Now after racking my brain trying to find a good topic for this weeks top five segment, I finally came across something that I thought was a great idea whilst on YouTube. Anthony Fantano of the Needle Drop made this video proving how music is just as good now as it’s ever been; I love that philosophy. Many people moan about how the charts are worse than they’ve ever been and how pop music is so bland now, to them I think that’s about right, but there are other genres that are better now than they have ever been. This list will prove to you that if you look in the right places, music will seem better than it’s ever been full stop. This is our top five list of ‘artists that prove you were born in the right generation’. Enjoy!
Jazz is definitely the most snobby genre around at the moment (and probably ever too). Every Jazz head thinks that the genre died twenty years ago and that everyone is merely a duplicate in the industry now. If that’s the case, then what about CHON? Now you may respond, ‘CHON aren’t jazz, they’re prog with jazz influences’! And you know what? You’re right. But, they’re technically classed as Jazz Fusion and to be honest, they sound much jazzier than prog. Their songs are short and conjunct, and they never rely on an established key. Their time signatures are always kept abnormal and (apart from two tracks) their music is largely instrumental. This group defines the evolution of jazz into a genre that is much more forgiving. The technicality and proficiency is still there, but the market is bigger and less snobby. They are currently creating something that has never been done, they’re making jazz accessible to everyone. It’s good to be here in 2016 isn’t it…
4. Jack Garratt
Now this guy is just about to take off. He’s had a couple semi-hits but has yet to stumble upon a sound that explodes. However, to all those people saying pop music is bland and talentless, then I’d highly recommend you search this guy up. He is probably one of the most talented individuals in music today; the guy is unbelievable from a musicians perspective. He plays every single instrument in his tunes and performs every single instrument at the same time live; how is that bland or talentless! He’s a spectacle and a true songwriter. Watching this bloke emerge and get bigger and bigger is an absolute pleasure; he’s reinvigorating pop music singlehandedly at the moment. He’s doing everything The Eurythmics did, by himself; that takes balls. Now please tell me again why it was better to be born in a generation that had Brotherhood of Man on the top spot in the charts…? Yeah that’s what I thought.
3. Nordic Giants
This lot keeps appearing in my lists don’t they? Well there is good reasoning behind that… They freaking rock. Everyone bangs on about orchestral music being dead and insignificant now, but they’re wrong, orchestral music has evolved to something more contemporary now. The artistry and intelligence is still there, but it’s no longer outdated and uncool. The new orchestral music is the current ambient music. Nordic Giants prove that with some of the most beautiful tracks I’ve ever heard. Their textures are thick and dominant, their timbres well thought out and interesting, and their melodies are more than your four bar return. Between them and acts like BREATHE, you can’t go wrong with orchestral music now, just switch the name to ambient and you have a winner.
It’s funny, the majority of you have probably never heard/never will hear of Dorje ever and that to me is a travesty. With people like Roger Daltrey and Paul McCartney moaning about how rock is dead and broken, it angers me that they haven’t even taken the time to look in new places for groups that are reviving it. Dorje are one those groups. They mix classic rock with prog and a sprinkling of experimental and create some of the best rock tunes we’ve ever heard. Again these guys are just emerging now, but with a little help from online friends, they could be headliners in no time. Their riffs are better than what we’ve heard over the last 30 years and their solos destroy any rock act of years gone by. They are the new wave of rock, this is the new wave of rock, slightly more technical and a whole lot louder. The only thing killing rock at the moment is the lack of effort put into it by label owners. The charts still have bloody ACDC and Led Zeppelin in them, change it up and update them; get these names on the lists, iTunes has and they’re making fortune from it.
1. Independent Music in General
Here is a statement of intent: ‘The Independent music that has been produced this year, is more diverse and intelligent than any music from any era ever’. Sure you had your Baroque era and your Classical time, but that stuffs done, so we moved on. You have your 50’s swing and rock ‘n’ roll, but that stuffs done, so we moved on… You get the point. This generation, is the generation of independence. With help from YouTube and affordable software, anyone now can be an artist, not necessarily a good one, but an artist nonetheless. This means that we are exposed to thousands of different independent tracks a day, you just have to find the ones you like. When I look at groups like BREATHE, Mango Retreat, Fish Tank, Youth Salute, Duskwood and many more, I think ‘wow, this stuff is incredible, why aren’t they signed yet’ but then what does it mean being signed anymore? Music doesn’t sell anyway and people can organise tours and produce music all on their own now, so does it matter? No. That to me is the beauty of this generation. All it takes is a good basis and you can easily be the next biggest thing without ever leaving your home. Justin Bieber started from a cover on YouTube, Liane La Havas started from a cover she sent to Coldplay, heck, Dorje started because Rob Chapman used to upload guitar lessons to YouTube, is that not amazing? With the click of a button, I can have people from around the world listen to a song I created, that’s what artists used to wait years for. That’s why we are born in the right generation.