Getintothis Jukebox is a monthly new music column by Getintothis’ Jake Marley, in this special end of year edition he reflects on 2016 and finds emerging music as a reason to remain positive after a turbulent year.
Hello and welcome to the special end of year edition of the
world dubiously semi-famous Getintothis Jukebox. I’ve reached a year planning, penning and playlisting this column and despite the late nights, it’s been rather enjoyable.
This year has been up there with the worst we’ve had post-war, I’m reliably informed after a bit of research (asking people alive in the years in between.) We’ve got Trump in power in the states, the Tories over here and a huge cultural gap to deal with after losing many icons this year.
On a positive note new music is in a great place, as loyal followers of this column would’ve hopefully seen and heard this year. If not I implore you to go back and listen here. Looking all around the industry there’s reasons to be extremely positive for next year and the foreseeable future. All around, Independent visions are shaping the industries future and working in unison for a greater good.
The guys at Flying Vinyl are busy changing the face of new music, one record at a time. Offering emerging bands and artists the opportunity to release their early singles onto Vinyl, an opportunity that would otherwise not be possible without the support of a label or a hefty budget. In addition, the tunes reach music fans far and wide every month, spreading the love.
Elsewhere there’s This Feeling, a collective I first came across at Y Not Festival earlier this year. They’ve been busy all year putting on new bands at clubnights all around the country, including offering dozens of bands the opportunity to play major UK music festivals by putting on stages, again an opportunity that will otherwise pass most by. It’s a win, win too. Bands like Trampolene and Black Honey played their stage at Y Not Festival this summer and totally blew me and hundreds more away.
Closer to home, EVOL have been flying the flag for local artists, always endeavouring to have emerging artists on every bill, even with huge touring bands. Credit were it’s due.
Finally there’s When In Manchester, the creation of four creative young women fed up of festival lineups bypassing new music, taking no risks and also featuring a worrying shortage of women too. Rather than sit and moan about it however they created their very own music festival, the next edition of which takes place this Saturday, December 17 at The Ruby Lounge, Manchester. Backing new music and independent venues in one shot, allowing emerging artists to shine.
One of such shining lights to emerge this year, Norfolk duo Let’s Eat Grandma. Innovative, hugely captivating and unique live performers with a refreshing eye for detail and the live experience of those at their shows. They blew us away here in Liverpool at Liverpool Music Week last month and their album is among my favourites this year. They’re truly wonderful.
We also got a true, organic from the bottom to the top story this year in those young Stockport lads Blossoms, as their debut album topped the UK Charts. Whether you like them or not, their rise has been a real shot in the arm for new UK music.
Another real high has to be Skepta’s Mercury Prize win. What a moment, and one that’s dusted many cobwebs off the industry as a whole in my opinion. Maintaining an openbook towards the huge amount of talent grime has to offer is a must going forward and hopefully this can act as a catalyst.
Of course there’s still problems. We seem to have this illusion that recycling the same old bands at the top of festival bills is going to somehow make them immune to death, therefore allowing the cycle to continue. Foals headining Reading and Leeds last year offered a glimmer of hope but we’re back to the dreaded Muse next year so that’s that done with.
In addition, at the time of writing the BBC Music Awards have just droned to a close. I say droned cause does anyone not heavily under the influence of free drinks, or seriously in bed with the poisonous upper reaches of the industry really enjoy that thing? I mean it’s essentially just a disgusting industry love in offering an excuse to give Adele another award and wind the key up in Robbie Williams‘ back for another mum-friendly performance. Who exactly is this benefitting?
Then there’s that BBC Introducing Award, I mean come on. There’s so many people hugely prominant in the rise of all the artists on the frankly unimaginative at best shortlist for that award, yet BBC would have you believe it was all their handy work. Don’t get me wrong BBC Introducing certainly play a part in breaking these artists to the wider eye, especially at regional level. However there’s a distinct lack of risk taking at the top and this kind of award would only be placed on an artist heavily championed for about a year prior to winning it. For example this year’s winner Izzy Bizu. Again don’t get me wrong she’s very talented, but it’s about a year too late. Safe as houses.
Then there’s Coldplay winning an award that featured the late great David Bowie as a nominee, they’re even incapable of giving their shite awards to the right people. Enough said really.
All in all though, despite what certain corners of the music media will have you believe, 2016 has been a fascinating cove of discovery. Therefore what better way to leave you than with a playlist of 40 emerging artists I’ve loved in 2016, that you’ll be seeing a lot more of in 2017.
See you in the new year, jukeboxers.