At the outset, we should note that we mean discovered for ourselves, not discovered like Brian Epstein with the Beatles. One of the highlights of compiling the A-Z was the opportunity to stumble across new bands we might not have heard otherwise – here’s four picks from Dylan, Steve, Stuart and Fearghus.
I was really keen to feature Rum Thief as one of the Clowdy artists in the A-Z, and not just because he’s a fellow Chorltonite. Good taste in Manchester suburbs aside, the solo project from former drummer Jot Green has the potential to be big – he’s got a great voice and I think the tunes are really strong.
A good starting point would be My Friend. I’m looking forward to his new EP in September; it’ll be interesting to see how if he opts for a more produced sound or keeps the raw feel of some of the early recordings. Either way, I think he’s got enough ideas to keep things interesting. It’s stuck in my head.
Dylan Kowalczyk – Slow Readers Club
These guys have stuck out to me for months now. They are literally everywhere. Maybe It’s just me, but I can’t seem to make it to the end of the day without having seen or heard the name Slow Readers Club. And that’s not a bad thing! Start Again was the first track I heard from them and it was love at first listen.
Everything they’ve done is a catchy, inspiring ballad – no further adjectives required. They’re a hard band not to like. I still haven’t seen them live, which is annoying considering they’re usually just down the road from Clowdy HQ in Night and Day or the Castle. But it’s mainly due to me being a hermit and not getting out much.
I think they’d have a great sound live so I’m definitely going to make it to one of their local gigs soon.
— TheSlowReadersClub (@slowreadersclub) August 18, 2014
Fearghus Roulston – The Little Unsaid
I went to university in Dublin in the mid-00s, meaning that my every waking hour was crammed with singer-songwriters sporting scrubby beards and an unearned air of melancholy. You couldn’t leave out the bins for fear that a pack of starving acoustic guitarists would descend on you, singing Damien Rice covers.
But I digress! This painful over-exposure means I enjoy listening to singer-songwriters who do something a bit different with the tried-and-tested format – Conor O’Brien of Villagers, for instance. The Little Unsaid (apparently a project by Londoner John Elliott) fit into this loose category; at the very least, the obvious attention Elliot has given to his lyrics mean he doesn’t trigger any Grafton Street flashbacks for me.
New EP A Filthy Hunger (which includes a poetry book, no less) is the obvious place to start.
There is a strange fuzzy warm feeling in my universe tonight knowing that in this very town, right now, Kate Bush is on stage being magical.
— The Little Unsaid (@TheLittleUnsaid) August 26, 2014
Stuart Logan – Aquilo
Ben Fletcher and Tom Higham (the duo that make up Aquilo) apparently both started out in rock and metal bands, which I find baffling considering the kind of chilled, spacious electronic soundscapes they’re producing together now. There’s lots of obvious comparisons, from London Grammar to bands like The XX, but I think they’ve got enough about them to avoid being derivative.
My favourite track they’ve released so far is You There, from the recent EP. It’s got everything that makes them a great band, or a potentially great one – harmonies, textures and stunning melodic loops. It’s one of those I want to listen to three or four times in a row, though, so I might get sick of it soon!
Follow them on Twitter here.