Monday, 20 November 2017

Ones To Watch 2018 - #6 Grace Carter


There’s only one song from Brighton’s Grace Carter available on streaming services, but what a song it is. Since Silence appeared on Breaking More Waves back in May it’s racked up over 4 million plays on Spotify alone. It doesn’t surprise me. It’s a beautifully crafted and vulnerable soul number with hints of gospel in the chorus that despite its despondent lyrics sounds supremely uplifting. Grace grew up listening to the likes of Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone and you can tell. There are further hints of what’s to come on You Tube where various live and session recordings can be found, and it’s clear that if you’re a fan of tear jerking soulful ballads, Grace Carter is a name for you.

Having recently toured with Dua Lipa Grace will be stepping out again in the new year as part of Line of Best Fit’s Five Day Forecast event at The Lexington in London. Make her one of your Ones To Watch and catch her there if you can.

Grace Carter - Silence

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Ones To Watch 2018 - #5 Pale Waves


Pale Waves might have come to prominence at the start of 2017 with the ultra-hooky There’s A Honey but the band's origins date back as far as 2014 when they were operating under the name Creek before changing to their current moniker in 2015 and being picked up by a handful of early adopter blogs.

Much has been made of the involvement of Matt Healey of The 1975 in the development of Pale Waves, although he has been at pains to point out recently that whilst he has helped with the production and editing of the songs, he’s not some sort of svengali. The songs were already there before his involvement and even in 2015 early reviews were making comparisons of the Pale Waves sound to The 1975, as well as the likes of Peace and Swim Deep.

Pale Waves deal in accessible indie pop anthems with chiming guitars and rousing choruses, but the emphasis is on the pop here; lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie not only has the looks of Robert Smith of The Cure’s daughter but her band take the same path as the more upbeat end of the goth-pop masters music. Just don’t expect and Disintegration or Pornography bleakness quite yet.

With three songs out there in the world, the aforementioned There’s A Honey, Television Romance which sounds to all intents and purposes like There’s A Honey and recent release New Year’s Eve, a two months supporting The 1975 in huge US venues, their own headline tour of the pubs and clubs of the UK and a forthcoming US headline shows Pale Waves are carefully stepping upwards, maybe not towards global domination, but at least to a point where they have enough of a fan base to release an album to.

Pale Waves - Television Romance (Video)


Saturday, 18 November 2017

Ones to Watch 2018 - #4 The Blinders


“The future’s bleak, but at least we get to decide it’s soundtrack,” state The Blinders. And what a soundtrack. Take one listen to Brave New World, a gritty and raucous mix of punk, psychedelia, shouty indie and a hint of Carter USM’s Bloodsports For All and you’ll see. It’s the stuff of sweat, blood and tears. It’s the sound of a band who, if they have ever been told that guitar music is dead, have clearly decided that it’s fake news.

Having released their debut EP Hidden Horror Dance back in 2016 The Blinders have been slowly growing an audience ever since. 2017 saw them doing the business through hard gigging, support slots with Cabbage, one of last year’s Ones to Watch, and festivals such as Great Escape, Reading and Festival No.6. Next year will see the band hitting the road for their own headline tour which is likely to be an explosive and highly energetic affair. 

Manchester-based, but Doncaster born, The Blinders have had comparisons thrown at them ranging from Arctic Monkeys to Jimi Hendrix Experience and they're a band that are not afraid to address the current state of the nation. They’ll be bringing a mosh pit to a town near you soon. Ones to Watch in 2018 for sure. They bring the noise.

The Blinders - Brave New World (Video)



The Blinders - Murder At The Ballet

Friday, 17 November 2017

Ones To Watch 2018 - #3 Superorganism


Over the last few years there’s been a noticeable shift in the music industry insofar as the vast majority of commercially successful artists seem to be solo ones. From a certain perspective you could argue that bands are on the way out. Which is what makes Superorganism such an intriguing prospect - as they fully buck the trend. They’re almost a supergroup.

An eight piece from around the world Superorganism initially formed through online forums before they started making music by sharing tracks via email. Then they finally came together to live in the UK in East London. They make askew oddball pop music with equally left of centre videos. Earlier this year I described buzz single Something For Your M.I.N.D as ‘simple, inventive, hooky and lackadaisically cool,’ and that description seems to fit well with much of their quirky cartoonish sound.

Since first arriving on the scene a deal with Domino Records has been signed and without further ado the band sold out their debut show at London’s 600 capacity Village Underground.  There was no messing around slogging round the regional toilet circuit here. The reviews back from the London gig were 100% positive – not just because of the music, but because of the band’s stage presentation. Superorganism had a clear vision of how to present themselves – something that even now a lot of bands don’t particularly think of. At Village Underground they all dressed in colourful raincoats in front of psychedelic visuals, creating that same sense of occasion that bands like The Flaming Lips, Jungle and The Polyphonic Spree have managed to create in the past. Gorillaz meets The Moldy Peaches is possibly the best approximation of their sound.

During 2017 Superorganism have created a unique space in the universe of pop. It’s why as they continue to expand that space in 2018 they have to be regarded as Ones to Watch.

Superorganism - Something For Your M.I.N.D 



Superorganism - Nobody Cares (Video)