Getintothis’ Peter Guy provides an introduction to the GIT Award 2014’s 12 shortlisted artists.
Now in its third consecutive year, The GIT Award, champions the best of Merseyside music providing a snapshot of the year in music, recognising significant artistic achievement across a range of musical styles.
This year’s shortlist was selected by national industry figureheads consisting of The Quietus editor John Doran, Music Week editor Tim Ingham, former Creation Records‘ boss Alan McGee, BBC Radio 6 Music‘s Camilla Pia, author and journalist Simon Price, Popjustice editor Peter Robinson, Guardian journalist Jude Rogers, XFM deputy programme manager and Head of Music Mike Walsh and NME radar editor Matt Wilkinson.
The judging panel was completed by respected Merseyside music players including Liverpool Music Week director Mike Deane, Sound City and Club EVOL promoter Steve Miller, Liverpool International Music Festival curator Yaw Owusu, Bido Lito! editor Craig Pennington – and GIT Award founder and Liverpool Echo journalist, Peter Guy.
From around 500 entries, the judges have now reached their 12-strong shortlist. Over the course of the next two weeks Getintothis will be featuring exclusive interviews with those on the shortlist, but by way of an introduction, here are the GIT Award 2014 nominees.
All We Are is Norwegian bassist Guro Gikling, Irish drummer Richard O’Flynn and Brazilian guitarist Luis Santos who formed in 2011 while studying in Liverpool at LIPA. The trio’s rhythmic grooves and irresistible pop melodies were showcased in debut single Utmost Good which drew praise in NME and the Guardian, marking them out as serious ones to watch. Their efforts were rewarded in 2013 when they signed to Domino Records‘ imprint Double Six earning UK tour slots with Warpaint and Everything Everything. They are currently working on their debut solo album.
All We Are
Getintothis on All We Are.
In a little over six months, Kieran Shudall, Sian Plummer, Sam Rourke and Joe Falconer, aka Circa Waves have become a UK music sensation. From the bedroom demos of singer/guitarist Shudall to being championed by Radio 1‘s Zane Lowe as the hottest band in the world, life’s been a whirlwind for this Liverpool quartet. One online track secured a deal with Transgressive Records (Foals, Two Door Cinema Club) before European tour dates, national press and a prize slot on the NME Awards Tour supporting Interpol followed. Their second single Stuck In My Teeth was released in February.
Getintothis on Circa Waves.
Circa Waves named in Getintothis‘ top 40 tracks of 2013.
From budding Merseyside songwriter to emerging global pop star, Dan Croll‘s meteoric rise has been unstoppable during the last 12 months. Endorsed by Paul McCartney, Dan has headlined tours on both sides of the Atlantic, racked up 4million online plays of his singles, featured on Radio 1, 6 Music and garnered blanket international press while having his music soundtrack Grand Theft Auto and FIFA 2014. Dan, who shortlisted for the GIT Award 2012, releases his debut album Sweet Disarray through Universal Music on March 10.
Getintothis on Dan Croll.
Ellesmere Port producer Joshua Leary, aka Evian Christ, was discovered in 2011 through a series of dark electronic tracks he uploaded to YouTube which spread like wildfire over the internet in a single day. Signing to Brooklyn’s Tri Angle Records, his first mixtape, Kings And Them, led to Leary co-writing and producing a track on Kanye West‘s 2013 album Yeezus. A publishing deal with West’s G.O.O.D. Music followed with the 24-year-old’s Waterfall EP out on March 17 one of the most anticipated of the year.
Getintothis on Evian Christ.
Ex-Easter Island Head is a Liverpool collective driven by Aigburth multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Duvall. Using electric guitars struck with percussion mallets, they have performed as a small collective or large ensemble sharing stages with Rhys Chatham, Tim Hecker and more. New works have been commissioned by World Museum Liverpool, Switzerland’s Les Urbaines Festival, The British Cultural Olympiad and Tokyo Experimental Festival teaming up with the likes of KLF‘s Bill Drummond. Their 2013 and 2014 LPs Mallet Guitars One – Three and Large Electric Ensemble have received critical acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork, The Wire and The New York Times. Having been nominated for the GIT Award in 2012, this year they will tour with musicians from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ex-Easter Island Head
Getintothis on Ex-Easter Island Head.
Forest Swords is Wirral producer Matthew Barnes, and in little over two years has garnered unanimous acclaim from both sides of the Atlantic. His textured, gauzy music is as indebted to the region’s rich musical heritage as it is the windswept and beautiful coastal environment from which it was born. The result is something completely organic, sounding like a mix of Massive Attack‘s sample strewn claustrophobia, King Tubby‘s sweating dub, with hints of Ennio Morricone‘s legendary guitar soundscapes. His debut EP Dagger Paths was widely lauded before his first album, Engravings, released in summer 2013 via Tri Angle Records saw Barnes lavished in praise from the likes of Pitchfork and The Guardian while also cementing festival slots across Europe. Forest Swords was nominated for the GIT Award 2012.
Getintothis on Forest Swords
Getintothis interview with Forest Swords.
Mad Brains is the guise of 21-year-old emerging hip hop artist Cameron Toman. Schooled in the North West, Brains learnt his craft in Liverpool cutting his teeth on the live circuit before heading to Barcelona. Relocating to London, in 2012 he released his debut mixtape, ZADES, which fused the likes of MF Doom, Mr Scruff and Two Lone Swordsmen garnering international recognition. ZADES is a laid back, groove-busting whistle-stop tour of getting smashed on rum and chemicals before growing up and realising some of your ambitions. A new EP is due later in 2014 which promises to cement his reputation as Merseyside’s most exhilarating hip hop talent in years.
Getintothis on Mad Brains.
Philip Morris, Jake King and Washington DC’s Jordan Balaber are Liverpool-based trio Ninetails. Having formed in 2012, the band has evolved from a math-pop quartet to their fully realised sound blending expansive orchestration, field-recordings, idiosyncratic samples and concrète textures. The result is a deeply musical, constantly shifting sonic atmosphere. Having been nominated for the GIT Award 2012 picking up praise in NME, The Quietus and overseas online press, they will release their third EP, Quiet Confidence, in March via former Talk Talk manager Keith Aspden‘s label Pond Life.
Getintothis on Ninetails
Outfit are a Liverpool based art rock group who released their debut album Performance in 2013 to widespread critical acclaim. Their music takes the style and poise of new wave, the clatter of collaged electronica and articulates a very modern sense of ennui. Having toured the UK and Europe alongside the likes of Everything Everything, Dutch Uncles and Crystal Fighters they completed their first UK headline tour in January. Having been nominated for the GIT Award 2012, the band are now locked away in their south Liverpool studio to record their second LP harnessing new sounds and exploring ever expanding musical horizons.
Getintothis on Outfit
Bill Ryder-Jones is a songwriter from West Kirby signed to Domino Records. Drawing influences from contemporary cinema and the classic song-writing canon, Ryder-Jones’ 2012 debut album If, and 2013 follow up A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart drew unanimous international critical acclaim. A GIT Award nominee in 2012, Ryder-Jones was touring guitarist with the Arctic Monkeys during their AM Arena dates while he began his musical career began in 1996 as lead guitarist of Liverpool psychedelic rock band The Coral.
Getintothis on Bill Ryder-Jones.
James Albertina, Dominic Allen, Nicholas Otaegui, Lee Smith and Timo Tierney are The Tea Street Band. Marrying euphoric acid house, Balearic sun-kissed beats and shimmering guitar-flecked rock and roll, they’ve been a staple on the Merseyside live circuit for two years earning a GIT Award nomination in 2012. Recent single Lost For Words was BBC Introducing host Huw Stephens‘ Single of the Week while they’ve played sell out shows in New York, Sydney, Melbourne and Ireland. An extensive UK tour is next on the horizon ahead of their debut eponymous album in May.
Tea Street Band
Getintothis on The Tea Street Band.
Adam Bresnen (vocals/guitar), Thomas McCabe (drums), Chris Beesley (guitar), Donovan Collins (synth) and James Tidd (bass) are Wirral quintet VEYU. Like their name – a made up word which makes them a search engine instant hit – they’re a one-off proposition fusing a kaleidoscopic array of stylistics underpinned by glorious reverb-drenched hooks and soaring harmonies. In six short months they’ve set Merseyside alight with their sweeping musical panoramas melded to a post-punk vitality drawing national acclaim including the likes of Q Magazine. With a debut EP in the offing this is just the start for one of the region’s most exciting new collectives.
Getintothis on VEYU.
VEYU named in Getintothis‘ top 40 tracks of 2013.
Mike Deane is Founder and Director of Liverpool Music Week. Mike is also a European Agent at one of the world’s leading independent talent agencies Elastic Artists, working directly with record labels such as Tri Angle, Ninja Tune and Warp.
John Doran, editor of the influential internet music magazine the Quietus (www.TheQuietus.com) was born in Whiston Hospital, and had his musical education being humiliated by staff at Probe Records. He also writes for The Stool Pigeon, VICE, NME and Metal Hammer.
Peter Guy is a journalist at the Liverpool Post & Echo – and founder of The GIT Award. For seven years Peter’s blog, Getintothis, has charted the highs and lows of music on a national scale. Peter is a media partner with Liverpool Sound City, Liverpool Music Week and Liverpool International Music Festival.
Tim Ingham is editor of respected ‘industry bible’ Music Week. He has written for the likes of The Independent, The Observer, The Evening Standard, Metro and NME.com.
Alan McGee is a record label owner, manager and music blogger. McGee formed independent label Creation Records in 1983 signing the likes of Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and Oasis. In 2013 he formed new 359 label launching it in Liverpool’s District where he holds a monthly new music club night.
Steve Miller is Liverpool-based promoter behind EVOL. For nine years, Steve or ‘Revo’ as he is more popularly known, has showcased the cream of under the radar talent and blockbuster headliners. In 2008, Steve became the programmer for Liverpool Sound City festival.
Yaw Owusu is the Creative Director of youth culture organisation URBEATZ, Director at creative solutions company the playmaker group and NBTMLBL and Music Curator for Liverpool International Music Festival.
Craig G Pennington is the Editor of Bido Lito! Magazine – Liverpool’s monthly new music magazine. For the past four years, Bido Lito! has been championing the city’s burgeoning music scene. Craig is also one of the founding Directors of Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia.
Camilla Pia is part of the Music team at BBC Radio 6 Music; scheduling music for shows across the network and managing the Playlist. She has booked bands for children’s TV and London club nights, helped launch the BBC Introducing Playlist slot on Radio 1, and has written for NME, Q, Kerrang!, Mojo, and Dazed and Confused.
Simon Price is an award-winning music journalist with three decades’ experience, and also a DJ, club promoter and radio presenter. His CV includes nine years at Melody Maker, twelve as Rock & Pop Critic for the Independent On Sunday, and acclaimed rock biography ‘Everything (A Book About Manic Street Preachers)’.
Peter Robinson is the creator of pop music blog Popjustice. Robinson has written for the NME, Guardian and published three books, two for UK pop band Busted, the author for reality TV show Popstars: The Rivals.
Jude Rogers is a journalist who often writes about music. Having been Reviews Editor of The Word, On Music columnist for The Guardian, and a Mercury Music Prize judge, she now writes for The Guardian, the Observer, Q, The Quietus, Red and Marie Claire, and broadcasts regularly on the BBC.
Mike Walsh was born and raised in Liverpool and has over 20 years experience in music and media. From college radio to working at the Parlophone, with the likes of Coldplay and Blur, Mike has also programmed radio for Capital, Chrysalis and now Global Radio where he is part of Xfm’s management team.
Matt Wilkinson is NME’s New Music Editor. He looks after the Radar section both in the magazine and online at NME.COM bringing new and unsigned acts to the fore. He also helps co-ordinate various NME live events and tours.
Further reading on Getintothis:
GIT Award 2014 launches One To Watch prize.
GIT Award 2014 judging panel announced.
Review and pictures from GIT Award 2014 launch at Leaf.
GIT Award 2014 returns with Leaf launch ahead of Kazimier spectacular in April.
GIT Award 2013: Baltic Fleet: To be involved and win will always stay with me
The GIT Award 2013 report, reaction and review from Leaf Tea Shop, Liverpool.
GIT Award 2013 winner announced as Justice Collective win Inspiration Award
GIT Award 2013: picture gallery featuring Baltic Fleet, Nadine Carina, Conan, John Heckle, Tyler Mensah and more.
Artwork by Gary McGarvey.
* Tea Street Band photo credit: Mark McNulty.
* Ninetails & Outfit photo credits: Andrew Ellis.