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SPOTIFY SINGS A SONG OF ONG
Meet the streamer's new editor in chief. (10/21a)
TOP 20: LOVER IS A FIGHTER
It's neck-and-neck heading into the final day of the sales week. (10/21a)
GRAMMY COUNTRY ALBUM CONTENDERS
With Kacey out, who's a likely nominee? (10/21a)
"EASY" IMPACT: ADELE'S AIRWAVE TAKEOVER
Another domino falls. (10/18a)
A MOVING HITS LIST
For Adele, it's "Easy," for the Grammys, not so much. (10/20a)
ADELE ADELE ADELE
Adele; Adele Adele?
ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE
A... dele?
ADELE ADELE
Adele Adele; Adele.
ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE
(Adele.)
Blighty Beat
UMG'S U.K. TIPS FOR 2016
1/13/16

Who will be in the lucky few that manage to catch a break in Blighty’s hyper-competitive market in 2016? David Joseph’s Universal U.K. has a number of acts its putting its money behind, quite literally, in the hope of scoring a few goals.

Joseph’s giant boasted nine entries in both the Top 20 biggest selling artist albums and singles of 2015, thanks to names including Sam Smith (Capitol), Justin Bieber (Def Jam/Virgin EMI),James Bay (Republic/Virgin EMI) and Ellie Goulding (Polydor). The label's overall share of the U.K. albums market stood at 33.5% - up 0.3% YoY, while singles stood at 38.4%, also up 0.3%. So what’s next?

2016 is already looking good with Island signed multi-instrumentalist Jack Garratt (pictured) named both BRITs Critics’ Choice and BBC Sound Of 2016. His fourth single “Breathe Life” is currently sitting on the BBC Radio 1 A List and Garratt's debut album Phase is out 2/19. You can read more about that fella here.

Over at Ferdy Unger-Hamilton’s Polydor, U.S. act Lany—signed in the U.K.—are busy recording their debut set, with frontman Paul Klein rumoured to be in the studio with Adele producer Greg Kurstin. Manager Rupert Lincoln (The Creed Co) is currently laying the groundwork for a successful album release in Blighty, expected around autumn time. Also signed to Unger-Hamilton’s imprint is one-man-band Mura Masa, a pop producer, singer and musician called Alex Crossan. Appearing on the same BBC list that Garratt topped, he came fifth, and is hoping to graduate from his bedroom studio sometime this year. With an Apple Music and Spotify tip too, the stars are already aligning.

Blossoms are a Manchester-born, five-piece whose psychedelic alternative rock has got our very own #HenchHipster Samantha Hissong waxing lyrical about their modern twist on ‘60s hits. The BBC agree, as the band came fourth in the BBC Sound of 2016 longlist, while Apple Music, Spotify and MTV have included them in their respective tip lists. New single “At Most a Kiss” was BBC Radio 1’s track of the day on 1/5 and is Global’s Radio X Record of the Week this week.

Last year, Decca and Glassnote-signed, Norwegian singer Aurora bagged the coveted John Lewis Christmas ad campaign with her cover of Oasis’ “Half the World Away” and promptly catapulted into mainstream awareness. Her debut album is expected on 3/11 and both Decca (headed up by MD Rebecca Allen) and Glassnote’s U.K. team (lead by Director Sam Rumney and A&R Manager Ed Poston) are hugely excited about what’s in store this year.

Finally, the Capitol U.K. team Nick Raphael and Jo Charrington have been on a seemingly relentless upward trajectory in recent years with the huge success of breakout star Sam Smith and then 5 Seconds of Summer. Female singer/songwriter and “piano woman” Frances is next. She appeared as one of three names in the BRITs Critics’ Choice shortlist, and is another that has been tipped by Spotify and Apple Music as an up-and-comer to watch out for. Latest single “Borrowed Time”—co-written with fellow UMG U.K. act Disclosure’s Howard Lawrence—has been making its way up the BBC Radio 1 playlist and is currently sitting on the B List. She’ll be playing Coachella in April and recently announced that the 850 cap. Union Chapel gig in London next month is sold out.

Also sitting on the BBC Radio 1 B List with “It Gets Cold” is another new act signed and A&R'd by Raphael and Charrington, indie rock band Eliza and the Bear. That's another name we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on, so you don't have to.