The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: December

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

RiTcH - ‘Big Dream’

We can thank Warrington singer songwriter RiTcH’s eclectic listening habits for his quirky, infectious and innovative sound, and his method of creating means that, style wise, no stone is left unturned until he reaches the perfect fit; “When I’m working on a new tune I often end up with 3 or 4 versions of the song, all with different feels or styles. I love exploring in that way to find the sweet spot.”

Which brings us to his latest smash ‘Big Dream’, a punchy, spirited alt pop juggernaut of a song which has been making waves with the likes of Earmilk, Wordplay, Atwood Magazine, Music Crowns, Apple Music, BBC Introducing, Sofar Sounds, and Live Nation’s ‘Ones to Watch’, amongst others. His inventive music videos are vibrant and captivating, and add a further fun dimension to RitcH’s world.

On the subject of what inspired ‘Big Dream’, he tells us; “The idea came about when I was at this party in Liverpool. I was chatting to this girl and she was barely interested and after a few minutes walked off. One of my mates told her that I’m a music artist and have some songs out and she came straight back over, all interested. The song actually had a different title to start but the more I thought about this girl's blatant agenda, ‘Big Dream’ started to form. I started throwing around ideas for it the next day on shift when I worked at a bar. There was a tiny back room I’d go to in between serving and sing into my phone. I sent the ideas over to my guy Lee who’s my main collaborator and he was like “we should look at this one! it’s got something” The first version we did of it was like this US feeling, trappy sounding record. It lived like that for a while and when we were searching for a tune with a bit more pace, we pulled it back out, double timed it and it took the shape of how it is now.”

There seem to be exciting plans around the corner for RiTcH, although he’s under strict orders to keep things under wraps for now. But, we do know is that he has more singles and a bigger release lined up for 2024, along with his trademark immersive content to accompany the music. As for the rest, you’ll need to keep it locked to his socials for announcements.

Instagram   Facebook   Twitter   TikTok   YouTube   Spotify

SISICA - ‘If Only You Could Know’

With strong inspiration coming from the UK Jazz scene, the fresh new solo project of artist and producer SISICA is a unique fusion connecting the dots of breakbeat, jazz and soulful R&B, and weaving together vintage sampling techniques with modern melodies.

Latest single’ If Only You Could Know’, taken from debut EP ‘RECREATION’ features the soothing vocals of collaborator Molly Graham, and together the pair have created a body of work which feels original, mellow and organic.

SISICA tells us how his and Molly’s ideas for the song came together; “I pitched the bare bones of the chords and lyrics to my infinitely talented friend Molly Graham. From there, she expanded it into a much larger concept. So much of the instrumentation and structure of the song evolved around the ideas she improvised on the spot. I really wanted to explore the idea of changing the mood of the track via the instrument arrangement as it transitions into new sections. It was a lot of fun to try out different drums, sounds and effects as the song transitioned from section to section. My proudest aspect of this track is that it doesn't tend to revisit the same melodic material unlike a lot of conventional tracks.”

With the SISICA project still in its early days, the EP tracks are starting to resonate and momentum is growing. Highlights so far include being added to Spotify’s Chilled Drum & Bass’ playlist, and playing alongside Molly at legendary London venue Ronnie Scotts.

And, as always, SISICA is keeping his door wide open for exciting new ideas and collaborations to forge future material; “Since the song's release, a lot of musicians have hit me up with such a crazy mixture of ideas. Personally, I love to work on music that offers something more conscious and unexpected, rather than straight down the middle and commercial. Through these various artists, I'm going to build up more of a reputation for my work, and keep the door open to any keen talent who want a collaborative partner on their songs. I'm really curious to see where this will take me.”

Bandcamp   Instagram   YouTube   Spotify

SANDS - ‘Horizon’

Culminating a host of influences ranging from psychedelia and rock & roll to new wave and 80s alternative pop, singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist SANDS has been releasing music since 2017, and over the years has been championed by the likes of BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, Radcliffe and Maconie, and Janice Long.

His first full length EP ‘The World’s So Cruel’ was unveiled in October, and the shimmering single ‘Horizon’ is a real stand-out moment of the collection, as SANDS reveals the story behind the track; “It’s inspired by the seaside and all it triggers to the senses, the empowering blue all around you. Even just the thought of lying in a bed somewhere. I wasn’t sure how it would have come out, as except from the song itself and the outro guitar I hadn’t written any part, so a lot came out in the studio when doing it. To me this gives it spontaneity and makes it sound fresh.”

With praise rolling in from The Big Takeover and Psychedelic Baby Magazine, SANDS is also always appreciative of the encouragement he’s received along the way from respected musicians, producers and engineers, which gives him the ongoing drive to pursue his solo career and use his music as a platform to express himself.

Currently busy working on 2 new tracks which should see the light of day sometime next Spring, plus crafting a new album, which we’re told has a slight shift in direction, it looks like 2024 is going to be an exciting times for SANDS, so watch this space.

Website   Bandcamp   Instagram   Facebook   YouTube   Spotify

Elba Rose - ‘Live Wire’

Crafting alt-pop gems built around hip-hop beats, solo artist Elba Rose’s release ‘Live Wire’ may sound like an upbeat and lively track, but if you scratch beneath the surface there’s a deeper, raw meaning behind the lyrics, as Elba reveals;

“This track chronicles my experience of how it felt to me when I was younger every winter when I’d get this feeling of dread that things wouldn’t be ok soon. That was the only way I could describe how I felt at the time, which I now understand to be anxiety and depression. At the time though it ruined a lot of wonderful things about winter for me. Even today I still struggle at this time of year and still have this odd sense of foreboding when winter approaches, although I’ve got a toolkit to help me and a better understanding of myself. This song is essentially me telling that voice to leave me the hell alone…which was kinda empowering to write. It started out super intimate, just me and a piano.I then worked with my producer RUINER who came up with the idea to bring this old school hip-hop feel to the track, leading to the finished cut.”

Racking up enviable airplay with BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire, BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 1, plus playing some dazzling shows, Elba is definitely making her mark. More importantly for Elba, her infectious lyrical storytelling is striking a chord with her fans and new listeners which, in her eyes, is the ultimate achievement.

After the success of debut EP ‘wallflower’, she’s eager to drop her second full EP, along with a new single in the new year. Beyond that, collabs and a third EP are already in the works, so get ready for an even heartier dose of Elba in 2024!

Bandcamp   Instagram   Facebook   YouTube   Spotify

Deadset - ‘Bleak’

Formed just last year, Hull band Deadset channel their 80s post punk roots through a distorted gritty filter, and their impactful single ‘Bleak’ is both a commentary on how they feel about life in their hometown and the social issues they’re surrounded by;

“There’s a really prevalent mutual feeling about the area we all live in. It’s rife with boredom and it feels like everyone’s stuck in mundane, monotonous cycles here. Most people fall into traps of binge drinking or substance abuse to get away from it. It’s really hard not to fall into that trap when there’s genuinely nothing else to do. There’s still a great community of people here, everyone trying to make it a special place and it will always be a special place to us. But it’s still difficult to get away from the fact that a lot of people are struggling. Lyrically, Sam captured quite a prevalent mutual feeling that we all had at the time. We were all in a rut at that point. All having our own issues and facing our own demons. What we felt being reflected around us. Think he managed to capture that moment in time well.”

Produced by Pat Pretorius (The Talks, Life, Counting Coins) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Daft Punk), the track skilfully emits a solemn claustrophobia, palpably felt below the frothing layers of guitars.

So far gathering praise from the likes of Wonderland Magazine, Destroy//Exist and Darkus, amongst others, the four-piece are also gelling on the live front; “We played a gig at Polar Bear earlier this year. I really think that stands out. We’ve all been playing in bands for years, but something on stage really clicked for us that night and we realised how much we loved playing together.”

Keep your eyes on Deadset’s socials for updates about forthcoming gigs and releases.

Instagram   Facebook   YouTube   Spotify

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 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.

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