It is the first ever National Album Day this Saturday (13/10) and we thought it might be fitting, given our passion for new music at Hear Me Raw, to share our favourite albums released by unsigned artists in 2018:
Jonny Dee- ‘The Human Experience’
It is not often you come across a rapper who counts Dylan and Hendrix among his influences. Jonny Dee is no ordinary rapper however, with a hippy-inspired look that is more more straight out of summer of love than straight out of Compton.
The album is an extension of Dee’s aesthetic. Whilst still very much a hip-hop record, Dee is not afraid to incorporate elements from psychedelia, soul, and funk, resulting in an experimental sound. His reputation as a something of a maverick also shows in his lyrical preference for philosophical musings as opposed to the rap mainstays of bitches and bling.
There are also strong summer vibes; this is the kind of music that brings to mind palm trees, open top cars, and golden Cali beaches. Perfect way to remain in denial about the ever-nearing winter weather.
Favourite track: ‘You’
The Black Planes- ‘This is the Black Planes’
Straight out of the Seattle rock scene, the latest offering from The Black Planes is a pysch-rock classic in the making. Founded by former Friction Pitch guitarist and singer Dan Gallagher, The Black Planes have a darker, grittier sound, reminiscent of 80s/90s alt rock bands such as Jesus and Mary Chain and Ride.
The album is, in many ways, lo-fi and minimalistic. Gallagher’s reverb-heavy guitar glides a-top the toned-down drums, melding together to create the perfect laid-back sound that toes the line between irreverence and melancholy.
Favourite track: ‘Take It Higher’
Chasing Deer- ‘Hands On’ (Release date: 30th November 2018)
Chasing Deer are probably worthy of the bitter-sweet accolade ‘the UK’s biggest unsigned band’. The band have played sell-out shows at The Royal Albert Hall, The RSC and London’s Hard Rock Café, and count the Kenyan Prime Minister among their legion of fans.
Their full-length album, ‘Hands On’ demonstrates perfectly the reason behind their success with its unique brand of cheerful pop. Each track has the magic formula of catchy hooks and upbeat vocals that provides the perfect anecdote to any blues, making this the perfect album to play through the office on a Monday morning.
Favourite track: ‘Don’t Be So Surprised’
(The album is yet to be released, but check out some of their most popular tracks below)
Bill Magill- Last Night at the Ha-Ra
We love a concept album at Hear Me Raw, and Bill Magill’s Last Night at the Ha-Ra is one of the best that we have heard in years. A rock drama about a group of eccentric barflies, gathered together at their favourite haunt, the album is an all-encompassing reflection on the peculiarities of the human condition.
Magill’s influences are multifarious, taking leads from Tom Waits, Tim Buckley and Roxy Music, as well as the musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein. The result is a record that is both theatrical and authentic, without a hint of the oxymoronic.
Favourite Track: ‘Paralyzed’
Agree with us? Share your thoughts below!