ETC 2022 Longlist announced listen to the acts now!

March 18, 2022

We’re very pleased to announce the 90 acts on the longlist for our EMERGING TALENT COMPETITION 2022, which is supported by PRS for Music and the PRS for Music Foundation. These acts were picked by our judging panel, made up of 30 of the UK’s best online music writers.

We’d like to say a huge thanks to the many thousands of acts who entered the free contest, and the judges for helping to narrow them down to just 90 acts.


Each of the writers has chosen their favourite three acts. They’re listed below, and check out the SoundCloud playlist of all the acts above (apart from the acts who chose to enter a “private” track).

These acts will now be whittled 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.

Absolute Radio
1. Tom A Smith
Could I Live With Being Fake?
“Authentic, distinctive and memorable. Some great soaring guitars that you can imagine blasting out at a festival while the sun goes down. Really strong chorus that belies Tom’s age.”
2. Wings of Desire
Choose A Life
“A great catchy and clever chorus that sticks with you for the rest of the day. I enjoy the ethereal uplifting production on the track which is at odds with the lyrical content.”
3. Crae Wolf
Countdown Freestyle
“I was blown away by Crae’s lyrical flow. And she seemingly switched her rap from English to French to Spanish. An artist with a huge future.”

Amazing Radio
1. The Jones Project
Burning Up
“Soul melody, sun drenched wave energy and sultry vocals are what’s on offer. Where Jungle and a stripped back Tame Impala would meet, that’s where you’d find The Jones Project.”
2. deep tan
beginners’ krav maga
“Jangly, off-kilter indie rock vibes done perfectly. The frenetic pace, percussion patterns and guitar licks leave you unable to keep still while listening. There’s a polished DIY feel here… Great band ripping from older styles, bringing the sounds kicking and screaming into the present day.”
3. wax works
break up song
“Wax Works makes pop, but it’s an indie, synth and soul styling which makes it stand out from the crowd. Great songwriting and musicality. The lyrical content is snappy… A future star I’d say.”

At the Barrier
1. Mandrake Handshake
Hypersonic Super-Asterid
“Here’s a song that can’t fail to induce some sort of groovy dancing with its contemporary psychedelic and electronic driven vibe. A fantastic trip that layers shimmering guitars and pulsing electronics.”
2. Megan Dixon Hood
Third Lung
“A classy piece of lush electro pop. An atmospheric opening passage before the song takes hold with a seductive stride and powerful message; the vocal soaring and swooping. A very polished, well arranged and accomplished piece of music.”
3. The August List
“This self-proclaimed ‘anxiety pop song’ is irresistibly hypnotic and increasingly urgent…hauling us into a swirl of sonic zaps and loops. A perfect piece of experimental guitar pop that pushes boundaries and shifts away from the tried and trusted tropes.”

Atomic Vox
1. Mawpit
Body Approval
“I was immediately blown away. After looking further into their discography, they’re clearly a band with their morals stamped firmly on their hearts, which makes for original and witty lyricism.”
2. Luz
the author
“Luz fiercely speaks to the soul. Her track ‘The Author’, instantly piqued my interest because of her heartfelt and raw vocals. She has boundless potential and is more than ready to be propelled into the limelight.”
3. MeMe Detroit
Mean Rock N Roller
“I’ve always admired strong artists like Joan Jett, and while it might seem like a heavily weighted comparison, she was immediately in my thoughts after listening to MeMe Detroit. The chemistry between this band is obvious.”

Bristol in Stereo
1. Smoothboi Ezra
“Introspective melancholy of the highest order. The sparseness and the simplicity draw you right in. Ending with the phrase, “Do you feel stuck?” it made me feel like we’re all in this crazy world together and much more liberated.”
2. Lees
Night Wars
“An unpredictable and catchy tune that plays with rhythms in a way that really intrigues. The heft and clarity of Lees’ vocal is a real strength to this track.”
3. Joel Harkin
“The songwriting has a subtlety here, with emotive and atmospheric lyrics that create a really engaging story. Joel Harkin’s voice has an unconventional beauty. We get the sense of a hugely endearing persona coming through this track.”

Cai Trefor Freelance
1. Hutch
Radiator Centre
“Flicks between being a 60s jangly thing and an epic, soaring Spiritualized piece with Crosby-stills and Nash-esque harmonies.”
2. Industry Standard
Abstract Doom
“They look like they’re creating a bit of a stir in the London scene.”
3. Honey Moon
Stop and Listen
“Honey Moon have a full live sound with keys, tambourine and trumpet adding depth and joy to their jangle pop core. Their single is neatly-crafted, with a strong lead vocal and melodies to spare.”

Charlie Ashcroft Freelance
1. Tuba Libres
“This is an undeniable anthem! A tropical brass extravaganza and so much fun from start to finish – it makes me feel like I’m attending a street party in downtown New Orleans or an undiscovered basement venue in Cuba.”
Eat The Moon
“SLANT have crafted a perfect collision of ramshackle punk and catchy hooks. It’s clear that they have a compelling stage show to accompany the great music.”
3. Zardee
“This track immediately encapsulates that hard-to-pigeonhole feeling of a being at a late-night, balmy, summer party. A laid-back fusion of R&B, rap and electronica, Zardee is capable of in terms of entertaining a crowd and keeping an audience engaged.”

Crack Magazine
1. Cousin Kula
Sparkling Fairy Queen
“Blissed out dreamy avant-garde guitar pop. The smooth and subtle craft of their songwriting and delicate vocals oozes and flows over you.”
2. Hannah Ashcroft
“The folk revival gathers pace and Hannah Ashcroft easily fits in with contemporaries such as Julia Jacklin, Big Thief, and Angel Olsen. This act feels ready to start having bigger traction and it’ll only be a matter of time.”
“Clearly a fun personality with a good live vocal and fun songwriting. It’s clear this artist is passionate about storytelling and creative collaboration. They have a lot of fun with their music in terms of ad-libs and vibrato.”

Devil has the Best Tuna
Fine Everything
“Angular indie that somehow pulls off the difficult combination of being both edgy and catchy. The regular snaps of staccato-shaped, lacerating guitar elevate this so far from the pack it needs an oxygen mask.”
2. Bandicoot
“Fizzes like an alka-seltzer and cola cocktail. A swaggering, cocky bundle of brilliance that combines the pop nous of the Beatles, the insouciance of Pete Doherty & the rock ‘n’ roll soul of Eddie Cochrane all wrapped up with some indie attitude into the complete package.”
3. Pandacar
Get Out
“Powerful, polemic, post-punk with a vital, powerful message. Starts like a caged tiger prowling and circling until at the halfway point it pounces and tears your head clean off. It’s dynamic, energetic and impressive.”

Dots and Dashes
1. Ryuta Muneto
“Ryuta Muneto’s acoustic conjuring makes for an instantly timeless, if totally idiosyncratic sound; the kind that – akin to the likes of Karen Dalton, William Onyeabor, et al. before him – may remain undiscovered for many a year to come.”
Strawberry Milkshake
“Harking back unabashedly to Lily Allen’s ‘Alright, Still’, albeit via some more refreshed influences such as Arlo Parks and Jorja Smith, SOFY’s voice sounds fresh and free of restraint.”
3. Van Houten
Now and Then
“Redolent of everything from Deerhunter at their lo-fi finest to Chris Cohen, Connan Mockasin and, on occasion, Boards Of Canada, Leeds’ Van Houten concoct a heady potion of intoxicating psych-pop.”

Fifty3 Musings on Music 
1. Evadney
Good Lord
“There’s something truly spacious and spiritual…it immediately draws your mind away from the harsh realities of life towards a tranquil place where love abides. He is blessed with a stunning voice and the imagination to liberate it within wonderfully genre-defying sound landscapes.”
“There is a real polish to the instrumental sound the duo creates while Sarah Munro’s intoxicating voice glides through its work with clarity and precision. ‘Heaven’ sits comfortably alongside peak Fleetwood Mac.”
Holding Stones
“TÁLTSIE has a voice like a magical, soothing balm. Her music should be available on prescription. It is truly immersive and her ability to express feelings as her fingers caress the keys is as impressive as her individual, nuanced vocal tone. Her songs blend classical precision with an underlying soulfulness.”

FMS Magazine 
1. Amahla
I Know What They’re Thinking
“Head-turning, perfectly-executed soul. A gorgeous listen that also stays with you, it’s a track ready to be a daytime radio hit without sounding like it’s straining to be one. Amahla isn’t afraid to speak uncomfortable truths to the liberal masses.”
2. Before Breakfast
“A great, commanding vocal talent surrounded by sublime piano and strings that layer on the artsy-atmospherics. Anybody missing Damien Rice will want to keep Before Breakfast particularly close to their hearts.”
3. Bryony Williams
I Can Be
“My reason for choosing this song is simple: by a clear margin it’s the entry that’s lodged itself most firmly in my head over the last few weeks. Bryony can clearly write a hit record: she delivers classic songwriting that’s joyful and has pop sensibilities but is also grounded and authentic.”

Gold Flake Paint 
1. Lewis McLaughlin
“The track feels beautifully unique. Shaped by gentle folk inflections, the smart layering and compelling instrumental flourishes leads to something far greater than the sum of its parts.”
2. Catching Cairo
“A gem of a tune from the London-based artist. The heavy production sets the mood from the outset but it is Catching Cairo’s voice that steals the show; a mesmerising mix of brightly-lit affirmations and something altogether darker and more exhilarating.”
3. Julia-Sophie
Dial Your Number
“This is a super interesting track. I love the juxtaposition between the delicate and tender voice and then the erratic nature of the music that goes off behind it. The whole thing comes together really well to create a dark and striking atmosphere.”

It’s All Indie
1. Sfven
“You have to wait a while for the track to get going – but when it comes it hits you! I love the vocals and the warm guitars.”
2. Rila’s Edge
Someone New
“There’s lots of swagger, both in vocals and instrumentation – got a proper groove going on.”
3. Prima Queen
Chew My Cheeks
“Sexy and smooth guitar tones and brilliant vocals with vibrant percussion.”

Laura Snoad Freelance
1. Kayowa
“Ridin’ is a raw, honest account of the frustrations of modern dating, delivered with down to earth realism. Lo-fi production gives Kayowa’s vocal the space to cascade and soar over the beats, really coming into its own on the spine-tingling live version.”
2. Noon Garden
“Noon Garden is a skilled multi-instrumentalist. This track layers up textural effects and catchy riffs to create a feeling of sun-drenched warmth, which the vocals can meander over. The percussive breakdowns and offbeat vocals ensure it feels fresh and new.”
3. Tom Dunne
“Head-turning from the first bar, this track showcases lush production, tight percussion and a band perfectly in sync. Moments of sparseness, where Dunne’s harmonies drift into the ether, allow the richer sections to swell with drama and energy. Emotion-packed and effortless, this is a band that clearly click.”

Mark Higgins Freelance
1. Essa Weira
“There’s something very simple at the heart of this artist’s work, but it all adds up to more than the sum of its parts. Soulful and laid-back but with real charm and heart in every note.”
“Glistening synths combined with a voice that cuts through perfectly make this an enormous banger. Real sense of euphoria to this one, musically turning grey skies blue.”
3. Barbara
These New Communications
“This is just some good old-fashioned songwriting. Piano, beautiful strings and a real sense that yes, everything is going to be okay. The promise of the sixties matched with the production of the 2020s.”

Music Liberation
1. tummyache
Knee Jerk
“Bold and confident, this shoegaze inspired track oozes along with a warmth and intensity that is easy to be transfixed by.”
2. Flo Blue
Just Listen
“An equally soothing and inspiring sound, lurching from jazz to pop, bursting with saxophone solos and enlightening vocals.”
3. Frances Mistry
live the life i’d never have
“With a sprawling guitar and honest lyrics, Frances Mistry has the courage to explore a sensitive topic with the upmost of care.”

Music like Dirt
1. Nuha Ruby Ra
“Part avant-punk, part performance art, it’s impossible not to be captivated by Nuha Ruby Ra. The simmering ‘Sparky’ draws you in with its baseline and drawled spoken word but it’s live where the musical frissons really hit you. Unique.”
2. Lucky Iris
Speak Soon
“Breezy electro pop and a chorus that burrows itself into your brain. Classy pop, topped with Maeve Florsheim’s sweet and jazz influenced vocals.”
3. F.R.U.I.T.Y
“Over an off-kilter lolloping beat, F.R.U.I.T.Y’s Northern Irish lilt is a delight. Wonderfully quirky, inventive and self-titled ‘queer af’.”

Neon Filler 
1. Natalie McCool
“Singer-songwriter Natalie McCool has conjured up a great pop song, which perfectly combines mainstream accessibility with alternative rock.”
2. Modupé
“‘Whenever’ is a great pop and garage track that immediately stood out.”
The Golden Age of the Narcissist
“Like an indie rock horror film score, THE iMAGINARY FRIENDS are providing the soundtrack to the craziness of our post-pandemic world. Dramatically perfect and perfectly dramatic.”

1. Ella Clayton
“I can’t put my finger on what it is about her voice I love, but those are the mysteries that make music magic; and this is magic.”
2. Tina Boonstra
“The wool is pulled over our eyes when Tina Boonstra sings us the first chorus of Martha. It’s as good an example of a song revealing itself as I have ever heard. I won’t ruin it, listen and let it make you feel the way it did me.”
3. Arliston
“This is the soundtrack to the brutal scene in the show you are watching behind your fingers. Cut from Matt Berninger of The National and Justin Vernons cloth, it takes a hell of a band to evoke the feelings those men do – and Arliston do.”

Resonance Extra FM 
1. Pocket Sun
Wake Up
“I’ve chosen this sprawling, hyper-melodic and airily psychedelic work primarily on the distinctiveness and strength of the vocals, which really drive the whole dreamy, lo-fi feel of the composition, coupled with the expertly crafted and perfectly balanced audio and visual production.”
2. Plastic Mermaids
Disposable Love
“A tight pop composition that shows off an impressive range in their sound and songwriting. The combination of a wistful energy, careful attention to detail and willingness to be musically adventurous indicates potential.”
3. Rachel Jane
More Than Friends
“Rachel Jane comes across as supremely confident in her own sound: “More Than Friends” is direct and mournful. Rachel’s vocals hold it all together unambiguously.”

Rhys Buchanan Freelance
1. Lizzie Reid
“Dealing with matters of the heart, ‘Warpaint’ expands Reid’s earnest acoustic pop into a vibrant mainstage sound.”
2. Maja Lena
No More Flowers
“Music that feels like a great adventure, Lena’s otherworldly vocal is the centrepiece of the journey.”
3. Test Card Girl
“A daring piece of songwriting blends a Kraftwerk synthline with beautiful contemporary folk elements.”

“An incredible performer. I definitely feel that he is worthy of a slot on one of the main stages. His voice and presence on stage are SERIOUS.”
2. Zola Courtney
Nothing To Lose
“Zola’s voice is sick and this tune is gorgeous. A definite talent. Warm and soulful and delicious with a blissful bassline.”
Plans To Be Loved
“Her incredible vocals are clearly showstopping and undeniably, and the musicianship between the band is tight.”

Sim Rollison Freelance
1. English Teacher
“Loved this. Genuinely talented, original and a whole lot of fun. I’d be shocked if English Teacher don’t go on to do great things, frankly.”
2. Temptress
Right Here
“‘Right Here’ is a great listen and you can tell Temptress will have a lot of potential if they keep putting together tracks of this calibre. Smooth 90s-inspired R&B that has enough of today in it to still sound fresh.”
“A hauntingly brilliant track. It sounds truly original and keeps you guessing throughout; from the bass-driven, spoken word beginning, through the choral refrain to the cacophonous ending. It immediately stood out on first listen.”
The Close Encounter Club

1. My Fat Pony
Break A Snare
“This seems like it would be such a fun band to go and see live, I think the pacing drums and feral riffs compliment the trumpet perfectly and it ties in a lot of elements that people wouldn’t necessarily put together.”
2. nightswimming
A Wall
“I was enchanted from the second I pressed play…otherworldly vocals, fragile melodies that grow stronger with the slow build in tempo, it’s captivating from the get-go.”
3. National Service
“I’m into this because it hones in on all of those elements that make the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, White Lies and other indie bands untouchable. I think its surging musicality will resonate with a lot of others.”

The House of Coxhead
1. Nia Wyn
Who Asked You
“Nia’s voice is like nothing I’ve ever heard and I’m absolutely fascinated by her sound. Feel like she’s a very special talent.”
2. SK-47
Take This Risk
“Love this guy’s energy and his flow is completely on point. Incredible drive and a clear vision of where he wants to go. Huge potential.”
3. Miranda.
Broken People
“Miranda has a raw talent. Her voice stood out against the other entries within her genre, with great songwriting ability to boot.”

1. Fortitude Valley
All Hail The Great Destroyer
“Irresistible jangly indie-pop who are just so much fun. We’re talking spiky DIY punk aesthetics mixed with sweet vocals and dry, sarcastic lyrics that will have hearts breaking, limbs flailing and endless feet bopping.”
2. Soot Sprite
Alone Not Lonely
“Soot Sprite create impressively accomplished, ridiculously moreish, shoegaze. The 90s reign heavy here and I’m all for it – all submerged grunge guitars and quietly anthemic chorus vocals.”
3. Currls
April Fool
“Currls are a rallying cry. Scuzzy riot grrrl inspired pop-punk made for the main stage. Authentic, snarling and converting you to the band’s cause as she goes.”

The Line of Best Fit (Paul Bridgewater) 
1. Raelle
“I really enjoyed Raelle’s emotive and unusual songwriting and the way her vocals carry such an interesting depth through the song. So understated and yet complex at the same time.”
2. Sasa Zola
What If
“I really liked the beats she’s making and the moodiness she is capturing in her songs.”
3. Sabiyha
Love Me Alone
“Sabiyha has strong and distinctive vocals…a real range from swaggering spoken word to soaring across choruses. So much heart and soul in there.”

Too Many Blogs 
1. Chloe Foy
Work of Art
“One of the best UK-Americana songs I’ve heard in a while. A flawless, sprawling, affecting ode to letting go. Love it.”
2. Jo Hill
“Effortless, soulful vocals accompany a really well-produced track here. This is just a gorgeously polished and incredibly accomplished pop song.”
3. John Myrtle
Spider on the Wall
“My ears pricked up as soon as I heard this track’s wonky opening guitar line. What follows is a swirling, whimsical daydream of a song. This is catchy, creative and brilliantly curious.”

Under the Radar
1. Grandmas House
Feed Me
“Easily the stand outs here. Energy, power and aggression with an array of tunes to boot. 100% ready to go right now.”
“Interesting and polished metal that’s well-rehearsed, well executed and definitely worth keeping an eye on for the future…grown on me with every subsequent listen.”
3. Kitty Perrin
The Escapist
“Has an eerie Lanterns On The Lake sound about it. Really interesting vocal and arrangement that’s also reminiscent of Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) or Wendy Morgan (The Popguns).”

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