A musical community like no other…
As Communion marks its 10th birthday this year and the sixth instalment of their annual festival Bushstock fast approaches, the remarkable growth of the Communion community and its unerring ability to recognise emerging talent should be celebrated.
Communion began life as a monthly night club in Notting Hill, London in 2006, founded by Ben Lovett (Mumford and Sons), Kevin Jones (Bears Den) and producer Ian Grimble to provide support and exposure for local, emerging acts. The transformation seen since that date is remarkable, with Communion establishing a record label and acting as a promoter and publisher, with divisions in the UK, US and Australia. This success is particularly impressive given so many other artist led labels have failed in the same period, Mike Skinner’s The Beats and Lily Allen’s In the Name Of being the most prominent examples.
The list of artists Communion has worked with in the last 10 years is astounding, with Michael Kiwanuka, Ben Howard, Nathaniel Rateliff and Catfish and the Bottlemen having released records under the Communion label and this only begins to scratch the surface. This success firmly established Communion at the forefront of the British indie/ folk scene, however to pigeonhole Communion in that space would be unfair and the continued emergence of new artists from the Communion stable shows why.
Below is a selection of the latest new artists Communion are promoting and for whom the next few years look to be full of opportunity.
Singer songwriter THØSS has had listeners enthralled since he first emerged with Swing in 2015, delivering his own brand of folk inspired indie pop. Recent releases have showcased his impressive songwriting ability with deeply personal lyrics touching on depression and alienation, drawing fans into his world.
Scuzzy guitars, crunching drums and frenetic energy are the hallmarks of Vant, a London based garage rock band formed by Seaham native Mattie Vant. Probably the most established act on this list having supported Royal Blood on tour and enjoyed increasing radio coverage in the UK, the band match their powerful musical soundscape with socially aware lyrics that are winning over the public and critics in equal measure.
Rich textures and luxurious layers underlay the gospel tinged sounds of Seramic, an indie-soul act who have already met success supporting fellow Communion alumni Jack Garratt on tour and their big room sound seems perfectly set to take over festivals and club nights alike.
Another product of the flourishing Australian electronic scene, Canberra natives SAFIA produce electro-pop driven by melodic synth lines and underpinned by thumping beats designed to get people on their feet. Much like Twin Peaks in the US, SAFIA are a testament to the success of Communion’s international growth.
Middlesbrough band Cape Cub’s releases to date have shown a mastery of ambience and space, combining acoustic guitar work with vivid, affecting lyrics, although frontman Chad Male has promised a bigger, more evolved sound is to come. Debut EP Closer was released in April this year but previous single Keep Me in Mind best captures the sound and potential of the band.
All of the artists above will feature at Bushstock, a one day festival happening across 5 venues in Shepherds Bush on 18 June.