Industry news & advice blog

The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: December

Woah! Where did 2015 go?! We’ve experienced music of the highest order these past 12 months, but we’ve still got another 5 killer tracks to bestow upon your ears for December. Let’s get to it!

LIINES – ‘Never There’
Immediate, striking and primal, Manchester alternative post punk trio LIINES’ debut single is taking absolutely no prisoners.  Local press CityLife perfectly summed up their sound when they said: “LIINES pick over the bones of the past – bits of grunge, new wave and post-punk – and rearrange them into something box-fresh.”

Previously selling EPs at their gigs over the years, this is the band’s first official release. Drummer Leila tells us more: “We chose to release Never There as a single because it’s a song that gets a great response. It’s been the last song of our set for a while and we love the raw energy that takes over when we play it.”

Having played some big shows in Europe and supported Scandinavian band, Nelson Can, on their UK tour, 2015 is certainly going out with a bang with ‘Never There’ garnering compliments galore from new music blogs such as Louder than War, Even the Stars, not to mention airplay from John Kennedy who made the single his X-Posure X-Posure 'Big One' (Single of the Week). 

The superb video was premiered on Louder Than War earlier this week. Take a look for yourself:

LIINES will be playing Scruff of the Neck Records’ free pop-up Winter Festival at The King’s Ransom (Sale) on Saturday 12th December to round off their year, and also a perfect opportunity to air their Christmas cover song recorded for US label Cleopatra Records. Plans are afoot for recording an album in 2016, followed by a UK tour and some European dates. 


‘Never There’ is available to download/stream via  

XOCHA – ‘Need It To Stay’

Reeling from a brilliant year where they’ve played Bestival’s main stage, thanks to Rob Da Bank and Mark King taking more than a shine to the indie rock foursome from the Isle Of Wight, we can only imagine 2016 is going to be a belter for XOCHA.

The band tell us that ‘Need It To Stay’ came together very quickly; from idea to completed demo. Awash with reverbs and delays, their dreamy, laid back sound and infectious melody has been ringing through our heads for days. It’s one of 3 songs by XOCHA that BBC Introducing In The South have picked up on and played, and their first single ‘Slow//Fast’ was even picked up by the Fresh On The Net team and made it onto their national Introducing show on BBC 6Music just a matter of days ago. 

The new year holds new material, new single and EP releases. Their first live date of 2016 will be at Newport’s Quay Arts Centre on Isle of Wight on 30th January, but the band hope to embark on a tour in 2016 so keep an eye out on their website for a gig near you in the not too distant future. 


Mica & Kardanski - 'Trouble'
When we heard that former Red Sky Noise vocalist Mica Miller (featured in January 2014 Spotlight) had paired up with former Kid British main Musician and producer Sean 'Kardanski' Mbaya, we were keen to hear the results of this musical marriage. One listen to 'Trouble' and you too will be instantly smitten.

Both largely influenced by soul, Motown, hip-hop, trip hop, 90s dance and electronica, it's fair to say that an essence of all these styles can be heard, craftily and seamlessly weaved together.

Mica explains the motivation behind the track: "Trouble was a song I wrote a couple of years ago at a time where things had taken kind of difficult turn in my life and then they seemed to re-aligned themselves. I'm a firm believer that life has a way of working itself out, sometimes you can't see the wood from the trees when you're in a negative place and then suddenly something happens outside of your control and everything just works out like it was meant to be. So the song is about that, and not running away from your fears. Sean's production on the track really brought it to life though - whenever I finish writing a song in its raw form (piano and vocals) I try to visualise how it will sound once it's been produced and for me, production-wise, it's better than what I had in my head so it's something we're both really proud of."

Currently working on their album, the duo aim to release their second and third singles on MUK Records in the new year and will be shooting videos to accompany them. Look out for Mica & Kardanski playing a stripped back set at a Sofar Sounds event in London in January, plus there are more shows in the pipeline which are under wraps for now. We suggest you keep an eye out on their site if you want to bear witness to what we feel will be a very exciting next 12 months for the band.

Echoic – ‘My Mind’

Channelling alternative rock with strong pop stylings, this Reading band have been touring their EP release across the country recently, with the likes of Kerrang!, Rock Sound and Rhythm Magazine all singing their praises. 

Counting their EP as their best accomplishment to date, Echoic also get an unparalleled buzz from playing sold out gigs with audiences singing their songs back to them. And in 2015, they have also racked up some enviable support slots, opening for Arcane Roots, Pulled Apart By Horses, The Coronas, with a gig with The Bohicas coming up next week on 7th December at Sub:89 in Reading.

After completing their batch of live dates for this year, they already have some gigs lined up for 2016 and will be embarking on some intensive songwriting to ensure next year is a big one. We have a feeling it will be!

Find out more about Echoic via the links below and take a look at their video for ‘My Mind’: 


Molade featuring Frizz – ‘Love Higher’

Combining his love for both UK rap and House music, Nigerian born producer Molade thought why not bring the styles together?

‘Love Higher’ merges the genres with a large dose of contagious energy. With visions of a powerful female vocal completing the sound, he teamed up with rapper Frizz and her powerful, punchy, lightning-speed rhymes couldn’t be more fitting for this track.  

Take a look at the vibrant video and decide for yourself: 

Buoyant from 2 recent plays of the song on BBC Introducing’s regional programme, Molade has been receiving great feedback as a result. Plans for 2016 include for single and EP releases, plus some potential summer festival slots. Watch this space! 

How do I get featured on the Spotlight blog?
Our Spotlight blog is compiled every month from fresh new music submitted to us by our members. We want to hear from you! We select 5 of the best tracks from our members, so if you want to be in the running you’ll need to sign up to The Unsigned Guide then follow the instructions in your Welcome email to submit a track for Spotlight consideration to us. If you’re already a member and still not sure about how to submit your music for Spotlight, just give us a shout via our Contact page & we’ll help you out!

As well as being featured in our new music blog, your track will also be forwarded onto  these music industry professionals including folks from Amazing Radio, Big Life Management, Club Fandango, Domino Records, The Fly, Memphis Industries, Rocksound, Skint Publishing, Sony Music, Spotify, Fake DIY, Transgressive Records and The Great Escape. View the full list of who listens to our Spotlight tracks here.

Did we mention we have a number of online radio stations that will air our Spotlight tracks too. Members of The Unsigned Guide get access to our huge directory of over 8,700 UK music industry contacts. Find out more about the directory and the other services we provide to help emerging bands and artists here:


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