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Signings signal EMI's return to rock

Signings signal EMI's return to rock

Both bands were the subject of intense A&R interest earlier this year, with Nashville four-piece Mona signing to Island UK and Mercury US and Brother signing to Geffen. Both bands are also expected to feature highly among the critics' tips for 2011.

There was feverish interest from publishers, too, with EMI Publishing UK head of A&R Felix Howard describing the bidding process for Mona as "a bun fight" between companies.

He adds Mona represent a return to rock and roll, predicting 2011 will be a year for guitar music. "This is one of the main reasons why we have signed Mona," he adds. "That's not to say that R&B and urban music does not have a place anymore, but just that things are going to move on a little bit."

Mona manager Saul Galpern adds that the group's music is "totally different to everything else" currently in the mainstream charts and notes, "I think there are some songs that next year will represent a return to rock and Mona will be at the forefront of that. Obviously there will be other bands that will get signed off the back of their success, but it's good to know that Mona are leading the way."

The band's second single Trouble On The Way has already won enthusiastic support from Radio 1's Zane Lowe and Fearne Cotton as well as XFM and NME and is set for release on December 13. Their as-yet-unnamed debut album is scheduled to be in shops next May.

Galpern says Mona decided to sign to the publisher due to the quality of the team there. "Everyone really liked Guy [Moot, EMI Publishing UK and European A&R president] and Felix. They are a good team there and from the beginning we felt supported and comfortable with the setup."

He adds that Mona's music "lends itself naturally" to syncs as the band's "big, epic songs" will work well across the board. "We will also be working closely with EMI to ensure we are careful with what the band are placed in.

"We want to make sure that there is the right fit between the band's music and the brand," he continues.

Howard adds, "They are a brilliant band with brilliant songs and heaps of talent and there wasn't really much of a choice but to sign them. I really am looking forward to what the future has in store for them."

Brother's debut single Darling Buds Of May will be released on February 28 and they will be touring the UK and Ireland to promote the release.

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