The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: September
Blog by Louise Dodgson under Artist Managers, Creative & Branding, Finance, Law & Music Business, Live, Media, Music Publishing, Music Training & Careers, Record Labels, Recording & Production, Selling & Distributing Your Music
Twin Replica – ‘A.T.P.’
So fresh they’re yet to play their first full band gig, Twin Replica have taken their sweet time to perfect their sound and are now playfully teasing us with delicious morsels of music. Think an amalgam of Moby, Daughter and Goldfrapp and you’re part-way there.
Inspired by synth pop and their love of subtle percussion and beats, the duo’s ambient electronica is lush and opulent with flawless, soaring vocals, but cunningly reveals a darker side; “A.T.P is about mental health, heartache and trying to find your place in this world, especially in today's society. Everyone has a purpose, no one wants to be left behind or to feel stuck. Sometimes you need to break free of your chains and strive to be who you want to be, scars and all.”
It won’t before long before Twin Replica introduce their live show to the gig-goers of Oxford, Banbury and London (keep an eye out for November dates to be announced). Another single, ‘Child’ is due out in October, along with a video which they’ll shoot next month. We look forward to the visual and live elements yet to be unveiled, forming the holy trinity of Twin Replica.
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Atlas Run – ‘Choices’
It has been a jam-packed 12 months for Glaswegian quartet, Atlas Run. They've had a Best Band nomination at Best of British Unsigned Awards, played more shows than they can count, and had Spotify playlist placements aplenty for their last release, 'Losing Touch'. They coin their sound as, "Energetic, honest and Scottish" and their frankness appears to be serving them well.
A slight departure from the jaunty jangles of its predecessor, 'Choices' is a driving indie rock number with a chorus that has echoes of early Frightened Rabbit, expertly bridging the gap between catchy and credible. It is a song that had been on the band's radar for a while, after first being introduced to the band in acoustic form by vocalist/guitarist Paul.
Bassist Stefan says, "Choices had been part of our live set for over a year until we got a full studio version released, so we had quite a while to change things around and refine it... We experimented with different arrangements and found that a fast, driving Indie rock style suited the song perfectly."
Festival slots are on the agenda for Atlas Run in September, including sharing a stage with Twin Atlantic for The Glenfiddich Festival Experiment. They also have more studio time planned…and be sure to keep tabs on their social media for more show announcements coming soon.
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Kate Lomas – ‘Drink 2 U’
It is still early days for indie-pop singer-songwriter Kate Lomas, but she more than announced her arrival earlier this year with the release of 'Sweet Strange Days', racking close to 50,000 streams on Spotify and securing a spot on H&M's in-store playlist worldwide. Describing her sound as "homemade sad-dancing pop", Kate, along with long-time collaborator and co-producer Guy Britton, delivers pop perfection in abundance.
The refinement of this aesthetic on her latest release, 'Drink 2 U', looks likely to bring further recognition, and rightfully so. The track sticks to the sad pop spirit of her previous tracks whilst playing with structure, Kate says: "I think it’s fun and playful but also a bit sad in a kind of tongue-in-cheek way. No two parts of the track are exactly the same and I want it to have this up-and-down, asymmetrical feel, because the song is about the highs and the lows."
There is plenty of room left for vocal hooks, punchy pop snares and a huge kick drum, but there are hidden layers that give the track an extra depth. Saturated vocal samples, auto-panned synths and a sliding bassline work to make ‘Drink 2 U’ much more interesting than your average chart banger. It warms your cockles like a shot of fine whiskey on a cold autumn night. Or, in Kate's words, "I think you’re left with a warm feeling, like you’ve been on a crazy journey but you had a nice time."
There is more to come from the remainder of 2018, with another release its way, along with her first shows of the year. You can catch Kate performing at The Old Market Assembly in Bristol on September 15th.
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Shoals – ‘When the News is Bad’
Originally formed back in 2012, Shoals are thankfully back from a 2 year hiatus with some more psychedelic indie for us to dive into. Things were going well before their extended break, with recognition on Dermot O'Leary's Radio 2 show leading onto support slots with Inspiral Carpets and The Bluetones, as well as a tour with The View. The band marked their return earlier this year with two packed out shows in their hometown of Reading - enough to secure them a deal with Musical Bear Records, which brings us to their forthcoming release.
One of two singles pegged for release this year, 'When the News is Bad' is pure sunshine indie that can almost make you forget that this summer's extended heatwave is over. It even comes complete with fittingly nostalgic postcard artwork to add some extra texture to the holiday feel. Whilst there are clear nods to the guitar pop bands of both the 60s and the 90s, the band's sound always keeps one foot in the contemporary to avoid feeling dated. Sweet, tube-driven guitar tones and controlled drumming provide the perfect backdrop for some lovely vocal harmonies, obscuring darker themes of mental health and isolation in the song's lyrics.
Shoals are planning to get back in the studio in November to work on some new material. Hopefully, this time there will be a bit less of a wait. 'When the News is Bad' is released on 21st September, and the band will be celebrating that night with a single release party at Reading's Purple Turtle.
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Crown Commons – ‘Tell It To Me’
Keen not to take life too seriously, the Crown Commons chaps are exorcising all their demons via the medium of music and transforming them into anthemic indie bangers. Summing up their track ‘Tell It To Me’, they say: “Imagine Barry Manilow had a few beers, discovered a fuzz pedal and then stuck copious amounts of delay on top of big lead riffs. Admittedly, it's nothing original but who isn't a sucker for a big sing-along chorus?”
Born out of the frustrations and insecurities of a long distant relationship, the song was recorded it at 123 Studios in Peckham with Grammy winning producer Brett Shaw, and the band even had the good fortune to share the studios with Foals as they recorded their brand new album.
With follow up single, Conversations, already making a mark as well (it was recently featured on Spotify’s official ‘All New Rock’ playlist), the band are already stacking up the raucous hits which are bound to go down a storm at their forthcoming London gigs.
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