Monday, 3 December 2012

The Blog Sound of 2013

Today Breaking More Waves, together with a number of its UK blog peer group is delighted to announce the long list of artists nominated for the Blog Sound of 2013 poll. The final results and most voted for act will be announced on January 3rd 2013.

The Blog Sound Poll was first published last year and its participating voters are solely UK music bloggers. The concept of the poll wasn’t to criticise the established BBC Sound of list (which is due next Monday), but simply an experiment to see if UK music bloggers could come up with its own list of emerging artists that was representative of some of their community (it will never represent all bloggers - there's too much wide ranging taste out there), as well as giving the artists that were nominated some extra publicity. Indeed the idea was to compliment the BBC list in many ways by providing an alternative to compare and contrast, although of course there was (and still is) the risk that the same artists will be nominated for both polls. Last year 2 of the artists on the Blog Sound Poll (Lianne La Havas and Friends) also made the BBC Sound of list.

However, last year’s final long list provided some interesting alternatives to the BBC list; most notably it included Alt-J, this year’s Mercury Prize winners. We won’t deny a small amount of smug glee about the blog scene getting that one over the BBC list.

The Blog Sound of 2013 poll has expanded with 49 UK blogs nominating their 5 favourite emerging artists. The full list of participating blogs can be found at the bottom of this article. Just over 170 acts received nominations and the winning act received votes from around 25% of all bloggers. Of the 5 acts Breaking More Waves chose, 3 of them have made the final 15 – Chvrches, Curxes and Haim. These are all bands that we’ve been heavily supporting over the last year and we’re pleased to see that other bloggers agree with our tastes.

The long list represents the very best of new music and draws from major label, indie label and completely unsigned acts. The likes of Haim may be featuring on a lot of new music tip lists at the moment, but bands such as Curxes and Randolph’s Leap are more specific to the Blog Sound poll, being artists that have little or no financial / PR support to help raise their profile. It’s these artists that we’re most excited to see featured, showing that bloggers voted for the music they truly love, not just because they think the bands in question are going to be the ‘next big thing’ – often a criticism of end of year polls. Guessing 'next big things' is a often a fools game anyway, because nobody can tell what the unpredictable path of pop has round the corner.

It’s also fascinating to see Daughter getting nominated as they also featured on last years poll. However with the debut album not due till next year it seems that maybe bloggers were a little too early in their nominations last year, but haven’t lost faith in Daughter over the course of 2012.

And so here are this year’s Blog Sound of 2013 long list nominees, 15 emerging artists that UK bloggers would like to draw your attention to. We hope you find something that you like amongst them. Click on their names to hear their music. In total 11 of the artists on the list have featured in some form on Breaking More Waves before, so for completeness we’re streaming the other four artists we haven’t featured before at the bottom of the post.


AlunaGeorge - Infectious R&B influenced pop from London

Curxes  - Dark industrial-pop electronic duo from Brighton and Portsmouth

ChvrchesScottish electro pop trio formed from a variety of other bands

DaughterMinimal / ambient sounding folk

HaimClassic rock from LA with pop sensibilities

Laura MvulaJazz / soul singer hailing from Birmingham

Hip soulful female vocal electronic pop from Denmark

Palma VioletsRaw and energetic indie rock band

PinsEdgily cool and raucous all female indie band from Manchester

Randolph’s LeapGlasgow based indie folk pop with a twist of brass

RhyeSmooth and blissful pop duo

SavagesIntense post-punk with female vocals

SeasfireModern rock band from Bristol who mix electronic beats with guitars

The NeighbourhoodAtmospheric Californian 5 piece rock / pop band 

Tom OdellPiano based singer songwriter originally from Chichester

Tomorrow Breaking More Waves will be getting a bit Christmassy and we’ll be posting an exclusive Christmas cover version from one of the artists on this list and trust us on this one, it’s an absolute beauty. So check back tomorrow morning  - it will be available for a limited time as a free download.

The panel of bloggers that took the time to place their votes was made up of:

Here's some music by the 4 artists on the list that we've never featured on Breaking More Waves. Check back on January 3rd where the most voted for artist from the 15 will be announced.

MØ – Pilgrim

Palma Violets – Best of Friends

Pins – Shoot You

Randolph’s Leap – Mutiny


Jerry said...

Super stoked on The Neighbourhood. Their I'm Sorry EP is my favorite EP of this year. What's crazy to me is that their new song "Let It Go" might be even better. These dudes are crazy talented.

rich said...

I just can't see the relevance of a Blog Sound OF 2013, a supposed antidote to the BBC list, when this one is about as shit as the Beeb's. If anyone out there would care to start an Alternative Blog Sounds of 2013 list with me, please get in touch. This list is just full of bland bands that have mostly got on the list because they have money behind them, which makes me wonder about the credibility of the people that designed the list....I mean Haim, for fuck's sake. Why don't we all just buy some belinda Carlisle?

richgilb1969 at

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Rich thanks for your comments - I see you've been busy copying and pasting this comment onto many of the blogs involved comments boxes.

A few observations back to you

1. As stated in the text above : 'Indeed the idea was to compliment the BBC list in many ways by providing an alternative to compare and contrast, although of course there was (and still is) the risk that the same artists will be nominated for both polls.' As it turned out once the BBC poll was revealed 7 out of the 15 artists were the same. The list was never an antidote - just a similar poll with a different voting demographic (purely UK bloggers) It could never be an antidote - we published our list before the BBC list so we had no idea what would be on the BBC list.

2. In total around 170 bands were nominated by the voting bloggers. Yes some of the bands on the list have money behind them, but that's not why bloggers voted for them - they voted because they like the music. To suggest that the bloggers credibility should be questioned is frankly ridiculous - I counted the votes and can assure you that the range of acts chosen ranged far and wide from bands on major labels to totally unsigned acts. If you take an example such as Curxes on this list they have no label, no money behind them at all and are totally a D-I-Y band.

If you think that the bands are bland that's fine that's your taste, but the point of the list isn't to create a list of 'bands that Richard wouldn't think is bland.' The point is to represent some of the emerging acts that UK blogs like and by publishing the list giving some extra promotion to new acts in a time when new acts are find it increasingly difficult to get known / heard

Sorry you couldn't find anything on the list that you like.

Richard said...

Hello again...I did say mostly, not entirely and there are 2 bands I hope see some kind of liftoff from this list: Curxes and Randolph' Leap. Good luck to both!

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Hi Richard

Glad you wish some of the bands success!

There's no doubt in my mind that having a label working for an artist gives them easier opportunity through availability of resource and support to get their music heard and therefore an increased chance of securing votes, meaning that by its very nature any poll of this sort is likely to get acts on it that have got their music heard by the majority of the voters (something unsigned acts may not have been able to do). But even so the bottom line is that the bloggers voted for acts they liked and this poll is about representing that - nothing more. There's no agenda with this poll to champion alternative or unsigned acts - just to represent bloggers tastes. Some bloggers are more likely to vote for unsigned / unknown acts others for acts that have already been signed to a major or indie label.

Personally I voted for 2 acts with labels and 3 unsigned acts. Many other bloggers followed similar paths, but the wide variance of unsigned acts (there's 1000's to choose from) against the smaller pool of signed acts means that the signed acts tend to pick up more votes.

There will be a bit more analysis of the poll (and the BBC list) between now and new year on the blog so keep an eye out for that.

Gerry said...

What a really good idea this is, hope it becomes an annual event!