Song, by Toad

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The Blog Sound of 2013

Every year the BBC announce an unspeakable abortion of a list of bands who they tip to ‘make it’ in the coming year, and with a very few exceptions the contents of that list can be summed up in the phrase ‘where music goes to die’.

Ask people like me, however, and what you get is indubitably the Right Answer. After all, I wouldn’t bother writing this blog if it wasn’t obvious that I am the only person in the world who knows what good music actually is. Or, erm, something like that anyway.

Or, to rephrase that slightly, ask a different group of people and you’ll get a different answer.  And a bunch of other bloggers are far more likely to give an answer which I personally am going to find interesting, and with this year’s Blog Sound of 2013 list, so it proves.  I voted in this, along with the other blogs in the list at the bottom of the page, and the shortlist itself was assembled by Andy from The Von Pip Musical Express and Robin from Breaking More Waves.

The winner will be announced in the new year, and I am interested to see who it’s going to be.  There are plenty of bands here I don’t know but some, like Daughter, who I know and like but didn’t actually vote for.  Awesome to see the excellent Randolph’s Leap in there as well.  A full list complete with Soundcloud samples can be found below the break.

Aluna George – Infectious R&B influenced pop from London
Curxes  – Dark industrial-pop electronic duo from Brighton and Portsmouth
Chvrches – Scottish electro pop trio formed from a variety of other bands
Daughter – Minimal/ambient sounding folk
Haim – Classic rock from LA with pop sensibilities
Laura Mvula –
Jazz/soul singer hailing from Birmingham
MØ – Hip soulful female vocal electronic pop from Denmark
Palma Violets –
Raw and energetic indie rock band
Pins – Edgily cool and raucous all female indie band from Manchester
Randolph’s Leap – Glasgow based indie folk pop with a twist of brass
Rhye – Smooth and blissful pop duo
Savages – Intense post-punk with female vocals
Seasfire – Modern rock band from Bristol who mix electronic beats with guitars
The Neighbourhood – Atmospheric Californian 5 piece rock/pop band
Tom Odell – Piano based singer songwriter originally from Chichester

AlunaGeorge – Your Drums, Your Love

Curxes – Spectre

Chvrches – The Mother We Share

Daughter – Medicine

Haim – Don’t Save Me

Laura Mvula – She

MØ – Pilgrim

Palma Violets – Best of Friends

Pins – Shoot You

Randolph’s Leap – Hermit

Rhye – The Fall

Savages – Flying To Berlin

Seasfire – We Will Wake

The Neighbourhood – Let It Go

Tom Odell – Another Love

Blogs involved: A New Band A Day, A Pocket Full Of Seeds, All Noise, Alphabet Bands, Both Bars On, Brapscallions, Breaking More Waves, Brighton Music Blog, Details Of My Life So Far, Don’t Watch Me Dancing, Dots And Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Eaten By Monsters, Electronic Rumors, Faded Glamour, Folly Of Youth, Flying With Anna, God Is In The TV, Harder Blogger Faster, Howl, In Love Not Limbo, Just Music That I Like, Killing Moon, KowalskiyLove Music : Love LifeMudkiss, Music Broke My Bones, Music Fans Mic, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, My Bands Better Than Your Band, Not Many Experts, Peenko, Real Horrorshow, Scottish Fiction, SkeletorySong By Toad, Sounds Good To Me Too, Storm’s Brewing, Sweeping The Nation, The Blue Walrus, The Electricity Club, The Mad Mackerel, The Metaphorical Boat, The Music Hoarder, The Recommender, This Must Be Pop, Von Pip Musical Express, 17 Seconds

29 witty ripostes to The Blog Sound of 2013

  1. avatar

    Haim are fucking terrible….they must have great PR, as they are also on 6music quite a bit. How on earth do you convince people that are supposedly in the know that this is not Belinda Carlisle or some other 80s shit soft rock? Or is shit 80s soft rock cool now?

  2. avatar

    Oh come on – last year Destroyer, Bon Iver and Iron and Wine all released horrific soft rock slushfests and people gobbled that shit up.

    It’s a travesty, but it’s not without precedent!

  3. avatar

    I also like that Randolph’s Leap have almost an order of magnitude fewer listens than everyone else. THAT is why people need blogs – because they are Wrong About Music!

  4. avatar

    I really like Randolph’s Leap. They have a nice scampish charm about them without being schmaltzy or overly twee.

    Of the others, I’m aware of the work of five; Curxes, Chvrches, Daughter, Palma Violets and Tom Odell, and they’re all shit.

    I was going to have a whinge about MØ being all fashionable and using daft grammar, then I read the bit where it says they’re actually from Denmark and I was like “Oh, well that’s okay then.”

  5. avatar

    Yes, Bon Iver are terrible too. My main worry is that the group of bloggers, having acquired a reputation for indirectly damning the bbc list, are rating shit in equal proportions. It’s just as bad. I have never heard of Randolph’s leap, so it does spread the word a bit, but not enough and with consideration to the above point, it is simply not good enough.

    I hope Randolph’s leap get the vote.

  6. avatar

    anyone out there interested in starting an Alternative Blog Sound of 2013 with me?

    The people that designed this list seem too similar to the conventional media, perhaps lapping up spin from savvy PR companies. I wonder how many on that list do not have PR?

  7. avatar

    Oh dear…Chvrches…”not in my name” I hear the cry of from Mr Toad…the blogs have spoken!

  8. avatar

    I seem to have been missed from the list of participants this year but I’m pretty sure Daughter were in there last year? Easily the best band of those that I’ve heard (which isn’t many) but recognition for Randolph’s Leap is pretty cool too.

  9. avatar

    So Deacon Blue are the next big thing or at least their piano sound is.

  10. avatar

    Also hate to say it Matthew but I think the Churches (kirkz or whatever) track is the best up there

  11. avatar

    Bloody hell, that Chvrches post pretty much proved its own point, didn’t it.

    I actually don’t think they’re a bad band. I’m not entirely smitten by it, but some of it is pretty good. The point wasn’t about them being good or bad, it was about people frothing up way too much over just a couple of songs.

    People who have seen them live, which is increasingly many, have something to base their opinion on but there was so much excitement on the basis of two tunes and my point was that you can’t tell a bloody thing from two songs, good or bad.

    So many people in the comments came out with ‘yeah you’re right, they’re awful’ or ‘no you’re an idiot, they’re amazing’ and that was very pointedly not what I was trying to say. Proving that yes, indeed, the hype really has overwhelmed people’s ability to fucking think straight.

    And JP, for the record, I voted for Chvrches, because I think they will probably do very, very well for themselves in 2013.

  12. avatar

    It’s an interesting list,Haim’s music is not as good as their press shots that’s for sure!we had Palma Violets at EC and I think in their case the hype definitely overwhelmed people,they were pretty good but not amazing,possibly it’s my age but I wasn’t entirely convinced…Chvrches on the other hand will certainly bely their Animotion aping critics this year,glad to hear you saw past the hypathon Matthew!

  13. avatar

    Sorry Matthew I knew that was the case. I was takin the piss slightly. It is a good track though

  14. avatar

    That point about the press shots is exactly why I am lamenting. Who gives a fuck that they look like retro cuties…and howcome these bloggers are becoming part of the pr machine? It is really sad. I thought that mostly they would be a bit like this blog, genuinely unearthing stuff without buying the spin. But it looks like they are not, and so, for me, they don’t have any credibility.

  15. avatar

    Well bloggers, including myself are part of the PR machine, and have been for years. The fact that you think Toad is a little different is a really nice thing to hear, but that’s probably because I have genuinely lost interest in mainstream music since I started writing this.

    Having said that, sometimes ‘the same old shit’ is just popular because lots of people think it’s good, and bloggers will reflect that the same as any other medium.

    I hope Randolph’s Leap win. More charm than the whole rest of the list put together!

  16. avatar

    I know bloggers are part of the machine but I thought they were less influenced by said machine than this list suggests to me. I thought the unpaid blogisphere was the tiny window of genuine, free impartial exposure for tiny labels like mine. Clearly I have been naive in my first year and a half running a label and I need to engage PR companies for my acts. Which makes me sadder still. I thought I only needed that if I wanted big website, magazine or broadsheet exposure.

    Anyway, I can whinge all I like. It’ll get me nowhere. Any interest in an Alternative Blog Sound of 2013 (14), anyone?

  17. avatar

    I’ll start off with:

    Garden Of Elks
    Lower Dens
    Cheek Mountain Thief
    All the bands on my label plus the ones coming onto it next year.

  18. avatar

    […] …this post highlights just how out of touch with music I am these days.  Never heard of one of the bands on this list! Share this:ShareTwitterGoogle +1EmailLinkedInRedditDiggStumbleUponFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  19. avatar

    It’s always going to be tough to cry foul at a result like this. None of the acts I voted for made the long-list and I don’t think much of many of the acts that did make it, but how can you collate so many opinions in any meaningful manner when so many of us are blogging in the long tail? While I don’t really like the music much, these acts are the ones that are most popular among our peers.

    Anyway, if nothing else, this list has made me take a second look at Randolph’s Leap, and now I really like them. With so much dross out there these days, discovering one good act in a list like this is a win in my book.

  20. avatar

    Where the fuck are Paws? This list sucks ass.

  21. avatar

    Well the BBC Long List’s been released. And there are 7 bands the same. Maybe the BBC are getting better? Or maybe bloggers are getting worse?

  22. avatar

    Artists* Sorry.

  23. avatar

    I suspect bloggers are getting worse. If I were to exercise the same instincts today which prompted me to start a music blog in 2004 I am not sure whether or not it would be blogging to which I would automatically turn. There are so many other ways to express these instincts now, and I think the pool of people motivated to write a decent blog has been somewhat thinned by the other options available.

  24. avatar

    I wonder what the list will look like if I just took each blogger’s favourite release of the year. I suspect it would be more interesting.

    It is not clear to me how objective they are all being in selection, some may be just going for their favourites. And I am not sure I need an objective view. I would just prefer to know what they like, not what they think will do something.

    Mrs Toad’s comment really does sum it up.

  25. avatar

    Actually, just a list of each blogger’s favourite might be way more interesting. That way, as Tom hinted, you capture the long tail of music blogging without being bogged down by the average nature of consensus.

    Good call.

  26. avatar

    Perhaps it’s time for a new list. Like you said, with just the favourites. “The ‘Not At All Like the BBC List’ Sound of 2013″?

  27. avatar

    Everyone’s getting listless about lists.

    THIS HAS LITERALLY NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.

    Oh, wait…

  28. avatar

    Well the problem with lists is that if the wrong things are on them they are STUPID and if the right things are on them they are BORING, so it’s tough to win in this scenario.

    I do genuinely think a bunch of individual lists would probably be more interesting than any aggregate ones though, just because the act of counting up everyone’s votes by necessity blurs out the more eccentric picks.

  29. avatar

    Interesting list!

    Also, surprised the slagging that Bon Iver are getting on the other comments – one of my favourite bands

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