Thursday, 3 December 2015

Blog Sound of 2016 - The Longlist

The Blog Sound of 2016 is a poll of UK based bloggers to determine  the most popular and favourite emerging acts among those polled.

The aim of the Blog Sound of... poll is identical to the BBC Sound Of list; it attempts to showcase new and emerging artists, but it differs in so far as many of the voting bloggers do not work in the music industry, they are simply fans who have a passion for writing about the music they love. In previous years the Blog Sound poll has identified a number of acts such as Alt-J and Bastille that didn’t feature on the BBC list, and has been slightly ahead of the game, featuring the likes of Wolf Alice a year before they appeared on the BBC Sound of list. Each year there is also some cross over with the BBC list and this year is no exception.

For the 2016 poll 58 music blogs each voted for their 3 favourite acts and the top 15 of those acts form the Blog Sound of 2015 longlist. To qualify for a vote any act chosen must not have had a UK top 20 single or album, either in their own right or as a named collaborator prior to 6th November 2015.

Here’s some of the data from the voting:

  • This year 142 acts received at least 1 vote from the 174 total votes cast, showing that the UK music blog scene has a wide range of taste. 
  • This years voting was the closest and broadest ever – the winning act only received votes from 8.5% of the 58 voters.
  • The vast majority of acts chosen were UK based even although the bloggers could choose acts from any part of the world. There are no American acts on the list, although there are acts from other European countries.
  • One of the acts on this years longlist (Mt Wolf)  already featured on the the Blog Sound of 2014 poll, but then promptly split up. Now reformed they find themselves once again on the Blog Sound of 2016 list.
  • 5 of the acts on the BBC Sound of 2016 also appear on the Blog Sound of poll, namely Billie Marten, Loyle Carner, Mabel, Mura Masa and Nao.
  • Jack Garratt, winner of the BBC Introducing Award, Brits Critics Choice Award and a nominee on the BBC Sound of Poll didn’t receive one vote from the voting blogs, even although he qualified. However, last year Garratt almost made the Blog Sound of 2015 poll, missing it by just one single vote and finishing in sixteenth position. This is probably because bloggers no longer consider Garratt as emerging.

The full longlist is:

AQUILO - Calm sounding electronic pop duo from Silverdale, Lancashire.

AURORA - Norwegian singer who covered  Oasis for the John Lewis Christmas advert.

BILLIE MARTEN - Yorkshire based acoustic singer songwriter.

GEORGE COSBY - London based singer songwriter with a deep voice and brooding songs.

HAELOS - A band who describe their music as dark euphoria

LISS - Four piece from Aarhus, Denmark who make slick sounding pop.

LOYLE CARNER - A spoken word artist with his own unique confessional style.

MABEL - The daughter of Neneh Cherry who is producing her own brand of soulful pop

MURA MASA - An electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Guernsey 

MT WOLF - A reformed band who also featured on the Blog Sound of 2014 longlist.

NAO - Solo singer who mixes funk, soul and electronic sounds in her work.

PLEASURE BEACH - Indie rockers from Northern Ireland

THE BIG MOON - London based four piece alt rock / indie band 

THE JAPANESE HOUSE - Amber Bain's solo project of electronic ambient songs

YAK - Energetic rock group with elements of punk, garage indie and psychedelic blues

So those are the acts who have made the longlist, so what are our thoughts? Well first of all, we're over the moon to see one of our favourite local bands of the past year, Pleasure Beach, make it onto the list. Given that they grew out of Yes Cadets, who were one of the first acts that we ever wrote about on The Metaphorical Boat, we are delighted to see that our fellow music blogging peers have seen something great as well. One does wonder if their inclusion is a result of two of the new blogs to be polled this year being from Northern Ireland (Chordblossom & Encore NI), although given that Pleasure Beach already received quite a bit of love from quite a lot of worldwide blogs this year, I wouldn't be surprised if they got votes elsewhere.

Elsewhere, it's nice to see Aquilo, who we briefly wrote about in their infancy going from strength to strength, whilst of the acts that we were not familiar with before the longlist was announced, we are most excited by the sound of HAELOS, whose dark trip-hop sounds fills us with such delight indeed.

The most voted for and top 5 acts on this longlist will be revealed on the 5th January 2016 

The blogs that voted in this years poll:

A Pocket Full Of Seeds, A World Of Music And Madness, Across The Kitchen Table, Alphabet Bands, Beat Surrender, Bratfaced LDN, Breaking More Waves, Brighton Music Blog, Buzz Unlimited, Cruel Rhythm, Chordblossom, Daisy Digital, Dive, Details Of My Life, Dots And Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Digital Shuffle, Echoes And Dust, Electronic Rumors, Encore NI, Even The Stars, Faded Glamour, Get Into This, Get Some, God Is In The TV, I Love Pie, Just Music I Like, Kemptation, Killing Moon, Little Indie Blogs, Love Music: Love Life, The Metaphorical Boat, Monkey Boxing, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, Music Umpire, Neon Filler, Not Many Experts, Popped Music, Pursuit Of Sound, Rave Child, Record Rewind Play, Scientists Of Sound, Some Of It Is True, Spectral Nights, Sweeping The Nation, Synth Glasgow, The Blue Walrus, The Devil Has The Best Tuna, The Electricity Club, The Evening's Empire, The Mad Mackerel, The VPME, This Must Be Pop, Thoughts On Music, Too Many Blogs, What If I Had A Music Blog, When The Gramophone Rings

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