The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: March

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

TV FACE – ‘O Death Is Coming’
In between writing, recording, releasing, promoting designing artwork and making up CDs and t-shirts, TV FACE have squeezed in some pretty impressive feats. They've opened for Brix Smith's The Extricated in Clitheroe, will be on the bill with Mush in Newcastle on 18th April, and were honoured to be featured on Tom Robinson's Fresh On The Net and BBC Music Introducing Mixtape.

TV FACE epitomise the admirable, if slightly unfashionable attitude of being in a band just for the love of it:

"You can't really make a living of it these days... Finding a way collectively to make it work, in spite of all the barriers you can face as an unknown quantity, is our biggest achievement."

As its title suggests, 'O Death Is Coming' isn't the lightest of listens. The song is inspired by a recurring nightmare of vocalist/guitarist, Steve, seeing a figure dressed in black at the foot of his bed. It is clear that the band is having fun despite the dark subject matter, and the track clicked into place quite quickly according to bassist and vocalist Brigit, "It came together really fast, although we can't ever resist a tinker, so it's been through a few iterations to get the finished article."

Right from the off, O Death Is Coming feels like an aural existential panic attack. Jarring, metallic guitar sounds are backed by rollocking bass and drums, giving the impression that you've just stepped onto a steam train that is hurtling towards a cliff edge.

If O Death Is Coming has you hankering for some more post-punk goodness, you won't have to wait for long. TV FACE have set themselves the challenge of releasing a song every month of 2020. They always have some gigs on the horizon too, and will be hitting Derby, Newcastle and Lancaster in April.

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ramnastax – ‘Bill Carr’

If ramnastax aren't the first Funk/Fusion band to submit music to the Spotlight, they're certainly the first Funk/Fusion band who have an overweight unicorn as a logo and name their songs after Alan Partridge references to submit music to the Spotlight.

They have two stellar self-released EPs under their belt, but it is at their live shows that they really come into their own. In this way, their bio doubles as a mission statement: "Playing fresh original music scientifically designed by boffins in a secret lab to make you dance your little booties off." And they have got thousands of booties dancing in the past few years. They've had a run of sold-out shows in South Wales and Bristol, as well as performing at festivals in Wales and across the UK, including the Big Cwtch, Swn festival, Hubfest and Welshfest.

'Bill Carr' is taken from the band's second EP and provides the perfect introduction to the finely tuned ramnastax machine. The five-piece are so in step that their songs can unfold like a conversation between their instruments. Bill Carr undulates through its variations with pizzazz, controlled in its unpredictability.

Listening to the song made me feel a bit like a suited up New York music exec in a basement bar, taking the cigar out of my mouth and striding forwards to exclaim, "These boys can PLAY."

ramnastax are planning a flurry of gigs around the UK, as well as getting some shows booked on the Continent, "Before we have to fork out for visas". Keep tabs on their socials for gig announcements.

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Mitchell Museum - 'Freakbeak'
Mitchell Museum hit our inbox like a future pop time-traveller sent to let us know that everything will be alright in the end, probably. So it was a bit of a shock to discover that they aren't actually from the future. They are from current day Glasgow and already have lots of current day admirers including BBC Radio 6 Music's Vic Galloway and Marc Riley. Their ambitiously wonky sound brings to mind Dan Deacon and Animal Collective in its playful intelligence.

'Freakbeak' is a celebratory blast of freaky pop. The song's first incarnation was meant as a birthday present for Raindeer (vocalist, drummer, guitarist, trumpeteer and 'loud shouter'). Thankfully, Raindeer was keen to turn it into a Mitchell Museum song and to eventually share it with the rest of us. It is an instant earworm; complex and multi-layered but entirely unpretentious.

The artwork features a marauding trio of friendly, three-eyed doggos. I wasn't even aware that my life was lacking a marauding trio of friendly, three-eyed doggos but I am forever grateful that Mitchell Museum filled this unconscious void. And if the artwork isn't enough, there's a video too:

Mitchell Museum's next single is out in April, and we're promised more accompanying three-eyed dog antics (fingers crossed). Their forthcoming their third album, 'Skinny Tricks', is out on 15th May through Scottish Fiction. The launch party is at Glad Cafe (Glasgow) on the same day, with a show at Leith Depot (Edinburgh) hot on its heels on 16th May.

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Lime – ‘Surf N Turf’
Jangly surfer rock, catchy indie melodies and sarcastic but socially aware lyrics – that’s the impish recipe that Brighton trio Lime are serving up, and we’re devouring it with relish. Quite apt then that the name of their debut single is ‘Surf N Turf’.

Channelling the tongue in cheek style of Courtney Barnett, Lime enjoy poking fun at things they notice around them, and, as the band reveal, “Surf N Turf’ was inspired by a night out that ended differently than expected.”

Whatever the story behind the track may be, there’s no denying that the song has generated a lot of praise on the blogsphere – Get In Her Ears, When The Horn Blows, Loud Women, Independent Music News and Fresh On The Net have all been forthcoming with glowing reviews. ‘Surf N Turf’ has also earned a place on the ‘So Young’ Spotify playlist.

Having previously supported the likes of Little Comets, Pillow Queens and Drug Store Romeos, amongst others, the band have plenty more gigs lined up around London and Brighton over the coming months, plus more writing and a second single are on the agenda. Keep 'em peeled.

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LongDayLateNight – ‘Drunk & Broke’
Penned on the way home from a night out in LongDayLateNight’s hometown of Newbury, ‘Drunk & Broke’ pulls together a collection of observations about small town nightlife – a specialty of the 4 piece who are adept at weaving tales of suburban boredom laced with vivid humour and angst.

The razor sharp lyrics, which bring to mind the humorous musings of Arctic Monkeys, started off as a simple list of jokes and stories, immortalised in the Notes app on Toby’s phone. The song rapidly evolved when the band hit the practice room, coming together in less than an hour. Practically frothing with infectious energy, ‘Drunk & Broke’ is anthemic indie at its finest.

The ease with which it was written is probably testament to the band’s raison d’etre, “It definitely represents us better than any of our other songs, where we come from and the kinds of things we want to talk about.”

A big turning point for LongDayLateNight was their slot at Isle of Wight festival in 2019, “it really felt like a step up from the types of stages we’d been playing and injected a lot of confidence into us as performers. We haven’t looked back since and it really transformed our live show.”

That’s got to be great news for anyone heading along to their UK tour kicking off in April. They’ll be stopping off in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester, so if you haven’t already booked your ticket, make sure it’s top of your to-do list.

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How can 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 to champion on Spotlight. As well as being featured on our new music blog, your track will also be played on our monthly Amazing Radio show, and the 5 tracks are also forwarded onto a select bunch of music industry professionals...including folks from Big Life Management, Club Fandango, Decca Records, Memphis Industries, Rocksound, DIY Magazine, Transgressive Records and The Great Escape. Find out more about Spotlight here.

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