Alternative Friday

because great new music doesn’t always get the exposure it deserves

Pic by @joelhirstphoto

County Durham based Tom Smith is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and radio DJ, and to date he’s supported such luminaries as The Charlatans, Shed Seven, James Bay, and Catfish & the Bottlemen. Quite impressive for someone who’s only 14!

All this is despite having to live with a life limiting condition – Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome – which means he was born, and continues to function, with only half a working heart. So read on to find out more about Tom himself, his music, the kazoo, and being the least flexible human ever!
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I’m convinced that 2018 was another outstanding year for new & emerging musicians, with my evidence both here and here, and there was definitely no let off as the year drew to a close. So have a wander through the first Mixtape of 2019, which takes us from alt rock & indie, through to electronica, soulful RnB, & folk. Enjoy…


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The Evolving Tunes playlist has done exactly that during 2018, so as the year draws to a close here’s a playlist with 25 of the best tracks to have appeared this year. It contains a wide array of genres, so dive in, enjoy, and keep an eye on the main Spotify playlist during 2019 for more exceptional new, emerging, and under the radar musicians.

The incredible quality of new and emerging musicians never surprises me, and I’m confident that 2018 has been another exceptional 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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There’s no doubt in my mind that 2018 has been another outstanding year for new and emerging musicians, so it was a huge challenge to trim my longlist down to these impressive & eclectic tracks (do browse the monthly mixtapes and Spotify Evolving Tunes during the year for more).

This ‘Best of 2018’ playlist also joins numerous music dots, from alt rock and indie, to urban folk, electronica, drum n bass, jazz funk, blues, and more. Enjoy…


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Rubber Jaw are a three piece band from Elmstead Market in Essex, comprising of Michael Hemmings on guitar & vocals, Ross Connell on lead guitar & backing vocals, and Archie Mann on drums. Feeling Funny is their recent impressive release, which combines calm atmospheric verses with a rousing alt rock chorus, with both colliding perfectly in the monster finale. The reason it gets a Showreel posting here is because the short yet epic track’s video – made and directed by the band themselves – is an absorbing film, and one which really makes the most of the terrific track.


So now, can you tell me, how we can try and sort it…


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