The Unsigned Guide Spotlight: February
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
Sunstinger - ‘Endless June’
A taster of what’s to come on their upcoming EP ‘Worthless’, which will be unveiled later this year, Scottish 5 piece Sunstinger have crafted an immersive wall of sound on their latest single ‘Endless June’. As guitarist and vocalist Taylor Wright discloses; “It actually wasn’t planned to be on the EP, it didn’t exist. There was a song that was supposed to be in its place that we just couldn’t get right. We decided to have a look through all of our demos and ideas we had put down and came across a demo titled ‘End of June’. We pulled the tune together pretty quickly, sorted the title and got in and recorded it. Dave wrote most of the guitar parts for the song and I wrote the lyrics. I think we structured the song the week before we went into the studio, I was still writing lyrics while recording it. I had been previously trying to write a song which had the theme of someone being content in their own misery. Everyone has their own idea of what happiness looks like and should be. Some people just want to be left alone.”
Their permeating noise rock sound interwoven with ethereal shoegaze textures has drawn the band much recognition, with praise and coverage received from the likes of BBC Radio Scotland (Vic Galloway & RAPAL), XS Manchester, Shoreditch Radio, Gigslutz and Tenement TV, amongst others. Following a busy 2023 with sold out shows across Scotland, Sunstinger have built quite a cult following which they definitely do not take for granted;
“Our greatest achievement is people coming to our shows. Paying money to come and listen to our music. When we started this it was just a project to pass time, and I suppose it still is. The fact that people are actually passionate about our music is pretty special. Last year we were selling out venues across Scotland. It was a good year and we’re looking forward to a great year ahead.”
The second single from the new EP will drop on 23rd February, entitled ‘Aro’. Beyond that will be more of Sunstinger’s colossal live shows, and of course, the eagerly-awaited release of EP ‘Worthless’, so keep your ear to the ground.
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Ellie Moon - ‘Internet Love’
London singer songwriter Ellie Moon crafts contagious and vibrant alt pop, but slices through those bubblegum hooks and addictive bass lines with her tongue in cheek lyrical observations. After one listen to her single ‘Internet Love’ you’re bound to be hooked.
“I take my cues from a range of places including pop icons Lady Gaga and MARINA, combined with classic and timeless sounds of Blondie, Pulp and The Cardigans. In a sentence I would best describe my sound as the ‘the lyrical and melodical love child of Jarvis Cocker and Gwen Stefani.’”
Co-written with Shelly McErlaine (ex-Alisha’s Attic, ‘90s BRIT and Ivor Novello nominated pop duo), ‘Internet Love’ captures the essence of dating in the digital age, and this subject matter is the perfect foil for Ellie’s acerbic verses;
“I've always been fascinated by the idiosyncrasies of online dating, particularly long distance. It's like this whole new genre of relationship humans had never experienced before has come to fruition in the past 10 years. The song follows the story of this person getting catfished by a bikini model 'Martinique' (which is EXACTLY what they are always called online but may well really be called Clive!) but they are so desperate to emulate the feeling of love they will give up their livelihoods for it! We framed it in this throwback Donna Summer-esque soundscape to hype up the irony, setting it in a scene where online dating never existed.”
Making her mark with current EP ‘Bad TV’, Ellie has been thrilled to perform at the Great Escape and Charlie Ashcroft’s ‘Somebody Told Me’ Club, plus a live session on BBC Introducing (Merseyside). Other highlights include becoming a Sentric Music Publishing priority artist, and a whole host of praise from the likes of Wonderland, Line of Best Fit, CLOUT, not to mention some prime Spotify playlist placements.
Currently gearing up to release new material, including a single co-written with Grammy nominated and Mercury Award winning producers Bad Sounds (Callum and Ewan Merrett), and the polishing off of her EP project alongside several talented songwriters and producers, Ellie has a hectic 2024 ahead, so keep it locked for new music updates.
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Rory Ryan - ‘Contently Miserable’
Musician and producer Rory Ryan bestows ‘Contently Miserable’ upon us, a lo-fi diamond of a song and a delightful taster of what is to come on his debut album ‘When You're Alone, How Does It Feel’ set to drop in March.
Replete with jangly guitars, dreamy vocals and a hazy psychedelic feel, Rory tells us how the song came about; “The whole tune kind of fell into my lap. I was cycling home from my small studio across town in the middle of winter, and I had been feeling maybe a bit down in general, but was also aware that I had a lot of the things that I want in life. So the phrase contently miserable came into my head. Then the melody for the verse and chorus came into my head super quick. I have a voice note of me on my bike singing it. The next day I went and demoed the whole thing in a few hours. The final track is pretty close to the original. I think how quickly the whole track came together got me excited about the song. My best work usually comes out quite quickly.”
Already stirring up attention with his 2023 lead single ‘In The Future’, Rory channels influences from the likes of Sunbeam Sound Machine, Beach House, Cigarettes After Sex, MGMT and The Flaming Lips, and evokes the nostalgic, classic songwriting of Carole King, Labi Siffre and Todd Rundgren.
“The reception to my music in general has been really great. Like a lot of people, I was in bands when I was younger that didn’t progress very far, so for my own stuff to be in the place it is now is really great. I wasn’t really sure if any of my own music would stick or resonate with any kind of audience, but there’s definitely been a positive reception to my work online. This tune has gotten into a few Spotify editorial playlists which has been pretty amazing.”
Currently getting his live show together ahead of a launch gig in Galway, Rory also plans to get some more gig dates in the diary, and hopefully some support and festival slots will also follow.
For now, be sure to look out for the release of ‘When You're Alone, How Does It Feel’ on 22nd March.
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Harri Pick - ‘Insecure’
Taunton born, and London dwelling Harri Pick has unleashed her zinger of a track ‘Insecure’, complete with grungy guitars, angsty lyrics and laced with a catchy pop sensibility. The song voyages between vulnerability, self-reflection, anger, and everything in between, and Harri tells us how it came to life; “‘Insecure’ came about after a run-in with a family member whose views are a little outdated. I sat there and thought, actually no, you’re just really insecure!”
A prior student of London College of Music, Harri has immersed herself in the city’s rich music scene and carved out her own sound, which is so far proving to be a hit, pricking up ears at BBC Introducing South West, and even a much-coveted spin on BBC 6 Music.
Since the release of her first EP ‘Dying Youth’ in July 2021 via AWAL, Harri has steadily accumulated praise and grown her fanbase. Last October she shared a stage with Gaz Coombes, Katy J Pearson and Anna B Savage at the BOIA Festival in Pembrokeshire, so hopefully more festival appearances will be on the agenda in 2024.
With a couple of new songs in the pipeline, Harri is excited as her fans to share her new material with the world; “It’s the start of a brand new era which I’m really excited about. I just can’t wait for everyone to hear my new songs and see what this new year brings!”
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