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Music Blogs

30 Awesome Songs You Might Not Have Heard

  • By AndyVale
  • 6 August 2013

Ever just want to share and discover some divine music? Every single day? Me too.

Apropos of nothing, I thought that listening to some exceptionally noteworthy songs together would be a delightful way to spend a few minutes. No specific genre or a timespan, the only loose criteria is that most people probably haven't heard it.

That's not to be snobby, just means you're more likely to discover something different. There are many reasons why some perfectly good songs don't get heard by too many people outside the band's immediate fans. Bad timing, geography or the artist not yet having the right connections can all be giant hurdles for even the best songs to get over. Indeed, a band member sleeping with the label boss' wife when the marketing dollars were being handed out could also greatly hinder the chances. But don't let history's potential loss become yours.

This is not a definitive list of all great lesser known songs by any means, and I'd love to hear any suggestions you have. In fact, I'll put it in bold so it becomes official.

Do you know a good track that you think the world should hear? Pop it in the comments section below.

There we are, it's real now. Also, if you find something you like then please share it with your friends. Many of these tracks aren't widely known because they didn't have giant promotional budgets to get it into millions of people's ears, so help them out :-)

Here we go!

Brother & Bones - Hold Me Like The Sun

Swaggering and soulful, like a drunken Jack Sparrow seeking out payment from an old foe. These guys have rightfully been carving out a good following these last few years, it's a bandwagon worth joining. This one catches them at their boisterous best as they play a reckless style of seductively engaging contemporary Folk Rock.

Jimi Hendrix - Room Full of Mirrors

We know that you know Jimi. But this song often slips under the radar, even of some aficiendos. This posthumously released track has a wild spark of a guitar running right the way through it, with psychadelic screams piercing through the track making it both exciting and slightly unsettling.

Twothirtytwo - Patriot

This ties together a driving desperation and an unsettled pain that will catch you unaware as everything you've ever worried about crashes around you, bringing you to your knees in the dairy aisle in Tesco. That may or may not be a factual account. It's bleakness deserves repeated listens to fully strain the light from your soul in a most enjoyable manner.

Alex Hall - Carley

It's generally understood that you need to hear a song four times before you recognise it. As someone who messes around on the radio, I could bore you to tears about how this is put into practice. This song's different, a few years ago I heard it on a BBC Introducing show and was hooked instantly. It paints a perfect picture of being 17 and in love before parting ways. 

Rory Ellis - The Rushes

A meandering and delicate tune that's evocative of the great outback that spawned it. I was told about this song from a travelling bluesman who wrote the name down on a napkin, if you like it then it's up to you to do the same.

David Celia - Evidently True

A fun freewheeling track from Canadian songwriter David Celia. I wrote a short and (hopefully) interesting story about how I came across him on another site a few months ago, so I won't repeat it here. This is a song that gets David across mountain ranges and icy forests from one gig to the next. He's said that the moment this song stops perking him up on those long rides will be the day he decides to pack it in. He's still going.

The Dum Dums - Army of Two

The Dum Dums were basically Busted before Busted, but aimed more at students than schoolgirls. They scraped the charts a few times about ten years ago and sadly disbanded after one album. This track was written by frontman Josh Doyle as a birthday gift to his girlfriend as he had no money to buy a present, they're now married.

Josh Doyle - I Figured the World Out

I can't mention The Dum Dums without mentioning the current activities of their frontman. After quitting music when the band folded, Josh sold everything and moved to America. He later picked up a guitar in Nashville and decided to give it all a go again. This track won the 2012 Guitar Centre songwriting competition for American artists (which is grand, as he's from Kent) and helped light the touch-paper on career number 2.

Hildamay - Changing The Key

Check out the throat on this intro. I'd go to battle behind that man.

The Doppler Shift - The Man Who Was Forever Haunted by His Head

These guys were finalists in our latest Benicassim Competition, and with good reason. A massively expansive sound that blossomed into some mind-bending progressive music that was reminiscent of Muse and Tool. Not only does this one feel like the beginning of the universe, it also has an unmissable video.

Danzig - Sistinas

The career of Glenn Danzig has taken many turns, starting with the Horror-Punk of Misfits, winding through Metal and even releasing two successful Classical albums. This dreamy number was taken from the third Danzig album, where the band ushered in slower sounds and layers amongst the previous maelstrom. This is the song to slow-dance to when the world ends.

Tarrus Riley - Africa Awaits

This guy is a legend on the Reggae circuit with a slew of awards in Jamaica for his work. Here's an uplifting Lion King-esque ode to Africa that was a highlight of his second album in 2006.

Two Gallants - Waves of Grain

About a year ago I did a short list of great 2Gs songs. I had numerous people tell me that I had missed thier best one. Best is a strong word, but it's up there. A building and scathing beast that seems to sit above it all like some scale-wielding diety.

Polar - Tonight Matthew I Am The Batman

A savage burst of hardcore from one of the best prospects in the UK. Relentless and unashamedly loud, the unique vocals aren't quite what you expect at first but after a while you can't imagine the band playing with anything else. The end of this song is mega fun to shout.

We Are The Physics - Goran Ivanišević

An angular ditty about struggling and struggling for a long time before eventually fighting your way to success. And what better inspiration to use for a song than perennial Wimbledon runner-up Goran Ivanišević? A man who lost in the final three times in his career over 9 years before eventually winning the tournament in 2001 after qualifying as a wildcard entrant.

Blue Nipple Boy - Bear Comes Naked

These guys won our 2013 competition to play at Benicassim festival after flying over from Romania to play in the live rounds. Their energetic Reggae style showed they knew how to party and carried them through from the Semi and into the final. Here, a stripped back version of this song showed they could do something different and produce gold at a mix of tempos.

Cui Jian - Nothing To My Name

Cui Jian was a hugely influential figure in Chinese music, and was a major voice for the youth in the Tianamen Square protests of 1989. By many accounts, this song becomming an unofficial anthem for a lot of people involved. If you want the quick history lesson, this little documentary is a great starting point. The story behind the song is cool, but it would count for diddly squat if the song itself wasn't a belter.

Mr.B The Gentleman Rhymer - Oh, Santa!

A Christmas song? Yes. A lot of the gentleman's upper-class poems have strayed close to the bone, but this one takes it to the next level. I chatted to him about it at a gig earlier this year, how I loved that this song really has no shame in going all out. He said he felt that the time for innuendo was over, and the world was now ready for a song that specifically harps on about Santa abusing himself with reindeer food. Ahem.

Wheatus - Lemonade

Yup, those guys. I'm in the middle of drafting a bigger piece about Wheatus, so I won't talk about them too much here. Just know that after choosing to leave their label (due to a lack of promotion for their second album) the band carried on and have released some remarkably well-crafted songs. The heartbreak and vitriol in this one would've easily translated into a hit.

Yngve & The Innocent - You've Been Released

There's something religious about this. It feels like waking up on a Sunday after every sin imaginable and walking into the church as your hangover falls away. Oh, and it's pronounced ing-vuh.

Emily Underhill - Lost In Me

It's like a great gentle mountain is rolling past. But it's alive, it lives and pulses. Emily's voice is one that is in high-demand at the moment, and this sparse number shows why. As the top comment on YouTube says "If this was a potato.. it wold be a fucking good potato". Can't argue with that.

Dan Le Sac - Long Night of Life (feat. Merz)

Last year Dan Le Sac finally got around to releasing his first solo album, having found success collaborating with Scroobius Pip in earlier works. Winding his myriad of production skills around a team of different vocalists, the album had many flavours but this one was sumptuous and delightful. Dan also said that the video was one of his favourite things that he has ever been involved in.

Mikill Pane - Work (feat. Rizzle Kicks)

Both Pane and Kicks have done a bucketload of collaborations with sharp upcoming acts over the last few years, so it's no surprise that they joined up for one on Mikill's Dirty Rider EP. The three of them knock together a sweet track that neatly ties together a very down-to-Earth street feel with some top level production, signifying the crux between credible anonymity and the bright lights of stardom that they find themselves in. When Mikill slides down the bannister to deliver the second verse I get tingles. He. Is. So. Good.

Ghostpoet - Liiines

Ghostpoet's debut album was a critically acclaimed slice of smoky thoughts and mundane epiphanies. Despite a Mercury nomination, it didn't quite worm its way into the wider public discourse as much as it deserved and that's a shame. This tale of artistic struggle closed the album, and (probably) a chapter on Ghostpoet's earlier life too. Keep on scribblin'.

Dannii Nicholls - Between The River And The Railway

We recently debuted Danni's new video on the site, it's a stomping Americana number that snugly works its way into your head. But here's an earlier one of hers that lays back in a luxurious manner, let it have its wicked way.

Emma Stevens - Once

This one's been playlisted on Radio 2 lately, so more people are discovering this fantastically upbeat song by the day. The video features bears.

Motörhead - 1916

Yeah, we all know Lemmy and his men. But this one doesn't fit their usual sound, and only fans of the band are particularly aware of it. This sombre and string-backed song is the title track of the band's 1991 album and describes the personal horrors of WWI in unflinching detail.

Austra - Crying

This is one of my favourite covers from recent years. An icy version of the Roy Orbison classic that has a cracked attempt at stoic isolation running through its veins.

Toffees - She Faded Away

Here's one that I found amongst the entries to one of Supajam's festival competitions a few months back. It has a jarring faraway feel and that chorus washes right through you.

Art Brut - Emily Kane

This was nearly a top-40 hit, so some of you have probably heard it. Art Brut certainly made waves, but a song like this deserves to causing earthquakes in the hearts of every awkward teenager. This exuberant nod to young love is delivered with such enthusiasm that it's impossible not to be cheered by it.

Half Man Half Biscuit - Vatican Broadside

A short and jovial one to end on, taken from HMHB's 2001 EP Editor's Recommendation. This is probably the finest song ever written about Slipknot and The Pope.

If you have any suggestions then we're always up for more awesome music. Leave them in the comments below.

Might do another article on them another day... might not. It's a mad house. 

BTW, I included 31 songs. Not 30. Mad. House.

Andy is a Supajam writer who has been a small-fry at numerous Commerical, BBC and Student radio stations over the last 6 years. He is also a music promoter in the South-East of the UK. He has a website where he interviews musicians with only one question, and he is currently typing in third-person. You can tweet abuse at him if you fancy letting off some steam.

 

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