Thursday 3 January 2013

Blog Sound of 2013 - Results

The Blog Sound poll aims to identify the most popular emerging acts amongst UK music bloggers and was organised for 2013 by this blog together with the Von Pip Musical Express.

The votes have been counted, the results are in and they can now be revealed.

Congratulations to Haim, this years most voted for.

The 5 artists out of the 170 nominated that received the most votes by the 49 UK music blogs that took part in the poll are

1st Haim

3rd= Savages

3rd= Pins

The number of nominations cast for the top 2 bands in the poll was incredibly close, with Haim holding off Glasgow’s electronic pop finest Chvrches by just one vote. These two acts were considerably ahead of all the other bands that received votes, garnering more than double the number of nominations than the equal joint third placed acts – the indie guitar bands Savages and Pins. The Neighbourhood came in fifth and represent America’s second band on the shortlist. It’s interesting to note that all five acts are bands. Solo musicians didn’t feature at all. There are also some similarities to the 2012 list which also featured all bands, the majority of the acts having female vocalists, the winner being American and one Scottish act appearing in the Top 5 (although Chvrches second place has little to do with a strong Scottish vote, far from it, in fact their votes came from a whole variety of different types of blogs throughout the UK).

The Blog Sound 2013 poll’s intention wasn’t to criticise the BBC Sound of poll but simply to canvas a particular demographic – that of UK music bloggers - who have fairly small representation on the panel of pundits who vote on the BBC poll. The 2013 Blog Sound long list contained 7 acts that were also then revealed to be on the BBC Sound of List (AlunaGeorge, Chvrches, Haim, Laura Mvula, Palma Violets, Savages and Tom Odell) and 8 that weren’t (Curxes, Daughter, Mo, Pins, Randolph’s Leap, Rhye, Seasfire and The Neighbourhood).

The winners Haim have been one of the most talked about bands of the last few months and were the second most blogged act by UK Hype Machine listed bloggers in 2012. They also featured in Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch 2013 feature in November alongside Chvrches and Savages. Haim consist of three sisters from California and were originally in a band with their parents called Rockinhaim. They signed a record deal earlier in 2012 and will release their debut album in 2013. Their sound fuses elements of classic rock, r ‘n’ b and pop and they have been compared with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, TLC and Wilson Phillips.

You can hear all of the 5 shortlisted acts in the Soundcloud stream below.

The songs are

Haim – Forever

Chvrches – The Mother We Share

Savages – Husbands

Pins – LuvU4Lyf

The Neighbourhood – Let It Go

Blog Sound 2013 Shortlist Playlist

So, with music bloggers being a knowledgeable bunch with a good eye and ear near the musical coalface, the question is are these 5 acts going to be the multi-million selling artists of tomorrow in the UK? The evidence suggests almost certainly not.

First, because bloggers were asked to name what they considered to be the best emerging talent. ‘Best’ doesn’t actually mean ‘commercial big hitters’ – it really means ‘aligns with my taste’ and many of the blogs represented on the poll have underground / leftfied / indie tastes or specialist taste. For example, in 2012 Ed Sheeran had one of the biggest selling albums in the UK, yet his song The A-Team was blogged about by only 1 UK based Hype Machine listed blog (this one).

Second because, as mentioned earlier, all of the acts on this poll are bands and if 2013 follows the current trends, groups (with the exception of Coldplay, One Direction and Mumford & Sons) just aren’t selling as well as solo artists. Take a look at this list of who sold the most albums in the UK in 2012 for the evidence.

Third because last year's Blog Sound 2012, whilst unearthing some interesting acts that were very different to the BBC Sound of 2012 failed to produce any real big commercial hitters in the short list.

But then rock n roll doesn’t always follow the rules. So we’re throwing the Rules Of Pop (volumes 1,2 and 3) out of the window and instead  we’re just going to listen, watch and enjoy whatever happens to music in 2013. We’ll see you for the Blog Sound of 2014? Maybe some of the new acts we feature this year on the blog will turn up on that?

Breaking More Waves 5 nominations for the Blog Sound Poll were Haim, Chrvrches, and Curxes (who all made the long list and 2 made the short list in 1st and 2nd) plus Avec Sans and Alice Jemima. Neither Avec Sans or Alice Jemima made the list, but yesterday Alice Jemima was featured on BBC Radio 1's new music takeover with Rob Da Bank playing 3 songs in session at the world famous Maida Vale studios. You can hear the whole session (which is stunningly beautiful, particularly the last track When You Dance here).

That's all our end of year lists / polls and such like done now. Let's get back to new music shall we ?

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