Alternative Friday

helping to spread the word about impressive new & under the radar musicians

It feels wrong to call this 4-piece from Brighton an ‘alternative rock’ band, as it seems to miss the target a bit, with the track Mustard providing ample evidence. It’s not a rhapsody, but neither does it doesn’t have the usual verse-chorus combo, and is instead a wonderful journey, containing intimate folk flourishes, a crowd pleasing and anthemic middle to sing along to, and some raucous guitars & percussion. This simple but effective video also brings it all together just perfectly, which is why it’s here in a Showreel post.

The track comes from their upcoming EP, Mustard Coloured Years, due on April 17th via Small Pond Records, which looks set to highlight that the band are ones to watch, and to catch live when normal life resumes again.

 

I’ll be right behind you…

 

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I first heard Conchúr (pronounced Conor) White late last year when he released his debut track Daisies, which is a wonderfully moody piece of dream pop. Hailing from rural Northern Ireland, he used to front the more ethereal synth folk band Silences, but has now altered direction as a solo artist with a more rousing sound.
 
His latest release Bikini Crops is another stunning song, full of emotion, but with an uplifting chorus and powerful, almost cinematic, soundtrack. It’s also here in a Showreel post because the semi-animated video, created and directed and by Tom Denney is a clever piece of work too, and artistically it fits with the song just perfectly.

 

You know it’s true, I belong to you…

 

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Leeds 5-piece Huw & the Greater Good came together in 2017, initially as Huw Eddy & The Carnival, but last year altered their name and direction towards the alternative/indie/folk group they’ve become. Consisting of Huw Edward Thomas (singer/guitar), Mak Dawson (bass), Callum Stubbs (drums), Luke Marley (keys), and Sam Jarps (guitar), they caught my attention only recently after uploading a track to Fresh on the Net, thanks to their lively and contagious sound. Now, ahead of more new music and live dates this spring, Huw and Mak face this Q&A, so read on to find out more about the band, where Bill Nighy & Girls Aloud fit in, and which one of them lays the most gorgeous patios!
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Last year was another stunning one in terms of the quality of new artists and their music, as evidenced in the Best of 2019 Mixtape, and as the year drew to a close there was definitely no let up, as is highlighted in this first mixtape of the new year. So dig in, and enjoy a sonic cocktail of sounds as we journey from alternative psych-rock to jazzy hip-hop, soulful RnB to tropical pop, and more. Enjoy…

 


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The Evolving Tunes playlist has done exactly that again in 2019, so as the year draws to a close here’s an eclectic playlist with 25 of the best tracks to have appeared since January. It contains a wide array of genres, so dive in, enjoy, and keep an eye on the main Spotify playlist during 2020 for more exceptional new, emerging, and under the radar musicians.

The exceptional standard of new and emerging musicians never surprises me, and I’m confident that 2019 has been another great year for new music. So as it draws to a close we reveal our annual Alternative Friday Awards… so who are the winners?


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Of the 1000s of songs I’ve heard this year via Fresh on the Net and elsewhere, the 100 that have been in my monthly Mixtapes have reminded me how much amazing new music is constantly being made by new and emerging artists. To whittle that list down to these 20 tracks was therefore quite a challenge!

It’s an eclectic mix too, with not just alt rock & indie, but also soulful RnB, psychedelic folk, Afro-Latin, art pop, and more, so I hope you enjoy it, and next year do browse the monthly mixtapes and Spotify Evolving Tunes for more impressive new music.

 

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Photograph by Sequoia Ziff

Gizmo Varillas is a Spanish-Basque songwriter, musician and record producer, who was raised both in the UK and Spain. His music is a wonderfully colourful mix of tropical Latin, funky Afrobeat, and acoustic folk, which has seen him appear here in numerous mixtapes over the past couple of years. Ahead of his first London headline show of 2019 on November 26th at the Camden Assembly, and forthcoming third album, he takes part in this Q&A – so read on to find out more about his music, the new album, indigenous Pygmy flutes, and the legendary drummer Tony Allen.

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