The Unsigned Only Music Competition has just announced its 2014 winners, selected from almost 8,000 worldwide entries. Judged by a roster of high-profile artists and influential journalists, Unsigned Only is a unique music competition for solo artists and bands who are unsigned to a major label.
This year’s judges include: John Oates (Hall & Oates); 3 Doors Down; Neon Trees; David Crowder; Rosanne Cash; Craig Morgan; Delbert McClinton; Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC); Of Monsters and Men; Black Francis (Pixies); Aaron Shust; G. Love; Jason Gray; Dustin Lynch; The Mountain Goats; Alt-J; Mike Posner; Rapsody; Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Chris Richards (Pop Music Critic, The Washington Post); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Lucy Jones (Deputy Editor, NME); and Michael Hann (Music Editor, The Guardian)
Produced by the same team that organizes the renowned International Songwriting Competition (ISC), Unsigned Only this year has awarded UK artists with two First Place and one Second Place wins. Additional artists have garnered numerous Honorable Mention wins.
Co-Founders Candace Avery and Jim Morgan said, “We continue to be impressed by the UK entrants, and these winners embody the best of the up-and-coming talent that is coming out of the UK and Ireland.”
Winning First Place in the Adult Contemporary (AC) category with the song “Muscles And Bones” is The Luck, the brother and sister indie duo of Max and Esmay Luck. Having both grown up singing in choirs, they have developed their blend of bewitching, soaring harmonies over percussive guitar, stomp and electric bass lines. Hailing from London, the duo are working on their next release following the success of their single “Muscles and Bones” in 2013. This song gained sync on UK TV show ‘Hollyoaks’ and radio play in the UK and Switzerland. It also won the International Songwriting Competition in the Adult Contemporary category. The duo are now based in California where they are writing, recording and performing.
Garnering First Place in the Rock category is the explosive award-winning indie rock band King No-One for the song “Millennium.” Hailing from York, England, their music combines simplicity and expression, originality and intricacy. They play dynamically diverse music, from smooth overlaying melodies to raw, expressive rock. The winning song “Millennium” has received BBCRadio6 airplay as well as international airplay in Europe, USA, and Africa and was also played on national television on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.
Taking home Second Place honors in the Adult Album Alternative (AAA) category is Sam Eliot for his song “Believe.” A remarkable singer/songwriter based in London, England, Eliot has been writing and playing music since very young but got seriously into it after hearing Bob Dylan on the radio, and he hasn’t looked back since. Other than Dylan, his musical influences are Bon iver, John Lennon, Mumford and Sons, Adele, and many more.
The overall Grand Prize winner is awarded to the US band Goodbye June for their song “Daisy.” Comprised of three cousins, indie-rockers Goodbye June released their highly anticipated debut album Nor The Wild Music Flow in 2012 and have not stopped since. With a European tour under their belt and a second album on the way, this band is poised for greater success. Their winning song “Daisy” is a surefire hit and will be released on their upcoming album.
In addition to winning $10,000 in cash and much more in merchandise, the Grand Prize winner receives the opportunity to be mentored by and directly network with the top echelon of record company professionals. Mentors include presidents and top-level executives from Universal Republic, Sire, Elektra, Warner Bros., Atlantic, Sub Pop, Big Machine, Word Label Group, Capitol, Roc Nation, American, and Virgin.
In addition to these First and Second Place winners, the list of UK and Irish Honorable Mentions is as follows:
Covey (London, England) – “Comes And Goes”
Ray (London, England) – “Rock-A-Bye
Sam Eliot (London, England) – “Believe”
Red Empire (Dublin, Ireland) – “Small Mercies”
HANS (Cardiff, Wales) – “L.O.V.E.