A friend lamented about the lack of new talent in the current editions of pop idol/true talent/whatever. I find most of those fame-game shows to be crap, resulting only in "artists" that record bland versions of someone elses songs, do a bit of touring and fade back into obscurity. Fame and artistry are two different things.
I told my friend that she won't discover new talent by watching fame-game shows on TV. The real talent is busy writing songs, rehearsing, playing local gigs and touring in vans. If you want to find it you have to leave your sofa and check out some local gigs.
Just look at Frank Turner. I still remember seeing him opening for the Gaslight Anthem in 2009. I went to that show to see Gaslight Anthem and ended up walking out of the venue raving about Frank Turner. And I wasn't the only one. The buzz about him and his songs came from people who'd watched him performed and loved it. That's true talent and that is how you build a career in music. By writing and performing great songs, touring, playing and talking to those who listen to your music.
And the b-side to If Ever I Stray is a song called Sailor's Boots. Simple and amazing. Move over Brian Fallon, I've got a new writer's crush.