BBC Sound of 2015 Long List – what do we think?

Hmmm not sure really, the BBC ‘Sound of’ list usually causes more controversy than anything else. Last year the big debate was how the list signified the lack of guitar bands being supported. The theory was that it is just generally cheaper for record labels to push acts that are solo artists or duos, rather than your old style ‘four-white-boys-with -guitars’. The one rock band that did make the list last year, Brighton rock duo Royal Blood, only fuelled this argument. This year, we are still awaiting the final short-list but here is what we have so far –

  • James Bay
  • George The Poet
  • Kwabs
  • Lapsley
  • Rae Morris
  • Novelist
  • Raury
  • Shamir
  • Shura
  • Slaves
  • Soak
  • Stormzy
  • Sunset Sons
  • Wolf Alice
  • Years & Years

Well, whatever controversy is created this year in the music press, the first thing to comes to mind for me is my doubt about the longevity of any of these from first viewing. The list also sees a low-key return for guitar-based bands, maybe as a result of the aforementioned controversy last year. I’m slightly surprised to see Wolf Alice on there, simply because they have been around for quite a while and I imagined their “melodic, riff-heavy songs” would have been considered in past years. I saw Slaves, from Kent, on Later with… Jools Holland a few weeks back and liked what I heard. Slaves combine rockabilly and tight, un-scruffy grunge, and are renowned for their intense live shows. Also recently on Jools Holland, though a completely different sound, was South London rapper Stormzy – the only unsigned artist on this year’s list. I’m not sure if I’m really feeling his style though his background in politics certainly makes him an interesting addition.

James Bay, George the Poet and Years & Years are currently up for the 2015 Brits Critics’ Choice Award; with James Bay looking like the strong favourite. Who else is worth mentioning, there’s Shamir who I mentioned a few weeks ago and Lapsley are pretty cool. Raury is getting a lot of love from places like Spindle Magazine and Rinse FM I’ve noticed, and Soak is a 16 year old singer-songwriter from Belfast with somewhat immature songs but an amazing voice in fairness.

So what is to possibly become of the winner of this year’s list when announced? Well, it’s generally a good indicator of things to come, particularly when you look at the winners from this decade so far. Only time will tell I guess, take a listen to them all and see what you think.

  • 2014 – Sam Smith (above)
  • 2013 – Haim
  • 2012 – Michael Kiwanuka
  • 2011 – Jessie J
  • 2010 – Ellie Goulding