Saturday, 29 December 2012

Scottish BAMS Winner 2012

So a slightly belated BAMS 2012 announcement from ourselves, and I'm sure the majority of you who care will have seen the results on one of the other 41 blogs and music sites taking part.  However we always like to show our support and for those who've maybe missed it, here is the Scottish BAMS 2012.

If you are unfamiliar with the BAMS, then let me elucidate the possibilities. The BAMS stands for Bloggers And Music Sites, and each representative submits their favourite five albums of the year.  These results are then tallied, checked and collaborated in an intricate scoring system by head BAM Mr. Peenko to produce a final top 10 list.  In total there were had 41 different sites take part, which I guess just goes to demonstrate just healthy the Scottish music scene is at the moment.

As I am sure you will want to know who took part, here's a list of the sites/persons who voted in this years BAMS :

Scots Whay Hae!Jim Gellatly, Detour, Jock N Roll, Houdidontblog, Rave Child, Fusion New Music, Fish In A Sub, Manic Pop Thrills, Kowalskiy, 17 Seconds, Net Sounds, The Steinberg Principle, Songs Heard On Fast Trains, Peenko, Hercules Moments, Dauphin Mag, JockRock, Play That Song For Me, The Spill, The Tidal Wave of Indifference, HP, Inverness Gigs, Elba Sessions, Fresh Air, Scottish Fiction, Tenement TV, Marion Scott MFR, Last Years Girl, Dear Scotland, Blues Bunny, The Pop Cop, Vic Galloway, Ally McCrae, Glasgow PodcART, I Hate Fun, Avalanche, Edinburgh Man, Everything Flows, Nicola Meighan, Aye Tunes and Song, by Toad.

Here's the top ten BAMS albums of 2012

Joint 12-9th -
Chris Devotion & The Expectations - Amalgamation & Capital /
Paul Buchanan - Mid Air /
The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know /
We Are The Physics - Your Friend, The Atom

8th - Admiral Fallow - Tree Bursts In Snow

7th - Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

6th - Miaoux Miaoux - Light Of The North

5th - Errors - Have Some Faith In Magic

4th - RM Hubbert - Thirteen Lost & Found

3rd - PAWS - Cokefloat!

2nd - Django Django - Django Django

1st - Meursault - Something for the Weakened

 (courtesy of Mike from Manic Pop Thrills)

Head BAM Lloyd caught up with Meursault frontman Neil Pennycook.  Here's what he had to say:

"Congratulations Neil, you are this years' winners of the Scottish BAMS award, how do you feel?        

I feel like the chubby lad at school after being picked first for the football team. I fear that any minute now I'm going to be told it's all a joke and you're going to burn my shoes and flush my head down the toilet.       

It seems to have been a pretty exciting year for the band, what with European tours supporting Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to headlining the Queen's Hall back in July, aside from winning this years BAMS, what's been your personal highlight of 2012?   

My highlight is probably the QH gig. I've wanted to play that venue since I was 18. Feels nice to have ticked that one off.             

Last years the BAMS was won by Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells, who later went on to win the SAY Awards. Have you allowed yourself the thought that you might potentially be in with a shout at next years SAY Awards?   

What? I thought this was the SAY awards? You ARE still giving me £10000 though right?  (whip round anyone? - Peenko)

I noted that once again you've decided not to head over to Austin for next years SXSW, is not something that interests you or are you just keeping our friends on the other side of the pond waiting?   

It's not something that appeals to me to be honest. I get really tired of the competitive aspect of playing music and do my best to avoid it. I've no interest in travelling halfway round the world (at great expense) to pedal my music to pissed up strangers in laminates  . Playing in the states is something that I'm keen to pursue but not that way.      
How important do you feel that the support of music blogs has been to the band?   

It's been hugely important for us. After all it was a blogger (song, by toad) who put out our first 3 records.              

Seeing as we are on the subject of albums of the year, what have been your personal favourites of the last 12 months?        

I've not sure if all of these came out this year but I'm going with them anyway...  

Chad Vangaalen- Diaper Island 
Youth Lagoon- The Year of Hibernation 
Charles Latham- Fast Loans 
Grouper- alien observer 
Paws- Cokefloat   


Monday, 24 December 2012

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 19th December 2012

It's Christmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas!  As you tuck into your turkey, and neck three paracetamol to cure the over indulgence, here's our latest podcast jam packed full of Christmas songs with a Scottish twist.  Covers a plenty, some tracks for charity and plenty of original material, we hope you enjoy this podcast and have a great Christmas!

Frightened Rabbit - It's Christmas So We'll Stop
Behold The Old Bear - Christmas Stalking
Malcolm Middleton - We're All Going To Die
Aidan John Moffat - Last Christmas
Lovers Turn To Monsters - It's A Very Roland Emmerich Christmas
Kevin P. Gilday & The Middle Class Lovers - Crooked Christmas Tree
AMBULANCES - The True Meaning Of Christmas
Drunk Mule - Feels Like Christmas
The Last Battle - Stay (Another Day)
Randolph's Leap - One More Sleep 'til Christmas
Jo Mango - As A Child I Awoke
Campfires In Winter - Christmas Song
There Will Be Fireworks - In Excelsis Deo
Esperi - Just Like Christmas
Colonel Mustard & The Dijon Five - Christmas Pimping
Mogwai - Christmas Song
Flutes - Matchstikes (Geez A Kiss)
Withered Hand - Real Snow
Dave Hughes - Fairytale Of New York
How To Swim - Mele Kalikimaka
Naming The Saints - Our Loves Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
Laurie Cameron - Merry Christmas From Scotland (Lulled With A Stiff Drink)
Julia And The Doogans - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Scottish Fiction - 19th December 2012 by Scottish Fiction on Mixcloud

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Best Albums Of 2012 - 10 - 1

Time to complete the Scottish Fiction 'Best Albums of 2012' countdown.  With numbers 20 to 11 being unveiled earlier in the week, it's down to the business end of the chart.  Rumour has it Scottish musicians have been crouched at their laptops in anticipation, as they vie amongst themselves for the coveted title of Scottish Fiction's Best Album of 2012.

Then again maybe not...

Some facts and figures about this years list.  Seminal label Chemikal Underground account for a fifth of the albums on the list.  There's two self released records (to the best of my knowledge).  There's only two ladies (although some bands include the fairer sex) in the form of Jo Mango and Rachel Sermanni.  Half of the list is début albums, including three albums which come from 'solo projects' or 'side projects' and there's two self titled efforts.  There's one Englishman on the list (the horror!) and four, yes FOUR, albums released on the same day; 17th September.

So without further ado, here is numbers 10 to 1 in our countdown.  Go forth and enjoy!

10. The Yawns - The Yawns

Released on Bandcamp at the end of October, and with a physical released on vinyl and tape lined up for January (see the next Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes vs, Peenko gig for more details on this!) this self titled album from The Yawns may turn out to be 2012's Happy Particles.  Released with almost no fanfare, it's won it's way into the hearts of bloggers and muso commentaries alike with it's breezy, indie-twee appeal.  Fans of Camera Obscura, Teenage Fanclub, et al. will thoroughly enjoy.

(Buy the album here)

9. Admiral Fallow - Tree Bursts In Snow

When album preview track 'Beetle In The Box' first surfaced back in January, then followed by lead single 'The Paper Trench' in April I was champing at the bit to hear the album.  At the time I though it was slightly suffering from second album syndrome, but nearly six months later it's a solid offering from one of Scotland's best indie-folk bands.  Tracks such as 'Guest Of The Government', 'Old Fools', 'Isn't This World Enough' and the above mentioned singles, cement 'Tree Bursts In Snow' as a worthy inclusion in this end of year list.

(Buy the album here)

8. Errors - Have Some Faith In Magic

Back with their third album, three piece electronic rockers Errors made more strides in just how bloody good they sound.  Again released via Mogwai's Rock Action Records label, 'Have Some Faith In Magic' dropped on 30th January and has been a mainstay in the Scottish Fiction record player ever since.  There all sorts of electronic wizardry at work as Errors impress with shimmering shoegaze, blazing electro-pop, and exploring synths.  2012 was a great year for the band as they also released to much acclaim EP (or album I'm not sure!) 'New Relics'.

(Buy the album here)

7. Miaoux Miaoux - Light Of The North

Cue gasps.  The scandal!  Yes Miaoux Miaoux, a.k.a Julian Corrie comes from Nottingham, however since having relocated to Glasgow in 2010, having spent time in the city earlier for a BBC placement, he's become a kind of sacred figure within the Glasgow music 'scene'.  Energetic live shows across the city's venues (Corrie has the energy of a Energiser Bunny on speed, switching from guitar to synth to vocals whilst fiddling a gazillion buttons and switches in between), self released singles and a release with Gerry Loves Records, a host of remixes, all culminated with 'Light Of The North' being released via Chemikal Underground.  This album is an absolute joy to listen to, there's so much creativity packed into these ten songs, the promise of more to come means Miaoux Miaoux is a name to watch out for.

(Buy the album here)

6. The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know

Three albums in and the boys from Kilsyth change tact, dropping the 'wall of sound' for synths.  No one can deny that The Twilight Sad require a little effort.  They are not, and much to their credit, a band who tag along with the latest fad.  For established fans, 'No One Can Ever Know' gives a slight tweak on their sound revelaing a new facet of a rough piece of coal to examine.  For new listeners, well you've stumbled across their finest work to date.  'Another Bed', 'Sick', 'Kill It In The Morning', 'Dead City', all are glorious examples of how to make music.

(Buy the album here)

5. Rachel Sermanni - Under Mountains

That magic date 17th September again.  I will never tire of saying how I became captivated by Rachel Sermanni the first time I heard her on stage in Edinburgh in support of Admiral Fallow.  I will never tire of watching her gain in stature and confidence as a performer.  I will never tire of proclaim the beauty of her voice and the subtle wit of her lyrics.  And I will never tire of listening to her long awaited (but well worth the wait) début album 'Under Mountains'.

(Buy the album here)

4. Stanley Odd - Reject

In 'Reject' Stanley Odd have an album which rivals the beats, rhymes and hooks of anyone operating in the genre of hip-hop right now.  And further to that they are not afraid to mix in other genres too, and hold up a truthful mirror in many respects.  This album contains many moments of brilliance for those willing to listen, including my favourite lyric of 2012, "putting an x in the box says you're watching back'.  A wonderful introduction to the Scottish hip-hop community.

(Buy the album here)

3.RM Hubbert - Thirteen Lost & Found

For those not already acquainted with RM Hubbert, his second album 'Thirteen Lost & Found' offers an excellent opportunity to ease yourself into his work.  Début LP 'First & Last' won't be for everyone, but the very heart of this LP is still the raw beauty and emotion that is conveyed by Hubbert's music.  Given that all this stems from Hubbert using music to deal with issues that have affected his life, it reinforces the power of music to communicate.  It also features one of my favourite tracks of 2012, 'Car Song'.

(Buy the album here)

2. Django Django - Django Django

I said at the time when I reviewed the album on the blog, that it would be hard to top.  And so it's proved, as Django Django and their Mercury nominated self titled début album takes the title of 'best of the rest'.  Number two on our list for a behemoth of an album.  Quirky, inventive, fun, jerky, influences from electronica, pop, Afro-beat, reggae, surf rock, and barrels more. 

(Buy the album here)

1. PAWS - Cokefloat!

In the end it was a tough choice, but I've plumped for the stunning début from PAWS, which was released via Fat Cat Records on 8th October.  There's so much to love about 'Cokefloat!'.  From it's acid inspired album art (taken from a comic strip 'Cokefloat!' by Jess Penfold), to it's punk and garage rock influenced sound, to the real and raw emotion conveyed in almost every track.  It's an album that packs a punch, as lead singer Philip doesn't hold back from taking about his mother's death, feelings of anger, abandonment, and loss.  Musically it draws from a rich vein of punk and garage rock, delivering a frenzied stramash of guitars, distortion and drums.  Wonderful stuff! 

(Buy the album here)

Friday, 21 December 2012

Best Albums Of 2012 - 20 - 11

On the day of the impending Mayan apocalypse, let's all take a few moments to celebrate and reflect on just how bloody good a year it has been for Scottish music.  Last year when compiling this same 'Best Of...' list there was always a clear winner in my mind, Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat's 'Everything's Getting Older'.  That was vindicated by the same album taking the BAMS 2011 title, and more importantly the inagural SAY Award back in June.

This year however, I've chewed this list over and over.  I've mulled on my favourite, re-jigged the order, and cried at the albums I had to leave out.  It was a difficult list, but I've finally settled on this, the Scottish Fiction Best Of 2012.  So enjoy, listen, disagree, engage however you please.

Presented in this post is numbers 20 to 11 in our countdown.

20. French Wives - Dream Of The Inbetween

The Glasgow quintet released their much anticipated début album back on 7th May via Stow College label Electric Honey.  It's a romp of an indie-pop effort, which holds real emotion beneath the catchy melodies, and features a number of their singles released already such as 'Younger' and 'Numbers'.  The band were also rather kind to come and play the first Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes vs. Peenko gig back in October, which was lovely! 

(Buy the album here

19. Cancel The Astronauts - Animal Love Match

The first of four, yes count them four, albums released on 17th September to feature in our top 20.  The Edinburgh band put out this very accomplished album which is full of well written love songs that actually convey real emotions, landscape sounds at times rivalling those of more establish indie acts, and full of awkward dance moves as those oh-so-cool indie kids try not to dance.  Another charming band who came and playing for us in October.  Cheers!

(Buy the album here)

18. Lightships - Electric Cables

Teenage Fanclub are an institution that can do no wrong.  Luckily that also extents to their constituent parts, including bassist Gerard Love who, with the help of some other Glasgow musicians, released his début solo album under the guise of Lightships.  The influence of the Fannies is clear, as is another Glasgow institution The Pastels, under whose label the album was released, yet there's plenty of originality and a breezy summer day feel throughout.

(Buy the album here)

17. Olympic Swimmers - No Flags Will Fly

Back in 2011 I had the pleasure of seeing Olympic Swimmers support Admiral Fallow at The Arches, and shortly after 'Apples And Pears' became one of my favourite tracks.  I'd kind off forgotten about the band until... BAM 'No Flags Will Fly' dropped on 4th June and propelled the band to greater things.   The first four tracks contribute one of the strongest starts to an album all year, especially my favourite 'Knots'. 

(Buy the album here)

16. Gav Prentice - The Invisible Hand

Over The Wall frontman Gav Prentice chose this year to 'go solo', something which he'd been toying with for a while and was encouraged to go for during a lull in OTW activities.  And just as bloody well, because début 'The Invisible Hand' genuinely does stand alone from Prentice's previous band and serves as a vehicle for the him musician to say something he couldn't have got across as a collective.  Full of small town angst, frustration and threats of violence, it's a stonker of an album well worth checking out.  Peenko, Aye Tunes and I had the pleasure of 'launching' the album at our gig in November.  Jolly good so it was.

(Buy the album here)

15. The Unwinding Hours - Afterlives

After 2010's self titled album from former Aerogramme lad's Craig B and Ian Cooke, a follow up was always expected.  Thankfully it was delivered via Chemikal Underground in August, and it firmly delivered surpassing the standards the duo had set with their début.  Ian Cooke has been a busy bee this year as well, popping up as part of CHVRCHES, who may, arguably, surpass TUH popularity.  Time will tell.  In the meantime enjoy 'Afterlives'.

(Buy the album here)

14. Meursault - Something For The Weakened

Time for my favourite named album of the year, the wonderfully titled 'Something For The Weakened' from Meursault.  Led by Neil Pennycook, Meursault returned with their third offer, displaying progression in their songwriting and a more 'human' and acoustic sound.  Featuring tracks such as 'Flittin', 'Dull Spark' and personal favourite 'Lament For A Teenage Millionaire', this is a fine fine album worthy of your time.

(Buy the album here)

13. Jo Mango - Murmuration

The first of two appearances for DIY Glasgow label Olive Grove Records.  Jo Mango's second album 'Murmuration' was a labour of love, taking six years to write and record.  It's certainly worth the wait though as there's such beauty, craft, intricacy and emotion weaved throughout.  Each track is a real labour of love, and for true, original songwriting you can't look further than 'Murmuration'. 

(Buy the album here)

12. The State Broadcasters - Ghosts We Must Carry

And here's numero two for Olive Grove, which has nothing to do with our recent gig foray with Lloyd, and everything to do with the extraordinary collective feeling they have developed and used to entice The State Broadcasters to release their second album 'Ghosts We Must Carry' with them.  The second album on the list to have been released on the magical date, 17th September, The State Broadcasters have crafted an album full of folk/American/traditional musical influences which broads with real human emotion.

(Buy the album here)

11. Human Don't Be Angry - Human Don't Be Angry

Human Don't Be Angry, named after the literal translation of the German name for the board game Frustration, is of course Malcolm Middleton, who turns his hand to electronica and '80's influenced music on this album.  Released via Chemikal Underground on 23rd April, it's an album that has intriuged me and stuck with me all year round.  Sound truly landscaped sounds, tapping into the electro sound which is prevalent at the moment.  Wonderful live as well.  Chill out and have a listen.

(Buy the album here)

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 12 December 2012

For our last live session of 2013, we welcomed Jo Mango into the Pulse Community Radio studio for a chat about all things Jo Mango!  Listen back to hear Jo chatting about her music and influences, the making and release of the 'Murmuration' album, and hear her choice of tracks through the first hour.  And if that wasn't enough there's three live tracks, including a little Christmas number, snuggled in there too!

On top of that we played music from Rick Redbeard, Evil Hand, Fat Goth, Insect Heroes and much more!  Enjoy!

Ólof Arnalds - Englar Og Dárar - As chosen by Jo Mango

Jo Mango - Evermore (Live in Pulse 98.4 Studio)

Adem - Something's Going To Come - As chosen by Jo Mango

Jo Mango - The Black Sun (Live in Pulse 98.4 Studio)

Typhoon - The Sickness Unto Death - As chosen by Jo Mango

Jo Mango - As A Child I Woke (Live in Pulse 98.4 Studio)

Luca - Anywhere
Behold, The Old Bear - Christmas Stalking
Rick Redbeard - Cold As Clay (The Grave)
Flutes - This Is No Country For Old Men
Forest Fires - Trial And Error
Fat Goth - Creepy Lounge
GUMS! - New Year
Insect Heroes - Apocalypso
The Douglas Firs - The Great Generation
Middleton Hall - No Way Home
Evil Hand - Somewhere To Burn
The 10:04's - Lights Out

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Best Albums Of 2012 - Rest Of The World

Finally it's time.  Time to unleash the first of our end of year lists.  And before we get all insular here at Scottish Fiction, let's look outwards, beyond bonnie Scotland and into the wider world.  This year is actually been that good for Scottish music and blogging, doing the radio show that I really immersed myself in that, and as such there's been a huge amount that's passed me by.  So this is a more a list of albums which I've been listening to over the past twelve months and enjoyed.  Oh wait... that's what a best of is surely!

Beach House - Bloom

The duo from Baltimore cemented their place as the finest dream-pop act around.  'Bloom' has been on repeat on my record player since it's release.  A stand-out album and easily my number one choice.

The rest of the list are presented in no particular order:

Best Coast - The Only Place

 The xx - Coexist

Polica - Give You The Ghost

alt-J - An Awesome Wave

Death Grips - The Money Store

Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet On Sky

Egyptian Hip Hop - Good Don't Sleep

Godspeed You! Black Emporer - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

Grizzly Bear - Shields

Hot Chip - In Our Heads

Jessie Ware - Devotion

Tame Impala - Lonerism

DIIV - Oshin

Japandroids - Celebration Rock

The Maccabees - Given To The Wild

2:54 - 2:54

The Shins - Port Of Morrow

Sigur Ros - Valtari

U.S. Girls - GEM

  Tribes - Baby

Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man

Ty Seagall - Twins

First Aid Kit - The Lions Roar

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 5th December 2012

On Wednesday 5th December we were joined in the Pulse Community Radio studio by Wull Swales, lead singer and guitarist from Where We Lay Our Heads.  The band have joined us on the show before, however this time Wull treated us to a solo set and chose some of his top hits of 2012.

Also on the show we had a feature recorded at the Shhh! Festival, a festival curated by RM Hubbert dedicated to quiet music and art.  There's also music from CHVRCHES and Randolph's Leap, who made the Blog Sound of 2013, and new music from So Many Animal Calls, No Island and The Colourful Band.  Enjoy!

So Many Animal Calls - She Was Speaking From The Bottom Of The Sea
Mono Six - Girls Like Guns
Jo Mango - The Moth And The Mirror

Feature - Scottish Fiction at Shhh! Festival

The Colourful Band - Are You Waiting
Randolph's Leap - Zombie

Gav Prentice - How Are You Sleeping? - As chosen by Wull Swales

Where We Lay Our Heads - I'm A Liability - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Meursault - Dull Spark - As chosen by Wull Swales

Where We Lay Our Heads - Rebuild - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Withered Hand - Heart Heart - As chosen by Wull Swales

Where We Lay Our Heads - When I Argue I See Shapes (Idlewild cover) - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Thank You So Nice - Hurry Home Tonight
Julia And The Doogans - Follow
No Island - Judas
Secret Motorbikes - Eating And Sleeping


Monday, 10 December 2012

Scottish Fiction Shelter Christmas 2012 EP

Cast your mind back a mere twelve months ago...  {hazy wavy passage of time}  In December 2011 we brought you the Scottish Fiction Shelter Christmas EP featuring seven tracks contributed by seven Scottish artists and together with your help raised over £100 for Shelter.

Such was the response that I'd long ago decided that come Christmas 2012, I'd do it all over again.  And we have.

I love Christmas.  It's a heady mix of nostalgia, family and fun.  Yet, without preaching, I'm sure we all know it can be a tough time of year for many, none more so that the countless people who are homeless at this time of year,  Shelter are a charity who do an incredible amount of work, helping those people, and throughout the other 364 days of the year.  And you can do your bit to help too.  Christmas music has always played a massive part during my festival celebrations, from the Bing Crosby classics, to the glam rock of Slade and Wizzard, to new and imaginative tracks by independent Scottish musicians.

And it's the latter that we have to offer up with the Scottish Fiction Shelter Christmas 2012 EP.  For a minimum of £3, all of which will be donated to Shelter, you can own eight new and exclusive Christmas songs to soundtrack December.  Enjoy new music whilst supporting a worthwhile cause.  (Please note £3 is the minimum donation.  By all means donate more should you wish to.)

You can download the full EP here.  Please also feel free to share this with as many people as possible.

The full tracklisting for the EP is:

The Orchids - Back To Your House
Behold, The Old Bear - Christmas Stalking
Flutes - Matchsticks (Geez A Kiss)
Esperi - Just Like Christmas Bounce
Kevin P. Gilday & The Middle Class Lovers - Crooked Christmas Tree
Lovers Turn To Monsters - It's A Very Roland Emmerich Christmas
Siobhan Wilson - In The Bleak Red Rose
Naming The Saints - Our Love's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Coincidently I've made the last Scottish Fiction Shelter Christmas EP available for download again for £2, if you do not already own it.  Click on the link above and any money raised through this will also go to Shelter.

Thanks for all your continued support and a merry Christmas!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Shhh! Festival - Radio Feature

On Saturday 1st December The Local and Line Of Best Fit along with RM Hubbert hosted the first Shhh! Festival up here in Scotland at Platform in Glasgow. Celebrating quiet music and art, and actively encouraging the audience to 'shhh', the festival saw an array of artists including RM Hubbert, I Build Collapsible Mountains, Emma Pollock, Jo Mango, Wounded Knee, Finn LeMarinnel and many more.

I headed down and spoke to curator RM Hubbert and some of the performing artists.  Have a listen.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Blog Sound Of 2013

The Blog Sound Poll was first published in 2011.  The concept of the poll wasn’t to criticise the established BBC Sound of list, but simply an experiment to see if UK music bloggers could come up with its own list of emerging artists that was more representative of their community and give 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.

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, who didn’t feature on the BBC list at all.

The Blog Sound of 2013 poll has expanded with 49 UK blogs nominating their 5 favourite emerging artists.  Just over 170 acts received at least 1 vote.  The winning act received votes from around 25% of all bloggers. 

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 the Blog Sound poll also highlights lesser known bands such as Curxes and Randolph’s Leap, bands that do not have big PR representation, and this is what makes the Blog Sound list fascinating and exciting.

The poll was organised by Robin Seamer (Breaking More Waves) and Andy Von Pip (The Von Pip Express).

“Each blog was allowed to vote for five acts and the diversity of the nominations was staggering. Based on the evidence of the spread of votes anyone that says that music bloggers are sheep and are all writing about the same artists has got it wrong.  However, the results of the poll show that certain artists do have a lot of support and love from a significant portion of UK bloggers and those artists make up the Blog Sound of 2013 list,” says Robin.

The Nominated Artists For The Blog Sound Of 2013 

AlunaGeorge - Infectious R&B influenced pop from London

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

Chvrches – Scottish electro pop trio formed from a variety of other bands

Daughter – Minimal / ambient sounding folk

Haim – Classic rock from LA with pop sensibilities

Laura Mvula – Jazz / soul singer hailing from Birmingham

MØ – Hip soulful female vocal electronic pop from Denmark

Palma Violets – Raw and energetic indie rock band

Pins – Edgily cool and raucous all female indie band from Manchester

Randolph’s Leap – Glasgow based indie folk pop with a twist of brass

Rhye – Smooth and blissful pop duo

Savages – Intense post-punk with female vocals

Seasfire – Modern rock band from Bristol who mix electronic beats with guitars

The Neighbourhood – Atmospheric Californian 5 piece rock / pop band 

Tom Odell – Piano based singer songwriter originally from Chichester

The 49 blogs who voted in the poll are:

Shortlist and winner announced 3rd January 2013 !

Get involved on Twitter using hashtag #blogsound2013

Personally I'm happy to see two of my five nominations make the long list, in the shape of Randolph's Leap and CHVRCHES.  As a Scottish blog focusing on Scottish music, it's great to see these two representing for north of the border.  However, the whole concept is far from patriarchal championing and the long list has thrown up a few bands I've heard of, and some I haven't, and shown the UK blogging scene has a wide and diverse taste, far from all following the same buzz bands.  I'd highly recommend getting stuck into listening to all 15 acts and enjoying the best the UK, and beyond, has to offer.