Author Topic: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it  (Read 1144 times)

Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« on: November 14, 2019, 10:34:21 AM »
From playing music my whole life and generally being in the Cardiff circle, isn't crazy how many deeply talented one of a kind musicians there are out there that just dont quite break through the hymen of a wider audience? I have played with or enjoy so many artists that just never quite made it into wider recognition; they all.carry on regardless doing their own thing...I'd like to share a few with you now

I have vague recollections of seeing Gideon Conn on a sky channel which I forget the name of; it was run from manchester and it was terrific , lots of unsigned artists being filmed for an open mic type vibe...I remember watching gideon conn on there, must've been about 2008, didn't dig him much but somehow rediscovered him in later years and he ended up being a massive influence on my own music...i think this video of him playing on a houseboat to a handful people best captures his wonderful song craft...

https://youtu.be/qYgzywD7qs8

Hes just released a new album that isn't very good, trying to emulate a style that doesn't fit him with t pain vocoder vocals and stuff, hes at his best with this unassuming but majestic minimalism like in that video...


From my hometown, Islet are an incredibly talented bunch of musicians who got a mention in that James Acaster book that came out last year, live they are astounding, swapping instruments and just making a whole lot of beautiful noise

https://youtu.be/iQ2gWrqlCRc

I'll post some more when I can, but what I'm trying to convey is that there is a hell of a lot of music that goes under the radar and doesn't quite reacha wider audience even though it should, bands that would have had a couple of tunes on Myspace that were masterpieces but for whatever reason never got signed or got proper jobs or something....would love to hear your recommendations

purlieu

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Re: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2019, 11:16:06 AM »
Spraydog looked like they were on the verge of breaking through at the end of the '90s, but somehow got left behind. Ended up doing sporadic albums on their own label and occasional other tiny indies before breaking up a few years ago. Nice noisy but pretty indie-pop group.
Their biggest moment was appearing on BBC Scotland in their early years.

Being a fan of ambient stuff, almost all my favourite artists in that area are pretty obscure hobbyists, so I could list a shitload.

Re: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2019, 11:25:18 AM »
Spraydog looked like they were on the verge of breaking through at the end of the '90s, but somehow got left behind. Ended up doing sporadic albums on their own label and occasional other tiny indies before breaking up a few years ago. Nice noisy but pretty indie-pop group.
Their biggest moment was appearing on BBC Scotland in their early years.

Being a fan of ambient stuff, almost all my favourite artists in that area are pretty obscure hobbyists, so I could list a shitload.

Please do! Been thinking about it more and cardiff has always had a little cesspool of very talented people; if taste is subjective then they are as good on regards to imagination, artistic integrity and passion as anyone who's been in the public eye if that makes sense

Re: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2019, 12:09:33 PM »
Please do! Been thinking about it more and cardiff has always had a little cesspool of very talented people; if taste is subjective then they are as good on regards to imagination, artistic integrity and passion as anyone who's been in the public eye if that makes sense

That's why I left. That and the golden pavements.

Re: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2019, 02:11:44 PM »
That's why I left. That and the golden pavements.

What cardiff?

In that case I'm sure we know some of the same people...

When my old band were kicking we were very cheesy compared to the prominent scene going on at the time; twee folk bubblegum bands going on about their pencil cases and sparrows and stuff, it was very niche and exclusive and although the people involved were very nice and talented in thought the music was mostly bollocks, with the exception of silver gospel runners and sweet babboo

Re: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2019, 10:53:56 PM »
Hes just released a new album that isn't very good, trying to emulate a style that doesn't fit him with t pain vocoder vocals and stuff, hes at his best with this unassuming but majestic minimalism like in that video...

Came across Gideon Conn during the myspace era, saw a video of him performing "The Band Will Find It's Way Into Your Heart" and then heard "Eccentric" and have been keeping up with him ever since.

I bought the new CD from him on bandcamp and he sent it with a lovely message saying I was the first person to do so. A really good songwriter and seems a thoroughly nice bloke; he was the first person I thought of when I came across the title of this thread. I haven't properly sat down to listen to the album yet, but I enjoyed It's Your Turn. My favourite song he's done is I Just Don't Know You Very Well from his previous album, at least at the moment. Vaguely woozy track with a good hook and charming lyrics. I think Bunty is the guest singer on it. I should check before I post. Thanks for linking to the Boat Sessions, I will enjoy this. Shame if his new album is disappointing, he included a press release with the CD and he seemed pretty enthused with it. I can type it up if you're interested, though it is bollockingly long for someone as impatient as me.

Yeah, it was Bunty. Don't know her outside that one track though.

Shaky

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Re: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2019, 07:52:06 AM »
Wasn't familiar with Gideon Conn previously but listening now and he has some excellent tunes. Thanks, lads!

Re: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2019, 02:07:31 PM »
Sam Mehran (formerly of Test Icicles) sadly took his life last year aged only 31.  He was incredibly talented and prolific and I'm very bummed out by the fact I only discovered his solo projects after he passed away. Under various aliases he produced a super eclectic mix of music, most of which has remained relatively obscure. The below tune, released under the Outer Limits Recordings name, is a classic slice of lo-fi psych pop. Honestly, this guy should be a household name as far as I'm concerned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzjaycuoIpU

RIP sam :(

sardines

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Re: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2019, 10:16:31 AM »
Early 2000s Rocket Girl put out a mini LP by a band called Byrne. Actually mainly one person: Patrick Byrne.
It was a wonderful slab of woozy downbeat indie not far removed from early Elbow, some Yo La Tengo and inevitably The Beatles.

I saw them play some shows supporting Low and thought they were onto something big. At which point they promptly disappeared.



https://youtu.be/HpBnX27eF_w


kngen

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Re: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2019, 03:36:08 PM »
Sense Field - probably the only one of the 90s emo bands that I would still listen to by choice. Their best albums (Killed for Less; Building) probably came a little too early for a wider audience, but just as they were on the verge of tipping over into the mainstream around 2002, the guitarist's daughter gets seriously injured in a car crash, and ends up in a coma. He leaves the band, and they stumble on till 2004 with two not very good albums, and then call it quits. Meanwhile, mentees and touring buddies Jimmy Eat World, (who - like Sense Field - get a song placed on a hit TV show, which was the way to make it in the aughts) go from strength to strength and end up becoming HUGE.

Singer Jon Bunch killed himself three years ago, and - such is the cruel irony of these things - there were probably more people at the two memorial gigs organized to raise money for his family than Sense Field ever played to when they were at their best.

I was in the supermarket the other day, and The Middle – the song that put Jimmy Eat World over the top – came on over the in-house PA. It should have been this. Fucking bummed me out.

Re: Artists who are absolute gems but never quite made it
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2019, 02:20:23 AM »
Bap Kennedy.Dead now sadly.Admired by noted musicians like Morrison and Knopfler and should have been BIGGER.
This is one of his from the brilliant The Sailors Revenge LP'

https://youtu.be/7_kdUYDVeHQ

Jimmy Sanchez