The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: March

Blog by Michelle Lloyd under Artist Managers, Creative & Branding, Finance, Law & Music Business, Live, Media, Music Publishing, Music Training & Careers, Record Labels, Recording & Production, Selling & Distributing Your Music

Spring has arrived! And we can’t think of a better way of putting a spring in your step (sorry) than listening to this month’s Spotlight selections. As ever, we had some tough decisions to make but we narrowed it down, and even if we do say so ourselves, this month’s chosen tracks are first-class. What a talented bunch you are!

Unfortunately due to copyright issues we couldn’t upload GO WOLF’s track to the SoundCloud player, BUT fear not, you can hear it here:
GO WOLF – ‘Voices’ 

GO WOLF, another dynamic addition to Belfast’s ever-growing vibrant music scene, started life as a collaboration between Christopher Sloan (bass) and Scott Jamison (guitar/ vocals). Their incipient musical partnership took inspiration from the lo-fi electronics of LCD Soundsystem and songwriting of Prince, amongst others. The addition of Anna Leyden (keys) and Stephen Hackworth (drums) resulted in a creative shift to a more organic sound and has seen their local following grow dramatically, with the band garnering recent support slots for Ed Zealous and The 1975. Having released our chosen track ‘Voices’ as a single at the end of last year, the band are set to record their first EP in Belfast’s Start Together Studios in May, with an Autumn release date in mind.
Here’s what Scott had to say when we collared him for a little chat:
How would you describe the GO WOLF sound?
A retro sound brought up to date. Prince + Simple Minds + John Hughes films + LCD Soundsystem.
How did ‘Voices’ come about?
Voices started with the vocal melody from the chorus, which was an attempt to write something slightly sinister but still with a pop, dance edge. As with all our material, it was a laptop-produced song filled out in the practice room. It's been adapted and improved upon as we've played it live, occasionally ending with an acapella rendition of 'Say My Name' by Destiny's Child.
What would you consider to be your band highlights so far?
Although it was to a small crowd, supporting The 1975 was great. Also, playing with local heroes Ed Zealous at (Belfast club night) Animal Disco was a turning point in making a dent on the local scene. It's been nice getting quite regular airplay as well, on Radio 1 and BBC Ulster.
What's on the agenda for the coming months?
Our next gig is with Jape and Ryan Vail in Belfast's Oh Yeah Centre, one we're all really looking forward to. We are going into the studio in May, with Rocky O'Reilly on production; hopefully there'll be a 4 song EP come the Autumn. Outside of that, we're looking to gig in the South of Ireland for the first time and play some festivals in the Summer.
Masters In France - ‘Flexin’

Welsh quintet Masters In France hail from the beautiful surroundings of Snowdonia. Having been described as having a “dark groove”, they fuse elements of hip-hop and electro with a distinct tribal feel to help drive and further develop their tracks. And that’s what hit us with ‘Flexin’; channelling the likes of Hot Chip and Metronomy, it’s jerky beat and mirthful vocal got right under our skin and instantly invigorated our weary heads.
We’re clearly not the only ones enamoured with these chaps either, having selected the track last week, we’ve since heard it featured on Lauren Laverne’s BBC 6Music show and on XFM, so it looks like they’re definitely on the right path. With slots at Radio One’s Big Weekend, Wakestock, Strawberry Fields, SWN and Y NOT festival under their belt too, they’ve already garnered the support of compatriots Jen Long and Huw Stephens.
Here’s what they had to say about the novel way ‘Flexin’ came about: “Ed originally played the riff on a synth pedal which to this day most of the lads don’t believe me, I thought it delivered a real danceable sound so it had to stay. Most of the track was then written around the riff bringing it in and out to create tension.”
With a view to releasing their debut album later this year, they’re concerning themselves with lots of writing and recording, with a few gigs and festivals thrown in along the way, as well as an EP.

Letters To Fiesta – ‘Mesosphere’

Letters To Fiesta leap into in 2013 with new sounds and a new line-up. The Manchester based band will be releasing their first single, our chosen track, Mesosphere, on March 9th.
Reluctant to give too much away yet, preferring to keep their secrets under wraps for a little while longer, here’s what we managed to get out of them: 
How would you best describe your sound?
We are never too hasty to describe our sound, but we will say there are bleeps and blips and we enjoy making noise.

Can you tell us a bit about ‘Mesosphere’, how did it come about?
It is a labour of love, the song developed over the course of time and we spent time developing the sounds, the feel of the piece and working on our own individual parts. It's inspired by a combination of a relationship and finding the balance between following your dreams, and the difficulty of trying to make people happy…. something many people can relate to.

Band highlights to date?
We loved playing Dot To Dot festival, the line-up was amazing and we met a lot of great people. Also, recording Tears Apart at The Motor Museum in Liverpool was wonderful. The studio was immense and full of instruments and pedals that fired up our creativity.

What’s in store for the rest of 2013?
Funny you should ask (!), we are releasing our first single, Mesosphere, next Saturday (9th March) at The Castle Hotel in Manchester. We're so excited to show everyone what we've been doing for the past year and to give people a good time with our music, it should be a great night. We will be releasing an EP in May/June and following that with more UK dates. We can't wait to show you what we've been up to in our writing and recording hibernation.

Eeves – ‘Life Expectancy’ 
Describing themselves as an ‘Alternative/Post-Punk band’ Eeves hail from Teesside , consisting of Peter McDonald and brothers Stephen, Andrew and Thomas Masterman. ‘Life Expectancy’ they tell us, is a collision of all their tastes right now, declaring it a slightly more abstract piece and possibly not as accessible as some of the new material they’re currently writing. Their aim is to write music that they like as individuals, if others like it - that's a bonus! 
As a band they try to draw out interesting ways each of them can contribute to a track and try not to approach anything the same way twice; trying new things and new ways of soundscaping is what drives them. ‘Life Expectancy' proves to be a great example of this, starting life as a 4 bar guitar riff which then escalated into something bigger entirely.
With more gigs planned around the North East in the coming months, they’re locking themselves in the studio in the meantime to work on new material.
High Tyde – ‘ Solana’

Brighton based quartet High Tyde struck us with their chirpy, infectious little number ‘Solana’ and we were pretty darned shocked to find out that the boys are still in school, currently cramming for their GCSEs! Despite their tender age, selling out local gigs is commonplace and having just headlined Concorde 2 in their hometown, they’ve set their sights on touring the UK once the small matter of school is done and dusted.
Wanting to know a little bit more about these spring chickens, we tracked them down for a little chinwag.
How would you best describe the High Tyde vibe?
It sounds like 4 dudes having a good time on the beach on a hot sunny day. Each band member has their own individual influence which we try and incorporate into our music. Louis, our drummer, takes heavy influence from original Ska/Reggae which we have fused into our music in both EPs; 'Meal Deal' and 'TEAL'. Our guitarist and chief songwriter Spencer takes influence from Jazz and Blues, using harmonious chords which give our music more of an uplifting and fresh new sound. 
What’s the story behind ‘Solana’?
As Summer’s slowly approaching, we thought that we would write a song about our previous summer being a band. The song came about like every song we have written -  at band practice. Spencer had come up with a guitar riff resembling a South African sound…a bit like something you would hear off a Johnny Clegg record. Louis came up with the initial lyrics which were then adapted by Cody to suit his style of singing. It all came together and after a couple hours we had finished the track but were still without a name. Originally we were going to call it 'Sunny Day', but after a discussion, Louis had thought of the word 'solana', which is the Spanish word for 'sun'. We felt it would fit perfectly with the sound of the song.
What would you consider to be your band highlights to date?
As a band we have shared many amazing experiences together and had such fun in the first year of being High Tyde. Our first 2 shows in 2013 have been absolutely incredible! Since the release of our second EP ‘Teal’ people have taken real interest in listening to us. Our first show of 2013 was at The Haunt in Brighton. After releasing the event on Facebook we had loads of people wanting tickets which led to a High Tyde sell-out! As a follow up we had the pleasure of being asked to headline a bill at Brighton's most prestigious venue, Concorde 2. This was in aid of 'Brighton Soundscape', which shows off Brighton's leading unsigned bands. Once again the response we got was incredible! Concorde and The Haunt have given us a real spring in our step and have pointed us in the right direction for future plans this year. 
Any gigs coming up?
Well, we have our first out of town show, which is in Bristol supporting Sam Kelly on March 29th. And if you’re ever in Brighton you may see us busking down the beach, so pop along, give us a listen and say hello!
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.
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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