Over February I’m listening to around 150 new, emerging bands and artists as a judge for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition. There are around 40 other music writers like me busy looking over their spread sheet and plugging themselves into Soundcloud and Youtube. Last week I showcased these four acts who have impressed me so far. This week I’ve got three more for you as I head into the final few entries on my list. For more information about this excellent contest, click here.
Garage punk act The Gnarwals sing songs about skating legends, sound like they can barely play and are as yet the only band I’ve ever seen attempt to crowd-skate (yes crowd surfing with a skateboard). What’s not to love? Channelling the energies of great UK skate rock bands like The Stupids, mixing in the punk DIY ethos of Australia’s Eddy Current Suppression Ring, this lot have enough to grab my attention. The fact that their 2013 album is called Fuck Cameron as well also demands I take notice as does their Facebook blurb, which says under interests “Stressing the Gnarliness of the Gnarwhal since 1879.”
The Mourning Suns
I’m a sucker for a bunch of folkies hanging around in woods. Step forward The Mourning Suns complete with double bass to satisfy my Pentangle cravings as well. From Birmingham this act have the makings a great band on the folk festival circuit and this clip of their track A Cloud certainly makes me want to hear more, especially with the appropriately mournful viola of Lizze Chan-Foxley and vocals from Rosie Wilkes.
History of Sleep
There can be a tendency with acoustic guitar based music to over complicate things. We’ve all seen those blokes who start drumming away midway through on the woodwork, or frantically bashing away at bar chords until it all becomes a mess. The old cliché of less is more is there for good reason and that’s something History of Sleep does really well, just gentle picking of chords, the melody backing the simple lyrics well. Above all his voice is natural sounding and honest with no pretention. A welcome relief in a complicated world.
by Joe Lepper