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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

#98: Top 5 Unsigned - 07/05/2013

The Jade Assembly 



Bolton-based quarter The Jade Assembly are currently setting Greater Manchester ablaze with their driving anthemic indie-rock. Coming off sounding somewhere between The Enemy and Manic Street Preachers it's pretty standard fair in terms of aesthetic, but the conviction and charm with which they carry it off is anything but standard. Rousing, riotous and utterly irresistible, catch The Jade Assembly tearing up any backstreet Manchester watering-hole before the bandwagon rolls around.



Jess Harwood



Though only 20 years old, Jess Harwood has already become a staple of her home town Blackpool's open mic nights. Her stripped down, acoustic numbers have already caught the eye of BBC Introducing, while she's also set to release her début EP in the forthcoming months. Hauntingly beautiful vocals are made all the better by a distinct lack of effects and overt production allowing for the heartfelt messages of her songs to hit all the more harder.



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As Elephants Are


Shimmering and atmospheric are two words which would aptly describe High Wycombe's As Elephants Are. Harbouring an almost shoe-gaze style aesthetic, the band's dreamy blend of atmospheric vocals with translucent, almost ephemeral guitars that serves add to the bands overall sincerity. Keeping one foot firmly planted in the 1980s means the band aren't breaking any boundaries with their sound, that said however there's a lot more going on here than with most of the bands indebted to an era of shoulder pads and synthesisers  Moody yet at times utterly captivating, As Elephants Are won't be cheering anyone up in a hurry, but they will be seriously impressing you.



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The Banquet Years



Purporting yourself to be 'avant-pop' isn't the best way to win fans over, whether your tongue is embedded in your cheek or not. Thankfully though the music of London trio The Banquet Years isn't as pretentious as their self-coined genre suggests. Far from it. In fact, The Banquet Years are making back to basics indie-pop   with only a slight twist coming in the form of singer Art's unusual voice, something that really sets the band apart from their contemporaries. Think of an English We Are Augustines with tinges of a more romantic Clash and you're somewhere close to the mark. Quirky and cool and completely worth spending a while checking out.




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The Last Scout



An incendiary amalgamation of art and music, Northwich's The Last Scout, are today's personal highlight. A double-female vocal provides a fantastic variation of tone and timbre while a subtle and subdued acoustic guitar and drums gently carry each track forward with slow yet deliberate precision; never once drawing the attention away from the moving and ethereal vocals. Having only been a band for a matter of months, there's an impressive number of tracks featured on the band's Soundcloud page with each one deserving a mention. From the slightly bluesy feel of 'Children of the New Brigade' to the melodic floating heights of the understated 'Scar Love', every song here deserves your attention.



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Check out last weeks Top 5 Unsigned.