It’s that time of year when everyone enjoys a good end of the year list, what with it being the end of the year, to reflect back on its highlights or see what about the year passed them by. Now, we’ve done a fair bit of reflecting with you here at CULTURED VULTURES, this reflective season.
Firstly there was our mighty TOP 25 ALBUMS OF 2014, or the divisive 10 TELEVISION SHOWS THAT MISSED THE MARK IN 2014, or the on the button TOP 10 TRENDING TOPICS OF 2014, or our 10 BEST FILM SCORES OF 2014, or the 10 MOST MEMORABLE FOOTBALL MOMENTS OF 2014, and then of course there was 10 MOST MEMORABLE TELEVISION SHOWS OF 2014.
So, as you can see; 2014, what a fucking year. I mean, just look at all that gold you’ve been gifted this year? It could be so easy to see out 2014 just reminiscing about just what a year it was, but you know what? Fuck, 2014. Fuck it right in the ear. It’s done, it’s over, it’s dusted, move on, get over it. 2015, that’s where it’s going to be at, and I have exactly 40 reasons why.
You may remember we covered the BBC SOUND OF 2015 a little while back. Well, we couldn’t let the BBC have all the fun, so your favourite new music feature PULSE has gathered himself to give you two big bumper volume editions of NEW MUSIC YOU NEED IN 2015! So read and listen on to what’s going to be soundtracking your 2015 if you’ve got your finger on the PULSE.
Mission Control for Astronauts is Dan Carney (I’m aware that was terrible and should be taken out back and shot), formerly of the critically-acclaimed Dark Captain. However, 2012 saw Dark Captain come to an unfortunate end. This wasn’t to stop Carney though, who in 2013 gathered himself together – with a little help from his friends – and started getting things in motion for Astronauts.
2014 saw the release of Astronauts debut album, Hollow Ponds, with possibly my favourite album cover of the year. I’m not sure why. Cover aside though, it’s the music behind it that counts and what Astronauts deliver is a blend of folk that’s floating somewhere out in space among the quiet storm of Brand New’s broodier moments and Elliott Smith’s broken emotion.
A steady slew of singles has seen IYES steadily but surely rising to the surface, and 2015 is going to be the year they get afloat and ride the waves with their minimalist music. Though the music is as minimal as IYES members, being just a two piece, the sound this duo are able to make out of not a lot is expansive and reverberates with atmosphere and emotion beyond the instrumentation and production.
The two piece are Josh Christopher and Melis Soyaslanová, with Christopher taking the might of music, Soyaslanová the magic of melodies, and both sharing vocal duties, to create a sound that is nocturnal and melancholic but capable of such uplifting euphoria – like the repeated rise and fall of a romance over the course of just one night.
You’ve got to hate Lupa J – if you’re as bitter as I am about talented and successful youth. You see, at just 16 Lupa J has made the move from classically trained violinist to songwriter and producer of her own indie meets electronica meets dream pop. Sure, I hear you say, anyone can decide to do that (maybe not the classically trained violinist part), doesn’t mean they’re good. I mean didn’t you think because you had Reason and were doing a Music Technology BTEC that you were going to be this amazing new entity in music, but you know, you weren’t even remotely, and then you joined a band and the less said about the better?
First of all, fuck you, and how did you know about that? Secondly, shut up, Lupa J has done that and as evidenced through her self-released EP, The Seed, at the end of 2014, she is more than bloody good at it. Musically there’s hints of softened industrialised electronica, ambient indie, folktronica, tastes of her classical training, just so much evocative atmosphere, and something genuinely refreshing. However, Lupa J’s voice is not to be skipped over sounding mature, wise, and smoky beyond her years.
Stockholm-based trio Kate Boy have been building momentum consistently since 2012 with relentless releasing of singles and EPs added to even more relentless touring, building themselves quite the fan base. It’s for that reason that this three piece are going crash into 2015 like a wrecking ball and take the rubble for themselves.
The band work in the arena of electronica, and alternative pop, and I say arena because the sound the create is huge and ripe for erupting any arena into synthesized euphoria. I mean, what with The Knife calling it a day, there’s a hole in the wider world of music with Kate Boy’s name on it.
The People The Poet
After a false start, some line up changes, a name change, some turbulent delays, and sheer strong willed determination, 2013 saw The People The Poet release their debut album The Narrator, an album composed by not just the band, but by the bands already devoted and tight knit fans; the band having asked their fans to send them the stories of their lives, for the band to then take these as the lyrical inspiration for the album.
2014 saw the band touring without pause it seemed, receive a nomination for the Welsh Music Prize, and even release a Christmas single. 2014 has clearly been a great year for the band, who deliver an anthemic and emotive blurred line of folk and rock, but it was clearly a year of building foundation, and making steps in the right direction to make 2015 their own.