We’ve spent a large portion of our year being super excited over the bundles and bundles of excellent new music coming through. So when it came to compiling a list of who YOU should definitely be keeping an eye out for next year, let’s just say, we were pretty pumped. Now obviously, there are plenty of fairly new bands and artists that have done incredibly well for themselves this year and are literally on the brink of breaking through (*cough* Black Honey *cough), but we’ve decided to keep our suggestions fairly limited, to the even fresher blood of the music industry… So, without further adieu.
London rising stars ANTEROS have steadily been churning out bubblegum pop hits over the past year. Epitomising in their Breakfast EP, which saw them prove to the masses that they can not only deliver an upbeat banger, but can also win hearts with their slower, more controlled tracks. Taking subject matter that’s more often than not on the negative side and unleashing it in an almost sickeningly happy way is definitely working in their favour and with an upcoming support slot with White Lies under their belts for next year as well as having already been announced for the likes of Secret Garden Party festival, we have no doubts at all that 2017 is going to be absolutely mega for them. Samantha Daly
London band BORN STRANGER has had quite the whirlwind of a year, and their upward trajectory is only just beginning. From the release of their stellar single ‘Fire & the Flame’ to collaborating with renowned pop producer Yoad Nevo (who has previously worked with the likes of Duran Duran and Goldfrapp to name but a few) on their forthcoming debut album, 2017 is set to see electro-pop duo David Maddox-Jones and Raife Hacking gain a far wider audience for their anthemic tunes. With choruses as big as these, they are set to get your groove on! Kayleigh Watson
These guys (you may recognise from Dananananaykroyd and Operator Please, individually) have barely come under the radar this year, but after catching their sets at both SWN Festival in Cardiff and Off The Record festival in Manchester, I can safely say with complete certainty that there’s a bright future ahead for these guys. Completely bold, fun and assertive, just like their name may suggest, their music is straight to the point, no-nonsense indie pop and their live performances are exactly the same. You have fun just watching them have fun and that’s never anything to complain about. They’ve only released a couple of singles to date, but luckily for us, they’ve got themselves a pretty huge management deal, now sharing a roster with massive names, such as PJ Harvey and Radiohead… SD
Cash & David
Indie/electro duo CASH & DAVID have been bubbling under some time and were snapped up by Columbia earlier this year for the release of their sides I & II Eps. This duo is ever expanding their repertoire, challenging the ideas of what can be done with the contemporary pop genres. Bringing obscure dance samples and techno beats hurtling into the hooks of traditional three-minute electro numbers, ‘Elixir’ and ‘Burger (Stormy Weather)’ evoke images of hundreds raving to these obscure yet accessible bangers. Bridging the gap like artists such as Disclosure and London Grammar, they have the feverish obsessive quality and boundary pushing sounds of The xx and Caribou. Sean Ward
There’s always a place for bolshy, rowdy, sweaty rock over here, so it seemed purely logical to grant Welsh trio ESTRONS a place on our list! From full-throttle affairs such as ‘Belfast’ or more groove-ridden (dare we whisper it – “pop”) numbers like recent single ‘I’m Not Your Girl’, the band have a sparky energy that will see them smash through the more forgettable rock-fodder of the next year with ease. With the successful She’s Here Now EP now tucked under their belts, we can’t wait to hear what they whip up next! Is it possible to squeeze an album out of 2017? Perhaps, if they keep propelling themselves forward at their current speed… KW
Connar Ridd, the 19-year-old from Chelmsford, who’s music is pretty experimental… but super rewarding. Combining rock, hip-hop and general indie sounds, expect some super energised music that’s a bit reminiscent of Rat Boy, but with a completely different edge to it. He’s bagged himself a support slot with none other than INHEAVEN next February, as long as playing alongside Black Honey and new BBC fave’s Cabbage at Phil Taggart’s Slacker night in London. And this is all just at the beginning of 2017… SD
At first listen, it’s fair to say we were pretty stunned by what we were hearing, but the bewilderment didn’t take long before it turned itself into amazement. From then on we’ve completely fallen in love with London’s GIRLI, cemented only when we saw her perform at Neighbourhood festival back in October. Wild, honest and incredibly infectious Girli is set to take over the world, whilst simultaneously figuring it out and we can’t wait to witness her journey.
With a voice and a knack for lyrics far wiser than her years, LAUREL is inevitably set for great things. We think 2017 may be her time to shine brighter than ever before, given the success of the pop-tinged rock EP Park, which was preceded earlier in the year by her being named Apple Music’s very first New Artist of the Week, no mean feat for an artist who a couple of EPs to her name. All of this recognition may seem sudden, but Laurel has in fact been paving the path to her success since she was only eleven years old and has developed into a musical wunderkind in the years since. She writes, records, produces and mixes all of her music after all, and with more new music no doubt coming our way in the near future, we hope she gains the recognition she deserves. KW
Whip out your rose tinted glasses and shine your dancing shoes because if you have yet to hear to PARCELS, well, let’s just say that you have met your new favourite band! Infused with every nuance that makes 70s disco funk such a refreshing listen even now, but tastefully laced with sparking synths and woven with killer choruses, recent tracks such as ‘Gamesofluck’ and ‘Myenemy’ are designed for the dancefloor. No, really, we challenge you to listen to them without tapping your feet! Having steadily been drip-feeding us new material over the past few months, no doubt something is to emerge soon; be it an album or merely an EP – we don’t care! – give us more, we’re done with waiting… KW
Hailing from Down Under, Sydney duo PLGRMS have been on our radar since we first heard last year’s dark and brooding ‘Pieces’, but the electro-pop band have continued to surprise us with their efforts ever since. Their most recent single ‘Gemini’ sees them lighten the tone with their intoxicating use of synths, whilst previous single ‘Fools and Their Gold’ takes a more relaxed approach, despite the lingering heartache. Despite their eclectic efforts, the band are still yet to release an EP, so surely 2017 is the year? We sure hope so. KW
It has been a number of years since an artist has broken through with such an unafraid, unwavering unique sound and stage presence as PUMAROSA. The seven minute ‘Priestess’ of last year was accompanied by the far more abrupt ‘Cecile’ and ‘Honey’ bringing kraut-rock, folktronica, art pop sounds to the band’s already bizarre repertoire. Onstage Isabel Munoz-Newsome conducts her band in the bewitching stylings of early days Stevie Nicks with some Alison Goldfrapp and Natasha Khan witchery for good measure. As an outfit, both sound and style and completely fascinating and I do not recall myself being as curious about an act in a 360 sense for quite a number of years. SW
Liverpool production maverick SG LEWIS made good on the promise of early nods with a string of delicious, downtempo singles through 2016 and now he stands poised to capitalise on the huge support he’s received. Artists such as HONNE and KAYTRANADA have experimented with merging dance floor and downtempo and SG makes similarly impressive sounds on the likes of ‘Holding Back’. His choice of vocalists and collaborators only enhances his fast developing, distinct musical style. Ambient ‘Meant To Be’ and the exquisite ‘Chill Out’ featuring Ray BLK point towards a debut LP of epic electro proportions. SW
Those in the know may recognise these chaps from their former name ‘Slutface’, since having to change their name due to legal reasons, now fully formed in their SLØTFACE identity, these Norwegian wonders have blessed us with not just one, but two amazing EP’s this year. First in Sponge State and more recently with Empire Records, both full of hits that more then explain the rise in attention that they’ve deservedly been getting. It’s also pleasant to see how much their music has already developed in such a short space of time, which leads us on to our reasoning… what can a little bit more time do for them?
These Glaswegians know how to write a hook. A band on something of an unstoppable rise, they have a substance to counterbalance the lofty hype in the solidity of singles including ‘Blush’ and ‘Living Fiction’. The Cuts That Won’t Bleed EP sufficed our growing appetite for a taste of a debut and topped our Eps of 2016 list, as the band continue to adapt and grow both in the studio and onstage, our excitement grows as to what will be delivered in 2017.
Will Joseph Cook
Singer/songwriter WILL JOSEPH COOK has been developing his music throughout this year with the heavily pop-focused releases including ‘Girls Like Me’ and ‘Take Me Dancing’. Taking inspiration from lofty artists including Damon Albarn and Nick Cave, he melds a sincere voice with a playful aesthetic, crafting some of the year’s most infectious hooks throughout the delectable ‘Sweet Dreamer’. With indie contemporaries such as Shura and Oscar injecting real personality into their music and visual identity to dramatic success, Will feels poised to be the next act to capitalise here.