6 Reasons 2014 is Going to be Awesome For Music

Well 2013 has been and gone and for various reasons I’m glad to see the back of it.  I didn’t cover anywhere near as many shows as I would normally (less than 30 last year) but on the plus side I’ve seen some great bands that I’m really looking forward to seeing more of in 2014.  Here are the acts I’m looking forward to covering this year in no particular order:-

JJ Rosa

Formerly known as The Jessie Rose Trip, JJ Rosa are on Warner Brothers here in the UK, and with a sound that owes more to guitar legend Jimi Hendrix and the purple funk god Prince than the standard Manchester Indie vibe I’m hoping we’ll see the free EP download followed with an album very soon. Check out the showreel below to see them in action.

To Kill A King

I first heard about To Kill A King when I was covering Bastille at Liverpool Academy.  Bastille lead singer Dan Smith was wearing a To Kill A King t-shirt which had me curious about them and a bit of digging led me to the Ralph’s Balcony series of collaborations on YouTube. Falling somewhere between Two Door Cinema Club and Mumford and Sons, their catchy melodies may not be enough of a counter to the slow burn build of tracks such as “I Work Nights and You Work Days” to see them feature on Radio 1 but with there is something about their observant lyrics and intricate melodies that will leave you kicking yourself if you don’t catch them live.  Here’s the closing track to Ralph’s Balcony – Choices – which features all of the artists that appear in the series.

Holly Walker

Listening to the Ralph’s Balcony series mentioned above led me to discover London’s singer songwriter Holly Walker.  She collaborates with To Kill A King on “So You Go So I Go” and again on her own track Panic Breeds Panic.  A classically trained pianist, her early work has a distinctive jazz feel to it and has an intelligence sadly lacking from a lot of music these days.  Her more recent work has taking on an electro-pop feel seeing her work with Maribou State for last year’s “Tongue” followed with the haunting “Hurt Me”.  She’s been busy working on her album and after catching her live at the Camden Barfly in November I can’t wait to hear it.

The Family Rain

The Walter brothers from Bath, known as The Family Rain have been described as somewhere between the Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys which probably isn’t far off in terms of the music press’s need to label every band that comes along but there’s a lot more to them than that.  I saw them supporting Miles Kane at his recent Manchester Academy show and given how fast they had the crowd rocking,  2014 could be a good year for the blues.

Avec Sans

Avec Sans have been my go-to-band for a dose of feel-good pop for ages now and they finished the year on a high with the release of “Shiver”, described by the Guardian as having “more interesting production touches and melodic hooks than most bands can muster in a career”.  There’s no news of an album as yet but I hope we don’t have to wait too much longer.

Bipolar Sunshine

Former “Kid British” frontman Adio Marchant has opened himself up for solo project Bipolar Sunshine and I have to admit that despite being Manchester based I had managed to completely miss it.  That was until I was covering the Bastille show at Brixton Academy where I was lucky enough to catch Bipolar Sunshine kicking off the show.  It didn’t take long to track down more of his music and I’m hooked.  There have been a few EP releases so far but with reportedly 25 tracks already in the bag an album can’t be far off surely?