The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: January

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

Yur Mum - ‘Tropical Fuzz’

It’s been a wild ride so far for London based, Brazilian duo Yur Mum who are making quite the impact with their noisy, grungy, punky, dirty delicious rock. The duo have enjoyed some pretty epic career highlights so far including their first US tour, getting signed by Chapter 22 Records last year, supporting New Model Army at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, plus unveiling their first album since adjusting from 3 members to 2, ‘Tropical Fuzz’.

Hold onto your hats, because Yur Mum’s sound is not for the faint-hearted! Our chosen Spotlight track ‘Tropical Fuzz’ is an riotous onslaught on the ears, packing a raw, primitive, energetic punch. The pair have launched their own YouTube series, Lost In Translation, with chats about the music and world of Yur Mum, so feel free to delve into more info about how ‘Tropical Fuzz’ was created in Episode 2 here.

They’ll be kicking off 2022 with a slot at Icebreaker Festival in Southsea on 29th January which we’re certain will go down a storm. Beyond that Yur Mum plan to gig hard and already have 20 shows booked; the biggest so far being the Lips Can Kill Tour 2 in March. Look out for them on the bill at this year’s Rebellion Festival too, and we’re sure it will only be a matter of time before more festival stages are calling!

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Ali MacQueen - ‘One of These Days’

Encompassing Americana, alt rock and lo-fi folk, with a subtle hint of ‘60s vibes, Ali MacQueen’s single ‘One of These Days’ is a melodic and carefree charmer of a song; the perfect marriage of lilting vocals, spirited guitars and driving drumbeat.

Beneath the upbeat and relaxed exterior of the song lies a tricky topic, as Ali explains; “Lyrically, the song is a reaction to the overriding feeling that we all want change, whether that's at a big, societal or government level, or for you, on a personal level. It took quite a bit of work to get it to the point where it is now, but it sounds great, and the reaction to it has been unbelievable.”

Unbelievable indeed, especially considering this is only Ali’s second release, following debut single ‘Loretto’ which came out in early 2021, both on independent label Blaggers Records. With instant appeal, it’s a no-brainer that both singles have had their fair share of radio support, including a play by the late Janice Long who gave ‘One of These Days’ a spin on her BBC show at the start of December 2021.

With other high points including racking up 2.7k streams for ‘Loretto’, and supporting Echobelly on tour, it certainly seems that Ali has hit the ground running.

As for the year ahead, it’s all about keeping the momentum going. Ali has gigs lined up in January, February and March, plus there are plans to record and release another song, and aims of making his mark on the festival circuit this summer. We can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for him.

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ELATRASI - ‘Immunity’

Introducing her music to the world for the first time a mere 6 months ago, British-Moroccan artist ELATRASI has made great strides in such a short space of time. Her cinematic chamber pop ballads are laced with subtle Arabic fusion, and have captured the imagination of fans and the industry alike. During this time ELATRASI has won an Inter-Contintental Music Award for Best of Europe (Ballad), been awarded Honorable Mention at the Unsigned Only Music Competition for the Screenshot category (music for motion picture), and has received glowing reviews from the likes of Noctis Magazine, CLOUT and EARMILK, as well as recently being named 'One To Watch' by BBC Introducing East.

Her second single ‘Immunity’ was inspired by the pandemic and written at home during the first national lockdown in April 2020. ELATRASI explains the meaning behind her song; “Immunity’ highlights our constant search for healing and the need to build protection against the darkness we carry deep within ourselves. It is a reflective metaphor of resilience and rising up against our own demons as a chronic and mental health survivor. It challenges taboo attitudes held within society and explores the hidden vulnerabilities of invisible illness which continue to be misunderstood. I wrote this during a time I was struggling behind closed doors and found myself questioning my own strength and reason. As the song progresses, so does the cinematic percussion and ethereal violin strings, ending with a grand cathartic release, signifying the decision to not lose hope and keep ‘building my immunity’.”

Currently working on a debut EP which should be ready in Spring/Summer, ELATRASI is just as surprised by her sudden rise and shares her vision for the forthcoming release; “As an artist new to the music scene, I never thought these achievements were possible and I feel motivated to continue composing and sharing my original works for those who may connect and resonate. I believe in quality over quantity and creating an experience that best represents my sound, story and artistry. Each single release will connect and experience growth from one another, which I'm excited to witness unfold.”

We’re equally as excited to see what her atmospheric new material will conjure as well. Watch this space!

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Moses - ‘Mirror Magic’

Jaunty, retro rock four-piece Moses have certainly been showered in praise since their debut LP ‘Almost Everything is Bullshit’ was unveiled, with accolades stacking up from CLASH, Mojo Magazine, CLOUT and XFM’s John Kennedy. So it’s no surprise that their eagerly anticipated second album is a hot topic, and recent single ‘Mirror Magic’, produced by Gavin Monaghan at Magic Garden Studios, has proven a juicy teaser of what lies in store.

Featuring a relentless White Stripes-eque riff that is bound to reverberate around your brain for days to come, before letting rip into a juggernaut of a chorus, this song is 100% earworm. The band give us their insight into the deeper meaning of the track; “‘Mirror Magic' is, in part, a call to self reflection. Do we look at ourselves enough? It's also to say that if we don't see ourselves in a good light all the time, that's OK.”

With noteworthy highlights such as playing Reading and Leeds festivals, having track ‘Cause You Got Me’ featured on the movie soundtrack for Tomb Raider, and clocking up more than 10 million streams on previous releases, Moses have set the bar high. But for 2022, and for now, they simply seem happy to get back on the gig circuit as much as possible.

Next single ‘Happy Birthday Payday’ will be out on Space & I Records on 21st January, and make sure you keep your ear to the ground for that second album due this Spring.

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Alfie Neale (feat. Isaiah Dreads) - ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance’

Skirting along the edges of Pop, Soul and Indie, genre-bending Alfie Neale is playing by his own rules - and whatever he’s doing it’s definitely working - in less than 12 months he has risen from unknown to selling out Brighton’s 350 capacity The Haunt.

Ironically ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance’ is in fact a bonafide toe-tapper, not to mention radio friendly in the extreme, so it’s unsurprising that he’s been receiving airplay ranging from BBC Introducing to Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2.

With the track exuding soulful attitude, Alfie reveals how the song came into being, and how he teamed up with Isaiah Dreads; “I was actually in between tenancies in Brighton, so I was working from a room in a warehouse that my boss let me use to set up a small studio. I would always stay after work just outside of Brighton until the parking permits ended at 9pm, and I wrote most of the song in that room on my own. I was walking through Brighton and bumped into Isaiah - weird because we're from the same town in Dorset and we didn't know each other lived there. He came to my flat in Brighton, I showed him the song and he wrote his verse in about 20 minutes then had to go early to get to Lidl before it closed haha! We were writing about a topic we're both really familiar with so it just worked so well naturally. The tune really feels like it was meant to be written.”

Next month will see Alfie release his new EP ‘everywhere/nowhere’ which he’s been working on with Ivor Novello Award-winning producer Cassell The Beatmaker (MNEK, Plan B, The Streets, Akala). And if that wasn’t enough excitement, he’s also going to be unveiling details of live shows, and there’s still further new material in the bag, “I can't wait until my next headline shows are announced when I have a body of new music out that people can get familiar with before the shows.”

We can’t wait either. Look out for ‘everywhere/nowhere’, dropping on 25th February 2022.

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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 Reform Radio show, get a free release package from CD Baby, plus 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.

To be in the running you’ll need to sign up as a member to The Unsigned Guide, then follow the instructions in your Welcome email to submit a track for Spotlight consideration to us.

Members of The Unsigned Guide get access to our huge directory of over 8,000 UK music industry contacts, spanning 50 areas of the music business. Check out our quick video to find out more about the directory & other services we provide to help emerging bands and artists.


Emerging and unsigned bands and artists can submit their tracks to Spotlight new music blog


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