When I was initially asked to take part in the Blog Sound of 2012, which was being presented not as a criticism of the BBC Sound of 2012, but as an alternative, I had my reservations. Was it really necessary? In light of the unveiling of the BBC list today, I would have to say that, yes, it probably was. Just to calm down and put things in perspective quickly; the world is still revolving. The “BBC Sound of” is not, despite the claims of George Ergatoudis, “the definitive annual list of exciting new artists to look out for”, it is just the opinion of the 184 fallible humans that they asked, and is clearly not the end of the careers for all of the thousands of artists not mentioned. However… despite all of these things, it is still such a missed opportunity for exposing good new music to a wider audience, and the unbelievable shunning of independent music in comparison with earlier years is more criminal than even the torching of the PIAS warehouse. Probably.
It reflects the opinions and tastes of those people who they chose to ask, but I have enough faith left to believe that it’s not an absolutely accurate representation of the music industry’s favourite new artists. In exactly the same way, the Blog Sound of 2012 simply reflects the opinions of the selection of blogs they chose to ask, and is therefore also imperfect. At the very least, it is emphatically not a formalisation of those acts that major labels will be spending amounts of money on next year. The hopefully fleeting success of some of those artists is as inevitable as the list itself; a self-fulfilling prophecy influenced by those who hope to gain the most from it.
I’m glad it exists, I just wish it existed in a different way. Ultimately, it’s all a question of taste, and who is anybody to denounce the tastes of anybody else? Admittedly, the pleasing presence of Niki & The Dove, Friends, and even Azealia Banks or Spector can’t be ignored. But it’s still the case that independent music has been horrendously under-represented, which isn’t the end of the world, just pretty bloody depressing. Yet it would be an effort to stay depressed for long, for the truth is that there is a wealth of compelling new music around at the moment. Some of it you’ll find on the BBC’s list, some on the bloggers’ list; but the most of it is found elsewhere, behind these lists that attract so much attention. At the very least, the Blog Sound of 2012 longlist which follows is a good, convenient, and honestly-voted place to start.
I should probably mention that the views expressed above are in no way the view of The Blog Sound of 2012, and are probably opposed in part by many of the blogs which took part. But seeing as this is my blog, that should go without saying. The blogs which took part were:
A Tidal Wave Of Indifference, Breaking More Waves, God Is In the TV, Sweeping The Nation, The Von Pip Musical Express, The Recommender, Faded Glamour, Drunken Werewolf, Flying With Anna, Not Many Experts, Underclassed Idle Ideas, Sonic Masala, Mudkiss, The Ring Master, Both Bars On, Music From A Green Window, Dots And Dashes, The Daily Growl, And Everyone’s A DJ, Kowolskiy, Just Music That I Like, Cruel Rhythm, The Blue Walrus, Music Fans Mic, Seventeen Seconds, Eaten By Monsters, Seven Sevens, Unpeeled, New Rave Brain Wave, Peenko, Music Liberation, My Bands Better Than Your Band and Song By Toad.