If you hadn’t noticed, the BBC revealed their annual ‘Sound Of’ longlist today – which features the 15 new acts and artists that ‘music industry insiders’ believe are set to make waves next year.
This years list features already reasonably established artists like BANKS (who is bound to win it) and Sam Smith as well as some that have not had much exposure at all yet outside of their own niche – MNEK, Kelela etc…
It’s easy to be dismissive about the BBC’s annual poll – most cynics like to draw on the fact that it’s pointless and just a music biz device to encourage sales – but what I’m more concerned about is what the 15 acts on the longlist says about music as a whole in 2014.
As The Guardian have already noted, the list features just one act that could be considered an actual ‘band’ – exciting Brighton duo Royal Blood. The rest of the list is populated by hip and edgy solo singers and producers.
So, where are all the great new bands?
There are likely a lot of answers to that question and a lot of competing opinions – the most common I guess is the fact that music production has been made more universal thanks to technology, resulting in loads more ‘bedroom producers’ able to crank out high grade and interesting material.
That makes sense, as does the suggestion that these kinds of acts are cheaper to manage, in terms of recording, distributing and touring.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any exciting new bands about at the moment. Drenge showed in 2013 that there is definitely room for intelligent guitar music, and the amount of great new bands I’ve heard while putting together New Music Roundups tells me there are definitely bands out there that deserved to make the BBC Sound Of 2014 poll.
What do you think? Are bands as a part of the mainstream a dying breed? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Join the discussion in the comments below…