The Bristol music scene took great pleasure in seeing the breakthrough of homegrown heroes Idles earlier in the year. There’s an undeniable romanticism in seeing a band play a tiny bar one minute and then opening for Foo Fighters at O2 Arena the next. Now though, there’s another wave of bands in the city kicking up their own momentum. Here’s a few of those names putting in the studio hours right now.
Noisy and compelling punks
For fans of: Thee Oh Sees, Iceage, Fugazi
What you need to know: With only one track to their name, abrasive four-piece Heavy Lungs have already found themselves opening for the likes of Metz. Their three-and-a-half-minute introduction to the world ‘Poster Boy’ arrived like a missile of early eighties punk recently. There’s a refreshing disinterest in self-promotion or trundling the tedious social media route with these guys. Everything so far has been earned off the back of a short string of captivating and chaotic live shows.
Best track: ‘Poster Boy’
Troubled guitar driven students
For fans of: The White Stripes, Yowl, Lice,
What you need to know: Still slogging it through the final year of university, Van Zeller have recently finished up for a while after a triumphant headline show at Thekla. Their most recent single ‘The Coward’ is a frantic blast of rock exploring the changing face of masculinity. It’s a witty track brimming with a sense of confidence and solidarity. Once those dissertations are handed in next summer we can be sure that Van Zeller will be taking things to the next level.
Best track: ‘The Coward’
Sensitive and emotional DIY pop
What you need to know: Nugget is the perfect soundtrack to a harsh rainy evening. Another one of Bristol’s DIY bedroom artists, the only release from Emily Isherwood so far is a modest demo cassette which is so lo-fi that bits of it were recorded in her garden. Attention to detail is everything with this project and at one of her most recent shows the audience were given out bottles of perfume. Well, It the smell of sticky beer carpets.
Reclined bedroom folk artist
For fans of: Alex G, Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes
What you need to know: Some of the greatest music comes from bedrooms. Slonk is the folk-based project of artist Joe Sherrin who also plays in much noisier garage outfit Milo’s Planes. He arrived properly with recent single ‘Jane’s Boots’ which comes from a very unpressured and natural place. His music is built with little expectation and the results are strikingly beautiful.
Best Track: ‘Jane’s Boots’
Immersive and chaotic instrumentals
For fans of: Factory Floor, Sonic Youth, Daniel Avery
What you need to know: Scalping are messed up in the best possible way. The band are rooted in garage and post-punk but also bring in a heavy electronica focus. Their set up is an ambitious undertaking for an emerging group but the result is completely immersive and disorientating. In the live environment the visuals are just as important as the music, as they layer entrancing backdrops behind the stage set up.
Best track: ‘Conduit’