The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: September

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

We’re sorry to say, but summer is coming to an end, festival season is almost done and dusted and thoughts are turning to the bleak winter ahead, huh? Well, you’ll be pleased to know it’s not all doom and gloom; our monthly Spotlight tracks are the perfect pick-me-up and this month we have a top notch selection for you. With a curious mix of styles, there’s sure to be something that floats your boat. Enjoy!

Her Royal Harness – Mercenary Man
Hailing from London and Bergen, Norway respectively, Her Royal Harness make a formidable duo. Former teen punk Jaeger is not your typical Scandinavian pop female, inhabiting an altogether darker, brooding place. Producer-instrumentalist Dylan Long combines seemingly disparate influences into a surprisingly cohesive sound that owes as much to post-punk, hip hop and 90s rock as it does to the sounds of Transmat techno or Jack Tracks. 
The pair describe their sound as ‘romantic battle hymns’ or ‘laptop rock’. Released earlier this summer, their debut album ‘The Hunting Room’ inhabits the largely uncharted terrain between the mainstream and the leftfield, a place where the band feel at home. According to Jaeger: “We see it as the most interesting place in music right now. It’s completely wide open, no rules, no pretence.” 
Keen to stress that ‘Mercenary Man' is NOT A LOVE SONG,  its hypnotising mix of classic 90s rock drum patterns, explosive tribal toms, broken guitar melodies and dazzling synth flourishes is an ode to anyone who may have ever stabbed you in the back. For the astute listener, the fragmented ghosts of The Fall, The Velvet Underground, Echo & The Bunnymen and New Order can all be found lurking within. 

Madison – ‘Forever’ 
Madison started as a bedroom project and have now grown into a fully fledged live band. Comprising of Rohan on vocals and synth, Paul on drums, Simon on guitar and synth and Nathan on bass, they’ve been together for 2 and a half years and playing live for the last 18 months. Described as "epic, fresh and original", the music is a contemporary mix of electro, rock and alternative pop infused with D'n'B and dubstep driven rhythms. The band cite Pendulum, London Elektricity, Chase & Status and Bjork as some of their influences. 
Currently gigging to favourable reviews, Madison’s shows are dynamic and high octane with impressive synced projected visuals. You can catch them live at Oxjam Chiswick on 19th October.
Jones 2.0 – ‘Again’ 
Jones 2.0 (the moniker of Sean Osbourne) may not be a name you’re currently familiar with, but as part of the independent urban UK scene the 23 year old rapper is hoping to be the name on everyone’s lips by the end of the year. Having spent the last 6 months gigging in and around London honing his live performances, Sean is currently working on various new projects which are set for release later this year.
“I’m not trying to make it big off of a certain gimmick. I’m just trying to be me and make the music I like to make” says Jones, as he tries to stay away from the cliché rapper tag. Taking his inspiration from the likes of Kid Cudi, it’s definitely his engaging lyrics and honest view on life that really grab you.
Wild Combination – ‘Whole Lotta Truth’ 
Hot from their appearance at Brownstock , Essex trio Wild Combination are a firm favourite of Chris Hawkins (BBC 6 Music) who flagged them up as 'infectious with incredible energy' and we’d say his hit the nail right on the head. 
Whole Lotta Truth' has already garnered copious amounts of radio plays on both BBC 6 Music and Amazing Radio, and Q magazine have described the bands' music as 'lovely, spidery dream-pop'. Echoing guitars, infectious lyrics and brisk drums hazily combine and lodge themselves firmly in your head for days to come.

Black Lights – ‘I Need Some Time’
Manchester’s Black Lights are a band that delivers deftly beautiful songs; ones to make the heart soar, and Jamie McCool (vocals), Jack O Connor (guitar), Howard Eastwood (piano) and Josh Hussey (drums) have already created quite the stir on the Northern circuit. 
Having met at college, Jamie and Howard wrote their first song together, 'In My Soul' in 2010. The addition of Jack and Josh completed the chemistry and debut EP, ‘In The Dark’, stood out as a wonderfully crafted first offering for a band not yet in their twenties.
Described as a Mancunian Jeff Buckley, lead singer McCool paints a glorious picture with his saccharine voice, effortlessly opening up his heart and soul and pouring it into every note. Steeped in soul, there’s a very definite sense of confidence in their offerings but thankfully without the bravado and swagger of some of their peers.
Black Lights play a free gig alongside Duke & The Darlings on Friday 13th September at Brewdog in Manchester.
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



the unsigned guide spotlight, unsigned bands, unsigned artists, new music blog, music industry, black lights, her royal harness, wild combination, jones 2.0, madison


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