It’s early on a Wednesday morning and we’re heading down memory lane, looking back over the past nine years of State’s Faces – our annual pick of what we feel are the best acts in the country at that moment in time. It began in 2009, not too shabbily if we do say so ourselves, with the likes of Villagers, Adebesi Shank, Heathers, Annie Mac and Katie Kim – all featured in a pristine digital magazine. From then on we like to think we’ve been pretty on the money with our selections – from Two Door Cinema Club, We Cut Corners in 2010 to Little Green Cars, Soak, Hozier, Jafaris, All Tvvins, Bitch Falcon, Rejjie Snow, Meltybrains?, Wyvern Lingo, Le Boom, Overhead The Albatross, Mmoths, Come On Live Long, Ships and many more across the years.
Not all have made it through to the other side, of course, and scanning these pages (all available to view here) is a reminder of how many superb bands and artists – many of whom seemed nailed on for success – couldn’t sustain the pressures of being a modern day musician. On the flipside, some of our Faces were just so delightfully left of centre that they were destined to burn brightly for only a short time. We raise a glass to all of them.
Last year we switched to a new format of a stand alone website but the quality of the acts didn’t change – Farah Elle, Soulé, Fontaines DC, Tebi Rex, Touts, Vernon Jane. Something else that has stayed the same since that first outing is the incredible original imagery from our photography team, all under the direction of art director Simon Roche.
And now we’re back for another year, with another twenty acts that we feel sure will become favourites over the coming months – possibly right now or this weekend when a number of them play the Whelan’s Ones To Watch festival, including our launch night on Friday. No spoilers mind, you’ll need to head here to discover our Faces of 2018….