Out of all the lists, this is our favourite.
It’s always great looking back on the year that’s passed and remembering all of the good, bad and just plain weird that’s come out of the year. But, do you know what’s even better? Looking forward to the year to come and thinking about the potential greatness that could come from certain acts. These are some of the acts we’re going to be keeping a close eye on.
Black Midi are cultivating a cult following from just one official single. 2018’s ‘bmbmbm’ is a tour-de-force, a rage filled epic that destroys anyone who listens. It is quite amazing that one band, a band so early into their career, can be selling out shows on a UK wide tour and be garnering such a fanbase so quickly.
Black Midi are quite unlike anyone else in the UK right now. Their blend of noise rock and math rock contains all the subtleties and details of a band ten years their senior. 2019 must bring an album. We demand an album Black Midi! What that album might contain is anyone’s guess. In one of the only interviews the band have conducted, they stated that they were not interested sticking to one genre of music. A country album anyone? Charlie Leach
With an album set for release in the first quarter of next year, CHILDCARE are already planning their domination of 2019. All e can say is that it’s going to be weird and wonderful and incredibly poignant. Samantha Daly
Just listen to a few seconds of YONAKA’s magnificent brand of alternative pop and it is plainly obvious that they are destined for bigger things. The two-pronged assault of crunching guitars and some of the most powerful, room-commanding vocals in recent memory ensure that the band effortlessly capture the attention of anyone exposed to their sound, and it doesn’t hurt that they write gloriously catchy tunes that meld this crushing alternative rock flavour with accessible pop hooks. YONAKA seem to have something for everyone, and between their beautiful nuanced tunes and their wonderfully chaotic live shows, it seems like a matter of when, rather than if for this young band. Kieran Rogers
The emerging scene for post-punk and art rock in Dublin has caught the ears of many, and Fontaines D.C. may be the most attention-grabbing of the bunch. Embracing Ireland’s rich history in counter-culture within the arts, the five-piece have thrilled and terrified in equal measure with tracks like ‘Boys In the Better Land’ or ‘Too Real. A debut album is on the horizon with Dan Carey pencilled in to helm production. It could be one of 2019’s best. Molly Forsyth
Thyla have had quite the 2017, and they’ve not even dropped their debut EP yet! Taking a detour from the prior dream-pop of vibe ‘Ferris Wheels’ and ‘Pristine Dream’ for euphoric, sing-a-long grunge anthems such as ‘Candy’, ‘I Was Biting’ and most recent single ‘Blue’, the Brighton four-piece have been causing quite the stir as of late. After all, it’s always a cause for celebration when you get on Pitchfork and Stereogum, it’s practically a right of passage for success! Keep your eye on these lot, they’re gonna be your new favourite band. Kayleigh Watson
Easy Life seem to have melded together a host of contemporary British sounds to create something that feels both unique and familiar. This amalgamation of tongue-in-cheek indie and laid back hip hop has drawn comparison to artists like Jamie T and with good reason. The benefits of this kind of sound is that is gives artists a lot of room to breathe, the sound is dictated and characterised by the unique personality of the band. Easy Life’s sound is drenched in personality. Early singles such as ‘Pockets’ and ‘Nightmares’ showcase the talent and potential that the band have, and a burgeoning following and ever-increasing stream counts suggest that a breakthrough is on the horizon. KR
Pop stars of today tend to expect to play a long game. L Devine is one of them, but her time to shine beckons. Pop seems to be on an overall downer in terms of the mainstream but with Ms Devine, there’s something a little more raw and genuine. The lyrics in songs like ‘Peer Pressure’ or ‘Nervous’ aren’t trying to endear you, they just naturally do, because the Newcastle songstress has a natural way of connecting that some A&Rs pay millions for. MF
2018 – the year that Pizzagirl burst into our lives bringing with him, not pizza, but incredible indie pop music instead. 2019 – the year that Pizzagirl bounds into the wider public’s lives doing exactly the same.
If you like 80’s, synths, catchy lyrics and maybe the odd barking dog or two, Pizzagirl is your man. (Special shoutout to Pizzamum as well!) SD
North Londoners Sorry have become a band’s band. Anyone with knowledge of the UK indie scene cannot get enough of Sorry’s playful post-punk sound. From the Sonic Youth-recalling ‘Starstruck’, to their subversive take on glamorisation of sex work in ‘Showgirl’, Sorry are bringing back the classic sounds of noise rock and lofi for their generation. Associating in similar scenes to 2018’s breakthrough acts Shame and Goat Girl, you’d be wise to expect them to blow up when an album drops. MF
These guys arrived with a fully fledged sound. As prim and proper as it comes production wise, but that’s just one thing. At Barn on the Farm this year, we made our way through the blistering heat to catch APRE live, first on on a Saturday. What we were met with an astounding live set. Full of energy, they bring their already fairly lively music to life! It was that moment that fully solidified them in our Ones to Watch for 2019. SD
Since emerging from seemingly out of nowhere Press Club have kicked up a storm with their volatile brand of indie-punk. Their music is frenetic and frantic and even on record you can taste the sweaty chaos that surely characterises their live shows. ‘Headwreck’ and ‘My Body’s Changing’ have already provided shining examples of the immense potential of the Australian outfit. With their debut album touted for release in early 2019, we at Born Music hope that this projects them into the wider conversation and cements them as a force to be reckoned with. KR
FEET have only two singles proper to their name as of yet – last year’s Parquet Courts-evoking ‘Petty Thieving’ and the slacker rock of this year’s ‘Backseat Driver’ – but they’ve already caught the ears of many a tastemaker and getting pressed to vinyl by former-Maccabee Felix White’s record label Yala! Having recently announced their first headline tour (110% recommend – they put on an invigorating show!) and sharing that they’re busy recording their debut album, we are very excited to see what tunes the band pull out of the bag. KW
Hannah’s Little Sister
We’re a little bit excited about Hannah’s Little Sister here at Born. Their debut single ‘20’ is a cathartic, punk anthem for all of the millennials who have been belittled by the older generation. ‘20’ is on heavy rotation with a lot of our writers, and we just need to hear more form this Liverpool outfit. CL
Everyone wants to be productive but then you get the odd individual who just likes to overachieve. Saya (or “SayaSlaya” as her social media handles imply) has certainly been slaying 2018 – a whole two-EP-releases kinda slaying! Dropping her debut EP Chills & Thrills at the start of the year, rapidly followed by her latest outing Sugarcoated, the Toronto artist has fully honed in on her good-time R&B sound on tracks such as ‘Played Out’, ‘Side Ting’ and ‘On Ice’. It’s only a matter of time before she breaks through to chart success; hopefully a debut album is on the cards for next year. KW
Not many people can say they’ve had a song written about them. Well, for Heavy Lungs’ Danny Nedelko, he is in a select few who have. Having had the pro-immgration IDLES song ‘Danny Nedelko’ written about him, Danny Nedelko has had quite the fantastic year. His band Heavy Lungs have toured the past year with their good friends IDLES, and released a fantastic debut EP, ‘Abstract Thoughts’.
Heavy Lungs have a heavier sound compared to their Bristol brothers, but are still situated in that same ball park, a post-punk sound that is making quite the comeback in 2018. The only way is up from here for Heavy Lungs; we just hope 2019 brings that long anticipated debut album! CL