Until NME Radio closed, I used to get any where between 5-15 envelopes every day, each with a CD enclosed, or pluggers with a bunch of CDs to pick your way through. When I first started fresh out of University, I wasn’t sure what was the right way to choose what to play. Then I soon realised there wasn’t. On a station like NME it was about going with your gut. Of course, if an artist like Muse came in with a new single it was 95% guaranteed to be on the A list within a few weeks, but with lesser artists such as The 1975 and Bastille when they were first being put forward to us, it was a mix of personal taste and hype that drew them to my attention and eventually lots of air play.
For guitar bands to get mainstream air play today is quite tricky. I have sat in on many playlist meetings, from being on work experience at national stations to regional and local commercial radio stations. Sadly, there are few rock/guitar based radio stations left in the UK, NME Radio has closed down for now, Kerrang! has scaled down its service, Q Radio closed last year. This, as far as I am aware, mainly leaves XFM, 6 Music and Team Rock, Absolute Radio and Planet Rock. It is incredibly difficult for indie bands to get air play. Things like BBC Introducing offer a great platform.
So on my blog I thought I would share some bands that have caught my ear, and are now getting more mainstream air play, and also some you may not have heard of.
Half Moon Run are a band I first heard and played probably just over 18 months ago. They are from Canada, and when I first heard ‘Full Circle’ it personally pressed my buttons. I then discovered their debut album, Dark Eyes, was already out. Recently the band have been receiving lots of air play from Radio One, their tour with Mumford and Sons no doubt helped this. Indeed, they have been compared to the band- I can’t really hear that as I would not see them as a folkish band, more indie pop rock. They also put in a great performance at Glastonbury 2013 too. Hear and watch ‘Full Circle’ here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azV0Y7v6wsg
The other artist who I hope will have a huge future is a young man called George Ezra. BBC Introducing in the West started playing this guy last year. I have been lucky enough to be involved with BBC Introducing and they cannot speak highly enough of him. He played the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2013, and finished in 5th place in their Sound of 2014. He is working on his debut album. Here is his brilliant song ‘Budapest’ to tide you over til then: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiEMLOk9BwU As you can see his face of 18 years old defies his beautiful, gravelly haunting voice. What a talent.