ETC 2016 longlist announced listen to all of the acts now!

March 4, 2016

We’re excited to announce the 120 acts on the longlist for our EMERGING TALENT COMPETITION 2016, which is supported by PRS for Music and the PRS for Music Foundation. These acts were picked by our judging panel, made up of 40 of the UK’s best online music writers. We’d like to say a huge thank you to the many thousands of acts who entered the free contest, and the judges for helping to whittle them down to these 120 acts.

Each of the bloggers has chosen their favourite three acts. They’re listed below, along with a SoundCloud playlist of all the acts (apart from the act who chose to enter a “private” track).

These acts will now be narrowed down to a shortlist of just 8 acts who will compete at April’s live finals for a slot on one of the main stages at this year’s Festival. The winners of the competition will also be awarded a £5,000 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development prize, to help take their songwriting and performing to the next level. Two runners-up will also each be awarded a £2,500 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development prize.

Amazing Radio 
1. Nova Twins
“Punk’s answer to Salt-N-Pepa! Excellent riffs, great attitude”
2. Idiom
“An apocalyptic and visceral piece of alternative metal with an absolutely killer chorus”
3. Shamanarchy
“Scuzzy indie rock with catchy hooks”

Best New Bands
1. Race The Flux
“I love the energy and passion that Race the Flux realises through its expansive sound… a band readymade for the big stage”
2. Wooden Arms
“It’s hard not to be seduced by the embracing beauty that Wooden Arms radiate on Burial”
3. Marcus McCoan
“A slice of classy pop that’s a hundred times better than the chart filler that dominates these days”

Black Plastic
1. Soufon Fang
“Tightly wound like so much dense anticipation… a thrilling introduction to a new band”
2. Hugo Saint John
“Cool restrained modern R&B that captures a lot of what makes the indie R&B scene so exciting”
3. Fortnight In Florida
“Smooth electronic soul with lovely gently shuffling beats and gorgeous muted guitars”

Breaking More Waves
“Measured piano based songwriting of the highest order. Breathtakingly beautiful, haunting and reflective”
2. 4th Project
“Elegant understated chilled pop with soulful vocals”
3. AK/DK
“Bonkers double drumming synth punk geekery”

Bristol Live Mag
“Jessica Winter has a voice so arresting, so ethereal and captivating… luckily the weird and warped 80’s synths, cascading guitar lines and dance drums she sings over are just as captivating”
“Shimmering guitars and fragile vocals underpinned by versatile synths… Chuck massive choruses on top of that, and you’ll understand why MKAI are onto a winner”
3. Mellor
“Combining an Arctic Monkeys snarl with the pop writing of early Kooks”

Brixton via Anywhere
1. Anil Sebastian
“Good to find an act out there including an experimental choir, lush orchestration and beatboxing in their performances. A class act”
2. Andrew King
“Andrew King nails the light and shade rock dynamic. These songs arrive ready to take over arenas”
3. Altar Flowers
“You’re going to variously find flashes of The Killers, Queen, The National and The Cure throughout their tracks. It’s anthemic indie done right”

1. Megan Dixon Hood
“A simple track, but nonetheless one that really stands out due to her own powerful vocal manoeuvring. We can see her going far”
2. Neil Noa
“This track has a deeply nocturnal quality – slightly Jamie Woon-esque, it’s got an early ‘00s R&B bump to it and a distorted, soulful vocal that takes on a percussive quality”
3. Oscar Lawrence
“A heady fusion of jazz rhythms, hip-hop bite and soulful melodies makes Oscar’s track both inexplicably energetic and laid-back”

Crack Magazine
1. Nina Harries
“A clear winner for us – her inventive use of the double-bass and the distinctive clarity of her vocals coupled with the song’s slick production values mark her out as an impressive soloist”
2. Supreme Leaders
“Like a meeting between Flying Lotus and Bonobo, their music touches Afrobeat, house, dub and trip hop”
3. Sarah de Warren
“Haunting vocals perfectly complement the warm rolling productions which transport you to a desolate yet beautiful place”

Devil has the Best Tuna
1. Apollo Junction
“A catchy, punch the air indie anthem tailor made for the festival circuit”
2. Autobahn
“Claustrophobic, powerful, portentous post punk. Melancholy has rarely sounded so transcendant”
3. Be Like Pablo
“The upbeat, joyous and sparkling Do You Wanna Go Surfing is a blast of high energy surf pop that’s perkier than a toddler on a caffeine high”

Dots and Dashes
1. Blooms
“Hallelujah! Sensual, luscious brilliance; sublime”
2. Ben Hayes
“Bristles with crepuscular languor and, at times, contused anguish, luxuriating in Brainfeeder-fed downtempo proficiencies all the while”
“Sweeping, unprecedentedly majestic acoustic mastery; startling stuff!”

Drowned In Sound
1. Bumi Thomas
“Very classy vocals and arrangements both on the studio and live recordings. Bumi has huge potential”
2. Candy Darling
“Elegant noise pop with an electronic twist that’s vocally reminiscent of Siouxsie Sioux or Lauren Mayberry from Chvrches”
3. Bossy Love
“Bossy oozes both sass and class”

Dummy Magazine
1. Shan Smile
“Super captivating”
2. Steve Edwards
“Could listen to his voice all day”
“The lead singer has a really interesting voice and this one kept me listening”

Fact Magazine (Chal Ravens)
1. Free School
“Machine-made cosmic disco done with a sense of humour and animal masks”
2. LTO
“Earthy, elastic dance informed by bass, dubstep and avant electronics”
3. Shrug Life
“Poised thinker’s pop with sharp humour”

Fact Magazine (Al Horner)
1. Franklyn Music
“Just an exquisite pop song. The voice is fragile and haunting and it has the delicate production to match”
2. Lady Sanity
“Effortlessly breezy, with shades of Nas to the beat and Little Simz to Sanity’s flow”
3. ProFound
“Suave. Able to switch up from Frank Ocean R&B to dark, cloudy rap in a sec”

Gold Flake Paint
1. Henry Green
“Just an exquisite pop song. The voice is fragile and haunting and it has the delicate production to match. Lingers long in the memory.”
2. Randolph’s Leap
“A really lovely folk/pop song. The vocal is strong and endearing, backed by nice harmonies, and the instrumentation is rich and detailed”
3. Kayla Painter
“The song itself is fascinating, a splicing together of all different genres and textures, and led by Kayla’s stunning voice”

i-D Magazine
1. Meraqi
“Loving their sound. Could file alongside the likes of Submotion Orchestra”
2. Tobi Sunmola
“Really, really into his raw and gritty voice”
3. Impey
“Solid talent making some incredible instrumental grime”

It’s All Indie
1. Hurdles
“I love this dreamy indie-pop track”
2. Franklin
“It builds and builds giving you a right roller-coaster of a ride!”
3. Hugh Reilly-Smith
“The best singer-songwriter I’ve heard in this competition, reminds me of a young Jamie T”

Josh Hall
1. Perfectiming
“Definitely the best of my batch – really puts me in mind of the excellent Eglo catalogue”
2. Nimzo-Indian
“Entertainingly odd but also nicely, tightly wound”
3. Tukaii
“Wouldn’t feel out of place on Anticon. Exciting!”

Just Music That I Like
1. Peaness
“Pure, clear-cut fun, delivered at a frantic pace and laden with a healthy dose of bittersweet angst, catchy hooks and effortless harmonies”
2. Penelope Isles
“Meandering, lo-fi psyche-pop filled with swirling, abstract melodies that create surreal, hazy daydreams”
3. Keto
“Haunting slow burners that reveal themselves to be clear, vivid and disarmingly intimate”

Laura Snoad
1. Noeva
“I love the energy of this track. It’s weird, compelling and unlike anything else in the running”
2. Yo Dynamo
“I am always really intrigued by bands that choose to use voice work as an instrument. This track has lots of dynamism”
3. Skutch Manos
“For a track to have such pace with no vocal and few musicians is a real feat”

Mark Higgins
1. Caroline
“Summer pours out of this song, from the tight production to Caroline’s soaring voice”
2. Cecilia G
“Big sixties influence on this song… Almost impossible not to have a dance”
3. Chiara Carli
“Synths shimmer underneath an almost choir-like voice that leaves nothing on the shelf”

Michael Cragg
1. Violet Skies
“Atmospheric, spacious and, most importantly, naggingly catchy”
2. Promise Keeper
“Brilliantly odd.It sort of reminds me of 90s dance-pop acts like PM Dawn and the Beloved, but with a more sort of artfully detached vocal which made it intriguing”
3. Sabiyha
“Just has the most beautiful voice that immediately grabs your attention. It feels instantly recognisable too, which is rare for someone so new”

Moleskin 90
1. South London Samba
“So much energy!”
2. Sam Tompkins
“Great voice, good vision”
3. Rope Store
“Jangly in a good way”

Music Liberation
1. Come On Live Long
“Subtle but meaningful, a clever arrangement of gorgeous vocals, and lush guitars”
2. Claws
“Energetic, surfer punk, fantastically sharp vocals with punchy riffs and fills”
3. Coquin Migale
“Volatile Newcastle quartet breathing new life into post-rock, resonant and noisey”

Music Like Dirt
1. Eliza Shaded
“An ever evolving insistent track that draws you in and Shaddad’s confidence is in evidence here”
2. Emma Hughes
“Amidst a sea of guitar strumming singer songwriters it’s hard to stand out but Emma Hughes lovely soulful voice and songwriting skills do the job.”
3. Early Ghost
“An endearing air of melancholy, along with a tune that stuck in my head”

Neon Filler
1. Luna Tides
“Thomas Seddon, aka Luna Tides, is one of the brightest artists to come out of Wales in recent years”
2. Smooth Ends
“Firmly rooted to mid 1980s indie pop to bring some much needed shine and sense of fun to British guitar music”
3. Sink Or Soar
“Epic take on guitar pop… in frontman, Wit, they have a vocalist to bring a sense of drama to their songs that have a strong cinematic feel”

1. Josh Wheatley
“Commanding songwriting and brilliant production”
2. Lanre
“Unique bright music gospel-leaning with an African feel”
3. Nick Parker and the False Alarms
“Goodtime folk with a galloping finish”

Real Horrorshow Tunes
1. Wennink
“Beautifully captures the soul of Bends-era Radiohead, and more contemporary electronic producers”
2. YGG
“Strong grime throwback vibe with this London three-piece. A real party banger”
3. Tusks
“This minimal producer’s pop-leaning material is really captivating and leaves you craving more”

Resonance FM
1. Crushed Beaks
“Shimmering guitar pop music with a ramshackle charm”
2. Daudi Matsiko
“Beautifully crafted folk music from Nottingham-based singer-songwriter”
3. D R O H N E
“Slow-burning, atmospheric trip-hop with a cutting vocal – and stunning visuals to match”

“Gillbanks clearly has buckets of potential”
2. God Damn
“Bustles with aggression… Definitely a strong contender”
3. Fizzy Blood
“They’ve got a swagger and confidence”

1. Donkey Zoo
“Nice vibes, floaty sounds, mesmeric”
2. Doris Brendel
“Raising hell for the old school”
“Absolutely great. Thought provoking. Pushing boundaries”

Sim Rollison
1. Tamu Massif
“Takes you on a meandering journey on a hazy afternoon as it explores the vagaries and disagreements within a relationship… enigmatic singer Dave Dixon’s melancholic delivery is the real highlight”
“Upbeat and infectious… undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of him”
3. flies+flies
“Dark, oppressive but strangely engaging”

The Fader
1. William Arcane
“It’s super catchy, upbeat yet mournful, electronic soul.”
2. Sisika
“Amazingly delicate, hair-stand-up-on-your-neck harmonies. Ominous and beautiful. A distinct voice”
3. Stanhopea
“Extremely eerie; horror movie vibes, with Kate Bush-esque vocal”

The House of Coxhead
1. Keeva
“An incredible voice and a sound way beyond her years”
2. Matt Millard
“Beautifully layered music and an extremely warm voice”
3. Grizzly and the Grasshoppers
“Quirky, foot-tapping blues goodness”

The Line of Best Fit (Lauren Down)
1. Moro
“There’s a rich simplicity to this London based brother/sister duo. Tom’s loose, hazy beats and meditative piano keys twist their way around Rose’s warm, jazz-flecked vocals – wrapping you up in a cosy cocoon”
2. Keroscene
“Taking in everything from grunge and noise-rock to pysche and anthemic pop, the London four-piece have produced a sound that is probably best described as Technicolor shoegaze”
3. Nadia
“It’s soulful. It’s political. It’s a complete earworm. And, above everything, it’s got real heart”

The Line of Best Fit (Paul Bridgwater)
1. Kelandra
“There’s lovely soundscapes in Keiandra’s music; the way her vocals and the crashing melodies around it mesh together”
2. Jarbird
“There’s some obvious musical reference points but I felt like the way they were all put together was really original and a brilliant starting point for a really interesting artist”
3. Real Life Charm
“Art school indie pop done really, really well with professionalism and conviction”

The Quietus (Laurie Tuffrey)
“Brilliant – driving and strident, it’s pared down to the bare essentials: an urgent vocal melody, a propulsive rhythm, grinding guitars, a two-chord solo”
Lucy Leave
“Loping rock that performs a Pavement-esque switch between ringing, laconic chords and terse stabs undercutting a vocal that lingers and takes its time”
Mad Alice
“Moves from a sparseness that recalls early Cat Power to a pleasingly riff-tastic wig-out”

The Quietus (Rory Gibb)
1. Sophie McGrath
“Intimate and atmospheric pieces in the tradition of writers like Cat Power or Soap&Skin, built piece-by-piece with a loop pedal”
2. Mamatung
“A trio from Liverpool whose spooked psych-folk draws from a similar wellspring as people like CocoRosie and the early 2000s ‘new weird America’ artists”
3. She Drew The Gun
“Welcome flickers of psychedelia in this band (also from Liverpool) but not in a particularly obvious or cliched way”

When The Gramophone Rings
1. Moses
“Vocally fantastic, very 70’s glam rock in its sound. Fantasic instrumentation”
“This is a banger! LOVE this! Great voice, really nice melody lines and wonderfully produced”
3. Rachel Clark
“A fanstastically dreamy, woozy folk-pop song that builds and builds. Absolutely gorgeous”

When You Awake
1. Hattie Whitehead
“Gorgeous melodies, lush arrangements and a stunning live performer”
2. Nella
“Beautiful voice”
3. Native People
“Straight up catchy indie dance pop”

Back to top