New Music Madness!
These artists are either brand new discoveries, or artists that I was lucky enough to rediscover this year. As per the usual way I’m doing this; all the text have been lifted from various (attributed, though edited) sources around the web. If you’re hungry for more, check out my recommendations for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011 as well.
Nothing But Thieves
Wikipedia: Nothing But Thieves is an English five-piece alternative rock band from Southend-on-Sea in Essex. Formed in 2012, they were signed to RCA Records in 2014. Their style of music has been compared to the likes of Foals, The Neighbourhood, and Civil Twilight.
Nothing But Thieves supported Arcade Fire and George Ezra at the Brits show for War Child at the Electric in Brixton. The band has also toured with Twin Atlantic, Darlia and Young Guns on separate support tours across the country. In November 2014 they supported Twenty One Pilots alongside Purple at London’s Electric Brixton. In July 2015 they supported Muse at the Rock In Roma show, playing in front of 30,000 people.
Their debut album, Nothing But Thieves entered the Official UK chart at No. 7. It later peaked at No. 3 on iTunes, and was No.1 on the vinyl album charts.
Facebook: British three-piece Black Foxxes aims to play what comes naturally, as loud as possible and with absolutely no gimmicks involved. This has pricked the ears of Kerrang!, Rock Sound, MusicWeek, The Independent and Punktastic, among many others. Their 2014 debut EP ‘Pines’ received praise across the board, and Black Foxxes’ unique and unflinching brand of heart-wrenching rock has found continuous support from many. More recently, the band’s tracks have been gaining ground at BBC Radio 1.
Wielding their dynamic mix of raw noise, pure melody and utterly immersive vocal breaks, Black Foxxes thrive on playing live and always ensure that everyone present will remember them, no matter what.
Wikipedia: Hidden Orchestra is the solo studio project of multi-instrumentalist composer/producer Joe Acheson. His albums and live shows feature a wide variety of guest musicians from all kinds of musical backgrounds. Formed in Edinburgh, Acheson, and the band’s regular live members are currently based in Brighton, the Scottish borders, and Barcelona.
Hidden Orchestra’s debut album, Night Walks, was released in September 2010. The album featured a fusion of IDM, World music, Electronica, Reggae, Dub, Post-Rock, hip-hop, DnB and jazz. Guest musicians, improvising, natural sounds and contrasts combined with electronic effects makes the music emotional and energetic.
Night Walks succeeded all over Europe. It got the “Album of the Month” at BBC Radio 1, and was listed in iDJ´s top albums of 2010. In January 2011 a vinyl deluxe version was also published.
Since 2011 they performed over 250 live shows in over 30 countries, and a second album entitled Archipelago was released on October 1, 2012. In 2016, Hidden Orchestra released both an remix album, Reorchestrations, and an EP, Wingbeats.
Boards of Canada
Wikipedia: Boards of Canada is a Scottish electronic music duo consisting of brothers Michael Sandison amd Marcus Eoin.
The duo’s music is reminiscent of the warm, analogue sounds of 1970s media and contains themes of childhood, nostalgia and the natural world. Mike and Marcus have mentioned the documentary films of the National Film Board of Canada, from which the group’s name is derived, as a source of inspiration. Other, more industrial sounds are often incorporated in their music, with usage of distorted, highly processed beats. The vast majority of their tracks are downtempo ambient, although some releases display faster, more abrasive sounds.
BoC’s sound is a product of their use of analogue equipment, mix of electronic and conventional instrumentation. Use of distorted samples, as well as live and recorded lyrics, and their layering and blending of these elements. For example, the duo have revealed that they use many old tape machines. It can be said that this is one of the key factors that contributes to their vintage sound. Because they avoid a purely synthetic sound, their music is often described as having a warm, emotive quality. This is helped by the use of samples from 1970s television shows and other media prevalent in the era of the brothers' shared childhood, especially the nature-inspired documentaries produced by the National Film Board of Canada.
Jóhann Jóhannsson is an Icelandic composer who has been releasing solo albums since 2002. He is also composing music for a wide array of media including theater, dance, TV and films.
In 2016 Jóhannsson signed with Deutsche Grammophon through which he has released his latest solo album Orphée. Some of his works in film include the original scores for Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival, and The Theory of Everything. Jóhannsson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score for both The Theory of Everything and Sicario. He also won a Golden Globe for Best Original Score for The Theory of Everything. Jóhannsson is currently composing the score for Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Jóhann was born and raised in Reykjavík, where he later went on to study languages and literature at university. He started his musical career as a guitarist playing in indie rock bands. In 1999 Jóhann co-founded “Kitchen Motors”; a think tank, art organization and music label that encouraged interdisciplinary collaborations between artists from punk, jazz, classical, metal and electronic music. His own sound arose out of these musical experimentations.