15 for 15
As you can see from our Wales 100 there are a huge number of promising acts emerging from Wales almost on a weekly basis. We’ve picked out 15 acts for 2015 that we think are going to be have an impact in the year ahead. Some are likely to break through on a national scale such as Tibet (above) and others are at the very early stages such as Lily Beau. However, what they have in common is that they are all incredibly talented and Wales should nurture and support such talent wherever and whenever possible.
Probably a name you aren’t familiar with but this band used to be ‘Brothers’. At the heart of the band is Joel Hurst who first came to our attention in the Knox back in 2012. Sadly they were short lived and Joel formed Brothers with his brother Ethan. Line up changes have lead the band to re-name themselves ‘Tibet’. Labels have been circling around the band since the very early days of Brothers and now it looks as though ink has been put to paper and the band look set for national exposure. If Tibet are not appearing at major festivals within 18 months we will be shocked and surprised.
Last year we were given an EP by Whistling Wind and after a few months we finally got around to listening to it. Like all the best music it took several return visits to make its impact. The songs were a combination of folk with subtle jazz and soul infusions producing a wonderful blend. In addition to the music was the stunning voice of the singer Harri Davies which is fragile, expressive and soulful. Harri has assembled an incredible band of musicians and is set to start recording his debut album in the New Year. Expect an announcement of a project between Harri Davies and Newsoundwales very soon.
Hana comes from Penarth and is influenced by a wide range of artists such as Prince, Fleetwood Mac and John Lennon. She took part in the Teenstar competition and has sung at the O2. She has already received support from Adam Walton at Radio Wales as well as national BBC airplay.
Most bands put tracks on Soundcloud and get listened to by their mates and the occasional blogger if they are lucky. Pretty Vicious hadn’t played a gig and posted one track. Within just a few days it was receiving airplay on Radio 1 and had created a frenzy of interest in the young band from Merthyr. It remains to be seen just how good they are but if the rest of their material is half as good as this track they look set to explode.
HOMES are a Cardiff based collective who we first encountered at this year’s excellent HUB Festival. The band describe their music as a combination of trip hop, neo-psychadelia, romantic composers of the 19th century and country; quite a combination! Homes comprise of Dylan Morgan alongside drummer and producer (Charlotte Church, Houdini Dax) Steff Pringle. The pair share a deep passion for 60/70′s production techniques, arrangement and songwriting, which are being put to extensive use on their debut EP out in the new year.
Fur are a three piece band from Cardiff who recorded a track, uploaded it to the BBC Introducing site and within days had it played on Radio Wales. Their songs are acoustic, wistful and strongly melodic. If you transported a band from Haight Ashbury in 1967 and gave them a 2015 sensibility they might just sound like FUR.
Songs continue to be the life blood of the music industry and if there we were to single out one person as having huge potential as a ‘song writer for the future’ it would be Lily Beau. Still incredibly young she already has a growing repertoire of strong original material and is already an assured and confident performer. If she is this good at 15 then who knows where she will be in 5 years time.
Valleyers are the new band based in Pembrokeshire featuring Nayfe Slusjan who’s previous band was the much missed Chailo Sim. Nayfe’s gypsy intricacies have provided much of the inspiration for his songs about life and the transient nature of people. The band have already been played by Tom Robinson, Huw Stevens and Radio Wales and released the “Valleyers – Parlour EP” in 2014. Their debut album is due for release in 2015. Don’t be surprised if you seem them on the bill at a Newsoundwales show in 2015.
Back in the summer we helped judge the Big Gig at the Globe and rock trio ‘In Construction’ won the junior section. Formed after friends met whilst studying music at college the band have been gigging furiously around the valleys and writing original material. Influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Green Day and the Foo fighters the band are already a solid power trio and with strong material emerging. Currently recording at legendary Monnow Valley studos they will be releasing material early in 2015.
Love Bazaar are yet another act we first encountered at HUB. They are a solid alternative rock outfit who are riff heavy but haven’t forgotten strong vocal hooks. They released an EP in November available at bandcamp.
Vinna Bee is variously described as a solo, a collective, a duo, a band, a project but it is mostly the single visions of Sian Vinna Bevan helped out by various members of her musical collective who are now spread out between areas of the UK and California. Traditional folk with a psychedelic twist they recently released the ep “Eldorado Omega”.
Although Nights are a new band the members are certainly not short on experience and intriguing include guitar virtuoso Gareth Pearson. The band have already played prestigious gigs in London and opened for Erasure on their 2014 UK tour. The band released a single “Hey Love Hello”on Necessary Records and have more material due in 2015.
Safari Gold make gloriously uplifting pop music . They describe themselves as ‘4 guys from the mountainous outskirts of Cardiff making pop music. The Safari Gold Lounge Music Experience consists of singers Danny and Morgan. Welcome to the lounge.’
Holiday in the Mind
This band prove that sometimes musical talent is in the genes comprising as they do of the offspring of Mark Humphries from Cakehole Presley. The band, which also features Mark, have only played a handful of gigs including supporting their father’s band at the Globe. The response was overwhelmingly positive and front man Dylan has the swagger and bravado of a young Marvin Gaye.
Bryony is a young singer/songwriter from South Wales who enjoys writing stories as well as songs. She says about her writing “I like going on a journey with my characters and writing gives me the chance to explore my creative mind.” She has some formidable inspirations for her writing such as Johnny Cash, The Beatles and Joni Mitchell. She has a calm presence on stage and already has some extremely promising original material which shows huge potential.