Thursday, 26 January 2017

GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL : EMERGING TALENT COMPETITION 2017

Photo: Anna Barclay
Music Liberation is pleased once again to be supporting this year's Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition. The competition is open from next Monday (30th) and we would urge all aspiring bands and solo artists to enter, with a chance to play on the main stage at this years festival a pretty big reason to do so. Read below for the full details and be sure to check back on Music Liberation once things kick off!

Glastonbury Festival has today announced details of its EMERGING TALENT COMPETITION 2017, which is supported by PRS for Music and PRS Foundation. The competition will give new UK and Ireland-based acts of any musical genre the chance to compete for a slot on one of the main stages at this year’s Festival.

The winners of the free-to-enter competition will also be awarded a £5,000 Talent Development prize from PRS Foundation to help take their songwriting and performing to the next level. Two runners-up will also each be awarded a £2,500 PRS Foundation Talent Development prize.

Acts from any musical genre can enter the 2017 competition FOR ONE WEEK ONLY from 9am Monday 30th January until 5pm Monday 6th February 2017 via glastonburyfestivals.co.uk.

Recent Emerging Talent Competition finalists include R&B singer Izzy Bizu (a 2016 BRITs Critics’ Choice nominee and winner of the 2016 BBC Music Introducing Award) and singer-songwriter Declan McKenna, who won ETC 2015 and has subsequently signed with Columbia and been longlisted in the BBC’s Sound Of 2017 poll. Last year’s ETC winners were politically-charged Merseyside band She Drew The Gun, who have since released their critically-acclaimed debut album.

To enter, acts will need to supply a link to one original song on SoundCloud, plus a link to a video of themselves performing live (even if it’s only recorded in a bedroom).

Once the entries are in, a panel of 40 of the UK’s best music writers will help compile a longlist of 120 acts. The longlist will then be whittled down to a shortlist of 8 artists by judges including Glastonbury organisers Michael and Emily Eavis, before the live finals at Pilton Working Men’s Club in April decide the winning act. For the past three years, all eight of the finalists were offered slots at that year’s Festival.

Says Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis: “New music is at the very heart of what we do here at Glastonbury. The Emerging Talent Competition has become such an important way for us to find the next wave of talent from across the genres, and then help to shine a light on it. I’m really excited to hear this year’s entries.”

Paul Clements, Commercial Director, PRS for Music, comments: “I am delighted that PRS for Music is once again partnering with Glastonbury Festival for the Emerging Talent Competition – a brilliant initiative that paves the way for many artists at the beginning of their careers. We are all looking forward to seeing which new talents rise out of such a fantastic contest.”

Vanessa Reed Executive Director of PRS Foundation says: “The Emerging Talent Competition is a fantastic opportunity for talented up and coming artists to receive vital support to develop their careers and perform at the iconic Glastonbury Festival. The level of talent each year has been consistently high with recent winner Declan McKenna signing to Columbia, with international festival bookings under his belt, and last year’s winner She Drew the Gun supporting The Coral at Shepherd’s Bush Empire last month following shows in Korea last year. We’re looking forward to seeing which exciting new artists apply this year.”

Monday, 23 January 2017

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: TYCHO - EPOCH

ARTIST: TYCHO
ALBUM: EPOCH
Epoch is the final album of a trio to come from Tycho, aka Scott Hansen, a 39 year old from San Francisco, California. Following on from 2011's 'Dive', and 2014's 'Awake', the new record is a further continuation of Hansen's journey from solo artist to now performing with a full live band.

Available through the Ghostly International label, the 11-track album was produced and recorded by Hansen himself in his studio in Berkeley, CA, alongside his co-collaborator Zac Brown.

The record's main style comes from electronica, but combines with rock, branching out from there into a plethora of different ambient sounds that rise and fall in tempo and direction.

As a body of  work it holds together pretty well, with Epoch definitely hitting more than it misses. A mention too for the artwork, designed by Hansen, with the striking image and colours designed to reflect the album's output. Catch Tycho playing two nights in London at the Electric Brixton in Feb.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

MUSIC LIBERATION TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2016

 1. Preoccupations - Preoccupations

Preoccupations are a Canadian four-piece from Calgary, Alberta who are releasing their self titled new album through the Jagjaguwar record label. The band will be familiar to some already since they released their debut album under a different name - Viet Cong - back in early 2015. The quick name change since has done little to alter the band's stock and ability to create some fantastic post-punk ambient noise, which you can hear on this new record's 9 tracks and it's near 40 minute length. A clear and obvious example of this is 'Memory', an 11-minute opus which transcends different melodies and sounds with a real understanding and confidence.

 2. Douglas Dare - Aforger

Aforger is the new album from Douglas Dare, a 25 year old singer songwriter from Bridport in Dorset. Aforger is an introspective affair, with Dare recounting his relationships and sexual orientation, over a backdrop of dark electronic beats amongst piano, synths, and harmonica. It's bleak sounding but there's plenty of melodies and soaring climatic moments to restore the balance.
 
3. Dangers - The Bend In The Break

'The Bend In The Break' is the third album to come from Los Angeles hardcore punk band Dangers. The 13 track album was recorded straight to tape at the Atomic Garden recording studio in San Francisco, with the band turning to friend Jack Shirley for producer duties. It is an engaging and dangerous listen, with the band combing loud, aggressive music with lyrics detailing their thoughts on what they see as cultural degradation.

4. Junk Son - Beginning, Ending, Pretending

The 11-track record is available through 37 Adventures and was recorded at Junk Son's own studios in South London. It is a sprawling journey through electronica, dropping into trip-hop, darkwave, and dream pop along the way. There's a multitude of beats, synths, and bleeps, held together by the distant and softly delivered vocals from Amy Spencer. Beginning, Ending, Pretending is a strong debut record, deftly produced and delivered to the highest standard.

5. Greys - Outer Heaven

Greys are a noise punk rock 4-piece from Toronto, Canada who this week will release their 2nd album 'Outer Heaven' through Carpark Records. There's some straight up punk tracks, a couple of more rounded indie ones, some shoegaze, and some noise rock. It feels like Mike Rocha has really harnessed that raw dissonant sound the band had on their early work and combined that with moments of calm and space within the chaos.

6. Big Ups - Before A Million Universes

Before A Million Universes is an uncompromising and at times difficult record to get your ears around, but it's a vital listen and statement of intent from a band that keep kicking down doors, pushing boundaries, and daring to confront today's issues and problems through their music.

 7. Asylums - Killer Brain Waves

'Killer Brain Waves' is the debut album from Southend's Asylums, there are 12 tracks on the album, some we've heard before, some not, but as a body of work it all pulls together really well. It's nostalgic as anything, darting around from diy punk pop, indie rock, and britpop, with cleverly written and on point lyrics.

8. The Slow Show - Dream Darling

Dream Darling is the new album from The Slow Show, a 5-piece from Manchester that are signed to the German label Haldern Pop Recordings. Dream Darling is a carefully thought out album which sounds equally sparse and all encompassing, cleverly allowing the band to tell their stories not only through the vocals but the music itself too, and for me it's going to be getting regular spins this forthcoming Autumn.

 9. Shura - Nothing's Real

Shura is Aleksandra Denton, a 23 year old singer-songwriter-producer from London, who grew up in Manchester and has Russian heritage. The 13 track album is a lush, full bodied, wholesome indie pop record that spans times gone by, the current zeitgeist and a whole other future world that only Shura seems to know about. Influences and reference points can be found with the likes of Grimes, Bat For Lashes, Goldfrapp, as well as a whole spectrum of 80's and 90's pop.

10. Is Tropical - Black Anything

The music found on Black Anything is a mix between electronica and rock, and as you might expect from an album with such a different recording process there is much variation to be found. It's a record which sounds wholly positive and upbeat but always seems to maintain a darker edge, flirting between gorgeous pop melodies and deep basslines with grittier guitars and off rhythm beats.

Head over here to view all the albums covered on Music Liberation in 2016.