Thursday, 28 May 2015

Eloise Keating - Working Late

This has been some time coming, but it’s worth the wait. Back in February 2014 we introduced Eloise Keating, an unsigned singer songwriter who hails from just outside Portsmouth, who at the age of just 17 produced a staggeringly good piece of music inspired by F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. That song was Be My Ghost (The Green Light) and ever since then we’ve been patiently waiting for Eloise to release further material. In that time there’s been just a handful of gigs, played with the prettiest of guitars, including slots at last year’s Camden Crawl plus Portsmouth's Victorious Festival then in 2015 she has supported Indiana and played alongside another south coast rising hopeful and Breaking More Waves approved Jerry Williams. However, today, finally, there’s a new song. 

Working Late, lives up to expectations. Recalling the gentle twangy atmospherics of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game (which Eloise has covered live - as well as a rather fantastic take on Hey Ya by Outkast) the song smoulders with its ‘I love him’ coos and elegant electronic production. Alongside Be My Ghost (The Green Light) it marks Keating out as not just a talent with much promise, but one that is already beginning to fulfil it. Let’s just hope she doesn’t wait another 15 months before her next release. We suspect that’s highly unlikely this time though.

Eloise Keating - Working Late

Hurts - Some Kind Of Heaven

We have a quite simple history with Hurts. It goes something like this:

Album 1: Pop brilliance. One of those bands that we named as Ones to Watch (back in 2009) and then 12 months later Happiness found itself at number 2 in our favourite Album of the Year list. Some people disliked Hurts because they thought they were too cheesy / pretentious / ostentatious, but of course THEY WERE WRONG.

Album 2: It all started perfectly. The early signs were that Hurts were going down a darker path, ‘doing a Depeche Mode’ perhaps – but on release something just didn’t quite connect. Maybe it was just as simple as the songs not being quite as good. That’s our analysis of things anyway. If you want in depth journalistic consideration and thought, you've come to the wrong place.

And now we’re coming up to album 3.

Do you remember how lots of people who know lots of things about music had suggested that Hurts would be the perfect band to represent the UK in the Eurovision song contest? After all Theo and Adam seem to connect with European audiences outside of the UK in a way that many people don't understand, in the same way that the UK doesn't really get Eurovision and seems to treat it as a bit of a joke.

Well, if Hurts did do it, the first song from album 3 would be perfect. Some Kind Of Heaven is far less murky than album 2 material (even the white suit and turtle neck clothing in the promo shot suggest so). In fact, despite maintaining the sense of drama that makes Hurts what they are, this one sounds positively radio friendly, filled as it is with hooks galore. This one could have been up there with Sweden, Russia and Italy last weekend. 

Hurts - Some Kind Of Heaven

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Reality Check - A Short Note To Musicians Having Blog 'Success'

Are you a new band or artist that is having some success on the internet?

Has your song rocketed up the Hype Machine charts, gathering 1000’s of plays in just a few days?

Great. Brilliant. Thumbs up etc. It’s pretty exciting isn't it? Lots of people across the globe are listening to your music. A few hundred or thousand people have clicked a little love heart on their computer / laptop / tablet / phone screen for your song; but here’s a reality check....

This ‘success’ doesn’t equate to you selling tickets, records or necessarily generating any sort of lasting fan base. In fact it doesn't mean very much at all. Here’s an example:

For a UK (let’s say London) based band getting 100,000 plays on Soundcloud via a Hype Machine charting song,  might mean that 20,000 of those plays come from your own country (the majority will be plays in the US); of that 20,000 maybe 10% of the listeners really like the music - a lot will just be casual listeners. Of the 2,000 UK listeners that really like it, 12.5% of them will be based in London. Of the 250 that really like it and are based in London, maybe 5% of those would consider,on the basis of that one song, finding out more about your band and going to see them live. Of that 12-13 people that might do that, maybe half of them would be able to make your next show in London. That’s 6 or 7 people from the 100,000 plays. It's probably wise to not start planning to buy that mansion in the country just yet.

That’s our reality check. Hype Machine listed blogs have the potential to generate significant plays of your music. But don’t ever think that this means anything more than maybe a handful of people becoming fans. 

Sometimes, something that looks ‘big’ on the internet, isn’t so in real life. Things can be easily distorted, your view of reality changed depending on the channels you use. Enjoy your ‘success’, but keep a firm grip on the reality.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Misty Miller - Happy (Video)

“I’ve been sleeping with your friends,” sings Misty Miller and with it punches a way not only onto this blog (again) but this time onto BBC Radio 1. New single Happy was deservedly named hottest record in the world on Annie Mac’s show last night, where it received its first play. It's a pop punk anthem fuelled by a throw-yourself-around-the-dancefloor energy and an infectious hook that should find Misty a whole bunch of new fans. One to Watch for 2011? OK, maybe we were a little premature there, but sometimes it’s worth sticking around and letting an artist develop. 

“You were always in my head, but we don’t talk about it,” she growls. Maybe. But now is the time to start talking about Misty Miller, because this song will be in your head.

Right now, based on this video, we'd say life's a riot with Misty Miller. Can we sign up to her gang?

Get Happy from the 7th June.

Misty Miller - Happy (Video)