Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition 2014 Longlist Announced - Our Selections

For the third time in a row Breaking More Waves has been involved in the judging of the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition, which gives new emerging and unsigned artists from the UK and Ireland the chance to compete for a slot on one of the main stages at the festival. Because the competition receives thousands of entrants the organisers ask a selection of UK music writers and bloggers to help with the judging process, sending each a playlist from the many entries to select their three favourites to form a longlist. That longlist is then whittled down to a shortlist of eight artists by another group of judges including Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis. These eight acts play at a live final in Pilton in April to decide the winning act.

This year Breaking More Waves was involved quite heavily in the judging process, picking five acts on the longlist. This is because besides our three choices from our main playlist we also helped judge some further acts where due to unforeseen circumstances two of the original judges were unable to fulfil their commitment. These two additional selections are listed as 'Judges Utd' as 2 other bloggers also chose 1 additional act to make up a selection of 3.

Today the longlist was announced and you can see all the selected artists here. Besides our own choices we're very pleased to see the likes of Fickle Friends (one of this blogs new favourite bands), Codes (who we chose for the longlist ourselves a couple of years back) and a number of other acts that we've featured in the past such as Brolin, Hot Feet and Ronika. We look forward to listening to all the acts nominated ourselves, and of course seeing who the long list judges choose for the live final. In previous years some of the bands who make the longlist (but don't necessarily make the shortlist) go on to do well anyway, even if they don't make the final. For example last year Circa Waves were one of the bands selected and now this year they are being championed by many an indie fan and magazines such as the NME.

The five acts we chose vary considerably in musical style and genre and also in profile. Cosmo Sheldrake is probably well known to new music fans, having found large amounts of support on the blogs, whilst the likes of Wednesday’s Wolves will be pretty much new to everyone, having only formed last year, and at the time of writing have just 180 plays of their song Sticks and Stones on their Soundcloud. Our basis for selection was not how well known the act was or not - simply what we thought was the best music we heard.

Here are the nominations from Breaking More Waves, together with a few words on each act. We look forward to seeing the final 8 selected artists and hope to be able to report back directly from the live final in April which we will be attending.

Cosmo Sheldrake

Quite simply the most absurdly innovative and eccentric artist, Cosmo Sheldrake remoulds traditional genres for a new generation with quirky found-sounds, loops and nonsense experimentation all over the shop. It's utterly compelling and without getting too carried away, his music needs to be filed in the top drawer marked maverick genius.

The Ragamuffins

Purveyors of brassy chest-thumping and organ swirling mayhem, The Ragamuffins combine classic Brit-pop references with catchy hooks that make us think of bands such as The Jam, The Milk, The Boo Radleys and Dexy’s Midnight Runners. There’s a hint of northern soul and sixties pop in their uplifting songs. They know how to jam joy into the ears.

Wednesday’s Wolves

Wednesday's Wolves are Chrissy and Ysabelle and together they create graceful female harmonies that float into the ears like a tender kiss. The simplicity of the music allows the songs to breathe and their demo of Sticks and Stones charms with its melancholy from start to finish. Fans of The Staves will find much to immerse themselves in here. Beautifully emotive.

The Merrylees

The music of The Merrylees is the colourful sound of cowboys riding over the hill into the sunset dressed in t-shirts with psychedelic prints rather than stetson hats and shotgun style chaps. A cosmic and nostalgic sound full of enjoyable guitar chops, trumpet swoons and melody.

Gibson Bull

Gibson Bull is an acoustic based singer songwriter with sweet and gentle melodies, but on the song Skin & Bones he adds a modern twist by adding soft beats and groovy double bass that wouldn't be out of place on a trip-hop record. Richly mellow, it's a piece of classic and very human songwriting.

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