Words by Tony Allen.
How do you like to find new music? Spotify playlists, friends, the radio, and the owner of your local record shop (you know the one) all have their place, but there’s another way of unearthing top new talent too.
Vevo Dscvr; the vowel-challenged little brother of the music video streaming service is my go-to for an eclectic mix of alternative new sounds. If you’re patient you can come across some gems you just wouldn’t find anywhere else. And, there’s no better feeling than finding something you can recommend to a friend you know they’ll love but have never heard before, is there?
As well as being accessible through the Vevo website and app, there is also a Vevo Dscvr YouTube channel with British and international sections, which is where you can unearth some really interesting stuff.
The Dscvr editors have something of a knack of backing the right horses. A relatively unknown Hozier visited to perform a version of what would become his UK #2 hit Take Me To Church before he had even got a whiff of the charts.
Among the other now well-known names to have graced the channel in the past is Sigrid who recorded an even more powerful version of her breakthrough single Don’t Kill My Vibe. Declan McKenna, Sundara Karma, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Wolf Alice and Blossoms have also been among the artists to appear on Dscvr in recent years alongside poppier acts like Zara Larsson, Shawn Mendes and DNCE, good for those moments of guilty pleasure.
If an artist you already like features on Dscvr, chances are you’re in for a treat. Often performers have a bit of fun, playing lesser known album tracks or differently arranged versions of hits. And because they are all recorded and filmed live, you get to see their backing band in action too before you decide whether to go and see them on tour or at a festival.
I’ve come across a wealth of weird, wonderful and very alternative songs and artists through the service, so next time you fancy some new music, or just some background noise whilst doing the washing up, you could do a lot worse than to give Vevo Dscvr a try. You never know what you might find…
Here’s a list of my top ten Vevo, er, Dscvries so far:
Pictures – Let the Music Shine (Germany)
Some proper indie rock here on an album track from the German band’s debut, Promise. In fact, this is the only live performance of the song available online. Former Union Youth frontman Maze Exler delivers a typically raw vocal performance with his new project.
Olsson – One in a Million (Sweden)
Remember what I said about finding weird and wonderful acts you didn’t know you needed? That. Don’t adjust your set, this funky number complete with some outrageous samples needs to be heard to be believed but might just become a guilty pleasure.
Gurr – #1985 (Germany)
Consider your card marked, Gurr are going to be the biggest act to come out of Germany for a long time. And on their way, they recorded this for Vevo Dscvr. Hopefully they’ll soon make enough money for their drummer to buy a new cymbal… They tour the UK in November.
Dilly Dally – Ice Cream (Canada)
Every so often an exceptional, unique voice comes along that makes you stop what you’re doing and take notice. Think Gregory Porter, perhaps, or Sharon van Etten. Well, Katie Monks of Toronto band Dilly Dally might just be another name to add to the list.
Welshly Arms – Legendary (USA)
After the intro you really just want Rag’N’Bone Man to start singing, but Stan Getz does a decent job of things for the Americans.
Femme – S.O.S (UK)
With an interestingly sparse backing and knockout pop-punk vocal, Femme is one to keep an eye on.
Loïc Nottet – Mud Blood (Belgium)
Another distinctive voice belongs to this former Belgian Eurovision contestant (no, stick with it), with this infernally catchy but surprisingly low-fi tune.
The Big Moon – Formidable (UK)
From one of Britain’s best up-and-coming bands we get a song that is at once easy to listen to and also satisfyingly punky when it gets going.
Marianne Mirage – Weeds (Italy)
With a stage name that sounds more like that of a VHS-era adult actress than a singer, Giovanna Gardelli nonetheless gives her impressive vocal chords a good workout on this funky plodder.
Flint Eastwood – Queen (USA)
This certainly requires a few listens to get into, but once you do it’s well worth sticking with as Flint Eastwood’s band (and perhaps a teeny bit of overdubbing) create an enormous sound to envelope her superb vocal.
Article written by Tony Allen, you can follow Tony on twitter here.