Welcome 2018-ers. For our first post of the year, we decided it was about time that we shared our thoughts on the bands whom we believe are making great music and will continue to do amazing things in the coming twelve months. Catch our selections below, and let us know what you think in the comments.
Bristol’s Fenne Lily conveys true strength in her simple but evocative confessionals, whether singing of past loves, childhood worries or despairing melancholy, Lily’s resolute hushed tones startle and engage in a dance that is purely her own. Her most recent release, ‘For A While,’ radiates a familiarity of comfort and ease, whilst lyrically drawing on themes of predicting loss and the want to cling onto what you have. Fenne Lily is our favourite under-the-radar artist and we think it’s about time for her name to be shouted from the rooftops.
For a comfy blend of Fleet Foxes’ lush alt-country and Amber Run’s indie folk, Night Flight tick all the boxes in the best way possible. With songwriting that sends sparks flying off the page and confident musicality to bring it home, this is a band that treasures the art of music-making. Their debut EP, released late in 2017, presented a group acutely sensitised in the fine craft of emotional connection and moving vocal practises. ‘Departure’ glides vistas of hopeful sentiment to acoustic and electric swells of intensifying candour, while ‘Amsterdam’ boldly envisions full harmonics with wistful amplification, and ‘Death Rattle’ prides stunning symbolism to great effect.
A London-based singer/songwriter and producer who makes music that is full of feeling and honest truths. The debut release ‘You Can’t Put Out This Fire’ subtly eases us into the artist’s world, conversational talk-singing turns into airy falsetto and layered harmonies to really push the limits of sound and self-production. The building blocks of neo-soul translate into an alternative take on a popular style, Bamidele’s chillwave approach makes for easy listening and an intriguing counterpoint to the often monotonous mainstream.
Coming out of Manchester, SUGAR are the BIMM students making funky electro gems with a satisfying pop finish. Think Broken Bells mixed with Prides, ultra-catchy for a high intensive boogie-down afterglow. Last year’s ‘Truth’ brought smart progressions, attention-grabbing hooks and a sheen of studio prowess. We can’t wait to see what the four come up with in 2018.
The London-via-Ireland three-piece have a busy schedule for 2018, already… Expect to see them gigging with Public Access T.V., Husky Loops and Declan McKenna – and you don’t have to question very hard to know why. The band’s super-addictive sharpness in tone best excels on single ‘Actor,’ a hit back at falseness set to riling guitars and pop hooks. Perfection. We can’t wait for more.
A force of gallant storytelling and visceral intimacy washes over David Keenan’s master works. From studying the greats and exploring city streets, the musician discovered the power of true self-expression and a voice of his own making. Often likening to poetry and prose, his lyrics extend perceptive dialogues between composed characters and watched life for a thoroughly thrilling listen. Carrying a voice which hollers and tussles with great affection for an emotive delivery, Keenan conveys his intentions wilfully and majestically as his exemplary vocal range never coasts.
Ruling that unconventional is always the best way forward, Greta Isaac’s glitchy take on pop is the ultimate dream. Prevailing with a singer/songwriter heart, Isaac’s fascinating electronic spin ruins our expectations to instead scintillate a fresh reaction. Thus a great way to incentivize a new perspective on music-making. More please.
Invigorated wide-scale vision finds Stereo Honey a fantastic allure; never afraid to venture into the expansive, the band’s music trawls the experimental side of indie rock. Throwing out shapes of Wild Beasts and Radiohead, Stereo Honey became a staple for us when we first heard their winding prequel (‘Where No One Knows Your Name’) to the recently released ‘Monuments EP’. We believe this band will do great things in 2018. Watch this space.
Pop promise is out of the window here, it’s a sure win for Jack River. The Australian-born singer reaches the oh-so-cool marker with a voice that matches the intrigue of Lana Del Rey with the sweetness of Gwen Stefani, ‘Fault Line’ proves the sensational tailorings of success are also beckoning. 2018 might just be the year that sees Jack River zoom into popular consciousness.
Alt-indie tribes don’t normally arrive as relevant or as seriously wonderful, as CHILDCARE. Now we could yarp on for ages about how they are defining a new wave in British music for the guitar band, but we know that gets tiring. So instead, we’ll just say, see for yourselves – this band are the business. With one leg in the sugar-pop of the mainstream, another learnt in the miraculous ways of the alternative, we can’t really see any other direction for CHILDCARE’s career but to go further upwards. Enjoy them in small rooms whilst you still can.