10 New British Bands You Need to Hear Right Now
You don’t need to be a hardcore Anglophile to know that Britain is (and always has been) bursting with musical talent. Unfortunately, it often takes a bit of time for the hottest U.K. bands to make a splash overseas, and waiting for them to hit can be a drag. So for your listening pleasure, we’ve created this list of 10 New British Bands You Need to Hear Right Now. Scroll down and get a taste of what’s been brewing across the pond.
At the end of 2012, IYES gave us ‘Lighthouse,’ a demo that tells us exactly what it would sound like if the xx and Ellie Goulding were to somehow mate and produce a co-ed duo from Brighton. A few months later, IYES dropped ‘Daddy,’ a hypnotic seven-minute instrumental made all the more mesmerizing by its video — an onslaught of close-up photographs of eyeballs. Whatever their debut album entails, it’ll undoubtedly dazzle.
Some of the latest musical buzz from across the pond is coming from the all-girl Manchester quartet PINS. Their music has fuzzy, retro post-punk feel, and they even recorded their debut album, ‘Girls Like Us’ (due out Sept. 30), to tape and filmed their video for ‘Get With Me’ with an old Super 8 camera. The summer’s almost over, but it you can manage one last beach party, this gang will provide the perfect soundtrack.
A great music video can kickstart a band’s career, but you also need great music to back it up. Fortunately, this “alternative pop” five-piece from Newcastle has both. If you haven’t already seen Shields’ video for ‘Mezzanine,’ which stars a sock puppet, then you really should watch it now. (Seriously, even Kylie Minogue loved it.) Shields’ debut EP, ‘Kaleidoscope,’ came out this past November, and they’ve just released a ‘Remixoscope’ version, with rejiggered tracks by some of their favorite up-and-coming producers and musicians. The best part? It’s available for free download on their website.
It’s hard to believe this South Londoner is only 19 years old, and what’s even more impressive is that she recorded and released her first album at the age of 15. If you like the idea of a gritty ’70s-style rock ‘n’ roll band fronted by an incredibly awesome girl influenced by the likes of Patti Smith, Lou Reed and Iggy & the Stooges, Misty Miller might just be your gal. You can stream her ‘Girlfriend’ EP in full now on Soundcloud.
If you’re not familiar with East London, it’s a pretty trendy place. That of course means there are a lot of bands based out of there, Waylayers being one of them. But don’t think that makes them bland. If you fancy a few blissful synth-pop gems with vocals slightly reminiscent of Coldplay’s Chris Martin (don’t worry — that’s not a bad thing here), then check out Waylayers’ recently released EP ‘Fault Lines,’ which was mastered at Abbey Road and has already broken into the Top 100 of the U.S. Billboard Album Chart, as well as the Top 50 of the U.S. Alternative Chart. Waylayers head stateside at the end of the year to record some new tracks, and they’ll play some major U.S. festivals in the spring, so keep these guys on your musical radar.
They sound like a perfect summer day, and they look like they’ve been plucked right out of the ’90s. Plus, with the song ‘Honey,’ they’ve given us one of the year’s best lyrics: “Don’t just dream in your sleep / it’s just lazy.” The music scene in Birmingham has been exploding lately, and Swim Deep are proof that B-town is churning out some quality acts. Their debut album, ‘Where the Heaven Are We,’ is out now.
Officers are great at making music — dark and sexy synth-pop perfect for fans of Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan and Depeche Mode — but they’re not just about making music. The Leeds-based band have a special fifth member, artist Stuart Semple, who’s collaborated with the likes of Lady Gaga, the Prodigy and the Futureheads. Semple serves as their artistic director, and together, they’ve created an installation in London’s trendy Rough Trade East record store and released a slightly gory music video with Numan (who’s taken them on tour). What’s more, they’ll sell the digital version of their forthcoming album ‘The Jackal’ with a case that can be printed via a 3D printer. You do not want to miss out on them.
Bastille’s debut album, ‘Bad Blood,’ soared to the top of the U.K. albums chart back in March, and it finally hit U.S. shelves in September, prefacing an American tour scheduled for later this month. Here’s what you need to know: The London four-piece is fronted by Dan Smith, who has great hair, sings with a thick accent and jumps around on stage a lot. Their songs are unbelievably catchy, and their live shows usually include a great cover of City High’s 2001 song ‘What Would You Do?’ They’re getting to be huge in the U.K., and they’ll be just as huge over here — guaranteed.
It’s likely you’ve heard of Tom Odell, since he was hand-picked by Lily Allen to join her ITNO record label roster, but if you don’t have a copy of his debut album, ‘Long Way Down,’ which topped the U.K. charts, you really should give iTunes or your local record store a visit. The 22-year-old singer-songwriter from Chichester, West Sussex, is starting to make a name for himself in America — he’s touring select U.S cities next month — so if you’re in the area of one of his shows and have a soft spot for a uniquely beautiful voices and stunning musical arrangements — and if you don’t mind inexplicably barefoot singers — do buy a ticket.
Not only did these guys release one of the best albums of 2013 (‘King Of Conflict’) — they’re one of the best live acts you’ll ever see. There’s no showboating or over-the-top effects — just rugged rock ‘n’ roll at its finest. Just looking at their drummer in action will tire you out. This trio from Macclesfield (near Manchester) have supported the likes of Slash, Skunk Anansie and Queens Of the Stone Age, and they’re only just beginning. And don’t worry: If you’re not a fan of the heavy guitar sound, they’ve also released a stripped-back version of their album.