“Former BBC executive Paul Campbell launched a new company in the United Kingdom in 2007, looking for ways to help musicians find a wider audience for their work. He established a website allowing select unsigned acts to upload their music, sell it — and keep the proceeds. Two years later, Campbell founded a radio station using a playlist built exclusively from the offerings on his site. He further developed his audience by adding a few shows carefully curated by a mix of ex-BBC and up-and-coming DJs. The result: Amazing Media, a powerful promotional machine that has become one of the A&R community’s most crucial tools for developing new talent and has helped propel the likes of Chvrches, Daughter and Alt-J to deals with major or independent labels.
Now, five years later, Campbell is launching in the United States. He has raised $9 million in funding with backing from investors including Sting, AOL founder Steve Case, producer Billy Mann, music lawyer John Frankenheimer and former EMI CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti. They’re joining a board to be run by former Shazam chairman John Pearson.
As part of its launch stateside, Amazing Media has acquired Boston-based OurStage.com for an undisclosed sum. OurStage gives fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite unsigned performers on the site — and allows bands to compete for the chance to tour with more established acts.”
One of our favorite OS discoveries from the last couple of years is Brittany Campbell. The Brooklyn-based multi-talented singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist first caught our ears with her retro-flavored “Goody Goody.” Today, she’s dropped a new 10-track LP, titled Heroes. Yes, the original artwork suggests a sandwich theme, but as expected, Campbell’s lyrics are closer to Bowie’s take on the term than, say, Weird Al’s. Musically, the production is more modern pop and R&B, showcasing her considerable voice, and featuring some well-placed guest contributions. Enjoy it now via her Soundcloud:
When audience attention is one of the rarest commodities, artists have to be careful about what they release and when. Your double album might be impressive in theory, but you’re not going to find too many people telling you how much they liked track 22 after they clicked your Soundcloud link. You’ll be lucky if they like what they hear enough to make it to track three. Guitar-and-drums duo Yellabird has tackled this concern with a novel approach. Instead of releasing their newest EP Debts all at once, they are making the release of each track an independent event. This method serves bite-size portions to an audience who, in turn, are regularly reminded about the band and their new material. And the material speaks for itself, earning every bit of your attention. Today, the band posted “Dead Hand Blues,” which follows the EP’s first track, “Tired Eyes.” Yellabird will be in NYC and Boston over the next few months.
The late-’90s were kind of a dark time for pop-rock aficionados. In the time between faux-grunge and rap-rock, it was every man for himself. Luckily, our attention was grabbed by the fuzzed-out, off-kilter debut from Jonny Polonsky, who made the bulk of Hi My Name Is Jonny in his childhood bedroom. His demos found their way to Pixies frontman Frank Black, who pitched them to his then-label, Rick Rubin‘s American Recordings. The LP was not a smash, but those of us who heard it really loved it. Meeting someone else who got it is like finding a long-lost brother. “You know about this?! It’s fantastic, right?!”
Polonsky released an acclaimed second solo album in 2004, then went on to a diverse career as a supporting member of many high-profile acts, including Puscifer, Johnny Cash, Nightwatchman, Pete Yorn, Dixie Chicks, and more. He’s finally back to writing and recording his own stuff, and he’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to help release a new record, titled The Other Side of Midnight. It promises to be less crunchy and more dreamy, inspired by David Lynch (it was recorded at Lynch’s Asymetrical Studio) and Depeche Mode. In addition, Polonsky is performing living room webcasts on Concert Window, starting TONIGHT. Do yourself a favor and check out both.
Here’s his Kickstarter video. It’s funny.
We started getting into the songs of Annalise Emerick when she was a finalist in the Intel Superstars channel we ran last year. As the channel came to a close right around the end of 2013, her New Year-themed song “This Love Won’t Break Your Heart” was in heavy rotation. There are a lot of female singer-songwriters out there, and it’s not easy for one to stand out, but when your songs are this good, we’re certainly not going to forget. So good news for us, and you, Emerick is starting a huge tour in just a few days. Listen below and click here for dates.
OurStage has recently been acquired by Amazing Media. We at Amazing Media are a UK-based music company dedicated to helping new and emerging artists reach audiences. We work with the world’s best new musicians through amazingtunes.com and Amazing Radio. Since we started seven years ago, we have helped thousands of artists find an audience and make money “ bands like Alt J, HAIM, London Grammar, Chvrches, Daughter, and many others.
We bought OurStage because we recognized a shared ambition to help new musicians achieve success. We’re musicians ourselves, and we understand the challenges you face. Our aim is to make OurStage amazing “ to breathe new life into it, and to give you a bigger global opportunity to reach an audience.
We’ll be writing again soon with more news about how that works and what we have planned. Everything we do is designed to connect new artists & their music to fans across America and beyond. Meantime, please check us out at amazingradio.com and amazingtunes.com and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.
Many thanks for reading this.
All the best,
The Amazing Media and OurStage Team
Oasis is the gift that keeps on giving. Years after their final performance, the ’90s Britpop giants continue to entertain, mostly for the Gallagher brothers’ often hilarious continued offstage sniping. Really, CBS should have made one or both of them an offer to take over the Letterman show. We would tune in regularly. But singer Liam Gallagher threw fans into a frenzy last night when he tweeted “OASIS” one letter at a time (and then helpfully summarizing, in a single tweet, “OASIS LG” (yes, he signs his tweets “LG”)).
Does this mean a reunion is in the works, as many have speculated? No. It means Liam was either screwing with fans or drunk or both. Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, former guitarist of the band, told NME he thought maybe Liam was just thinking out loud, so to speak, because the two had been out drinking together.
In reaction to the tweets, bookmakers suspended bets on Oasis headlining Glastonbury Festival. Yes, Liam Gallagher’s tweets caused such instability in the market as to suspend trading.
In any case, this is as good an opportunity as any to revisit, as NME did, the comedy gold that is Liam’s twitter account, as well as a recent viral hit – brother Noel‘s commentary on old Oasis videos.
“Oh, I was fucking drunk…in this video. Look how pissed I am there. That’s me really pissed.”
Paste has the premiere of the newest video from our onetime MTV Needle in the Haystack winner Andrew Belle. It’s an odd and oddly affecting story of vampires and werewolves and family, evoking feelings of grief, longing, regret, detachment, and reconciliation. That’s a lot for a six-minute clip. It doesn’t hurt that the song itself is a stark and sober ode to family and individuality, all wrapped up in a melancholy melody, with electronic sounds prodding an otherwise organic arrangement.
He told Paste: I wanted to take a shot at the well known prodigal son storyline. But, at the same time, put our own little quirky twists on it. I’m really thrilled with what we captured that day in Nashville. Will Holland was a blast to work with again, and Ashley Fisher delivered a really inspiring performance.
Vintage soul devotee Eli “Paperboy” Reed has taken a turn for the pop on his new album Nights Like This, out next week on Warner Bros. Read his interview on RollingStone.com, at the bottom of which you can stream the new LP. No, it doesn’t abandon his Redding-inspired vocal stylings, but rather couches them in some updated, pop-oriented production and arrangements. Europe, you can catch Reed on tour starting tonight in Dublin.