Industry news & advice blog

The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: November

Tuck into our delicious banquet of unsigned tracks for November, guaranteed to get you salivating!

Autumnmusic — 3wisemen
Autumnmusic is the solo project of Bristol-based songwriter Rosi Croom. Describing her sound as, "Ambient, alternative pop with lots of vocal layering and poetic storytelling", Croom takes elements of Bristol's trip hop scene and weaves them together with more conventional influences to create something new entirely. She has also collaborated with producers credited in releases by Maroon 5 and Madonna, no doubt giving her an insight on how to further hone her pop sensibilities.

'3wisemen' is Autumnmusic's ode to a corrupt politician. We ain't naming names, but will state that the song's final minute was inspired by February's Anti-Trump rallies in London... This may or may not be relevant - jus' sayin'. Rosi elaborates, "Just like everyone else over the past year, I'm at saturation point for the bad behaviour of the people who are supposed to be employed to support and care for us.”

Aside from the politically potent lyrics, the disorientating bass and looped vocals add a ghostly warmth to the track, creating an atmosphere that feels more alienated and uncertain than angry. Still, the aforementioned climax is defiant, as the song builds patiently to an outro of layered, distorted vocals, as Rosi repeats the line, "You don't care about us".

Having just climbed her own personal Everest of writing 100 songs in 100 days, Rosi has big plans for Autumnmusic in the coming months. Keep an eye out for a video for the recently released, 'What If', which should be with us soon. She is also grafting away on an EP with the hope of letting this loose on the world in early 2018.

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The Slumdogs — Nightmare

Some bands manage to channel raw aggression in a way that can burrow deep into a listener's limbic system and hit them with a dose of pure catharsis. As civilised humans, we can sometimes forget how angry we are until these bands remind us in a beautiful mess of screeching guitars and thundering drums. Describing their sound as, "Punk spunk, with a mix between raw and melodic sounds", The Slumdogs are definitely one of those bands. 

Written off the back of an angry argument 'Nightmare' is squared at, "Judgemental, opinionated, controlling people who constantly tell you what to do." Gaspar, the band's drummer, has only one word for these people—"nightmares". The song is every toe ever stubbed on a coffee table condensed into 2 minutes and 33 seconds of pure shouty mayhem. As the song becomes more and more frantic, you start to wonder if every member of the band secretly hate each other as they compete to make the most noise. In a really good way.

Riding on the momentum of releasing their last record and what the four-piece express as, "finally finding our sound", The Slumdogs are spending the rest of the year playing shows across the North of England. If Nightmare has whet your polished punk appetite, don't fret... The Slumdogs are hoping to release a follow up single early next year. 

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Yarbo – ‘The End Is Coming’

With a history stretching back over 10 years, Yarbo is the alternative, post-rock outlet of 4 friends from Widnes. First playing together as Paraffin Oil Shop from the ages of 17, university saw some members depart for a while, but over the past year the collective has joined forces again. As Yarbo, they unveil the first release from their debut 6 track EP, the lavish single ‘The End Is Coming’. It seems the magic conjured a decade ago has not waned.

Not nearly as ominous as the title would imply, our chosen track is lilting and melodic; with elements verging on anthemic and uplifting when the chorus arrives.

Writing together is certainly a vital and bonding experience for the band, and after crafting their latest cluster of songs, the rehearsal room is calling and they are keen to get to work on a follow up.  Fret not though, live shows are also on the agenda, as well as plans to drip-feed more tracks from their self-titled EP over the coming months, which will surely whet the appetite for the release, due early next year. 

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Grey Areas – ‘Dear God’

Experimenting with and influenced by everything from Jazz to EDM, Liverpool artist Megan Sola-Guinto (aka Grey Areas) has soaked up a variety of genres since her time growing up in California to the current day, living in Liverpool. Highlighting her striking and remarkable voice, ‘Dear God’ sits neatly under the Electronic/Alternative R&B umbrella.

Written as a form of dealing with and reflecting on personal losses, tragedies and heartbreak, Megan explains how the song came about: “I sat down in late December 2016 at my piano at home, and just started playing and improvising vocally, and many of the words seemed to just roll off the tongue. Many people turn to religion in times of need, and so I thought, why not ask my own questions regarding my life and life in today's world in general? After that initial concept came, it seemed to flow out quite naturally and it took only a few days to finish. Since then, I've been working with one of my producers (called ensoul.) to get it to where it is today.”

Megan’s talent has been championed by Liverpool International Music Festival who selected her as one of their Top 20 Academy Artists of 2017, which saw her perform at the festival back in July. Prior to that in May, she was also fortunate to have a one-on-one songwriting session with Sir Paul McCartney of The Beatles. On top of numerous support slots and local radio airplay, there’s certainly no doubt that Grey Areas has whipped up quite a buzz in a short space of time.

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Heir – ‘Need You The Most’

Bursting out of Leeds with their fresh, energetic and enriched pop are Heir, who make combining powerful harmonies and hooks with infectious rhythms and organic songcraft look as easy as pie...and pretty fun to boot!

Recovering from a manic summer which involved the band being slotted into the Leeds and Reading Festival line-ups last minute, the five piece also had the pleasure and privilege of having ‘Need You The Most’ mixed by Chris Kasych whose previous credits include Haim and Adele.

The song was initially devised on a trip to Devon: “Sam, Ste and Tom went on a little retreat to Devon and wrote the bare bones of the song on acoustic guitars. We got in a rehearsal room as soon as they got back and started arranging the track as a band. It took a few goes but, eventually, we came up with a feel for the song that we all loved. The song is about that moment when you catch someone’s eye and you know you’re both thinking the same thing; when you know you're on the same page. We definitely experienced that when the song clicked and it's been one of our favourite songs to play live since.”

With no signs of slowing down, there’s plenty more new material on the way as Heir have been busy concocting more hits in the making. The second leg of their UK tour starts in December and we are assured there will be another single release before the year is out. 

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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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