Industry news & advice blog

The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: June

As we reach the mid-point of 2017, can there be undiscovered music in store to better the past 6 months of Spotlight? Fear not, our June Spotlight blog is just as bountiful & bursting with exciting new talent.

Penguin – ‘Not A Problem’ 
Hi-energy, lo-fi sounding alt rock from Newcastle, Penguin played their first gig at Evolution Emerging Festival just over a week ago. For a festival that devotes itself to unearthing exciting talent, this could see Penguin following in the footsteps of previous local performers who’ve broken through to the mainstream; Lanterns On The Lake, Shields and Nadine Shah.

Off to a flying start on the live front, Penguin are also making an impact across the airwaves with this debut single being played on BBC 6 Music and also Huw Stephen’s show on BBC Radio 1.

So let’s find out a little more about the song in question. Luke tells us: “It started out as distorted drum loop that I put together on my laptop. I spent hours just playing my guitar to the drum loop on repeat as it’s quite hypnotic and eventually a song structure formed. Lyrically it’s about perspective and how it can change how you feel about a situation. It’s the age old ‘is the glass half full or half empty?’ thing.”

At the moment Penguin are focused on making a video for another forthcoming track, and we’re assured there will be more music on the horizon, not to mention some live dates too.  

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Opal Blue – ‘Nile’

So engulfing is the calming and ambient electronica of Opal Blue’s ‘Nile’, you’d be forgiven for being transported to some kind of tropical underwater abyss. Already proving a hit with BBC 1Xtra and The Hype Machine, the London production trio’s soothing and melancholic sounds are perfect for the summer months.

Their EP release ‘She Goes Deep' from 2016 brought them praise from BBC 6Music, Beats1, Indie Shuffle, EarMilk, Wonderland and The 405. Maintaining an air of mystery over their forthcoming plans, we are assured of lots more new music from Opal Blue, as well as an exciting collaboration. Looks like we’ll have to try and keep our anticipation under wraps for the meantime.

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WUZI – ‘Atomis’  

Having just returned from a triumphant gig at Liverpool Sound City, psych rock grunge band WUZI are riding the 90s wave, soaking up the influences of the decade the four piece grew up in. 

Their debut single release ‘Atomis’ starts off in an unassuming jangly fashion before building to a heavy onslaught of grungy guitars and fuzz, but maintaining a strong melodic essence throughout.

Check out their colourful, psychedelic video here:

After headlining at Indie Music Week in Toronto last year after being crowned winners [LINK TO}, the band are keen to return to the city for a mini-tour. So far in 2017 they’ve also graced the stage at Live At Leeds, and assure us they have plenty more gigs and releases on the way for the rest of the year.

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Sooski – ‘East London’

Seemlessly marrying experimental percussion with pop music, London-based Sooski manages to mould these fabricated sounds into something authentic and unique. 

'East London' is a perfect example of the heavy bass, chiming bells, "door handle percussions and accidental noises" that Sooski loves to incorporate into her songs. Speaking to us about the track, she says that she drew a lot of inspiration from a Friday night in Shoreditch:

"It’s filled with city boys trying to be cool, hipsterish and down with the kids! I don’t mean to generalise at all, this is based on my own experiences and actually aimed at a specific person who would do anything to put this ‘cool’ mask on; which in fact he didn’t need to do, he just needed to embrace who he was and stop trying to be something he wasn’t!"

Sooski has always been proud of the self-produced nature of her music, but 2017 is going to be all about collaboration and live performance. She is working with visual artists as well as other producers, "I want to try and bring to life my vision as detailed as possible in order to share my art as honestly as I can; so definitely expect some new experimental music accompanied by complementary visuals."

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Buffalode – ‘Discorduroy’ 

Buffalode, self-coined 'heavy-fuzzy-blues' two-piece from Lincoln, have already gained some traction in the industry after a track from last year's self-titled debut EP got them a feature on a Classic Rock Magazine covermount.

'Discorduroy' picks up where that EP left off, with Scott Nairn's thundering drums providing the perfect backdrop for Chris Thompson's jagged vocals and seemingly never-ending supply of bluesy riffs. The track hits that rare sweet spot between melody and fuzz that many strive for and miss.

The song came together quite quickly, "Discorduroy came about as most of our songs do, we jammed on a riff and built a song around that. Scott put a massive beat to it and the rest fell into place quite quickly and naturally." The name of the track apparently came from Chris' love of corduroy and wordplay, "The lyrics are pretty nonsensical, about someone - perhaps Chris - who is made from corduroy and is struggling to come to terms with it."

Their debut full-length, 'Graze Anatomy', was recorded at The Church Studios in London earlier this year and is set for release on 9th June.

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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. 

As well as being featured in our new music blog, your track will also be played on our monthly Amazing Radio show and also forwarded onto music industry professionals including folks from Big Life Management, Club Fandango, Decca Records, Memphis Industries, Rocksound, Spotify, DIY Magazine, Transgressive Records and The Great Escape. Find out more about Spotlight here.

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