The big guns like headliners The Libertines, Metallica and Mumford & Sons are guaranteed to be great at Reading And Leeds this weekend, but, with a plethora of rising stars and emerging talent on the bill, it can be hard to know where to go and when to discover some fresh blood. From the grungy indie of The Big Moon to the nightmarish rap-punk of Ho99o9, the ten bands below are some of the very best new bands in the world right now.
Tarek Musa’s band found themselves firmly in the spotlight after Zane Lowe kicked off Beats 1 Radio by playing their track ‘City’ – a mightily high accolade for a band so under the radar they were still playing mainly to industry reps at SXSW a few months earlier. Musa’s a fine songsmith – whipsmart in the melody department and totally adept when it comes to production (he’s in high demand among other rising bands).
The Big Moon
One of the bands Musa’s rumoured (nothing confirmed yet, mind) to have been in the studio with are this London four-piece. Subject of a fierce record label bidding war since they told us they wanted to emulate the gang-mentality of bands like Palma Violets and Fat White Family, their live shows are mosh-friendly bubblegum fun.
This Minneapolis lot are obsessed with Foals and Wu Lyf, and come armed with a clutch of insanely catchy-chorused guitar pop. New single ‘South’ is epic like indie used to be back when Bloc Party and Editors ruled the roost, while there’s a likable-geekiness about them that sets them apart from their UK influences.
Having grown up in studios around London, Georgia cut her teeth playing drums for a variety of new acts (Juce included), before going solo last year. Breakout track ‘Move Systems’ was a slice of boundary-less warped pop, which was later given a mesmerising makeover with the help of Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa.
The US freak rap duo are often at pains to point out they bonded over underground punk shows in NYC, but it’s their mangled version of the overtly weird worlds that made Death Grips and Odd Future so appealing that make them stand out. They treat every show as if it’s their last – swinging from the lighting rigging, stripping off, breaking stuff and generally making it their mission to piss off every security guard, bouncer, doorman and staff member within a mile radius of the stage.
A new Manchester act who seem to be looking a bit further than their own doorstep for inspiration. The synths on recent single ‘Blown Rose’ recall Pulp’s ‘Babies’, while lyrically they’re a whole lot more lovelorn than most of their Manc contemporaries. The Boo Radleys and The Coral seem like fitting comparisons overall, which makes you wonder whether they should up sticks and move to Merseyside once and for all.
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One of the industry’s biggest ladrock hopes of 2016 – alongside the likes of fellow R&L’ers Vant and Pretty Vicious – are Sydney’s DMA’s. A trio fostered from the same community which spawned Jagwar Ma and Splashh, theirs is a much more direct music – big, Gallagher-esque choruses are backed by bright acoustic guitars. Provided you can get on with that, there’s a lot to love about them.
Missing the youthful swagger of Jamie T now he’s settled into his late 20s with such panache? Look no further than Essex newcomer Rat Boy – owner of a car entirely pimped out in fake Burberry, fond of spraying graffiti promoting his own music on the hallowed walls of Abbey Road studios (allegedly), and seemingly able to churn out an endless stream of festival-friendly, guitar-heavy indie hip hop like it’s never been out of fashion.
Based at the very tip of Scotland (they rehearse in a castle there just a few miles from John O’Groats), Neon Waltz specialise in misty-eyed, arms-aloft anthems. YouTube videos see them covering Deerhunter and Shack songs, and there’s a sad lament to their craft that’s reminiscent of British Sea Power.
Probably the most soulful rapper in the UK in 2015, Loyle Carner’s sad song stories are way more personal than those of his peers, with his cracked delivery full of emotion. He’s already supported MF Doom and collaborated with Kate Tempest, and 2016 looks like it could be his for the taking…