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Mar 20 2008, 13:06

Asp Bites Unsung Artists

There seems to be a trend at the minute for looking around the internet for new, undiscovered artists. It's definitely the new age of music, where new bands can be discovered on myspace. You may not like Murdoch, but myspace is a great leveller, and a place to find great new music.

So, away from the signed artists who are making the mark in TOTW, I'm going to join in. I occasionally hear new artists, so I'm going to gather a few together and when I have a post, I'll make it, of which this is the first. The nature of the music industry with the never-ending search on the internet means that there certainly will be more - it also means that there's no chance of me discovering all of the good talent out there. So, I'll say now - if you know of any great new bands out there, let me know!

In the mean time, here's some of my recent discoveries:

51 Breaks
I heard this group first on Tom Robinson's Introducing, where they were described as "a band you’ve known for years but cant put your finger on it!” I think I can put my finger on it, as I'm reminded of The Automatic. That said, it's not standard (cf. "predictable") indie music, and well written stuff.

Bombay Bicycle Club
This band is proof of what you can actually discover just be randomly exploring that myspace thingy. Bombay Bicycle Club are certainly hovering of the periphery of notority. They have two EP's that they've released on their own bat; have featured in NME; and have performed sessions on XFM and Radio1. Not a bad claim to fame for any new band - particularly one that is still unsigned.

It's familiar music - shades of Maxïmo Park (particularly in Open House) and of Bloc Party (particularly in Ghost) - but familiar music is what people like. They're certainly a determined group of youngsters, and such enthusiasm alone should do them well

The Dodos
Possibly the biggest "tip" that's emerged at SXSW. Industry insiders, and most of the BBC team that were at the festival have passed on their recommendations after heading there instead of the packed REM gig.

They're not an unsigned band like the other mentions here - they joined Frenchkiss records at the end of November last year - but they're still unheard of to most of the world.

With such praise from the throngs at Austin, it's clear that that's not going to last. The music has strong folk roots, but has been modified enough with a pop twist to make it highly listenable music. A lot of music is good background stuff, and the good tracks make your ears prick up. However, you can easily sit down and listen to their entire myspace playlist. That's the mark of a good band.

Florence and The Machine
If I had been in Austin recently, the one night I'd have dragged myself to would have been the BBC Introducing Showcase. Headline act were (former TOTW) MGMT, but it was full of new talent.

Once of the acts was the, well, manic (see jumping into pools at the end of sets) Florence and the Machine. You can watch a video of her in action at the gig, and this demonstrates how unusual her music is. I think her tone of voice is very similar to Adelle - if somewhat coarser, but it's definitely not the regular "Brit School Output" that's proliferating the charts at the minute.

It's far from refined, but, occasionally, that's exactly what you need to put pure emotion into songs. It's this emotion that's Florence's main selling point.

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