the kind of lives and lifestyles pop stardom is meant to be all about. George has become the face of Burberry, almost as regularly glimpsed in fashion shoots and magazines as walking the streets of the band’s leafy North Yorkshire village hometown. One Night Only has played on the top of a skyscraper in New York, opened shops in Beirut and been around the world, and yet they’ve haven’t changed from the kind of down-to-earth, unfussy Yorkshire lads who laugh about it all with their old mates in the local pub. The band has enjoyed strong sales in the UK as well as multiple chart positions and is poised to be one of England’s breakthrough international guitar bands for 2011. They will be performing their very first West Coast show in the US at MUSEXPO Los Angeles in early May of this year.
MP3: "Can You Feel It"
STARS GO DIM
Complete with incredible songs, passion and hard work Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Stars Go Dim has been able to reach the masses around the globe. In late 2009, SGD independently released their debut album, Love Gone Mad, which is available as a free download www.starsgodim.com/free. This release resulted in abundant press, both national and international. The music has been licensed as well, becoming familiar to audiences of film, TV, radio, airlines, movie theatres, retail stores, gyms, restaurants and other businesses across the globe. Stars Go Dim was picked as the Subway Fresh Artist contest winner that also had involvement with Ourstage and Clear Channel. The band gained Clear Channel support nationwide and won the opportunity to open for the Goo Goo Dolls in San Francisco and write a song with Evan Bogart (Britney Spears, Beyonce, Rihanna). SGD have gone on to support many others, including Justin Bieber, Billy Joel, Elton John and more. The Midwest trio just released a captivating new single called “Like I Mean It,” which has already saw support from Alternative KMYZ Tulsa and Classic Hits KTGX Tulsa.
MP3: "Get Over It"
Liverpool has always been known as the city that gave us The Beatles in the 1960s, Echo & The Bunnymen in the ’80s as well as many other great acts including Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Farm, etc. Soon the city may be known for another talent, Luke Fenlon. This young and very gifted individual has already began to make an impression on the industry as he has headlined the Liverpool Soundcity Festival along with the Wombats in 2008, played the Red Bull stage at the 2009 Camden Crawl and performed on the rooftop of the London West Hollywood Hotel on Sunset Blvd. during MUSEXPO 2010. Fenlon also won the Yamaha Songwriter Competition with NME’s Chris Martin as a judge. Fenlon is currently writing and recording new material with hopes to have something for his fans soon. His latest song, “Summer,” sounds like an epic summer anthem that pays a 2011 musical homage to Beck – delivering a strong radio and synch-friendly sound.
Operator Please is a young mixed-gender quintet from Queensland, Australia that is building a buzz well beyond their tender years. Formed by vocalist/guitarist Amandah Wilkinson in order to enter a band competition--“I picked people at random who I knew played an instrument, and they just said ‘yes’”--Operator Please not only won the competition, but shortly thereafter self-released an EP and performed some showcases in New York City, after which they were quickly snapped up by Virgin/EMI for Australia and New Zealand and the independent Brille label for the UK. In 2008, they played the infamous Big Day Out Tour, with a trip to Europe and the UK, where BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe had deemed their song, “Get What You Want,” as the “Hottest Record in the World”. In 2009, Operator Please spent most of their time putting together their second album, titled Gloves, which was released at the end of April last year in Australia and the end of May in the UK. The new record has more of an electronic feel than Yes Yes Vindictive, their 2007 debut and was influenced by music from the 1980s. One of the standout tracks from the album is “Jealous,” which was written by lead singer Wilkinson and drummer Tim Commandeur.
British India emerged from the fertile underbelly of Melbourne’s independent music scene to take Australia by storm in July 2007 with their acclaimed debut album, Guillotine. Performing their arm-raising, air-punching anthems at venues and festivals across the country, British India developed a hard-earned reputation for their explosive live shows and relentless touring and was rewarded with the AIR Award for Best New Independent Artist. In July 2008 they released their second album, Thieves, which demonstrated the group’s growth, in both popularity and as songwriters. Thieves debuted at No.5 in the ARIA Top 10 and earned British India their first ARIA Award nomination. British India is one of Australia’s hardest-working bands, having played over 300 headline shows and every major festival Australia has to offer and has sold 65,000 albums independently. Their third album, Avalanche, released in June 2010, produced their second Top 10 debut in 18 months and features one of the band’s most popular tracks, “Vanilla.” Released exclusively to Triple J, the song gave the boys their third entry into the Triple J Hottest 100. “Vanilla” has already started to get stateside radio support from tastemakers KNRK Portland, WAQX Syracuse and WBSX Wilkes Barre. In addition, the band is currently being courted by a number of labels.
RoySeven isa six-piece outfit from Dublin, Ireland consisting of Paul Walsh (vocals), Paul O’Hara (keyboards), Sam Garland (guitar), Eamonn Barrett (guitar), Darragh Oglesby (drums) and Bernard O’Neill (bass). Their influences range from The Doors, Muse and Led Zeppelin to Jeff Buckley, Keane and The Beatles. Coming together via mutual friends, they formed in 2003 and released their debut album on Universal, The Art of Insincerity, three years later. The album was critically acclaimed and reached No.17 on the Irish Album Chart, producing four singles. During the tour for the album, RoySeven shared stages with the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, The Fratellis and more throughout Ireland and Germany. On Feb. 1, 2007, the group was awarded the “Hope for 2007” honor at the 7th annual Meteor Music Awards, which is Ireland’s equivalent to the Brits and the Canadian Juno awards. Five years after their debut, the sextet is getting ready to release their sophomore effort, You Say, We Say through Roadrunner in February of next year. RoySeven has just released two singles from the album, “Killer” and “We Should Be Lovers.”
MP3: "We Should Be Lovers"
Electro-pop producer/songwriter Vincent Frank aka Frankmusik always wanted to create unique music and put his own twist on pop culture. Originally known for his beat-boxing around his hometown of Croydon, England, Frank started out under the stage name Mr. Mouth, later changing it to Frankmusik. He decided to put things in motion in 2007 with retro synths, Commodore 64 samples, spicy lyrics and raging drum riffs, leading him to a deal with Island/Universal in December of that same year. First enjoying success creating remixes for the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Lady Gaga, Alphabeat, Mika and CSS, he also started to tour, having the privilege to secure the opening slot for Sam Sparro during his O2 Wireless Festival Tour 2008. In early 2009, he continued to tour and this time was the support act for Keane on their Perfect Symmetry tour in the UK; he also opened for the Pet Shop Boys in June of that same year in Manchester and London. His debut album, Complete Me, reached No.13 in the UK with the breakout singles “Better Off As Two,” “Confusion Girl” and “3 Little Words.” Since his debut, Frank has been busy producing material for other artists, such as Tinchy Stryder, Catch 22, Ellie Goulding and even teamed up with Joe Jonas for his next solo album. Frank recently recorded with the Far East Movement, who recently had a U.S. No.1 hit with “Like A G6,” on the track “Fighting For Air,” which can be found on their album, Free Wired. Frank has been recording new material of his own for the last year and a half and the first taste from his sophomore album, Follow The Leader, is a track he wrote with Martin Kierszenbaum, Chairman of Cherrytree Records, President of A&R, Pop & Rock, Interscope Records & President of International Operations for Interscope Geffen A&M, titled “The Fear Inside.” The song has a larger-than-life chorus, outstanding production and helps Frankmusik take another step towards superstardom.
MP3: "Fear Inside"
ZEBRA & GIRAFFE
Zebra & Giraffe is an alternative rock outfit from South Africa. The cleverly named act began as the 12-lettered pseudonym of Johannesburg music genius Greg Carlin, but has now evolved into a five-piece live band that has toured across South Africa. Since its release in May 2008, debut album Collected Memories has produced six hit singles – including “Oxymoron,” which reached No.1 on College Radio, Top 5 on 5FM and No.1 on MK in South Africa. The band played at the 2008 Coke Zero Festival, a music festival that took place in Johannesburg and Cape Town with headliners Snow Patrol, Oasis and Panic at the Disco. In 2009 they supported The Killers on the South African leg of their tour in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The group was also nominated for four SA Music Awards (SAMAs) in the categories “Best Newcomer,” “Best Rock,” “Best Album Packaging” and “MTN Record of the Year” for “The Knife.” Collected Memories took home the award for “Best Rock Album.” Their sophomore album, The Inside, was recently released in South Africa with three different versions of the album released on the same date. The album is produced by the talented Cenzo Townshend (U2, Snow Patrol, The Kaiser Chiefs). “The End of the Road” is one of the standout songs on the album and has received positive feedback from radio programmers in a variety of territories.
MP3: "End Of The Road"
Formed in 1999, Auckland’s Steriogram first achieved success in 2004 when their release of their Schmack! album, featuring the song “Walkie Talkie Man.” The song was used for the Apple iPod commercials as well as featured in the movies Agent Cody Banks 2, Kicking & Screaming, Robots and Man of the House. That song also was featured in the EA Sports’ MVP Baseball 2004 and MLB 2005 video games and even appeared in the ABC television show, Alias. After a handful of singles and another album, the five-piece released their third studio album, Taping The Radio in late September on iTunes and made available in New Zealand stores on November 2nd. One thing that the band is best known for, is their creativity in their videos and once again don’t disappoint with their latest clip for “Moving On.” The track is sure to please Alternative and Specialty radio programmers and the video is a must-see, which shows the sporty personalities each member possesses. You may view the music video here www.myspace.com/steriogram and order the music here http://steriogram.bandcamp.com.
MP3: "Moving On"
Though the five members of Dresden, Germany-based band Polarkreis 18 are each only 25 years of age, they have a wealth of experience that belies their youthful stature, having played together for a decade since first forming the group whilst still schoolboys of 13. They’ve utilized that time well, honing a singular sound that combines driving drums, melodic guitars, electronic elements and an otherworldly male voice, courtesy of vocalist/guitarist Felix. (The lads apparently disdain the use of surnames, with the rest of the band including drummer Christian, guitarist Phil, bassist Uwe and keyboardist/sampler Bernd). The released their eponymous debut through Germany’s Motor Music in February 2007 and quickly won over a slew of fans, thanks to soundscapes that have drawn comparisons to such luminaries as Sigur Ros, Radiohead and Snow Patrol. The group went on a pan-European tour in support of the release, playing shows not only all across their native Germany but also in France, Holland and the UK. Their sophomore effort, The Colour of Snow, spawned the single “Allein, Allein (Alone Alone),” which reached No.1 on the German Media Control Top 100 Singles chart from October 31, 2008 – December 4, 2008. Polarkreis 18 are getting ready to release their third album, Frei, which is scheduled to be released in Germany on November 26, 2010.
MP3: "Unendliche Sinfonie"
The Jezabels are a four-piece group from Sydney, Australia. They formed after meeting at the University of Sydney and their music has been difficult to label as it mixes multiple genres such as indie pop, indie rock, rock and disco pop. Hayley Mary (vocals) and Heather Shannon (piano/keyboards) first began playing together in Byron Bay before moving to Sydney to attend school, where they met Nik Kaloper (drums) and Sam Lockwood (rhythm guitar) and formed the band. They have already released three EPs since their 2007 inception. They have received a substantial amount of airplay, including FBi Radio and Triple J in Australia. Their live show is reminiscent of a blending of Kate Bush on a soundclash with The Cranberries and Björk. The quartet has played a number of festivals around the country including Big Day Out, Pyramid Rock, Festival of the Sun, Playground Weekender, Come Together, Peats Ridge Festival and Soundwave. They also supported Tegan & Sara, Bluejuice, Sparkadia, Casette Kids and more on the road. Their latest EP, Dark Storm, was released in October and contains five brilliant tracks including the single “A Little Piece.” The Jezabels are currently available for signing, licensing and publishing.
MP3: "A Little Piece"
Melodics are a five-piece live revivalist hip-hop act, with synth-heavy rock grooves and new wave rap flavors. Think David Bowie meets Kanye West or Joy Division meets Santigold, but without the eye-patch, ego, depression and gold leggings. Their influences range from Gary Numan to Elliott Smith, from De La Soul to Gnarles Barkley and from Outkast to The Bangles. Following up the release of their debut album, 4D, last year, The Melodics return with Paint Me Gold. Bringing together a creative, energetic and original mix of electro-rock and indie hip-hop, the new offering see’s the Melbourne bunch team up with renowned producers Jan Skubiszewski (Jackson Jackson, Phrase), Russell Fawcus (Temper Trap, The Kooks) and Forrester Savell (Karnivool, The Butterfly Effect). The result – imagine if INXS replaced Michael Hutchence with Busta Rhymes instead of Rockstar INXS’s JD Fortune. The Melodics consider 4D a best-of record; even though they didn’t release any of the records they took the songs from, but feel it’s the best of the batch for their fans.
Pippa Marias is a London-based quartet that mixes electro with indie-pop. The outfit consists of Bernhard, Robert, Figaro and Tobias, all of whom have roots in the Scandinavian market. Their music represents a touch of the past, present and future as their first EP was recorded with producer Paul Tipler (Idelwild, The Charlatans, Placebo). Gill Mills from Best of MySpace has included them in her recent podcasts and describes their music by saying “Pippa Marias sounds like Zdar/Cassius/Phoenix style, French dance pop, but with more of an edge. Then you realize it’s because they’re Swedish, and as we all know, the Swedes OWN good dance-inflected pop music”
MP3: "Shut Your Mouth"
The Pierce sisters were born two years apart in Birmingham, Alabama. They traveled frequently and received home-schooling from their self-described hippie parents. Their father played the guitar in various bands, while their mother was a painter. Exposed to music and arts at an early age, the Pierce sisters grew up listening to Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkel. While attending Auburn University, a close friend sent a tape to a record company in Nashville. This eventually resulted in their debut self-titled album in 2000. Unfortunately for the sisters, the record got lost and shuffled between other artists and major releases. Five years later, their sophomore effort, Light of the Moon, was released through Universal. The album was produced by Brian Sperber (3 Doors Down, Everclear, Blues Traveler) and featured 11 tracks the sisters either wrote or co-wrote. Just two short years later, their third album, Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge, was released and this time produced by Roger Greenawalt (Ben Kweller). The album opened some doors for the girls as they performed two songs on the CW television show “Gossip Girl” and their song “Secret” appeared in a promo for the Showtime series “Dexter.” The duo also appeared in The All-American Rejects’ latest album, on the track “Another Heart Calls.” The Pierces are returning to the spotlight with the new single “Love You More” and plan on releasing an EP of the same name at the end of October on Polydor in the UK. They’ve picked up representation with veteran manager Peter Leak (Lissie).
MP3: "Love You More"
Churchill began as singer/songwriter Tim Bruns and musician friend Michael Morter teaming up with a passion to create relevant music rooted in acoustic instruments, redemptive lyrics and refreshingly good melodies. This five piece indie-folk outfit was fully formed after the addition of cello, piano, bass and drums, fleshing out the already listenable guitar-mandolin duo. Since their debut performance in May of last year, Churchill has been gaining momentum and turning heads in Denver and the surrounding regions. With compelling and emotive lead vocals, a noticeable creative energy on stage, powerful harmonies and satisfyingly distinct instrumentation the band has won praise from fans and critics alike. “With a powerful drum/bass foundation underneath them, Churchill adds acoustic guitar, keyboard, mandolin and cello to create a sound with elements of rock, folk, alternative and ‘new-grass,’ in a combination you have likely never heard, but will not likely forget once you do,” states Jeff McQuilkin, The Examiner. By December 2009, the band placed third in KTCL Denver’s Hometown for the Holidays radio contest as voted by Colorado listeners. A universally appealing sound, continued radio play and sold-out shows are fueling immense success for the Denver act locally and beyond. The band recently performed at Nelarusky: a pre-Lollapalooza event benefiting Special Olympics of Chicago last month. They have also caught the ears of tastemaker radio, with their single “I Still Remember” getting support from such stations as KNRK Portland, KBCO Denver, WBTZ Burlington, WEQX Albany and more.
MP3: "I Still Remember"
New UK pop/urban female artist Miya-B, born in Morocco and raised in the south of England, has just completed her debut solo album, Past and Present. This beautiful 22-year-old has spent the past year writing and recording an honest and intense biographical account of her life, which has been surrounded by drama, tragedy and regret--but also inspiration. Originally in pop duo Boo2 with her sister, Amelle Berrabah, who is now in the chart topping band The Sugababes, Miya-B is very much in the driving seat of her own career now. Her focus on pop melodies mixed with meaningful lyrics matches perfectly with today’s pop climate. Having teamed up with UK producer and Ivor Novello Award-winning writer Pete Kirtley in late 2009 after working together on the Boo2 project, Pete decided to drop all other priorities and concentrate purely on this album. “I’m a big fan of pop music but what interested me most about Miya-B was her depth. We both wanted her album to be pop but doing a non-generic club record really interested me and was a breath of fresh air. For a young artist she’s been through a lot and she’s not scared to write about it. We tried blending really intense stories from her life and framing it with a pop sound, which totally worked. On the surface it’s a very accessible contemporary pop record, but if you scratch beneath the surface and listen to the subject matter you’ll see a real ‘from the heart’ adaptation of events that have affected her life. But it’s also a fun record too.” Miya-B is one of the most dynamic energetic new female artists to come out of the UK in recent years--the new Neneh Cherry for a new generation; raw, honest and real.
Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Ruby Frost sounds like pop music short-circuiting on an ’80s drum machine. From her sequins to her heart-quenching tunes, Frost is a talent who’s been influenced by the likes of Björk and Kate Bush and has been compared to the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and La Roux. The petite singer, born Jane de Jong, had always written poetry, short stories and lyrics since her early teens. Now 23, armed with a guitar and a knack for programming her own beats, she uses songs as her way to express her take on the world. As she’s explained, “writing is where I untangle the mess in my mind.” A childhood in the gospel music scene gave Frost the opportunity to travel the world, sparking a nomadic itch that today only touring can cure. Renowned producer Chris Zane (Passion Pit, Mumford & Sons) agrees. He’s signed on to produce Frost’s debut album and the pair have already worked together on recordings of “Hazy,” “Smoke and Mirrors” and “Young.” Frost released an acoustic EP, How Long, in 2007 and has gigged around New Zealand with various artists, including Dear Time's Waste, Glass Owls, Black Jagger, Ghost Wave, Lisa Crawley and Lydia Cole. In the last year, she’s ditched her day job, worked with the likes of songwriter Phil Buckle (John Farnham), producer Paul Mac (Silverchair) and Evermore’s Dann Hume, and spent hours scouring op shops for inspiration and stitching costumes for her shows. When she’s not producing or touring, Frost can be seen as the Music Reporter on TV2’s The Erin Simpson Show in Australia, interviewing bands. Just last year, she won the MTV 42Unheard Competition, signing her to Universal Music in New Zealand, paving a very bright future for this young talent.
SCOUTING FOR GIRLS
Formed in 2005, London’s own Scouting For Girls consists of Roy Stride, Greg Churchouse and Peter Ellard. The band based their name off of the Scouting for Boys handbook written in 1908 stating the principles of scouting and giving instructions to younger men on good citizenship. In 2007 Scouting For Girls signed with Epic (UK) President Nick Raphael and released their first EP, It’s Not About You. The first single, “She’s So Lovely,” spent six weeks in the Top 10 UK charts as well as the UK Download Charts and is the highest charting limited edition EP in chart history. The debut album from Scouting For Girls has sold over 850,000 copies and reached No. 1 for two weeks in the UK. The band started writing their next album and before it was recorded, it was trashed and started over again from scratch. Roy Stride stated, “I just wanted to write the perfect pop song. We are perfectionists!” Well the hard work has paid off and Scouting For Girls just finished recording their second album, Everybody Wants to Be on TV. The lead single, “This Ain’t A Love Song” quickly became a No. 1 hit in the UK and has crossed over to the US with early support from Indie 103.com, KNRK Portland, WEQX Manchester VT & Albany NY, WCNR Charlottesville and Sirius Satellite Radio’s Hits-1 station, which has logged over 500 spins to date. The same track has also become a Top 20 hit in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and Europe.
MP3: "This Aint A Love Song"
A passionate and captivating musician, Ronit has developed a devoted following around Australia that grows with each performance: audiences are drawn to her strong vocals and emotive, honest lyricism, while being floored by her fiery guitar playing. Her compelling blend of musical influences sets Ronit apart from her Australian female singer/songwriter contemporaries. Ronit is accompanied by a six-piece band, which features some of Melbourne’s finest musicians, who perfectly complement and embellish Ronit’s catchy songwriting. Her music has been used in a successful short film, The Wake, directed by Gemma Lee. It screened at Palm Springs Short Fest in June 2009 to critical acclaim and was recently chosen for the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Ronit released her debut EP Heavy through MGM in June 2009 and played a series of solo shows in LA and New York. She also recently secured worldwide management after her performance at MUSEXPO Europe in London last month as well as strong publisher and label interest after showcasing at MUSXPO Europe. She’ll soon head back to New York to co-write songs with a number of US-based writers.
MP3: "Hearts Don't Bend"
THE DUKE & THE KING
The Duke & The King is a soul-folk-glam ensemble from the Catskill Mountains of New York founded, produced, and created by Simone Felice (The Duke) and former George Clinton collaborator Robert Burke (The King), featuring the sensational Simi Stone and Reverend Loveday--and like any traveling theatre troupe there’s bound to be a growing cast of bewitching characters. Named for the traveling Shakespeare hustlers in ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,’ this curious band of rebels/rabble have found an unexpected home together, a floating raft adrift on a river of chance, an itinerant church of harmony and sin where its okay to French kiss your cousin and all strays are welcome to come out of the cold and sing along to these songs of love, loss, pathos, and hope. In just a short time since the release of their debut album The Duke & The King have garnered a barrage of international acclaim, earning comparisons to some of pop history’s most hallowed acts, from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to Smokey Robinson, Fleetwood Mac, Sly & the Family Stone, Simon & Garfunkel and newcomers Mumford & Sons. The quartet released their debut Nothing Gold Can Stay last August, receiving rave reviews and helping them build a fan base in both the US and the UK. After extensive touring and continued recording, they are ready to return to the spotlight with a new album, Long Live The Duke & The King on September 27. The first taste of the sophomore effort is “Shaky,” an organic blend of sleek keyboards, drums and beautiful vocals.
A&R Worldwide has been a big fan of Denmark’s Mads Langer for many years and assisted him and Copenhagen Records with development a few years back. He also garnered rave reviews from the global music industry after showcasing at MUSEXPO in West Hollywood. Two weeks ago Mads secured a worldwide deal with Sony Music Entertainment and he’s finally on the verge of global success thanks to his relentless efforts. Mads was signed to respected Scandinavian indie Copenhagen Records, for which he released his debut album, Attention Please, and 2009’s eponymous follow-up. Langer has already been receiving raves for his commanding stage presence, multi-instrumental ability and keen songwriting sense. BBC Radio 1 DJ Mike Davies referred to Langer as “a chilled-out version of Radiohead and Muse,” while Martin Ashplant of www.inthenews.co.uk states, “There is every chance this young man can go much farther than Scandinavia. Soulful and wistful with Muse-like vocals that can tug, Langer…has a chance to take the world by storm.” The first single from Attention Please, “Breaking News,” was immediately given “Hit of the Week” status at influential Danish radio station P3 while also receiving a bevy of American airplay on such tastemaker outlets as the late KDLD “Indie 103.1” Los Angeles, as well as WKQX “Q101” Chicago, KTCL Denver and KATT Oklahoma City, among others. A fan-favorite track that always receives praise at his live shows is the cover of the 1997 hit by Olive, “You’re Not Alone.” The way that Langer reconstructs the song is reminiscent of the original; but this version births new life and gives it a completely different twist, which would be perfect for any radio outlet today. With a voice that at once evokes Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke and something unique, Langer is a bright new artist who creates songs that are alternately raw and intimately elegant.
MP3: "You're Not Alone"
Montée is a progressive pop band from Oslo, Norway founded in 2006 by Anders Tjore, Erlend Mokkelbost and Maya Vik. The quartet made their musical mark for the very first time outside of Norway with their stunning debut performance at The Borderline club in London, England last week during MUSEXPO Europe. Having worked with the Waterfall camp (best known for their initial production development with acts such as Ting Tings and Ida Maria), it was easy to see why Montée would be such a crowd-pleaser. With musical backgrounds varying from orchestral pop to hardcore punk and alternative rock, Montée drew a flashback to a retro-new wave twist with a modern musical feel. After a series of popular concerts in Norway and Sweden, the group began recording their debut album, Isle of Now, in 2007. Recorded in their rehearsal space in Oslo, with only a few borrowed microphones, it proved that good ideas are more important than expensive equipment. On its release in early 2009, the album received great feedback from both press and the public and Montée was subsequently awarded the Norwegian Grammy for Best Pop Group for their efforts. With the addition of drummer Marius Simonsen and keyboardist Haakon-Marius Pettersen to the lineup, they are now a live entity with a dedicated following. Montée proved last week that their live shows are a mix of their focused songs and spur of the moment jamming--an unusual, entertaining and energetic experience!
MP3: "Isle Of Now"
The Shoos are a four piece from Dublin, Ireland and the most unlikely set of musicians to be thrown together in any room. They consist of a sportswear designer, a suit, an insomniac and a grown up, which sounds more like a reality TV show than a music outfit ready to take on the world. Last September they released their debut single, “Yeah,” which received a lot of national and regional airplay in Ireland, such as FM104’s “Strawberry Pick of the Week,” Spin 103.8, 98FM, 2FM and Newstalk 106FM. At the start of 2010 they were invited to New York to showcase the music from their forthcoming album. The lads were initially skeptical about venturing stateside, but these fears quickly evaporated when they first took to the stage in the East Village. By the end of the trip they had not only gained a fan base in a New York minute, but were asked to join OneRepublic on their tour of Ireland. The Shoos continued to move forward by releasing the single “Distance” last month, picking up a lot of support from previous radio champions, resulting in a rare invitation to perform on the Pat Kenny Radio Show for an audience of over 425,000 listeners. Even though the single was released independently, that didn’t stop it from reaching the top of the charts in Ireland. To help matters, the video features Joane King of “The Tudors” and “Casualty & Shameless” fame and is directed by Simon Eustace with cinematography by Sundance Film Festival winner Michael Lavelle. The Shoos have July 14 circled on their calendars as they are opening for Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighers at The Academy in Dublin.
In a parallel universe, on a dying alien planet, the four members of the band Rubylux decided to escape and preserve their cultural and musical traditions by travelling to the rest of the known universe...and beyond. Armed with only their instruments, the quartet was ceremoniously inserted into the launch unit…and unceremoniously thrown out in Brighton, England, whereupon a travelling psychedelic producer called James Sanger (Dido, Keane) offered them shelter for six months in his wonderful studio, where they could prepare for world domination. The music was spread worldwide on “Heroes,” “Neighbors,” Channel 5 and other advertisements across the globe. They now have a song in the running for a major synch with a new movie (Chalet Girl) currently in production and starring Bill Nighy. The album was mixed by Ash Howes and mastered by Dick Beetham at 360 Mastering...the rest, as they say, is history. Or at least it will be at some time in the future. The album, Fake Control, is scheduled to be released June 6 and features the smash “The Boy Could Fly” and is available for international licensing and signing.
MP3: "The Boy Could Fly"
PINT SHOT RIOT
Pint Shot Riot are rapidly building a name for themselves that is starting to extend beyond the bounds of their hometown of Coventry, England. Melding the jagged rhythms and cutting lyrics of The Clash, the blue-collar rock attitude of Oasis and the melodious, harmonic sound of the Kinks, Pint Shot Riot’s songs favor hope over despair and so appealed to audiences that, six months after the current lineup formed, they were playing on the Glastonbury Introduces stage at the famed festival of that name and were praised by BBC Radio One’s Huw Stephens as “one of the best new bands in the UK” that year. They’ve since shared stages with the likes of We Are Scientists, Dirty Pretty Things, The View, Athlete and fellow Coventry natives The Enemy. The band’s first single, the ominously titled “Punches Kicks Trenches Swords,” earned significant airplay throughout the UK. During a segment of BBC DJ Steve Lamacq’s “Music Roundtable” show, members of the Kaiser Chiefs described “Punches…” as “an awesome track, different to what’s going on--we would love to see them live and hear it louder!” In 2009, PSR’s full, yet unfinished, release leaked online, titled The Album with standout tracks “Come Back To Me” and “Not Thinking Straight,” which were released as singles jointly the same day in October. Their momentum continued as their songs were used in a variety of EA Games’ top sellers, including FIFA 10, Need For Speed: Nitro, Fight Night 4 and Sims 3. Their songs were also featured on Soccer AM, the British Saturday-morning football show, which is predominantly based around the Premier League and has a very large audience. “Nothing from You” is the next single, scheduled to be released at the end of May. The Album in its finished form will someday legally see the light of day, but as of now there isn’t a definitive release date.
MP3: "Nothing from You” (Redanka remix edit)"
Thirteen Senses is a four-piece from Penzance, Cornwall (UK) which formed in 2001 and is the only Cornish band to have a Top 20 single to date. In the early stages of their career they were originally called Soul Magician, releasing an EP titled Inside A Healing Mind. In 2003, they released an independent demo album which was a preview to their major label debut on Mercury Records, The Invitation. Their official debut reached No.14 in the UK Album Chart and spawned three singles, including “Into The Fire,” which broke the group into the UK Top 20 and was used in such TV shows as Rescue Me, Grey’s Anatomy, The 4400, Tru Calling, ER, WWE SummerSlam and more. In 2005 they toured throughout the UK and Europe and played such elite festivals as Glastonbury, T in the Park and the V Festival. After releasing their second album, Contact, in 2007, Thirteen Senses announced that they were already working on their third album. Between 2008 and 2009 they released samples and demos before releasing the name of the work as Crystal Sounds, which was finally released independently in March. “The Answer” is just a glimpse of the nine-song album, which shows how the group has grown with their songwriting. This song is a truly a treat for music supervisors and radio programmers worldwide.
MP3: "The Answer"
German born Christian Linke (known as Linke) was raised on a healthy dose of Buddy Holly, Chubby Checker and Simon and Garfunkel thanks to his parents. Growing up, his influences morphed into the modern rock scene and any other genre that featured a guitar. At the tender age of six he picked up his first guitar but didn’t really start taking it seriously until he was 15. “I never took a lesson; I just started practicing a few hours every day. I used to put on a CD and try to play along. Later on I started playing the bass guitar and soon realized that both instruments had their sex appeal. The most deciding part was that the ladies love the deep warm tones [laughs].” When Linke is on stage, he’s comfortable with his beloved Tobias Classic five-string bass and a Yorkville Bass Amp that gives out unbelievable energy and beautiful tones.
Skybombers are a quartet from Australia, filled with youth, energy and good old rock n roll. Their first release, the Sirens EPin 2007, consisted of five tracks, including the single “It Goes Off.” The song was licensed by EA Games and added into rotation on the influential tastemaker radio station KDLD Indie 103.1 Los Angeles, where it was played over several hundred times. The guys then released their debut album, Take Me to Town, in May of 2008, which was recorded in LA with producer Rick Parker, best known for his work with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Von Bondies and Dandy Warhols. Skybombers took to the road to promote the album and even landed an opening spot for the Foo Fighters. The lads are currently putting the finishing touches on their sophomore album and have returned with “Love Me like You Used to Do.” This glimpse into their latest work showcases their Beatles influence, as they return with a powerful tune that should find its way to radio in no time.
MP3: "Love Me Like You Used To Do"
Graffiti6 is the project name for the duo of TommyD and British singer-songwriter Jamie Scott. Scott also goes under the name J.S. Baylin and has released music with his band, Jamie Scott and the Town, even appearing in the movie Step Up, where he performed a song as a solo artist and it was included on the soundtrack. TommyD is an established writer, producer, DJ and arranger who’s worked with everyone from Jay-Z and Kanye West to Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson. He also produced Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy,” the international smash that topped the charts in 20 countries. Graffiti6 has been described as “Psychedelic Northern Soul” and has already started to see success with the single “Stare into the Sun.” This feel-good song has become the duo’s trademark. Last summer it was used by The Sun newspaper advertising campaign, where James Murdoch himself insisted on using the audio--the first time the paper ever worked with an unsigned band. This exposure encouraged the pair to buckle down in the studio and focus on finishing new tracks. The result of the hard work can be found on their first EP, Stone in My Heart, which is a simple introduction to the sound and look of the band. “It’s four tracks that will give people an idea of what we’re about,” exclaims Scott.
MP3: "Staring Into The Sun"
Lazee was born in 1985 in Malmo, Sweden. At the age of 13, his mother decided that she wasn’t providing the best environment for her son, so she sent him to London to “become something.” After hearing The Notorious B.I.G., Lazee was motivated to create his own music and moved back to Sweden with the ambition of finishing his first hip-hop album. During his return, Lazee passionately spent most of his time in the studio recording. While distributing his mixtapes, Lazee was introduced to producer Ishi and both of them created a new sound, “house meets hip-hop and rock.” Lazee moved to Stockholm at the end of summer 2007 and started to collaborate with Ishi and House DJ Sebastian Ingrosso. At the first session they created the single, “Rock Away,” which was an instant success and even grabbed the attention of Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit), who requested to do a remix with Lazee. For the next collaboration, Lazee teamed up with Jacob Widen of the Swedish band Neverstore for “Hold On.” The song is reminiscent to the Jay-Z & Linkin Park collaborations, with radio appeal and great crossover potential. The video was shot in Hong Kong and was a smash hit all across Sweden, Germany and in Europe. The song is finally ready to be unleashed to the US with Ultra Records distributing the record. In the meantime, Lazee continues to stay busy in Sweden with the success of his latest track, “Calling Out.” This collaboration continues where “Hold On” left off and has already been No.1 on iTunes Sweden. He’s also collaborated with S. African duo Locknville on their hit single, “Sun in My Pocket.” The song features Swedish rock band Apollo Drive, which is also currently making a name for themselves in the US with their hit “Papercut” getting support from radio, including Sirius/XM.
MP3: "Hold On feat. Neverstore"
Appearances can be deceiving, but sometimes appearances can reveal a story. Hargo is a man with an array of pasts, countless possible futures, but one destination. Hargo was born an only child in Eugene, Oregon in 1985. He grew up in a very musical family, with most of his early memories set to a soundtrack of his father playing Bowie, Tom Petty and Beatles songs on his guitar. His mother also sang and played the violin, harmonium and some guitar. Hargo first picked up a guitar at age seven and one year later wrote his first song. His second song, entitled “Giving,” was a simple message of humanity and cherishing both our differences and similarities. It struck a chord and the song became the theme song of the 1999 South African Peace Conference. At 13 he performed an original song for the first time. His teacher and mentor, Yogi Bhajan, heard it and was very pleased, asking him to perform it again later than night at his class: “In front of the whole crowd he told me to start making up a new song, out loud, on the spot. After being a bit shocked, I started playing my guitar and making up lyrics and melody in a stream-of-consciousness manner, which evolved into a very interesting song. After a few minutes my teacher told me that I should write songs in this way, that it’s better to be direct with people and not dilute the message of a song with too much symbolism and hyperbole.” A very young Hargo released a few albums of music recorded on a simple Yamaha AW4416, bought in India during his sophomore year of high school. While in India he underwent a discipline that involved wrestling lions. Hargo is preparing to release The Faint Glow EP in the spring, with the first single being the very powerful “Soul Survivor,” which is already being played on KNRK Portland, WEQX Albany and MotorFM Geramny.
MP3: "Soul Survivor"
Locnville consists of twin brothers Andrew and Brian Chaplin, who are related to the late Charlie Chaplin. Although they were born in America, the Chaplins father is South African and they have lived there for the majority of their lives. The duo started generating a buzz internationally back in January when their music reached the hands of numerous executives in Cannes, France (including ours). Since then, Sun In My Pocket has sold almost 13,000 copies in South Africa alone and is expected to go Gold (20,000 copies sold) by the end of April. The duo’s previous work with South African producer Gabi Le Roux and a band called III saw them releasing an album on MXIT, a social messaging platform, which went on to achieve Double Platinum download sales status and made them the first group in South African music history to release an album in this format. “Sun in My Pocket” has been named Song of The Year and Jam of The Summer by their fans. The twins’ South African label Just Music has already been offered a number of licensing deals worldwide.
MP3: "Sun In My Pocket"
The ultra-talented French duo Monarchy first caught A&R Worldwide’s attention last October when the band’s manager “G” contacted us with their haunting, atmospheric and song-driven electronic anthems. Monarchy has since inspired tastemakers worldwide, with support from BBC Radio 1 DJs Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw, the syndicated int’l music show Passport Approved, MotorFM Germany, Popjustice, NME, The Times and many others. Monarchy’s latest recordings take the French electronic revolution to new heights with the very song-driven aspects of their album worth of material, including the unforgettable “Black, The Colour of My Heart,” which is sure to be snapped up by music supervisors and ad agencies looking to combine evocative, suave electronic melodies and haunting lyrics with their next visual media campaign. The song is one of many brilliantly crafted numbers that are sure to make Monarchy’s debut album one of the most anticipated of 2010. Monarchy is currently available for signing, licensing and booking in multiple territories worldwide.
MP3: "Black The Colour Of My Heart"
Ellie Goulding is the latest sensation hailing from England. Born in Hereford, approximately 16 miles from Wales, this 23-year-old singer-songwriter is signed to Polydor Records and already has a smash with her debut single, “Under the Sheets.” Goulding attended the University of Kent to study drama and while there was exposed to electronic music for the first time. After a few e-mails back and forth with Frankmusik via MySpace, the two began to work on her craft, resulting in her leaving school and moving to West London. When it was time to release her first song it was under the independent label Neon Gold Records instead of Polydor, so that she wouldn’t be under too much pressure to succeed. The song premiered on BBC Radio 1 on September 30--the same month she was signed, and the single reacted positively and received heavy airplay. In October Goulding supported Little Boots on tour and even performed a couple of songs on Later… with Jools Holland (UK). Her debut album, Lights, is scheduled for a March 1 release and includes the new single, “Starry Eyed.” It was primarily produced by Starsmith, who has also worked with Katy Perry, Passion Pit and Lady Gaga. Ellie is managed by Crown Music in London, England (Jessie J, Sugababes).
MP3: "Under The Sheets"
An acoustic-based singer/songwriter in the tradition of Paul Simon, Nick Drake, Tom Waits, Ron Sexsmith and Jack Johnson, Sydney, Australia’s Leroy Lee has steadily been building both a buzz and momentum Down Under. He’s been an “Unearthed” selection at Triple J Radio, Australia’s national Alternative station, where he won a contest to support a former “Unearthed” artist who’s since moved on to bigger and better things: singer/songwriter Missy Higgins, who made Australia’s best-selling albums of 2005 and 2007 and personally chose Lee to open the NSW dates on her tour, stating, “The laid-back vocals show tasteful restraint and the instrumentation--especially the rhythm section--is rich and interesting. [I] like the change of feel into the chorus, too, it feels Elliott Smith-inspired…I really like your stuff and look forward to hearing more!” Missy should soon get her wish realized: Leroy was recently in the studio with producer Melvin Tree, working on his first full-length album after releasing a well-received EP in spring 2007. In March 2008 his song, “Drawing Smoke,” was chosen as iTunes Australia’s “Single of the Week,” and that same month Leroy toured the country opening for fellow Australian artist Lior. Leroy recently released his debut album that he has been crafting for a couple of years now on his own label, Paper Sleeve Music, which is distributed by MGM. The first single, “Mountain Song” has already received support from Triple J and a variety of tastemaker radio stations in Australia, the UK and the US.
MP3: "Drawing Smoke"
Isaac’s Aircraft is a four-piece indie Rock band from the university town of Cambridge, UK. Originally started as a trio in 2006 consisting of Zak Thomas (vocals, rhythm guitar), Martin Seidel (keys) and James Lane (drums, percussion), the threesome wrote and recorded songs which were released on their first EP in 2007, Holding Up The Line. Shortly after the release, the band welcomed Calum Fall (lead guitar), adding a new dimension to their sound. During this period they started to acquire a large following in Cambridge through extensive live performances. The following year Isaac’s Aircaft was signed to Crash Records, which released their first single, “Friends and Foes.” The song reached the Top 30 of the UK Indie Singles chart and provided them with their biggest success to date. Written by Zak, the song ponders what could have happened if things had taken a turn for the worse and what it felt like to be back from traveling for an extended period of time. Now Isaac’s Aircraft is looking forward to releasing a new EP in early 2010, which they have already recorded with producer Paul Tipler (Placebo, Idlewild and the Charlatans). The latest track, “Head to the Feet,” along with “Friends and Foes” have both started to receive airplay support from US stations including KNRK Portland, KTCL Denver, KUPD Phoenix, WEND Charlotte, WRZX Indianapolis and more.
MP3: "Head To The Feet"
The beautiful 23-year-old songstress Gin Wigmore from Auckland, New Zealand has been quite busy as of late. In 2008 her Extended Play EP had tastemaker radio buzzing about every track, claiming that she is the next artist of our time. She has been performing everywhere from Australia to America and in her spare time even made a fan out of celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who was quoted saying, “This blonde from New Zealand reminds us of a few of our favorite artists - like Skybox, Joel Plaskett Emergency and Macy Gray.” First discovered when she was just 17 years old and won the International Songwriting Competition, Gin has a voice that you will never forget. Her delivery has been described by a critic as “whiskey and dry” and her self-penned songs provide a refreshing new look on life as a 20-something and yet relate across the generations. Her sound has drawn comparisons to Feist and Fiona Apple while vocally there are similarities to Macy Gray and Blondie. She recently released her debut album, Holy Smoke, produced by Mike Elizondo (Nelly Furtado, Regina Spektor, Eminem) and recorded with The Cardinals--the very same Cardinals from Ryan Adams & The Cardinals. Recorded in Hollywood’s famed Capitol studios, the album debuted at No.1 in New Zealand. Gin was signed to Universal New Zealand by President Adam Holt and Mike Taylor, General Manager/Head of A&R for Island Records Australia; she recently signed a US deal with Sylvia Rhone, President Motown Universal.
MP3: "Hey Ho"
Shapeshifter has been described as a musical phenomenon for their ground-breaking live shows and unique blend of heavy soul and drum & bass. They released their debut LP Realtime in 2001, with highlights including a collaboration with sublime vocalist Ladi6 on the track “Move With Me.” Realtime was deemed Best Electronic Release at the 2002 NZ music award, while the tune “Tapestry” became the No.1 most played track on the Alternative Radio Airplay charts for 2001. Shapeshifter’s second release Riddim Wise LP gained Gold sales status and features some of New Zealand’s top soul vocalists, Joe Dukie (Fat Freddy’s Drop) and Ladi6. The album spent many weeks at the top spot on the independent album sales charts and they won ”Best Electronic Video” for “Long White Cloud” at the 2005 Juice TV Music Awards. Their third studio album, Soulstice, was released in August 2006 and entered the NZ national charts at No.4 and spent over two months in the New Zealand Top 20 while also reaching No.1 on the independent charts. In 2006 they earned three nods at the New Zealand bnet music awards for Best Live Act, Song of the Year for “Bring Change” and Album of the Year for Soulstice. Soulstice obtained Gold sales status in New Zealand in three weeks and has since achieved Platinum sales. They headlined the Hothouse Stage at the 2007 Big Day Out Australian tour and were handpicked by Tool to support them in Melbourne to a sold out audience of 15,000. In 2007 they were a headline act at Australia’s prestigious nationwide Parklife Festival. Shapeshifter has spent the past year in the lab creating their long awaited studio album The System is a Vampire. This 11-track album is sure to please any lifelong Shapeshifter fan and bound to pick up new supporters of NZ’s premier electronic act along the way.
Salmonella Dub is a Dub/Drum n Bass/Reggae/Roots outfit from Kaikoura, New Zealand. They were formed in 1992 by Andrew Penman (guitar, keyboards), David Deakins (vocals, drums) and Mark Tyler (bass) with Peter Woods (trumpet, trombone). They’ve toured extensively in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Ireland. Though their long-time frontman, Tiki Taane, split from the band and started his solo career in 2007, the band continued to move forward and released an EP, Freak Local, on Virgin Records in June. The EP is a selection of mixes previewing their seventh album, Freak Controller, scheduled for release this month. The EP features vocal contributions from the amazing Tuhoe diva Whirimako Black and MC Madness. Freak Local is an anthem to New Zealand’s individuals who refuse to conform; every village, town and city has them and, as Andrew Penman from the band will attest, they can often be found at the bar after the band has left the stage. Salmonella Dub are known for their live shows as most performances are often accompanied with live video, provided by Tim Budgen of WarpTV. The group hopes to tour through the end of 2009 and during most of 2010 to promote the upcoming album throughout New Zealand. Plans to bring in the New Year have already been established as they’ll join Ladi 6, Cornerstone Roots, DLT and many others for a New Year’s Eve show at the Matakana Mountain Music Festival (New Zealand).
MP3: "Freak Local"
LE CORPES MINCE DE FRANÇOISE
Hailing from Helsinki, Finland are Le Corps Mince de Françoise, known as LCMDF for short. The meaning behind the name is French for “The Skinny Body of Francoise,” which they thought was funny enough to be the band’s name. The trio consists of sisters Emma and Mia Kemppainen and Malin Nyqvist. The outfit formed two years ago and immediately started to gig live around their hometown, where fans like to compare them as Robyn with a little bit of Lily Allen and CSS. Their energetic and highly stylized live performances quickly became a Finnish sensation and they are currently taking their musical styles to Europe and the rest of the world. Thanks to support from social networking websites Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, LCMDF quickly earned their share of internet fame. Their upbeat electro pop was picked up and posted on a number of blogs, which for a day earned them the top spot on Hype Machine, even higher than Kanye West--which is a remarkable feat in itself. The girls first had success with the single “Bitch of the Bitches” (featured here earlier this year) and are back with their latest, “Something Golden.” The latest electro track is a synth-blazing alternative pop gem that is addicting, spellbinding and will be released as part of the Maison Kitsune 8 compilation in Finland. LCMDF is currently putting the finishing touches on their debut album, Love & Nature, which is scheduled to be released in December 2009.
MP3: "Something Golden"
Kopek is a three-piece band hailing from Dublin, Ireland whose members utilize just first names: Dan (vocals/guitar), Shane (drums) and Brad (bass). Kopek have played all over the world to stadium crowds and won the Global Battle of the Bands competition in the London Astoria, where one of the judges was Steve Lilywhite, renowned U2 and Smiths producer. The trio signed to Religion Music and is currently recording their debut album in Dublin, set for release sometime before the end of the year. There are three songs to listen to on the group’s MySpace page, including “White Collar Lies,” “Love Is Dead” and the song that you can check out below, titled "Fever".
We featured Thomas Dybdahl in the A&R Worldwide newsletter back in 2003 and a lot has happened since. Born in Norway, Thomas Dybdahl is a singer-songwriter who has been compared to the likes of Nick Cave, Elliott Smith and Jeff Buckley. He released his debut album, ...That Great October Sound, in 2002, receiving international praise for his unique work. The release of his next two albums, Stray Dogs and One Day You’ll Dance for Me, New York City helped increase his profile as a respected solo artist. In just under a decade Dybdahl has released four albums and is considered at the top of the list of singer-songwriters in the Norwegian music scene. He was recently signed to Last Suppa based in the UK and is already hard at work on his fifth album, which is due sometime in 2010. He’s also currently in the studio with Melanie Laurent, star of the Quentin Tarantino movie Inglourious Basterds, and Damien Rice on an album of duets. Dybdahl has released a self-titled compilation, a greatest hits if you will, composed of the singles from his previous four albums. It’s a perfect introduction to his musical musings and features the song “From Grace,” which you can preview below.
MP3: "From Grace"
PINT SHOT RIOT
Pint Shot Riot are rapidly building a name for themselves that is starting to extend beyond the bounds of their hometown of Coventry, England. Melding the jagged rhythms and cutting lyrics of the Clash, the blue-collar rock attitude of Oasis and the melodious, harmonic sound of the Kinks, Pint Shot Riot’s songs favor hope over despair and so appealed to audiences that, six months after the current lineup formed, they were playing on the Glastonbury Introduces stage at the famed festival of that name and were praised by BBC Radio One’s Huw Stephens as “one of the best new bands in the UK” that year. They’ve since shared stages with the likes of We Are Scientists, Dirty Pretty Things, The View, Athlete and fellow Coventry natives The Enemy. The band’s first single, the ominously titled, “Punches Kicks Trenches Swords,” earned significant airplay throughout the UK. During a segment of BBC DJ Steve Lamacq’s “Music Roundtable” show, members of the Kaiser Chiefs described “Punches…” as “an awesome track, different to what’s going on--we would love to see them live and hear it louder!” Last year, EA Games asked for a track for the new SIMS 3 game and the band provided the same song, “Punches…” as this hadn’t really had any international exposure. The company liked the song so much that they also found room in their game Fight Night 4 for the track. The very next month they signed a publishing deal with EA Games joint venture company Artwerk Music administered worldwide by Nettwerk One Music. The band recently had another song, “Not Thinking Straight,” on EA Sports’ FIFA 10 which is scheduled to be released on October 20. Their latest single, “Come Back to Me,” is taken off a new two-song EP and is already getting support from BBC Radio 1 influencer DJ Zane Lowe.
MP3: "Come Back To Me"
Before recording a solo album Birmingham, UK native Fyfe Dangerfield had his hands in other bands. These included Senseless Prayer, who recorded a session for John Peel’s Radio 1 show in 1999, and Fyfe Dangerfield and the Accident. While he was with “The Accident” he was featured alongside Misty’s Big Adventure, Mike in Mono, Dreams of Tall Buildings and X Is Greater Than Y on a promotional disc that was offered free with The Birmingham Post in 2004, called Broader Than Broad Street. Dangerfield later moved to Bromsgrove and more recently London, where he became a maverick music teacher for Cranbrook College. During this move he also found the lineup for his next band, Guillemots. The name “Guillemots” caused some confusion for those unaware of its meaning, which referenced a group of seabirds and was pronounced “gilly-mot.” Guillemots had a very successful 2005 opening for Rufus Wainwright’s sold-out UK tour and began the following year by being awarded fifth place in the BBC Sound of 2006 Survey. Later the band signed to Fantastic Plastic and released their debut album in 2006, resulting in a nomination for the 2006 Mercury Music Prize. They are currently working on their third album, but in the meantime Dangerfield wanted to record a solo effort, Fly Yellow Moon. It was produced by Adam Noble who previously worked with Dangerfield on the Guillemots albums.
MP3: "She Needs Me"
Born and raised amongst strangers, The Rubicon first gathered momentum in a garage with pictures of icons on walls and handed-down guitars armed with their own stories and sound. Jake Bezzina (vocals), Barrie Hardman (lead guitar/vocals), Jack Greenfield (drums/vocals), Jimmy Prew (rhythm guitar) and Billy Rimmer (bass) are from Portsmouth, UK and have a raw rock sound that reflects their upbringing. Their music has been compared to the likes of Arctic Monkeys, INXS, Oasis and Stereophonics and they’ve played numerous venues in their local area to sell-out crowds. They continue to spread their stories of happiness and heartbreak across the world and put it to music. The Rubicon encapsulates the original meaning of the word, “a line once exceeded brings irrevocable commitment.” Their debut single, “On The Left Side,” has already started to garner early U.S. radio support from such tastemaker stations as WKQX Chicago, WEND Charlotte, KPNT St. Louis and KNRK Portland.
MP3: "On The Left Side"
One of the brightest new unsigned and unpublished contenders in the international music scene, Fabienne Holloway has delivered the sound which many have been awaiting. Now, at the tender age of 18 she strikes a refreshing new chord, especially to impressionable young ears rediscovering the joys of Sixties-style soul and R&B. Fabienne’s voice and new sound is updating those classic sounds for her own generation. Fabienne’s influences reflect a deep collection of classic soul and R&B icons, ranging from Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Ray Charles and Sarah Vaughn to more modern purveyors like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Toni Braxton and the Roots. When she was just 14, Fabienne was signed to Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam and played some gigs in New York City, but she’s now a free agent again--one with valuable experience and stints in Miami and Los Angeles, working with some of the top names in the business and finally turning her dreams into reality. She has recorded a song for the latest The Sims video game (EA Games) and despite being an unsigned artist had the rare opportunity this year to meet and discuss working with Dianne Warren, one of the best songwriters of our time. Fabienne has been in the studio writing and recording songs with Southern California platinum hit makers Fingazz and Flossy from Streetlight Music www.streetlightmusic.net (Snoop Dogg, The Game, Twista, Xzibit, Too Short, Ray J, Ciara, Kurupt, Fat Joe, Baby Bash and Donnie Wahlberg).
MP3: "Electric Lady"
Mr. Hudson is an act based in London, England which is signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label. The band is led by front man Ben Hudson (guitar and vocals), who is a singer, songwriter and record producer. Their influences range from David Bowie and The Police to Andre 3000 (OutKast) and Dizzee Rascal. The group released their first album,A Tale of Two Cities, under the moniker Mr. Hudson & The Library in 2007 to strong reviews and airplay from Jo Whalley and Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 shows. They also supported Amy Winehouse, Paulo Nutini, Mika and Groove Armada in addition to appearing at several UK festivals such as Glastonbury, T in the Park, The Big Chill, Godiva Festival and Bestival. Mr. Hudson also supported Kanye West on the European leg of his Glow in the Dark Tour. Mr. Hudson was featured on the single “Paranoid” from Kanye West’s fourth album,808s & Heartbreak, upon which Kanye stated, “I believe Mr. Hudson has the potential to be bigger than me, to be one of the most important artists of his generation.” Recently Mr. Hudson released “Supernova,” featuring Kanye West from the upcoming album,Straight No Chaser, due in early October. “White Lies” is a song that Kanye West released recently on his blog as a teaser for the future release and is reminiscent of a sound clash between Robbie Williams and Coldplay’s Chris Martin (vocally speaking). If you can’t wait until October for new music from Mr. Hudson, you can also catch the collaboration with Jay-Z onThe Blueprint 3 album called “Young Forever,” scheduled to be released on Friday, September 11.
MP3: "White Lies"
Singer-songwriter Remi Nicole is set to release her amazing new album next week. Cupid Shoot Me takes in everything from doo-wop to rockabilly, girl-group to soulful rock and is full of hugely catchy melodies, sparkling arrangements and irresistible vocals. Initially created in a front room in north London, it was finessed in a Surrey studio by Grammy-winning producer Mark Taylor (Diana Ross, Kylie, Tina Turner) and evokes comparisons with the music that came out of Phil Spector’s Gold Star Studios and Motown’s Studio A. Remi Nicole is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, musician, singer and songwriter who plays guitar, keyboards and drum parts on the album. “I call it ‘Grease 3,’” explains Remi, “because every song could be played at a [rom. It’s like a fairy tale. There’s something quite enchanted about it.” Remi is no stranger to the international market. She earned a lot of fans from her previous body of work, which included the song “Rock & Roll,” which somehow didn’t achieve the worldwide success it deserved. However, Remi’s latest effort is sure to strike a chord with global music fans and is destined to give her the success to which she’s aspired. Remi’s debut single, “Standing Tears Apart,” comes out this week and the album Cupid Shoot Me is released September 7.
MP3: "Broken Hearted People"
Born Imogen Jennifer Jane Heap in Essex, England, she released her debut album in 1998 on Almo Sounds. I Megaphone featured influences ranging from Kate Bush to Annie Lennox to Björk and gave her the opportunity to work with David Kahne, Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics) and Guy Sigsworth (Acacia). In 2001 Heap teamed up with Sigsworth again to form the collaborative project Frou Frou, who focused on electronics to create an atmospheric, dreamy and fresh sound. Frou Frou enjoyed success with the album Details, but opened up their audience when the song “Let Go” was used in the award-winning Garden State soundtrack. Although Frou Frou built a cult following, the group disbanded and Heap returned to her solo career. In 2005 she released Speak For Yourself, which featured the songs “Hide & Seek” and “Goodnight and Go.” “Hide & Seek” was featured in The O.C., So You Think You Can Dance, The L Word, The Real World, CSI: Miami, Heroes and the movie The Last Kiss, while “Goodnight and Go” was featured in the Mac OS X Leopard advertisements. Heap’s third album, Ellipse, is scheduled to be released on August 25--but a promotional copy of the album was up for bid on eBay in early July and, although Heap placed a bid of £10,000,000 to try to reclaim the album, she was outbid. If you’d like to follow Imogen Heap on MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Bebo, log on to www.imogenheap.com. Heap and her manager Mark Wood are constantly finding new ways to interact music with media and technology and seem to always be one step ahead of the curve.
MP3: "First Train Home"
Francis is a four-piece from Sweden whose musical style has been described as everything from folk to blues to Americana…though some refer to their sound as folk mixed with blues mixed with some liquor in the backwoods. Either way, Francis has great music that is creative and entertaining to any listener. The Swedish outfit released their first album, Bad to the Bone, in 2008 and that helped build their fan base. In April of this year they released their first EP, the Francis EP which contains such tunes as the alcohol-fueled “Drunk Stranger” and the mellow but intriguing “Take It Easy.” The recent release has received positive reviews from bloggers and media outlets worldwide. Francis is currently available for signing, licensing, publishing and booking in multiple territories.
MP3: "Drunk Stranger"
The artist known as thecocknbullkid--no spaces, apostrophes or capital letters allowed, thank you very much--is the stage name adopted by Anita Blay, who was born in London to Ghanaian parents. After spending a few years absorbing a diverse collection of musical influences, ranging from Morrissey and Madonna to M.I.A. and Little Richard, she began forging her own distinctive sound, one that resides on the dark edge of pop and boasts elements of sex, death, ugliness, wit and depravity. “I’ve always thought pop should never just be saccharine,” Blay notes. “It should be black and tortured, too. There’s no point otherwise.” The critics seem to be in agreement: the NME called thecocknbullkid “Probably the most interesting thing to come out of London since Klaxons,” and praised her songcraft as “Freudian kitchen-sink stories set to Timbaland-lite beats.” theocknbullkid is managed by Empire Management’s Neale Easterby (Estelle, Natasha Bedingfield, The Feeling) and has a US release forthcoming on the ultra-cool I Am Sound indie. For further details on this artist, feel free to log on to http://www.myspace.com/cocknubullkid.
MP3: "Boys and Girls"
Yves Klein Blue
Australian act Yves Klein Blue takes their moniker from the famed artist Yves Klein, whose "Yves Klein Blue" is a blue
shade that doesn't fade over time, forever appearing wet and freshly applied...and thus serving as a metaphor for the
group's goal of creating music that is timeless and won't fade with age. The group began in high school, brought
together by a common passion for Led Zeppelin. Vocalist/guitarist Michael Tomlinson and lead guitarist Charles Sale
would frequently spend their lunch periods (and occasional physical education periods) ensconced in a dusty storeroom
and jamming out the basics of what would become their initial songs. Joined by bassist Sean Cook and drummer Chris
Banham, they released a five-song EP in April 2008, Yves Klein Blue Draw Attention to Themselves. A joyous melding of
classic pop, old-school punk, gypsy-tinted jazz and indie rock, it swiftly received positive response. "Yves Klein
Blue...are a bunch of 19-and-20-year-olds from Brisbane who are grabbing the chance of playing the Big Day Out by the
neck," stated Robert Forster in The Monthly. "It is pop with fierce rhythms--and they have the songs." February will see
Yves Klein Blue sharing stages with The Fratellis, The Music and Ben Lee on "The Big O" tour of Australia.
Australian act All Mankind has become a fan favorite both at home and abroad, having performed over 500 times in the
last three years to more than 100,000 ecstatic fans. The quartet, comprised of vocalist/guitarist/pianist Rich Beeston,
brother Dave Beeston on drums and backing vocals, bassist Gavin Perkins and lead guitarist Domy, has parleyed that live
success into album sales into the thousands, as well as award nominations for songwriting and performance in both
Australia and America. The group's debut album, Regenerate (2004), gained a Top 10 spot in the Australian
charts along with a top 10 spot in the independent album sales for 2005. The band's follow up album, Infant Logic
(2006), was equally as successful; its release saw nominations for Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, and
Contemporary Artist of the Year. The single "I Give in to You" earned a No.1 spot on the independent chart and received
nationwide airplay in Australia and regional airplay in the US. In February 2008 the group adopted the new name All
Mankind and went into the studio with noted ARIA-winning producer David Nicholas (Elton John, Sting), who called the
resulting effort, Puzzles, "a great album from a great young Australian band."
MP3: "Can You Hear Me?"
Bang Bang Eche
This quintet of young New Zealanders has been making quite a name for themselves, both domestically and abroad. Friends
since high school, vocalist Zach Doney, guitarist Charlie Ryder, bassist T'Nealle Worsley, drummer James Sullivan and
synth player Josh Burgess got their start by winning a contest on local radio station RDU, which allowed them to record
and press their first EP for free. Soon thereafter the group were awarded third place at Rockquest 2007; encouraged,
they released their debut, self-titled EP in May 2008 and subsequently earned a pair of No.1 singles on bnet, the New
Zealand college radio network, with "4 to the Floor" and "Nikee," while third single "Time Mismanagement" also went Top
5 on bnet and No.2 on the mainstream Radioscope chart. In October 2008 they played the CMJ Music Marathon in New York
City, followed by a month of shows in Europe. In November "4 to the Floor" topped the Mediaguide Alternative Specialty
Song chart in the U.S. "If there's any life left in the UK dance-punk scene, it's probably in New Zealand," said CMJ.
"Skinny-limbed Kiwi quintet Bang! Bang! Eche! approaches the Brit cliches from a new angle, as the band combines
aggressive, distorted vocals with a dissonant musical edge to create something impressively vulgar."
MP3: "4 To The Floor"
Salem is the stage name of Salem Al Fakir, a Stockholm, Sweden native born of a Syrian father and Swedish mother whose
wistful soul/pop confections are proving increasingly popular in his native land and beyond. Salem began his musical
training at age four on the violin; by age 14 he was accomplished enough to perform on a solo tour of Russia, but he
opted to instead start studying jazz piano upon completion of the jaunt. He then went on to perform with such Swedish
artists as electro-dance diva Robyn and Snook before releasing his debut full-length, This Is Who I Am, in January 2007
to great critical acclaim: the Obscure Sound music blog stated, "Salem Al Fakir has to be one of the most individually
talented artists I have come across, playing literally every instrument on the album...whether it is classic 70s pop,
soul, blues, or folk, Salem Al Fakir has the sort of musical grasp that is both easy to envy and adore." In October 2007
he was named "Best Newcomer" by Swedish music publishers, and in January 2008 he also won four Swedish Grammis (Grammys)
out of seven nominations, emerging victorious for Best Male Artist, Best Newcomer, Best Composer and Best Producer--more
awards than any other act garnered that year.
MP3: "It's Only You (Part II)"
It was with their debut release in 2005 that many sensed the beginning of
something quite special in Dublin six-piece The Rags. Intended to serve
merely as an introduction to the band, the 4 tracks contained on the Me and
the Moon EP revealed a band with a natural songwriting ability far
outreaching their years. Hotpress magazine awarded 'Me and the Moon'
Single of the Fortnight, asserting that "Few new Irish bands arrive as
seemingly perfect as The Rags...on this showing we might have a real little
wonder on our hands".
The hook-laden 'Monsters and I' followed in 2006 and instantly became
'Song of the Week' on Ian Dempsey's influential Breakfast Show on Today
FM. The song continues to garner widespread airplay via both the
advertising campaign and Irish daytime radio, making it one of the most
successful independent Irish releases of recent times.
The Rags proved themselves capable of evoking a stunningly dynamic range of emotions; with lyrics and instrumentation
both reaching rare levels of complexity, depth and meaning. Addressing the 'Old Women at the Weekend' with a vivid
illustration of the troubles that lay under a town in decay, Razors and Ropes became one of the most strikingly potent
singles released in 2007. "Easily digestible, yet
utterly memorable, this compelling slice of Smiths-esque guitar-pop stands
out as their finest recording to date." Single of the Fortnight -
In 2008 The Rags took a break form the live circuit to begin working on
their long awaited debut album. It is due for release in late 2009.
MP3: "Owner Of A Loveless Life"
In recent years the music scene in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada has been producing some exciting new artists, but few with
as much potential as Floor Thirteen. Consisting of singer Jeremy Koz, guitarist/vocalist Marc Jaworski, bassist/vocalist
Aaron Vandall and drummer Billy Kiely, Floor Thirteen really started to take off after Koz joined the band in 2003. He
has quite a set of pipes: he reached the Top 20 during the 2006 "Canadian Idol" competition and landed in the Top 30
(out of thousands of aspirants) on the "Rock Star: INXS" program later that year. Not that the rest of the guys in the
band are slouches; their hard-rockin' sound has drawn comparisons to such luminaries as AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, along
with newcomers like Wolfmother and Jet, helping them land a slot on Mazda's online "Campus Joyride" game with their song
"Night Train." They also had their song "Bright Lights Rockin' City" included in the soundtrack of the Sci-Fi Channel
movie "Grizzly Rage." Floor Thirteen has toured extensively throughout their native land, sharing the stages with the
likes of Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman (the Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive), along with such bands as
Buckcherry, Default and Our Lady Peace.
MP3: "Blame It On Me"
The Temper Trap
On the heels of a successful self-titled EP released in 2006, Melbourne, Australia quartet The Temper Trap garnered
rotation airplay on Triple J (the national Alternative radio station) with the single "My Sun" and drew favorable
comparisons to such iconic acts as Radiohead, Sonic Youth and TV on the Radio. Their intense, energetic live shows only
added to the buzz, earning them support slots with such international artists as Modest Mouse, Kasabian, Cold War Kids,
Omar Rodriguez and The Dears, complemented by placement on many festival stages, including the V Festival, the Great
Escape and the Laneway Festival. In May of this year the foursome hooked up with producer Jim Abbiss (Massive Attack, DJ
Shadow, Arctic Monkeys, U.N.K.L.E., Bjork, Placebo, ) at Melbourne's famed Sing Sing Studios to commence work on their
debut album. The resulting effort, which will be released in early 2009 through indie Liberation Records, showcases an
evolution in The Temper Trap's sound, including songs embellished with waves of keys, strings and choirs. "Think
snappier drum rhythms, driving bass-lines and fluid guitar melodies peppered with delay," stated Fasterlouder.com of the
new material. "The sound is delicate, but without hesitancy, crafted for an audience that is ready to move."
MP3: "Sweet Disposition"
Meaghan Smith's first full-length recording sizzles with an ingenuous and passionate blend of 1930's nostalgia and the
freshness of 21st century innovation and perspective. From saucy to soulful, Take Me Dancing showcases Meaghan's
seemingly effortless vocal style, whether she is ripping it like Benny Goodman or baring her soul a la Edith Piaf.
Meaghan's new songs dazzle with vocal stylings reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday and the lush
arrangements crafted by producer Les Cooper brilliantly support the simple elegance of her lyrics. The sound combines
the instrumentation of old jazz - complete with horns, strings and a big-band-swing-groove - with injections of modern
sonic treats by the guest appearance of fabulously funky DJ Kid Koala. As you listen to Meaghan's music, you sense that
this is an artist just beginning to discover the talent that lies within her.
In the brief time that Meaghan has been pursuing her musical ambitions, she has already been recognized with nominations
in her native Canada for two Nova Scotia Music Awards ("Best New Artist" and "Best Female Artist") and a win for
"Galaxie Rising Star" in 2005. She was a featured artist at the Atlantic Film Festival in 2007 and also collaborated
with Rose Cousins and Jill Barber on a holiday cd (A New Kind of Light) with a noble purpose - support for the Maritime
MP3: "I Know"
The King Blues
One of the UK punk underground's most beloved bands is The King Blues, a London-based sextet whose reggae-tinged songs
of political protest have won a fervent following in their native land. Carrying on with the proud punk tradition of
such similarly minded acts as the Clash and featuring two acoustic guitars, a ukulele and a Melodeon, The King Blues'
sound is a marvelous mixture of ska elements, street poetry, working-class protest folk, dub bass lines and doowop
melodies, all delivered with a snarling punk attitude that's attracted the attention of some influential tastemakers.
BBC Radio One's Mike Davies stated that their initial full-length, Under the Fog, was his "favorite album of the year,"
while fellow BBC Radio One jock Zane Lowe enthused, "A bit of summer ska for you, big with our chatroom, sounds great!"
They even earned a fan in novelist/historian/political activist Tariq Ali, who raved, "This is rough, radical music that
should unsettle the rulers of this country. A new generation of musicians is challenging warmonger politicians and their
courtiers (Bono, Geldof, et al). I hope these songs prosper." Now signed to Field Recordings/Island, The King Blues are
looking to spread their message beyond the UK to the entire world.
MP3: "My Boulder"
The Danish group DÚNÉ (pronounced "dew-nay") are true students of rock & roll history, incorporating into their sound
the high-energy rock of the '60s, the punk explosion of the '70s, the synth-based pop of the '80s and the indie
aesthetic of the '90s, all coming together to form a glorious mishmash that they've dubbed "Indielectrock." Though some
of the members started playing together as early as 2001, it wasn't until 2006 that DÚNÉ began to attract attention
outside of Denmark. A gig at the local SPOT Festival garnered a rave review from Gaffa, Denmark's most influential music
magazine, while a slot on the famed Roskilde Festival later in the year sparked international interest and subsequently
lead to three showcases in London in the fall of that year. They started the year 2007 in the studio, taking time out
only for acclaimed performances at the Eurosonic Festival in Holland, where they won over many of the international
tastemakers in attendance. After those appearances they released their debut album, We Are In There, You Are Out Here,
through indie Iceberg Records, which subsequently signed a licensing agreement with SonyBMG for a release in the
MP3: "No Speed"
Following Emilian Torrini critically acclaimed albums Love In The Time Of Science and her Rough Trade debut Fisherman's
Woman, Me And Armini sees her working once again with her longtime producer/collaborator Dan Carey, resulting in what we
feel is destined to be one of the loveliest albums of 2008.
Me And Armini is a hugely ambitious and aspirational pop record with EmilÃƒÂana's soaring voice center stage, bolstered by
a rich gamut of musical styles. From the summery skank of the title track to the surging, breathless "Jungle Drum", the
yearning "Big Jumps",and much more in between, Me And Armini is a truly fantastic album.
Emiliana cheerfully describes sitting with a friend in a cemetery in Nice, staring at the gravestones and huge epitaphs;
"these beautiful angels and tombstones, how silly - that's all life comes to. People really want to believe there is
something more, it makes them lazy about the moment." "Big Jumps" is about taking those chances - chiming guitar and
delicate synth swooshes, combine with EmilÃƒÂana's yearning voice to unforgettable effect.
The pedigree paring of Emiliana's song writing and Carey's sonic alchemy previously combined to world-beating effect
when they co-wrote/produced "Slow" for Kylie Minogue, and individually when EmilÃƒÂana sang "Gollum's Song" on the
soundtrack for The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, Dan has also handled production work on the new Franz Ferdinand
and recent Hot Chip records.
Emiliana beams with joy talking about working with Carey; "Dan will play something and I will see a panoramic view of
what I want to sing about. We're always laughing, coming up with mad ideas, I'll say 'lets do a Chinese acid version of
"Hey Joe" and he instantly will play something that sounds exactly like that. 'Thank God we are working together' he
said 'otherwise no one would understand you!' People search for their musical partner all their life and I've found
Carey explains; "we wanted it to sound like what would happen if you left a couple of kids in a studio with all the
guitars, microphones and instruments in the studio plugged in and ready to record. We tried not to demo the songs at
all, just doing things in one take to try and preserve the immediacy, and just generally have fun!"
This easy rapport meant the record was written in just two and a half weeks, with long breaks in between, a change in
the songwriting process for Emiliana - "It's taken me a while to realize that songs just want to be born, it has very
little to do with you. It's like a room full of balloons and you're pulling one down by its string..."
Songwriting took place in Oxford and Emiliana's native Iceland (where she holds the record for the most weeks at the
number one album spot); "Iceland is a big influence for me - the landscape, the people, my family...my Aunt and I
decided to go for a little drive and six hours later we were on top of Snaefells glacier in the middle of the bright
night, we were walking through these caves that people used to live in-called the singing caves - you could really feel
the weird energy in some of the places. We spent most of the night spotting animal shapes in the ice and frightening
ourselves in the silence above the clouds."
Me And Armini will be released This Tuesday September 9, 2008 by Rough Trade Records.
MP3: "Me and Armini"
Andrew Paul Woodworth
Solidly anchored in the 90's L.A. scene, Andrew Paul Woodworth founded the post-Grunge band Elephant Ride. Their first
album was produced by John Paul Jones, the legendary bass player from Led Zeppelin, who hailed him the best lyricist he
had ever worked with. Though the feedback was decidedly positive, the album didn't fulfill Sony's commercial
expectations. The result: no second album with a major label. In addition, internal problems within the band led to a
split-up. In 2002, Woodworth brought the band Virgil to life, equally clearly Rock-oriented, and certainly an
above-average Indie success: Movie theatres across the US presented Virgil in their audio programmes and screened the
videos on Top 50 markets. The band played at SXSW, and at the LA Music Awards 2005 the Virgil album "My Paradise"
received the award for the "Independent Rock Album of the Year".
Nearly simultaneously, Andrew began recording his first songs of his own together with producer Christian James-Hand.
While working, it was more of a mood that led to the creation of Fight For Your Right, but the feedback came right away
- for example from the producers of "One Tree Hill", who immediately featured the track in their TV series.
At this point it became clear to Andrew that he was already in the midst of kicking off a solo career. He began writing
songs like a man obsessed. Together with James-Hand he completed the EP I Hate Music, which promptly became a small
Indie hit in a very limited edition. The next logical step: a full-scale album.
Produced by Evan Frankfort (The Wallflowers, The Jayhawks, Rancid), Eddy Ate Dynamite displays the diversity Andrew Paul
Woodworth has to offer on 12 songs and 3 interludes; not to mention his love of both melody and painstakingly arranged
instrumentation. So it's no surprise that real strings can be heard on the album, two violins and one cello. Besides
that, there's a horn player, a banjo, a harmonica and all kinds of little sound gimmicks that turn the album into an
APW's voice is emotional and entranced by melody, but never soft or powerless. Eddy Ate Dynamite reveals Woodworth as a
man addicted to harmony through and through. It presents a kaleidoscope of different styles of playing within Pop and
Songwriting. From light-on-its-feet and radio-worthy to introverted and melancholy and on to playfully complex harmony
lines enhanced by suggestive horn arrangements, Woodworth pulls out all the stops time and again in order to find new
approaches for his songs. Remarkably, a certain lightness weaves its way through all the tracks that enables listeners
to lean back and enjoy.
MP3: "Ropemaker's Daughter"
The Wolfmen are made up of UK rock legends Marco Pirroni and Chris Constantinou who began collaborating in 2004. Marco
was a lynchpin of the original UK punk scene, whose first gig was as guitarist in Siouxsie and The Banshees as a 17 year
old in 1976. As lead guitarist and co-songwriter in Adam And The Ants, he penned five number one singles and a further
four top ten hits between 1979 and 1982, when the Ants disbanded. Marco remained Adam Ant's co-writer and musical
director until 1995, starting straight off with a number one single ('Goody Two Shoes') and album ('Friend Or Foe'),
followed by a further nine more top 40 hits. In the 90's Marco begin to work with other artists, not least Sinead
O'Conner, with whom he scored a global number one album, 'I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got', and a string of worldwide
hit singles. The 00's have seen Marco increasingly cited as an authority on the punk movement, both on record and in
print. He consulted on two major compilations - 'Punk' and 'Dread Meets The Punk Rockers Uptown', and compiled and
produced the acclaimed 'SEX: Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die' and 'Biba: Champagne and Novocaine' compilations on his
own label, Only Lover Left Alive. He has also acted as contributing editor to some key books about the punk scene,
including 'Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs', 'Vacant', Vivienne Westwood: An Unfashionable Life', 'Punk' and Jon
Savage's 'England's Dreaming', which The Times deemed "A monumental survey...the definitive work on the subject."
Chris first emerged in 1977 as co-writer and bassist in the critically acclaimed rock band Drill, who signed to RCA
Records and released several singles produced by Chas Chandler (The Animals, Jimi Hendrix) and toured extensively with
Slade before imploding. In 1982 he joined the Adam Ant band as bass guitarist and backing vocalist, and alongside Marco,
Chris was part of every Adam Ant TV appearance, video and tour (including Live Aid in 1985) until 1986. Under the
pseudonym Chris De Niro, he became an integral part of the mid-80s Ants line up, vinyl highlights including the top 20
single 'Apollo 9' and the 'Vive Le Rock' album, both of which were produced by Tony Visconti. He later joined forces
with ex-Bow Wow Wow singer Annabella Lwin and their band scored several hits, not least 'Do What You Do' in 1994, and
then began a songwriting partnership with Guy Chambers, now well known for his work with Robbie Williams. In the late
nineties he took centre stage as lead singer, bassist and songwriter, in post-punk outfit Jackie Onassid, who released
two albums - 2001's '4Play' and 2002's 'Zip Me Up' and toured Europe three times. In 2003, they recorded the soundtrack
for Brit filmmaker Paul Hills' movie 'The Poet' and then toured extensively supported Iggy Pop.
Since the formation of the band in 2004 The Wolfmen have released 2 full albums and 3 singles.
MP3: "If You Talk Like That"
Noah and The Whale (UK)
The band is from Twickenham, London, England and consists of Charlie (vocals, guitar), Doug (drums), Tom (fiddle), and
Urby (bass), and after a handful of singles, have released their first album, Peaceful The World Lays Me Down in August
2008. Laura Marling and Emmy The Great were members of the band before going solo, although they both continue to
perform with the band occasionally. They have been compared to The Magic Numbers, The Little Ones, The Postal Service,
and Belle & Sebastian.
Their name is a marriage of the title of one of the band's favorite films, "The Squid and the Whale," and the name of
the director (Noah Baumbach). They are avid fans of the film director Wes Anderson, who helped produce "The Squid and
the Whale" alongside Noah Baumbach. Their e-mails, and many of their MySpace blog posts, are signed "Sic Transit
The band performed on Jeremy Warmsley's internet television show, Welcome to our TV show, and have made several
appearances at festivals including Leeds, Latitude, SXSW, Glastonbury, and Lollapalooza.
MP3: "5 Years Time"