A nice thing that happened in 2014


With 2015 winding up to pitch, I thought it would probably be a good idea to do something with regards to the blog that wasn’t restricted to Soundcloud reposts or nescafe fuelled Twitter rants – to which I’ve retreated as finals get closer. In order to bring some sort of vague closure to the year, I thought it might be worth stringing together a vaguely coherent look back at what we liked in 2014 and, in doing so, to cast the net on into 2015 in an attempt to ‘predict’ what we’ll be listening to as the year goes on. On the surface this will, fairly obviously, mean just giving you a rundown of what’s on my soundcloud but – seeing as I’ve made that my semi-legitimate occupation for the last few years – I think that’s probably ok.

Also this is going to be on the homepage for a few days so if you want to see the blog just click through at the top. Or go have a look at Soundcloud / Twitter for more up to the minute reccomendations.

In terms of bands we dug in 2014 there’s a really massive list of new, and old, material that surfaced as the year went on, the majority of which has proved surprisingly durable – in that it hasn’t got trapped in a month specific playlist but has carried been carried forward to end of year lists. Of the *new* bands we heard this year Happyness, Oscar, Bully, Gum, Juce, Half Loon, Glass Animals, Axxa/Abraxas, Morgan Delt, O. Chapman, Bad Breeding, Sun Machine, Peter Bibby, Client Liason, Pastel Colours, Nai Harvest,Ultimate Painting, The Babe Rainbow and Gengahr had the biggest impact – something I’m measuring by the fact that they’re all names that spring immediately to the top of my head when asked for ‘new bands’…

There are, alongside this list, at least a hundered other equally brilliant bands who can and should be hunted out via soundcloud or back in the archives, some of whom who I’ve perhaps unfairly forgotten and will add to the list when I remember. There’s also a considerable number of bands / artists not mentioned because you – presumably – already know about them and the impact they’ve made this year. Mac Demarco, The War on Drugs, Parquet Courts, Alvvays etc

There are also a lot of ‘old bands’, or at least bands that we’ve been in touch with for a while, that have had pretty steep trajectories over 2014. The Magic Gang, Triptides, Theo Verney, Pink Teens, TRAAMS, Menace Beach (whose upcoming album is honestly spectacular) , Kindness, CYMBALS, Moodoid, Sunboy, Childhood, Weirds, Only Real, Eagulls, Superfood, Wolf Alice, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Alex Calder, Crushed Beaks and All We Are stand out here, and we should – hopefully – be putting on a show with at least one of those at some point in the next few months.

There’s also been an exceptionally large number of ‘producers’ on the blog this year with Oceaan, Lxury, Romare and Ben Khan probably taking the top four slots in our playlists. Jungle also did fairly well out of 2014 something that will hopefully have opened the way for some of our other picks as the next few months roll about. In fact Lxury are/is getting very close to the tipping point that sits between being a niche concern and a serious mass-concern. On second thoughts Clarence Clarity probably fits all these moulds and should be treasured. If you’re into electronic music – this being 2015 you probably are – you could do worse than to keep an eye on Therapy, a label reccomended by Oscar Scheller who have been consistently brilliant to date.

There are also a massive number of bands that have only really emerged – at least into our net – from the ether in the last few months. Viet Cong, Real Lies, King TV, Moses Gunn Collective, Trust Fund (shout out to @basementfever for his constant emails which forced me –happily – into hearing this) Koi Child, Harley Alexander (DNNM deserves a medal), Jib Kidder, Fiction, EZTV, Mourn, Good Morning, Communions, Happy Diving etc…

Warm Brains, Fair Ohs and Kins have also just sprung to mind as three ‘old’ acts who should hopefully be returning with new music this year. Perhaps Best Friends could also be added to the list – if the appearance of a Christmas single is in anyway indicative of their intentions for the New Year.

Looking forward into any new year is a fairly horrifying flight of egotism but – being the season – it might just be worth holding up two scenes – as opposed to bands – that are well worth watching. The first that which The Magic Gang germinated from, which largely revolves around Angus Taylor, Kristian Smith, Jack Kaye and Paeris Giles’ side projects, but also includes some fairly substantial go-alones such as Abattoir Blues, Our Girl and might very loosely be extended to cover their Guildford cronies Bird Skulls and our Cambridge compatriots – and The Magic Gang’s best buds, also a very good band in their own right – Bloody Knees. Elsewhere on the coast the ‘Falmouth Scene’ is well worth watching with The Black Tambourines, Holiday Ghost, The Golden Dregs, The Isabelles and Manchester’s The Hipshakes forming a coalition of very substantial talents. That these ‘scenes’ are already exploding out of their geographic constraints – and seem genuinely to be founded on mutual affection – is a good indication of their rude health and should mean, hopefuuly, that they don’t get suffocated by the new crop of talent 2015 will inevitably bring.

Thanks for sticking with us. Much love and a happy new year.

P.s. Because i’m going to be busy with finals and other bits up until June it might be worth following us over on twitter (@shinyshinynew) and Soundcloud for up to date reccmendations, and hilarious jokes etc…

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