Ones to Watch in 2014

Sophie JamiesonWhat’s going on, eh? This time last year we were nibbling our thumbs and clicking pen tops in an agonising attempt to find artists we felt worthy of our Tips for 2013 shortlist. We were determined to promote musicians in keeping with DrunkenWerewolf’s forte and with a reasonable chance of success, as we are again for 2014. In the end, we made the right call and reserved the top spot for Marika Hackman, with MS MR and Nadine Shah also making noteworthy appearances in our Top Ten. However there was a lack of choice at hand, and that does unfortunately reflect in our overall results.

For 2014, the situation couldn’t be more different. We’ve been forced to warn those contacting us that our blogging pile is longer than our collective arms. We’ve struggled to keep up with the range of choice on offer. The situation resolved after several night-long writing binges; we’re now confronted with over thirty artists who command a recommendation for the coming year.

Whittling the list down for this article has been a nightmare, but it’s also been a really heart warming experience and, to tell you the truth, a massive relief. We were concerned that the music industry had finally been devoured by demands from the fake indie, actually mainstream consumer to become lost in a noughties chugging durge of ‘grunge’ and ‘indie’. Thank God in 2013 something’s clicked and everyone’s started to pull their weight again. The scene has begun to thrive once more, at least in terms of innovation, bringing truly interesting new acts to the forefront.

As well as contributing to the Generator Tips for 2014 and the Bloggers Sound 2014 – the results of which are pending – we’ve compiled this shortlist of ten artists we would love to see reach their full potential over the next twelve months. Here’s to them!

Kiran Leonard10 // Kiran Leonard

Like several of our Tips for 2014 artists, Kiran has already released his debut album. In fact, his follow up Bowler Hat Soup came out on Hand of Glory Records in 2013. We think he deserves a lot more attention, and with an ever increasing profile we hope that this attention will come to light soon.

Quoting Frank Zappa and The Beatles as an influence, the 18 year old singer-songwriter is based near Manchester and currently in the throes of his A Level exams. Despite his young age the music he makes harks back to a forgotten era; full of simple yet classic melodies that reignite the fire of his heroes.

You can read our interview with Mr Leonard here and listen to the pop sprinkled, completely addictive “Port-Aine” below.

Jackson Scott9 // Jackson Scott

Drawling North Carolina resident Jackson Scott also steps back a few decades for inspiration, but his music is quite apart from Kiran Leonard’s. Describing his style as “apocalypse pop”, 2013’s debut album Melbourne is scorched in reverberation and drone guitar.

Jackson recently toured the UK and played a really inspiring gig at Bristol’s Start the Bus, speckled with a small audience but nevertheless mighty in presence. On stage Scott’s music comes alive and consumes everything in its path, leaving a molten kaleidoscope path of gory glory in its wake. It’s utterly fantastic and it can’t be long before the UK hears Jackson’s call proper.

You can read our Introducing article on Jackson Scott here and listen to the misleadingly titled “That Awful Sound” below.

Pawws8 // Pawws

Pawws is the first artist on this list that won’t ruffle the feathers of rule followers. She’s not released a debut album. In fact, she’s only just released her debut single “Time to Say Goodbye” on ASL Records.

The project of London’s Lucy Taylor, Pawws makes gloriously good roller-disco infused pop music in the same vein as Annie. Taylor’s already got decent experience in the field, having collaborated with Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke and MGMT prior to launching her solo career. She’s also promised new material and a tour with Thumpers for next year, so all in all we’re a little surprised others haven’t been tooting her horn. Props to Breaking More Waves for pointing us in the right direction!

You can hear shoulder mover “Slow Love” below and read our interview with Lucy here.

Wlf Alice7 // Wolf Alice

A band already acquainted to big game players, Wolf Alice are an obvious choice for any Tips for 2014 article and we suspect this won’t be the last time you read about them this month.

This year has already seen the quartet play to sell out crowds across the country and their Blush EP stands their forthcoming debut album in good stead. Formed in Wiltshire but quickly relocated to the capital, Wolf Alice offer a prime example of the 90s revival, boasting guitar riffs and the grunge inspired vocal of front woman Ellie Rowsell.

You can read our recent interview with the band here and check out “Blush” below.

Emily Wells6 // Emily Wells

Emily Wells is the kind of artist DrunkenWerewolf dreams about. A singer songwriter in format, the New York resident surrounds herself in all manner of instrument on stage and in the recording studio. The resulting material is awash in experimental goodness, and completely beyond pigeonholing, although many have assigned her to the hip-hop and pop genres.

Emily released her debut UK album Mama in November 2013. She’s more recently streamed a cover of Haddaway’s “What is Love?” via SoundCloud. She’ll return to America this winter to begin work on her sophomore release, but not before gracing British shores for a tour in December.

You can check out “What is Love?” below and read our Issue 12 interview with Emily here.

Whales in Cubicles5 // Whales in Cubicles

The closer we get to the number one slot, the more these acts run parallel to one another. Whales in Cubicles are an international turned British talent that’s so good it makes our ears hurt, especially if we have our speakers turned up loud. We’d go so far as to say they’re a lifetime find, and certainly the best guitar band Britain has to offer in 2014.

The trio have already released a handful of singles, including 2012’s “We Never Win” and 2013’s follow up singles “Disappear” and “Wax & Feathers”, the video for which we premiered in October. These three songs alone document the extreme versatility of Whales in Cubicles, putting their peers to shame and guaranteeing them fame in 2014. If that doesn’t happen, the world better prepare for a werewolf shaped pitchfork invasion of annoyance.

You can read our interview with the band here and listen to “Disappear” below.

Summer Cannibals4 // Summer Cannibals

Some of the band names mentioned in this post are inspired, by Summer Cannibals’ Patti Smith invoking title ticks all the right boxes.

The Portland based band comprises musicians from around the States, but their sound deserves its own island of fabulousness. A grouchy bass and guitar plods through and explodes into garage mess on their debut album No Makeup, hailed by us earlier in the year and also featuring (SPOILER ALERT) on our Albums of 2013 countdown. That’s right; we put this band on both countdowns. That’s how good they are. They’ve also been championed by scene kings The Thermals and promise to return with new material to make our heads explode in 2014.

Listen to “Hey/I Was Saved” below and read our interview with the band here.

Petite Meller3 // Petite Meller

The weirdest of French pop stars, Petite Meller is like Lady Gaga gone independent, slightly (more) mad and surviving on a diet of couture and cigars. Her song “Backpack” hit us over the back of the head in September and we’ve not managed to get it out since.

In 2014 the singer songwriter plans to release her debut album, after a long line of self-releases and mini-albums that prove her dependability. All spiced with insanity and making instruments we thought untouchable bearable, there’s not much this lady can’t do.

You can listen to the awe-inspiring “Backpack” below and read our Introducing article on Petite here.

Thumpers2 // Thumpers

In second position and already tipped by VEVO, are London based pop band Thumpers, comprising Pull Tiger Tail predecessors John Hamson Jr and Marcus Pepperell.

Already this year Thumpers have toured their guitar-led and slightly twisted pop songs around Europe, courtesy of a support slot with CHVRCHES. Their performances were in aid of the release of their latest single “Sound of Screams”, alongside predecessor and debut release “Unkinder”. Having announced they’ll release their long awaited debut album on Sub Pop in a few months time, their domination of 2014 is fairly certain.

You can read our interview with Thumpers for Issue 10 here, and listen to “Sound of Screams” below.

Sophie Jamieson1 // Sophie Jamieson

This is the big one; the artist we’d chuck all of our money at if we had any spare. We’ve already bombarded friends, family and enemies with news about her forthcoming light by way of every communication avenue available to us. That includes shouting on street corners. Sophie Jamieson demands shouting on street corners.

Her lead song “Waterloo” does all of the talking for us. I can’t say the word aloud because it brings out the Bristolian in me, but her lush guitar work and ample reverb is enough to make even a slim gut hit the floor. Not to mention her vocal – oh, her vocal. It’s like Daughter got knocked on the head and woke up a different woman; Landshapes with bite; every singer songwriter you were ever routing for, done good. Sophie’s got that je ne sais quoi that will hopefully completely transform the ‘female singer songwriter’ tag in 2014, forever proving women who play guitar the saviours of sanity.

You must listen to “Waterloo” below and read our interview with the too humble Sophie here.

What do you think of DrunkenWerewolf's Tips for 2014? Comment below, or tweet us (@drunkenwerewolf) with the hashtag #tipsfor2014!

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8 Responses to “Ones to Watch in 2014”

  1. Jam n Bop 07/12/2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Love discovering new artists. I think I will like Emily Wells’s music. Let me check her album.

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