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The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: July

This month we celebrate the 4th birthday of Spotlight!! How did we get so old?! We've loved bringing you so much amazing new music over the years…and our July instalment is no exception. Enjoy!

Sweet Deals On Surgery – ‘100% Hitler Free’
Manchester trio Sweet Deals On Surgery describe themselves as “three men who like cider playing noisy-pop-thunder-punk with lots of melodies/harmonies.”  

‘100% Hitler Free is taken from the band’s forthcoming debut album 'The Snake And The Snoozer', due out on Antipop Records in September. Instantly struck by the dynamic chords and energy of the track, and obviously intrigued by the song title, we wanted to find out more about its origins. Frontman Rob explains: “The main riff was something I'd had knocking about for a while, then I wrote the chorus and lyrics about 2 years ago and demoed it on Garageband on my old Macbook pro. I took it to a rehearsal in Preston, we drank some cider and Alex (Bass/Vox) and Tim (Drums) worked their magic on it. I like this band cos I show them bits of songs and then they do better things to those songs and take them in directions I might not have thought of going. They know what to do and it came about pretty quickly really. The title is just a tiny snippet of a review I read of a band's album in a magazine. I forget who they were now. It was back when we we're into calling our songs ridiculous things (we still kind of are...).”

In their 3 years together, the band have enjoyed numerous plays on Tom Robinson’s BBC 6 Music show, played live video sessions for Sister 9 Records and Futureworks, but ultimately Sweet Deals On Surgery biggest accomplishment to date is completing their debut album. 

They’ll next be unleashing their boisterous sound at the 10th anniversary of Preston’s Glastonferret festival this coming weekend, but the crucial date for your diary is 2nd September when ‘The Snake And The Snoozer’ finally drops. With a short tour and album launch parties also expected, and new material underway that they hope to slot into their upcoming live shows, there’s plenty to feel excited about. 

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Ever – ‘Silence Is Petty, Bitter’s Not Pretty’

Creating atmospheric and sleek electronica, singer songwriter Ever cannot fail to make a mark with her ambient, haunting sound. Her vocals are simultaneously melancholic, delicate yet crisp and she draws influence from a wide range of female artists including Kimbra, Grimes, Björk and Kate Bush.

Past achievements including racking up over 100,000 Spotify plays for another of her tracks which saw her featured twice on the Spotify Fresh Finds Playlists. She is also no stranger to BBC Introducing, having been championed on both their regional show for the South, as well as on Tom Robinson’s national programme too.

Currently based on the Isle Of Wight but shortly moving to Salisbury, Ever will be focusing on growing her southern fanbase with some gigs in store. A new EP should be ready by September as well so we suggest you keep your ear to the ground.

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Shakedown Stockholm – ‘Nothing Like Abel’

A seven piece boasting 2 sets of twins, think Fleetwood Mac for the 21st Century, but hopefully with less love triangles and drama. Headlining Alan McGee’s Creation night in Liverpool, airplay on BBC Introducing programmes, a track featured on Hollyoaks, releasing a self-produced EP and hosting a launch at O2 Academy 2 Liverpool are just some of the marvellous experiences Shakedown Stockholm have recently relished. 

Let’s find out more about our chosen song. Guitarist Danny tells us: “It initially came about when messing around on a piano. The track is a statement of people having a self-given sense of heroism. That they are doing things that makes them martyrs in life, hence the reference to Abel (Kane & Abel), when essentially they're nothing of the kind. The song was written years before we ever released it and it was left in our back catalogue of songs until we were track listing for our EP The Reality of Truth.”

The band have already had a busy 2016 with 2 single releases, ‘The Way You Love’ and ‘You & I’ under their belts. They love everything to do with the process of creating music and putting it out there, with writing music and releasing it to the public deemed a huge achievement in itself for the band. With that in mind, we’re sure Shakedown Stockholm will never be short of new material and they plan to be back in the studio during December to work on their next EP. In the meantime, you’ll be able to catch them live at The Live Rooms in Chester on 11th July and there’ll no doubt be more gig dates over the coming months. 

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Gareth Esson – ‘Almost Something’

Influenced by a huge range of styles, singer songwriter Gareth effortlessly merges Soul, Indie, Folk and Acoustic with his beguiling voice the true star of the show. It’s no surprise he is repeatedly praised for his captivating live performances and has been welcomed by the likes of Sofar London and On’t Sofa for intimate sessions.

Hailing from Wolverhampton and currently residing in London, Gareth’s greatest achievement to date is recording my first album, a project which he crowdfunded. He celebrated the support he received and completion of his hard work with a sell-out album launch show at The Bedford in Balham.

‘Almost Something’ is an account of a brief and intense relationship and Gareth tells us it was written 8 months after the relationship ended whilst on a night bus. After completing his debut album last year, he’ll be dedicating the rest of 2016 to writing, but you can expect the occasional gig too. Keep an eye on his website for upcoming shows and news. 

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Vulgarians – ‘Lost Sanity Smiles’

Having toured with one of their favourite bands, The Wytches, and played the BBC Introducing stage at The Great Escape in May after being hand-picked by Steve Lamacq, it’s fair to say that the past 18 months have been rather memorable for four-piece Vulgarians. 

Embracing a wide range of genres and bands from differing eras such as Public Image Limited and The Jesus & Mary Chain, the band would best describe their sound as Post-Punk/Noise Rock. They released their eagerly awaited debut EP ‘Life’s Successful Death’ just last week featuring our selected Spotlight track. But how did the song come about? “We wrote 'Lost Sanity Smiles' a while back in our practice space that we've appropriately termed 'Nelson Mandela House'. I've always found great energy in the dynamical shift between a piece of music that can build tension and intensity…and then drop to a minimum. I feel that's exactly what this song creates. We never plan to try and create a song in a certain way. It's always a natural process of experimentation that gives the four of us the chance to produce something unique.”

The band will be embarking on a headline tour soon to support the EP release and they also have festival appearances lined up at Tramlines, as well as Humber Street Sesh in their hometown of Hull. Don’t think it stops there for Vulgarians though – they also plan to release a second EP in Autumn with more touring to follow. Exciting times indeed!

Check out their video for ‘Lost Sanity Smiles’…

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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, Memphis Industries, Rocksound, Skint Publishing, Spotify, Fake DIY, Transgressive Records and The Great Escape. View the full list of who listens to our Spotlight tracks here.

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The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: June
The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: May
The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: April

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