Archives for November 2012

On the playlist: Peasant's King - Antidotes

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Tom Young Tom Young | 11:07 UK time, Monday, 26 November 2012

Anitidotes by Peasant's King is the latest BBC Introducing track on the Radio 1 playlist. The South Wales band will have their track played by daytime DJs, including Greg James, Dev and Scott Mills, all this week. Listen to Anitdotes now and be sure to read up on the group below.

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Hometown: The quintet formed in Church Village, a small town near Pontypridd, earlier this year. Antidotes is their debut single - not bad going at all.

Style: Peasant's King are fully charged pop rock outfit geared for the charts. Antidotes is a big, emotional rock anthem with a groove. Like the recent work of Elbow and Kings Of Leon, it's perfectly constructed to get you singing from the rooftops and yes, there is a girl choir... and yes, there are strings!

You need to know: While the majority of the band are still studying, drummer Harry is a climbing instructor. *Insert your climbing the charts gag here*

Supported by: Antidotes was first played by Bethan Elfyn on BBC Radio Wales.

Find out more: Watch the freshly shot video for Antidotes on YouTube and follow the band on Facebook and Twitter.

Huw's BBC Introducing Discovery: Peardrop - Dragon

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Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 10:28 UK time, Friday, 23 November 2012

The BBC Introducing Discovery this week is from Hereford's Peardrop, she's a 24 year old that's been making music since her teens, taking inspiration from Nirvana and '90s pop.

Her track Dragon has a calm electronic feel to it, drawing comparisons with Purity Ring, so if you like it, grab the track for free on my Radio 1 Download.

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Follow Peardrop on Twitter.

Annie Nightingale's advice for BBC Introducing artists

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Tom Young Tom Young | 16:53 UK time, Tuesday, 20 November 2012

In September, our BBC Introducing teams from across the country were asked to submit tracks and artists that they felt were suitable for Annie Nightingale's BBC Radio 1 show. It was a chance to show Annie and her team the vast array of talent that uses the BBC Introducing Uploader and for Annie to pass on her advice and wealth of experience in the industry.

When it started we thought Annie would choose one artist - in the end she picked three; rapper English from London, DJ and Producer Elliot Berger from Kent and Hereford and Worcester's Kamos, who regularly works with rapper Tripbuk.

A couple of weeks ago, the artists visited Annie at BBC Radio 1. Here's what happened:

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The tracks featured in the video are:

Elliot Berger (feat. Fred Clark) - Fate
English - Magic
Kamos & Tripbuk - Leaving Them Dead

What do you make of Annie's advice? Perhaps you have some words of wisdom of your own for our three artists. Let us know in the comments below and feel free to get in touch by Facebook or Twitter if there's a burning question about the music industry you want answered.

On the playlist: SOAK - Fingers Crossed

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Tom Young Tom Young | 11:38 UK time, Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A look at the Radio 1 playlist this week and you'll see the name of Soak, the singer songwriter whose song Fingers Crossed has been chosen for the weekly BBC Introducing slot on the playlist. Find out more about her below and listen to Fingers Crossed at your leisure.

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Hometown: Derry-based Bridie Monds-Watson goes by the name of SOAK, a hotly tipped Northern Irish act who we saw recently perform on a very cold rooftop as part of Belfast Music Week (she's in the centre of the photo above).

Style: The 16 year-old singer certainly lets her tunes do the talking. Matching her dimunative figure, SOAK cuts a fragile image on stage and on record and Fingers Crossed is a tender, heartfelt track folk laid bare across a simple acoustic guitar accompaniment. Handled with care.

You need to know: She may be 16 but SOAK already has two EPs to her name. The first, Trains, was released last March and the second, Sea Creatures, which features Fingers Crossed, followed a few months later in July.

Supported by: So many of SOAK's tracks have been played by BBC Radio Ulster's Across The Line programme and their support led to plays on BBC Radio 1's Introducing show with Jen Long and Ally McCrae.

Find out more: SOAK is always updating her status on her official Facebook page.

 

On the Playlist: DARC - Isis

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Tom Young Tom Young | 14:19 UK time, Tuesday, 13 November 2012

DARC are the latest BBC Introducing artist to be added to the Radio 1 playlist. Isis will be played by Fearne Cotton, Greg James, Scott Mills, Dev and Huw Stephens and you can listen to the track below along with some choice bits of information about the Scottish band.

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Hometown: Edinburgh quartet DARC formed in August 2011 fired by the ambition to channel the energy of an electro dance DJ into a full live band experience.

Style: The band list their influences as, among others, The Prodigy, Modestep and Pendulum, a perfect indication of their bold and surefooted approach. Isis is stacked full of startling layers switching from trance to euphoria as well as showing off a more traditional club anthem vibe, all pulsing with one of the dirtiest basslines this blog has heard for a while.

You need to know: As DJs, the members of DARC have supported Hot Chip, Alex Metric, Foamo and B-Traits.

Supported by: DARC were first noticed by BBC Introducing's Ally McCrae in Scotland with their track Somewhere Else. They've since caught the attention of tastemaking trio Jim Gellatly, Vic Galloway and Huw Stephens.

Find out more: Keep track of DARC on Facebook and Twitter and listen to more tracks from them, including Somewhere Else, on their Soundcloud page.

Tips on how to write a band biography

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Tom Robinson Tom Robinson | 10:18 UK time, Tuesday, 13 November 2012

 Pen on paper
Most normal human beings find writing about themselves excruciatingly painful - whether it's a CV, job application or a band biog. Which is why many emerging artists avoid writing anything about themselves at all. Time and time again I fall in love with particular tunes, decide to play them on the radio – and then find the artist's Facebook or Soundcloud contains no information whatsoever.

Imagine someone sending you music on a plain unmarked CD. Or emailing you an MP3 with the words "check us out" and nothing else. And now imagine a hundred people doing that. Every week. Well, luckily they don't. When record companies and pluggers send us records they understand how helpful it is to set the music in some kind of context, and even the simplest story can catch people's interest:

*Here's an early demo by David Bowie before he got famous. *This is the latest underground hit with clubgoers in Mumbai. *This was written by a Scottish 13 year old in her bedroom and has had 50,000 plays on YouTube... that sort of thing.

But since writing about ourselves is so hard, many bands type something like “four-piece indie trash from the UK" and leave it at that. After all, the thinking goes, our music's so great it can speak for itself. The trouble is, you're not the only great band out there.

Every week thousands of artists are vying for the attention of fans, managers, bookers, bloggers, journalists, record companies and radio stations. We're spolt for choice: and if you don't tell us clearly and loudly what's special / interesting / different / funny / loveable / unique about your particular group, we'll click away in seconds to some other artist who does.BBC Music Biography
Some bands fill the "about" section on their website with reviews, imagining they've then got a biog. But think about it: these quotes are just descriptions of your music. They don't tell us anything about who made it, or where, or when, or why. If you've gone to the trouble of making wonderful music, then why not take the trouble to give us some backstory to that music. The easiest way is to provide a few basic facts:

This is my first bedroom demo. This is the lead track on our forthcoming EP. This got used on a VW commercial in Latvia last year. The whole band are still at school. Three of us are retired jazz musicians. We're based in Rotherham. We formed in early 2012. This is the title track of our EP released in May. Here's the tracklist. Here's a list of our upcoming gigs. We've just released our first album in 9 years. It's on heavyweight vinyl and available from...

Some bands - and some low-budget publicists - imagine that having “a story" means loads of pretentious waffle about said band's wonderful music. See my original blog post about this at Fresh On The Net for a few outstanding examples. But what's the point? We only need to click “play" to hear for ourselves how wonderful - or otherwise - your music actually is. 

As interactivity guru Steve Lawson puts it: 'Don't tell us how great you are – tell us how interesting you are.' Is one of you a bilingual Bengali bellydancer, a part-time piano tuner, or a forty-something Danish quantity surveyor? Are you collectively on a mission from God, plotting to end to capitalism as we know it – or just hoping to get rich, famous and laid as quickly as possible?

And do bear in mind that something being true isn't the same thing as it being interesting - nobody wants to read every tedious detail of how and when you all first met. In his memoir, Christopher Isherwood claimed that 'anything you choose to invent about yourself is part of your personal myth and therefore, in a sense, true'. As an artist you have full license to exaggerate or even rewrite the facts if it'll make for a more interesting story.

Personally I'd much rather read out a load of entertaining lies on the radio than a series of dull, boring facts. So long as your early Bowie demo sounds great, who cares if it later turns out to have been made by that Scottish 13 year old after all?

Needless to say this blog post is entire my own invention and no warrenty is offered as to its factual accuracy. Decide for yourself how much of it is interesting, helpful or even true.

A version of this post first appeared on Tom's Fresh On The Net blog. Click here to read the original post and see some of Tom's favourite and least favourite band bios. Don't forget to download his BBC Introducing Mixtape too.

Huw's BBC Introducing Discovery: As recommended by Everything Everything

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Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 11:46 UK time, Thursday, 8 November 2012

This week's show was co-hosted by Everything Everything who were in session back in 2009.

They brought with them tracks by unsigned bands recommended by their fans on Twitter. The bands selected were All Too Animal and their track Apes With Rollerskates, House Reverends with Daddy's Got A Boat and Aerialist Barbette by Babe.

You can listen to Aerialist Barbette below. All of the tracks are available on Huw's free download, the gift that keeps on giving.

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On the Playlist: Kappa Gamma - Just Another

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Tom Young Tom Young | 10:20 UK time, Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A look at this week's Radio 1 playlist and you'll come across the name of Kappa Gamma and their track Just Another. They are the latest BBC Introducing artist to get a spot on the playlist which means daytime plays by Fearne Cotton, Greg James, Dev and Scott Mills. Have a listen to Just Another below, find out a little bit more about Kappa Gamma and then let us know what YOU think of the track.

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Hometown: Kappa Gamma are a fourpiece Nottingham. After changing their name from Cromwell Street, they now share their moniker with an American fraternity for the deaf.

Style: It's finely engineered indie soundscapes with the dreamlike qualities of Bombay Bicycle Club, Wild Beasts and Foals. Just Another is beautifully crafted three and a half minutes of floating vocals and irresistable stop-start guitar rhythms.

You need to know: Just Another was released through Destination Moon, a label set up by Rolo Tomassi, who they are currently on tour with in Germany.

Supported by: Like Dog Is Dead, who they've also supported, Kappa Gamma have had many a play on Dean Jackson's BBC Introducing show, The Beat and last month were played on Jen Long and Ally McCrae's Sunday night Radio 1 show.

Find out more:
Watch the video for Just Another and then hook up with the band on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.

Huw's BBC Introducing Discovery: Dingus Khan

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Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 10:56 UK time, Friday, 2 November 2012

The Introducing track I've got for you this week comes courtesy of our friends at BBC Suffolk, and it's safe to say it's rock because Dingus Khan have three drummers, two just wouldn't be enough! Their track Knifey/Spoony will certainly blow away any of those Halloween cobwebs that might still be hanging around - enjoy!

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Check out Dingus Khan's performance at Reading Festival and don't forget to get Huw's weekly free download too.

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