The BBC Sound of 2014 longlist was announced yesterday and while people were talking about it, I was shifting boxes, packing and unpacking. I've moved house.
I saw the list in the morning, pleased to see the likes of Sampha, Nick Mulvey, FKA Twigs, Jungle and Banks on there. I liked the collaborations Ella Eyre and Sam Smith have done with Rudimental and Disclosure, so it'll be interesting hearing their next moves. There's always one where you truly think... meh (I'll let you decide whö).
And hurrah, then there was a band! We've been playing Royal Blood on XFM so was pleased for them, especially as they are what appears to be the ONLY band on the list.
As expected, up popped a blog post yesterday on The Guardian about the list and this very fact.
One thing's for sure - each year the Sound of poll introduces us to 12 new artists, some that are very likely to succeed. That's a really good thing. Lady Gaga was once on the longlist. They sure as hell got that right, she went on to become one of the biggest female pop stars on the planet, whether you're a little monster or not.
LA trio Haim, who topped it this year, have gone on to be hugely successful in the UK. The tastemakers don't always get it right (Little Boots always springs to mind...) but for the most part, it opens up some doors for those perfectly poised to grow their audience in a more mainstream field.
The thing is, if those 170 people have three opportunities to put names in a Harry Potter-style predictive hat, what's the point of putting someone obscure into the mix? Sadly, it won't make it, arguably why the list becomes dominated by acts signed to majors, with a label push and some muscle behind them. Relationships within the industry have already been built, they might have been on high-profile collaborations, it's looking like they're going to do exciting things, hence, box ticked, vote in.
BUT let's not worry about the fact that only one band made it onto the list. It doesn't mean guitar music is dead. It doesn't mean there aren't any great new bands out there.
In a few minutes I had a list of artists I've supported through my XFM show or via Twitter, Facebook in the past year. Thirteen BANDS my other contemporaries in radio (6 Music, XFM, Amazing Radio) and across the media (NME, Pitchfork, The Guardian etc etc) have been championing too. It doesn't even scratch the surface of all the good solo artists and electronic stuff I've enjoyed this year but that's for another time.
The point is, below are thirteen bands of dudes (male and female), doing their thing, making headway in this funny old business. List or no list, go forth dear bands and conquer. As for the rest of us, let's just be agreed in the knowledge that the new crop of groups emerging is encouraging and there will always be a place for them.