Thursday 3 December 2015

The Blog Sound of 2016 - Longlist Revealed


Back in 2011 3 UK based music bloggers, Andy Von Pip from The VPME, Simon from Sweeping The Nation and Robin from Breaking More Waves (hi that’s us) decided to create the UK Blog Sound of 2012, an alternative poll to the ubiquitous BBC Sound of list. The basic concept of the poll was simple; an experiment to see if UK bloggers were asked to pick their favourite emerging bands which ones would be the most popular amongst those asked.

That first year 33 bloggers cast their votes and amongst the 15 most voted for acts that formed the longlist were Bastille, Alt-J, Lucy Rose, Daughter (all of whom didn't feature on the BBC list) and poll winners Friends (who did). Since that time the poll has changed very little, except a slight tweak to the voting system. Each voting blog now chooses just 3 acts in order of preference, with the top act scoring 3, then 2, then 1 with any acts that tie the number of first place votes being compared – this is the same way that the BBC poll works. Also more blogs are now involved this year 58 participated, including 11 of the original blogs from the 2012 list. Also this year no artist that had already scored a top 20 hit (album or single) in the UK before the sixth November could be considered for a nomination.

This year’s poll follows the BBC list, which was announced on Monday, (you can see that using this link here) and there is some crossover. 5 of the acts on the Blog Sound longlist are the same as the BBC longlist. However there are also 10 different acts.

And so without further ado, here is the Blog Sound of 2016 together with a playlist containing 1 song from each act:


AQUILO - Calm sounding electronic male vocal pop duo from Silverdale, Lancashire.

AURORA - Norwegian singer who covered  Oasis for the John Lewis Christmas advert.

BILLIE MARTEN - Yorkshire based acoustic singer songwriter.

GEORGE COSBY - London based singer songwriter with a deep voice and brooding songs.

HAELOS - A band who describe their music as dark euphoria.

LISS - Four piece from Aarhus, Denmark who make slick sounding pop.

LOYLE CARNER - A spoken word artist with his own unique confessional style.

MABEL - The daughter of Neneh Cherry who is producing her own brand of soulful pop.

MURA MASA - An electronic producer and multi-instrumetalist originalLy from Guernsey.

MT WOLF - A reformed band who also featured on the Blog Sound of 2014 longlist.

NAO - Solo singer who mixes funk, soul and electronic sounds in her work.

PLEASURE BEACH - Indie rockers from Northern Ireland.

THE BIG MOON - London based four piece alt rock / indie band.

THE JAPANESE HOUSE - Amber Bain's solo project of electronic ambient songs.

YAK - Energetic rock group with elements of punk, garage indie and psychedelic blues.

The most voted for and top 5 acts on this longlist will be revealed on the 5th January 2016 


A Pocket Full Of Seeds, A World Of Music And Madness, Across The Kitchen Table, Alphabet Bands, Beat Surrender, Bratfaced LDN, Breaking More Waves, Brighton Music Blog, Buzz Unlimited, Cruel Rhythm, Chord Blossom, Daisy Digital, Dive, Details Of My Life, Dots And Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Digital Shuffle, Echoes And Dust, Electronic Rumors, Encore Northern Island, Even The Stars, Faded Glamour, Get Into This, Get Some, God Is In The TV, I Love Pie, Just Music I Like, Kemptation, Killing Moon, Little Indie Blogs, Love Music: Love Life, Metaphorical Boat, Monkey Boxing, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, Music Umpire, Neon Filler, Not Many Experts, Popped Music, Pursuit Of Sound, Rave Child, Record Rewind Play, Scientists Of Sound, Some Of It Is True, Spectral Nights, Sweeping The Nation, Synth Glasgow, The Blue Walrus, The Devil Has The Best Tuna, The Electricity Club, The Evening's Empire, The Mad Mackerel, The VPME, This Must Be Pop, Thoughts On Music, Too Many Blogs, What If I Had A Music Blog, When The Gramophone Rings



1. This year 142 acts received at least 1 vote from the 174 total votes cast, showing that the UK music blog scene has a wide range of taste. The voting was the closest and broadest ever – the winning act only received votes from 8.5% of the 58 voters.

2.The vast majority of the acts voted for are UK based, more specifically English. There are no Scottish or Welsh acts on the list, which there have been in past years – unfortunately the only blogs that we had direct refusals to vote from were Scottish based blogs and as many blogs tend to vote for acts within their region, this left the Scottish vote somewhat lacking this year. There are also no American artists, yet 3 of the past winners have been from the U.S.

3. In the past the Blog Sound list has been criticised (by ourselves as much as anyone) for being very ‘white indie’. This year there is a little more diversity. The poll will probably never be as well balanced as the BBC list – you have to bear in mind it is run by one person in the few spare hours he has and trying to create a fully balanced demographic of voters is nigh on impossible given the limited time resource.  

4. Some of you may have noticed the name Jack Garratt cropping up on an awful lot of all of the tips lists being published at the moment. He’s already won the BBC Introducing Award, the Brits Critics Choice award and is nominated for the BBC Sound of poll. He didn’t receive one vote on the Blog Sound poll, although almost made it on to the longlist last year. We guess this is because Jack is no longer considered emerging or new by bloggers, having first received acclaim for his songs on blogs as far back as early 2014.

5. For the first time ever all of Breaking More Waves choices made the long list. Can you guess who they are? If you take a look at our Ones to Watch tips (here) we picked 3 of those acts to vote for on this poll.

6. One of the selected acts (Aurora) has had a top 20 hit in the UK, but this was after the sixth of November, the cut of date stated in the rules.

7. This is Mt Wolf's second time on the Blog Sound list. They appeared on the 2014 list then immediately split up a day or so after. Their original split statement was published in the NME. In the statement they mentioned their Blog Sound nomination and this was the one line that the NME edited out. We think this says a lot about the NME's relationship with blogs, which is a shame, because the publication has failed to see that collaboration is the way to improvement, not ignoring what you perceive as competition. 

8. Of the 15 acts nominated for the Blog Sound of 2015 poll, only 1 of them (Soak) has released an LP in 2015, albeit a Mercury Prize nominated one. Let's hope more of the 2016 crop do so.

9. This is the 5th Blog Sound list. We're proud to be part of it and proud that it seems to create a sense of community and excitement amongst the bloggers involved - as we said in item 8 above, we believe collaboration is one of the best things you can do, and this poll gives music blogs a voice in the near deafening roar of end of year tip lists.

10. The previous winners of the Blog Sound poll are: Friends (2012) Haim (2013) Banks & Marika Hackman (Joint winners 2014), Lapsley (2015). No male act has ever won the Blog Sound poll.


Unknown said...

No Welsh acts? God Is In The TV voted for TWO of them. The Anchoress and Meilyr Jones.

Unknown said...

OK, scratch that last comment... I haven't had any caffeine yet. Sorry!