The winners of the 2014 Unsigned Only Music Competition have been announced, and the Fort Collins band You, Me & Apollo won in the Americana category for its song "I Don't Want to Be Loved." The competition received more than eight thousand entries with a finalist group presented to a panel of judges consisting of famous musicians and other music industry types, including John Oates, Rolling Stone writer Anthony DeCurtis and Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC to decide eleven categories. Selected based on the strength of its songwriting, the quality of the vocals, the overall likeability of the song as well as the originality and creativity of the music, "I Don't Want to Be Loved" stood out from the pack in a style of music that has certainly received a boost in popularity with the commercial success of acts like the Lumineers and Mumford & Sons.
"[Brent Cowles is] such an amazing vocalist and it just stood out as off the grid creative," says Unsigned Only representative Candace Avery, who also served in the capacity to narrow down the entries to the finalists. "I think they're pretty unique. To me that song has that retro sort of soul sound to it that I thought was really interesting. You can definitely hear some influences like Sam Cooke and artists like that blended with more contemporary Americana."
The band will receive a package of prizes and some exposure to record label A&R, music supervisors and publishers. A complete list of winners with a link to the winning song can be found at www.unsignedonly.com/winners.
In 2014 You, Me & Apollo released Sweet Honey, recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis to critical acclaim. It is slated to perform at CMJ this October with a potential date, aided by the good people at Unsigned Only, in Memphis.
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If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.