2014’s Ones to Watch – Where Are They Now?

Back at the start of the year, we published a feature outlining the three acts we thought would hit it big in 2014. With the year now mere weeks from its end, we thought it’d be a good idea to take a look and see how well our chosen acts have done, and if they’ve actually lived up to their expectations. Read on to see how 2014 has fared for Temples, The Family Rain, Saint Raymond and a whole spate of other acts who we tipped.

Back when we published the original feature, Kettering-quartet Temples were yet to release debut album Sun Structures. Since its release (which saw the album chart at #7), the Heavenly Records band haven’t stopped touring and working harder than ever before. They’re currently winding up the year with a UK/Euro tour which has seen them sell out some of the biggest venues of their career thus far; including a show at London’s well known Forum. Their summer was spent touring the world and playing various festivals, which included two fantastic sets at Glastonbury. Two weeks ago, they also released Sun Restructured, a reworkingof their debut album courtesy of Beyond the Wizard Sleeve’s hypnotic skills. It’s safe to say that 2014 has been a good year for Temples, with them slowly but surely making a solid name for themselves. With new music in the works for 2015, it’s anyone’s guess as to what we can expect from the James Bagshaw-fronted group next year.

Earlier this year we predicted big things for blues rock trio The Family Rain. Consisting of the three Walters’ brothers, their ear-shattering rock showed so much promise. However, instead of blowing up as rock’s new big thing, 2014 has been a weak year for the band. They seldom toured outside of the UK, with a European tour (or anywhere else, for that matter) not even materializing. Having said that, they’re still buzzing in the underground and this means that 2015 could be the year for them. With the likes of Trust Me…I’m a Genius and the magnificent Vulpicide being two standout moments on their debut album Under the Volcano, it’s quite a surprise that they haven’t achieved what was set out for them. If their Hunger Sauce EP was anything to go by, a new direction may be on the cards for their second album. It’s been a disappointing year for this band, so hopefully 2015 will be a better one.

Nottinghamshire singer-songwriter Saint Raymond (aka Callum Burrows) had a slow start to 2014, with his success only picking up after the summer. His most successful moment of the year came from supporting Ed Sheeran throughout the arenas of UK and Europe, which is quite an achievement for this young lad. It’s not a surprise though, as he’s got a great back catalogue so far which doesn’t even feature an album. The fantastic Fall At Your Feet and emotional Letting Go were two of 2013s best songs, with 2014 seeing him gain notoriety thanks to the single I Want You. It sees Burrows move towards electronic beats and an RnB-flecked rhythm, something which suits his style of play quite well. 2014 was a good year for Burrows, even if it did start off quite slow. His support slot with Sheeran will do him a lot of good in the future, especially as he gears up to release his debut album in 2015.

Of the above acts, you could probably say that Temples had the best year. They may not yet be a commercial hit, but they’ve managed to release a stellar album and still tour consistently and pull off fantastic live shows. The Family Rain had promise yet disappointed us all, whereas Saint Raymond’s year only picked up post-summer. However, at the end of the original feature we briefly listed a few other acts that could also do well. Although they didn’t make out part of our top 3, some of them have become bigger hits than the actual top 3. The most notable act from that list is Brighton-duo Royal Blood, who have been hailed as the “future of rock” after their hotly anticipated debut album went straight to #1 in the UK with record sales. Alongside them, we also saw funk duo Jungle make quite a name for themselves, mainly thanks to a summer of consistent and non-stop touring in support of their debut album. Both Royal Blood and Jungle toured so much this summer that they were jointly declared as the “most booked band of the summer”, each clocking in around 40 festivals. This goes to show that success can sometimes come from where you least expect it, especially if your money is on other acts (like ours was with The Family Rain). The rest of the artists in that sub-list, however, didn’t achieve too much success. This included the likes of Speedy Ortiz, Telegram and The Wytches, as well as Circa Waves and Radkey.

A lot of bands are set to breakthrough in 2015, and therefore we’ll be back in a few weeks to bring you our tips for the year.