January is new-band season. It’s the month where everyone starts offering up their longlists, shortlists and critical choices for the artists to watch in the newyear. Throughout 2014 though, RicherUnsigned was looking even further into the future, searching out the best unsigned talent in the UK. The not-for-profit initiative is a monthly competition that allows acts to upload a track for free and wait for the public votes to roll in. Each month, the winner will gain a day’s studio time and valuable exposure in Q. To round things up so far, here’s a look at – and listen to – all the monthly winners from 2014. For more, visit Richerunsigned.com.
July – Where Fires Are
Specialising in explosive, intricate alt-rock, this Leeds five piece will appeal to fans of fellow rabble-rousing Yorkshiremen Pulled Apart By Horses.
August – Area 52
Graduates of the Reading Rock Academy, this four-piece’s love for melodic rock’n’roll from Paramore right back to Chuck Berry is borne out by the hooks and fury of this track.
September – The Bram Stokers
Kent quartet whose track The Spectator is a study of classic post-punk themes of loneliness, alienation and boredom, set to raging guitars and needle-sharp melodies.
October – Monkey Sister
Melody and energy collide with this Milton Keynes rock quintet whose playing is remarkably accomplished for a band who only played live together for the first time in May.
November – Du Bellows
Q’s Editor-in-Chief Phil Alexander has already played this West London quintet (pictured above) on his Planet Rock radio show. That should be recommendation enough, but try their cosmic, folky blues-rock for yourself to discover that our boss is always right.
December – Dirty Spice
Merging the accessible with the inventive, this London-based producer builds a slow-burning sound that grabs at the heart thanks to Kelly Fitzpatrick’s emotive vocal.