[News] BBC Sound of 2014 Winner Announced

Each year, the BBC rounds up a list of who they think are going to be the big names in the year. They do this by asking a vast range of 170 UK tastemakers including DJs, critics and bloggers to choose just three acts they believe will leave a big mark on the year to come. Previous winners include Adele, Haim, Ellie Goulding, Little Boots and 50 Cent. This year I was kindly asked to take part, and the list put forward by myself and the other pundits was an eclectic mix of genres and artists across the board. The longlist can be seen over here, but today, the winner was announced as the 21-year-old singer, Sam Smith. He made his mark on 2013, when in May, he appeared on Naughty Boy's huge number 1 single "La La La" along with Disclosure on their track, "Latch". I've got to say I've been excited by him since I first heard his voice. It's damn unique and oh so soulful. 

He's set to release his debut album, In The Lonely Hour later in the year but for now, props to him and let's see if his year is as big as expected. You can pick up his EP Nirvana on iTunes now.

The full top five:

1.      Sam Smith

2.      Ella Eyre

3.      BANKS

4.      Sampha

5.      George Ezra

In the coming weeks, myself and Kibbe will be picking our personal top picks of who to look out for in 2014 and why we're pretty damn excited for the year ahead in music. Watch this space.


[Watch] SKATERS - "Miss Teen Massachusetts" (Official Video)

New York's SKATERS offer up another taste of what's to come from their debut album MANHATTAN with "Miss Teen Massachusetts", showing that their love doesn't only lie in NYC. Declaring his love for a lady who just doesn't want to change her mind. Gotta feel for the guy. The track is raw, and to me, reminds me of another New York band, The Strokes with it's distorted vocals and distant drums. That's just me though. The video sees the band walking around a mental institute helping out some residents. Or at least it appears that way before it goes all Shutter Island on us. SPOILER ALERT! In case you missed it on the back end of last year, check out the bands lead single "Deadbolt" here.

SKATERS’s MANHATTAN is due out February 24th in the UK/25th in North America.


[Listen] Beck - "Love" (John Lennon Cover)

Gotta say, the internet, feeling pretty good that the first post of the new year is a Beck song! 

Even though this isn't from his upcoming album, Morning Phase, this is certainly help build the anticipation for me. The song is a John Lennon tune from the 1970 album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and will be on Starbucks' Sweetheart 2014 compilation, which you can grab on February 4th. Although the orginial is piano driven, the added depth and warmth from Beck's subtle guitar strums is really helping me fight of the bitter chill from the impending blizzard that's about to hit NYC. 

Although there isn't an official release date yet for Morning Phase, we know that his first album since 2008 is expected sometime to drop in February. 

So while you wait, here's something for you to "Love". Pun intended. You LOVE it. 

(via RollingStone)


[2013 Year In Review] Shey & Kibbe's Picks From 2013

It's always hard at this time of year to put together an end of year list. Last year we opted just to not do a list at all. This year we thought we'd do share our personal favourites and stand outs from 2013. None are in any particular order and by no means are we snubbing any who aren't listed. These selections simply represent the records we've constantly had on since their release. Albums that we've truly championed. We considered ranking a vat of albums that would include ones we didn't care about, but it doesn't feel very "us" to do that anymore. Each come with a little tid-bit about why we've put them in our top 5. We also have a few honourable mentions, because narrowing down the albums we've listened to most over the year was tough. So without further ado, make the jump and check out our picks for 2013. Or don't, I think between the rising popularity of Buzzfeed and the time of year you all may be suffering from list fatigue.

Click to read more ...


[Watch] Run The Jewels - "A Christmas Fucking Miracle" (Official Video)

As you make your way home for the holiday period to spend time with your precious friends and family, Killer Mike and El-P offer us up another early Christmas present and it's positively festive. Taken from the pairings incredible collaboration album, Run The Jewels, it's for "A Christmas Fucking Miracle" and sees them acting out all kinds of holiday fun. A Christmas Carol gets a reworking, some super cheesy, hilarious posed Christmas Cards, and the crap Santa you get at whatever shopping centre you have in your town all make an appearance. What more could you ask for two days before Christmas from these two? Celebrate early, pour up a whiskey and enjoy. 

Merry Christmas ya filthy animals.


[Listen] St. Vincent - "Birth In Reverse"

Praise the Lord. Count your lucky stars. Thank your next door neighbour. Do whatever you god damned like to show your appreciation for Annie Clark AKA St. Vincent who is back and has just announced a brand new album set for release in a matter of month on February 25th via Loma Vista after her previous releases have came out on the wonderful 4AD. Taking a route that seems ever more popular in recent times, the album is simply called, St. Vincent, and below you can stream the lead single, "Birth In Reverse" which to me sounds like the worst thing imaginable. Just, no. But the track is delectable and as sexy as ever. Funky guitar lines pair up with Annie's unique vocals to deliver a track that opens up with the lines: "Oh what an ordinary day, Take out the garbage, masturbate." I mean what more could you ask for in a new track? Check it out below and mark your calendars for what sounds like it could be a great album so early on in the year. 


[Listen] The Dead Weather - "Open Up (That's Enough)"

Over the weekend while in a crowded place I saw via Twitter that The Dead Weather had returned with a brand new single which triggered me to shout "FUCK YEAH!" which resulted in some rather odd stares. Like I give a crap when this band are involved. Third Man Records have already mentioned that the band are preparing to release a full-length in 2015, which sounds like a time far too far away for my liking, which is why my reaction in a crowded place was so extreme.

Jack White along with Alison Mosshart of the Kills, Dean Fertita of QOTSA, and the Raconteurs' Jack Lawrence have dropped a track called "Open Up (That's Enough)" which is every bit as gritty as you'd expect. Distinct guitar tones rattle their way through the mix while Alison chugs on with an ever catchy and punchy chorus. Prior to the aforementioned 2015 album, the band will be releasing a series of singles, this being the first along with the B-Side, "Rough Detective". Check out the A-Side below and if you want to get your hands on a copy then you can do so over at Third Man's magical Vault. A digital version will be released on January 14th which should be marked in everyone's calendar, 'cause it's my birthday. So yeah, more music from these guys would be a very welcome present.


[Download] Dead Sons - "The Rain"

A band I've fully backed ever since discovering them this time last year are Dead Sons. I was delighted at the back end of last week to see that, although they said they were finished with 2013 with the release of their single "Gasoline", they've returned with a new track titled "The Rain". A little different to what we've come to expect from the lads but that's not a bad thing. The track is a softer, more gentle ride from start to finish that delivers a taste of what may be to come from them in 2014 when they release more new material. Not only can you listen to it below but you can download it for free too. Balls to that fat bearded fella who's meant to be heading down our chimney's next week, Dead Sons have you covered right now! 

If you've not already, I can't recommend their debut album The Hollers & The Hymns enough so go buy that too and look out for these gents melting some faces in the new year. I for one, can't wait. 

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