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The Forgotten Sounds of…

The annual ‘Sound of…’ list has – as it always does – enraged social media commentators because we all like to feel as though we know more than anything established under a Royal Charter. This year, the list was compiled by 170 tastemakers (a selection of critics, editors, DJs and music industry bosses) who selected their three favourite emerging artists before a longlist of 15 acts were deduced. While it’s easy to see why the process is criticised as an attempt to pander to a self-fulfilling prophecy, there is always a knack for inciting cries of “who dafuq is Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong”. Joining the many facepalms from critics that weren’t asked to make a selection, there is – again, as it always does – the habitual expectancy for at least one of the choices to fall off the radar quicker than an X Factor winner post-Christmas number 1.

In light of the BBC’s regulations, we thought we should follow a similar process. Firstly, we will take a longlist from one (sometimes two) of the annual selections. Then, we will strip these down to a shortlist of the top 5 forgotten sounds, before picking a winner from this years longlist. Unfortunately, I don’t have a direct line to Nick Grimshaw to help me castrate his 3 votes for Little Mix, but I do have a sleight-of-hand when it comes to delving through not-so-burgeoning Wikipedia pages. Okay. Let’s go…

The Longlist

2003 – The Thrills
2004 – MC Tali
2005 – The Dead 60s
2006 – Sway
2007 – Mika
2008 – The Ting Tings/Joe Lean & the Jing Jang Jong
2009 – Dan Black
2010 – Devlin/Daisy Dares You
2011 – Jamie Woon
2012 – Dry The River/Friends
2013 – Little Green Cars

The Shortlist

5. The Dead 60s

Much like the Fred Perry and Harrington Jacket combination, these guys didn’t make it past 2008.

4. Sway

I have only ever seen Sway perform once. I think he was supporting one of those cyclical NME cover bands circa 2006 that all sound like The Vaccines. Despite struggling to remember who topped the bill, I do remember Sway being being heckled by a crowd of 16-year-olds wearing drainpipes, and empowered by a collective opportunity to bully a grime MC. One heckler shouted ‘Sway, I will give you a pound if you go away’ before poetically hurling the latest copy of NME on stage. It was definitely the best ‘bar’ I heard all night.

3. The Thrills

Perhaps a signature tale of the slippery slope for many hotly-tipped bands, The Thrills reflected the demise of many debut album prospects. Following the success of 2003′s So Much For The City (Charting at Number 3 in the UK), the band struggled to recreate any of that early success. The Thrills were dropped by EMI in 2008 after the poor performance of their Teenager album and have been on hiatus since 2008.

2. Joe Lean  and the Jing Jang Jong

This one was a toss up between the two most ridiculously named bands in 2008 – The Ting Tings and Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong. The latter made the cut purely on the premise that they failed to release their debut album weeks before it was set be released. The band decided to cancel the self-titled record even after promotional copies had been sent out and several reviews printed. Luckily for lead singer Joe Lean, he could always turn to acting under the moniker Joe Van Moyland and has appeared in ‘Peep Show’ and ‘Nathan Barley’.

1. Daisy Dares You

‘Years active: 2009-2010′ is a nice way to sum up the career of Daisy Dares You. It seems that since the failed release of her debut album in 2010, the singer has seemingly vanished from social limelight with no signs of what overnight ferry she ended up working at. By that, I mean that she no longer exists online: Her twitter profile hasn’t been active since May 2010, besides an advert saying ‘I’ve lost 8 lbs in 3 weeks!’ Her website has been closed down and her Facebook page has turned into a slightly morbid remembrance page with messages mourning her disappearance.

‘What happened to you daisy? I was sooooo in love with you’ – Obsessed fan, 2010.

And the pending Forgotten Sound of 2014….


SAM SMITH: Okay, I know Sam Smith is likely to do pretty well, but I’m making this call more out of hope than anything else. If there is one musical trend that needs to diminish in the year 2014, it’s the vocal slut. By that I’m talking about artists that lend their vocals to molly-popping bangers, and the kind of songs that get teenagers shuffling their way to an STI. Sam Smith, amongst many others, has made a featured assault on the UK top 40 by doing just that. So here’s to a 2014 without the rent-a-vocalist.

- James Embiricos

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