Turning our attention towards Bristol and the West of England, our free downloadable BBC Introducing Mixtape is curated this week by BBC Introducing In The West featuring a selection of their favourite local artists: ARDYN, RHAIN, AMY YON, SAMUEL JACK, JILK, SHE MAKES WAR, MIKE DENNIS, YAMA WARASHI, BARNABY CARTER, REBECCA CLEMENTS, MEADOWLARK, FIREWOODISLAND, FENNE LILY, ROTHWELL and GEORGE WILDING.
The BBC Introducing Mixtape is a 60 minute radio show broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am every Sunday night/Monday morning. Each programme is downloadable in podcast form at the BBC 6 Music downloads page for the next 30 days. Full tracklists and track start times are published here at Fresh On The Net – together with info about the music provided by the artists.
This week’s mixtape is curated by Sam Bonham and Richard Pitt – hosts of BBC Introducing In The West – and creators of Bristol’s amazing Fringe supported by the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival last February. These are the listings for the episode broadcast in the early morning of Monday, 8th August at 2am.
ARDYN – Over The River [starts 00’16]
Ardyn‘s homepage provides links to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music and iTunes – and a signup link for their newsletter. Their Facebook provides email addresses for their general manager, press contact, two different booking agents for North America and The World and states “Our new EP The Valley is out now”. But the only actual information the band provide about themselves anywhere is to be found on their Soundcloud: “Brother-sister duo from the UK”. So now you know.
RHAIN – Josephine [starts 04’02]
Rhian Teasdale provided the most entertaining artist information we’ve seen all year: “It was a dark and stormy night when I tripped and fell down into the gutter where I was shrink-rayed by a passing Power Ranger. I was washed down a drain where I met Ali Chant and Drew Morgan and another guy who was made entirely of wood. We all turned on our wooden friend (he wasn’t very polite and would always put his elbows on the dinner table and was a shoddy hand for opening doors for you) and made his body into a cello for Drew to play. Ali had some microphones kicking around and I had this song called ‘Josephine’… and being washed down the drain, having not much else to do apart from waiting to get rescued we thought we might as well record a song. And that’s how Josephine came into being…” Rhain’s next shows are at Boomtown Fair, End of The Road & Cecil Sharp House with Lucy Rose on 8th September..
AMY YON – Winter [starts 08’21]
“Brought up as witness to the nightlife of her mother’s pubs and bars from Somerset to Spain and finally Bristol, Amy Yon‘s songs are riddled with anecdotes and wry humour based on the colourful characters she has met on her way. Her sound, reminiscent of a young Stevie Nicks, with the glottal growl of Janis Joplin, has landed her support slots with the likes of Rhodes, Soak, Rukhsana Merrise, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Port Isla in addition to support from BBC Introducing.”
SAMUEL JACK – Making It Rain [starts 12’06]
“BB King and Etta James provided the soundtrack for BB King and Etta James provided the soundtrack for Samuel Jack‘s formative years in London before relocating to England’s south west countryside. From within the walls of his caravan in the rolling hills of Somerset, Samuel has spent the last two years perfecting his songwriting craft. Now fully fuelled and ready to go, his first ever performance was at Glastonbury 2015, and with support from BBC Radio 2, his forthcoming EP is not to be missed.”
JILK – In Need Of Tess [starts 15’45]
“Jilk fuses a bewildering collage of home-found sounds with the ambient soundscapes of washy synths, insect-like clicks & cuts, and huge gorgeous waves of all encompassing experimental noise. A Bristol based producer who started out as one man and his lap top; 10 years later Jilk are now a collection of musicians whose live shows create a spectacle of electronic ethereality. With an ever increasing number of appearances at a variety of festivals and also supporting artists such as Minotaur Shock, Hk119, Coppe, Plaid and Hidden Orchestra; their live shows are really something to behold.”
SHE MAKES WAR – Paper Thin [starts 20’07]
She Makes War is the gloom-pop solo project of multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Laura Kidd. It’s been a busy 18 months for the Bristol based polymath, taking in two German tours, a universally acclaimed one-woman show at Edinburgh Fringe (‘a charming hour of biographical storytelling and music…perfectly executed acoustic gems’ – The List), support tours with Duke Special (UK & Ireland) and The Levellers (UK & Europe), a 22 date UK headline tour, dates with tUnE-yArDs, Gruff Rhys, New Model Army and Pretty Vicious, and the recording and release of the Disarm:15 EP (December 2015) and third album Direction Of Travel (April 2016).
MIKE DENNIS – Stuff [starts 24’45]
Stuff by Mike Dennis was a Tom Robinson Recommends track across BBC 6 Music earlier this year. Mike has just enjoyed a very exciting weekend when he’ll played four festivals in three days, finishing up at Truefest on Sunday on both his borthday – and that of the festival organiser! At the end of August, he’s playing for Chai Wallahs at Shambala and has just released a three-track remix EP of Stuff which is available on his bandcamp page. “Thanks for playing me again!” he adds…
YAMA WARASHI – Kekko [starts 28’44]
Yama Warashi is a band formed by Japanese-born Bristol-based artist Yoshino Shigihara – former keyboardist of Zun Zun Egui and currently synth player synth for Rozi Plain. Her music has, we’re told, “a dreamy evocative sound with a shadow of moon cake, inspired by Japanese folk dance music (Bon Odori), free jazz, and African music – with a slice of electric psychedelia. She sings in her mother tongue and English about Mycellium, nuclear power stations and the relationship between humans and phases of the moon.” Her band members are all from the Bristol music collective Bloom: Conrad Singh on guitar, Dan Truen on drums, Graeme Smith on sax and Lewis Fitzjohn on bass. “Yama Warashi” means a small child-like spirit which lives in the mountains. The band’s album will be released on Oct 15 by Stolen Body Records with an album launch the same day at The Cube cinema, Bristol. Other upcoming shows: Bath, Royal Oak Aug 13; Cornwall, Knee Deep Festival Aug 26; Kent, The Smugglers festival Sep 3-5.
BARNABY CARTER – They’ll Come With Joy [starts 32’24]
“Barnaby Carter is a 26 year old musician based in Bristol, who combines live instrumentation with an electronic aesthetic. His forthcoming debut album While It Still Blooms will drop on October 28th via Berlin based label Project Mooncircle and will be available on double 12″ vinyl. After meeting violinist Alex Garden and singer Ivan Moult at a BBC Introducing event at Halsway Manor subsequent writing sessions were arranged together allowing the two to contribute to the album. The result is a collage of live guitars, bass, violin and reshaped vocals shifting hazily accompanied by crisp found sound percussion and sub bass. Thanks for your interest in the track: Tom Robinson was the first to play my music on the radio – my song Perfect Circle in 2008/2009.”
REBECCA CLEMENTS – Spiral [starts 36’39]
“With longstanding support from BBC Introducing in the West and working with Iain Archer, the producer behind BBC Introducing’s own Gabrielle Aplin and Jake Bugg, Rebecca Clements is making a name for herself as one of the UK’s most exciting new songwriters. Hailing from Bristol, her music has raised comparisons with the likes of Adele and Daughter and gained props from The Line of Best Fit. Despite only being 19 years old, her first singles Wildlife and Coma Boy belie an honest vulnerability that speaks of a wise old soul. Get ready for some stunningly heartfelt melodies emanating from the Introducing stage.”
MEADOWLARK – Quicksand [starts 40’18]
Meadowlark are Kate McGill and Daniel Broadley in Bristol. Like Ardyn above, they provide no other information about themselves – literally nothing whatever – on their Tumblr, Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter, YouTube – or even on their BBC Introducing profile (above).
Sometimes bands tell me they prefer to keep a sense of mystique (like Jungle, Alt-J and Burial) and that their music speaks for itself. Good luck with that. See How To Write A Band Biog And Why It Matters.
FIREWOODISLAND – All In Line [starts 44’01]
The Bristol-based UK/Norwegian five-piece Firewoodisland describe their epic sounding pop folk music as “Mountain Pop”. Since a regional win in Norway’s Bandwagon Battle of the Bands in 2013, the band’s star has continued to rise. Their debut EP, ILD – released in 2014 – was recently followed up by their second, Dome. With great support from BBC Introducing leading them most recently to play the BBC Introducing Stage at Latitude Festival. Next up for the band is the release of a brand new single with UK & Norway dates in the Autumn.
FENNE LILY – Top To Toe [starts 46’59]
“Being discouraged from watching TV as a child was integral to the development of Fenne Lily’s musicality, as instead much of her time was spent writing songs and honing both instrumental and lyrical skill. Her folk-tinged music is woven with integrity and sincerity; grit and soft understatement in equal measures. At the age of 17 she began travelling to Bristol from her home in Dorset, and within a year found herself supporting the likes of Marika Hackman, KT Tunstall, C Duncan, Eaves and Palace, among many more. Following the release of her debut single Top to Toe (previously featured here in June), Fenne has toured the UK with rising star Marlon Williams and played a wealth of festivals, including Latitude, The Great Escape and T in the Park for BBC Introducing. Fenne’s next single is planned for release in September, and she will be performing a handful of European dates and embarking on her first headline tour over the autumn.”
ROTHWELL – Nobody’s Nothing [starts 40’30]
Rothwell is a songwriter from Bristol. Following her debut EP release last year, she followed it up with the Two EP which launched on July 1st, and is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify. It includes tracks co-written with Ed Tullett and Gordon Mills Jr (Ed Sheeran). Her press release tells us it’s “a collection of timeless, dynamic and well crafted classic pop songs, whose choruses leap out from the speakers. As well as the accomplished writing, she is in possession of a very impressive, versatile voice, which is perfectly complemented by the simple yet effective production and arrangements that really let the songs shine through.” Blimey.
GEORGE WILDING – One More Time For Me, Sweetheart [starts 44’41]
“George Wilding is an English singer songwriter. Born in 1996, he now lives in Avebury, Wiltshire. He taught himself to play the guitar after his younger brother started having lessons, and was writing his own songs by the age of twelve. Shying away from talent shows, he preferred instead to gain experience performing at local open mic slots where he has developed a loyal following. He describes his songs as “abstract stories”. One More Time For Me, Sweetheart is the lead track from his current EP Lunatic – produced by Stu Rowe at the Lighterthief Bunker in Swindon with a video dues for release on Sept 1. George is currently working on new material with Stu and Mikey Rowe from The High Flying Birds and Andy Partridge, as well as performing regularly in the South West of England and London.”
In the music industry, as in life, it’s best to treat unsolicited emails asking for money with extreme caution. You may hear from a PR company who have “worked with some of the most original and exciting artists in the UK” who “found you online and after having a listen would be interested in working with you”. Please be aware you haven’t been sent this because you are special – it’s a form email, regularly received by artists who appear on this blog – and it’s from a company who are trying to sell you their services.
There are literally hundreds of plugging and PR companies in the UK – many of whom have equally impressive lists of clients and who would be glad to have your business. You don’t neccessarily have to choose the first company that happens to get in touch with you. See our advice on Sending CDs to Radio and The Pros And Cons Of Pluggers – it’s possible you might not even need professional radio promotion at this point.
And if you do decide to pay for a PR company, don’t take their word for how good they are – get some personal recommendations from their clients. Before parting with your hard-earned cash why not email a few of the indie labels who regularly get their own artists on the radio – and ask which PR companies they use.
If we’ve featured you on the BBC Introducing Mixtape recently, please do us a favour and wait 12 weeks before sending us another track. That will give us space to help a few other deserving artists in the meantime. But I’d love to hear another great new tune from you in three months’ time.