There were a number of rising stars in 2016 who seem destined to make it big in the next twelve months. I’ve picked a handful of my favourites to share with you and hopefully you’ll find something to obsess over. In no particular order:
Bad Nerves are about as underground as you can get while still causing a stir. Their self-released singles Can’t Be Mine and Wasted Days sound like a broodier, rougher Circa Waves, presenting a surf punk sound that’s undoubtedly going to explode sooner or later. Our bets are on that being in 2017.
First we had Palma Violets, then Fat White Family, and now Goat Girl appear to be the next grunge-y talent to emerge from London. Touring with Girl Band this month, Goat Girl project wave after wave of noise, often intercut or broken down to reveal a fine picked winding guitar riffs that give their tracks a ‘spaced out’ feel.
90’s rock with just a hint of grunge, dragged screaming into 2017. They’ve been praised by both Jamie T and Blossoms and have toured with both in 2016.They’re now working with Strokes frontman’s, Julian Casablanca’s Cult Records label, so expect them to be an established name by December.
There was a wealth of talented empowering female fronted punk bands that dominated 2016, come 2017 we’re expecting Estrons to rise to a similar rank to that of Wolf Alice and Honeyblood. Featuring a sharp riffs, lyrics and hooks, Estrons hit hard and fast and if we’re lucky, their debut will be with us before the year is out. Fingers crossed.
The Reading fourpiece have an instant appeal. They’ve been writing huge rock tracks for years but with tracks like In My Mind and Little Something both releasing in 2016, they’ve turned things up a notch. It’s going to be exciting to see just how far The Amazons can push their hard rock sound.
July Talk are a mash up of so many levels and styles of sound we’re amazed it works, but oh boy does it. The gruff vocals of Peter Dreimanis are circled and matched by the floating ethereal voice of Leah Fay, all wrapped up in a hard rock funk that’s as rich, catchy and for want of another phrase, ballsy as hell.
If any track on this list is going to stop you in your tracks it’s She Drew the Gun’s Poem. It’s been theorized that the worse British life gets the more impressive its protest anthems will become. Poem may well be the first of a new wave of thought-provoking indie soul tracks. Why haven’t you heard them already? We blame the capitalists, but here’s your chance to get into them on the ground floor.
Two self-released singles into her career, Harlea is already causing a stir. The 22-year-old’s hard indie rock has been compared to the likes of Wolf Alice, Arctic Monkeys, and Catfish and the Bottlemen; if there’s a full album of more material like her first two singles it’s going to be a huge.
The Riot Grrrl movement lives on in Dream Wife. Handpicked to model for Vivienne Westwood (we hear she’s a rather big name), and coming off a supporting slot on Black Honey’s recent tour, they’re playing dates across the UK throughout this month that are surely the start of their rise through the ranks.
Bagging himself a Brits Critics’ Choice Awards last year, Rag’n’Bone Man is likely to be the first artist on this list to make his way into the mainstream. His first single Human was released through Columbia Records back in July, and with his debut album due to release in March, expect to hear more of his soul and R&B mix of styles in 2017.
Classic indie with a twist. With all the catchy attraction of an all out electronic artist like the Holy Fuck, Bad Sounds have merged their beats with old school indie rock to delightful effect. A number of bands in their genre have succumbed to one-hit wonder status and faded away, so far Bad Sounds seem to have released nothing but hits, and now we’ve developed a taste for it.
Distorted and jerky guitars along with heavy drums, Aathens may well be London’s answer to the Canadian Metz, PUP, and Greys. Having recorded their debut EP in one go, in an empty rehearsal space, and the finished product sounding this good, their debut album is expected to melt some faces in true post punk fashion.
The lighter side of the feminist revolution that’s inspired so many female fronted punk bands in recent years. Formerly named Slutface, they were sadly forced into a name change by the joys of internet censorship, the four-piece have never the less continued to conjure up track after track of pop punk fun. Have I said they’re fun enough times for you to get it? Seriously, they’re fun, go listen.
There’ll undoubtedly be some surprises but it’s something to get your teeth sunk into as 2017 starts to gear back up after its Christmas off. Also check out our full playlist of the bands we just mentioned and a ton more here.