Over the course of the last year and a bit, barely a day has gone past without something pretty special from South London landing on our desk. From mind-melting pop to new MCs changing the shape of British music, creativity is thriving south of the river. Here’s a run down of the essential acts shaking things up in the city’s southern quarters.
Who: Brixton five-piece who’ve been kicking up a storm at festivals all summer long.
Sounds like: Vital post-punk anthems for a generation of youngsters desperate for anything but another four years of Tory rule.
For fans of: The Fall, Fat White Family
Best track: ‘Tasteless’
Who: Thoughtfully diverse pop from a truly special talent.
Sound like: A beautiful and bold mix of ska, reggae and straight-up 21st century pop music.
For fans of: Jorja Smith, Kali Uchis
Best track: ‘Lemon and Limes’
Who: Distinctly unique collective pushing pop boundaries.
Sounds like: Nothing else, really. Last single ‘Satan, Luella & I’ is a funky, glam-rock stomper and previous single ‘To The Door’ would fit nicely on the soundtrack sci-fi Western TV show, Westworld.
For fans of: T Rex, The Lemon Twigs
Best track: ‘Stained’
Who: Fiery 24-year-old MC, also happens to be a cousin of Stormzy.
Sound like: As her ‘Highly Flammable’ EP suggests, Rose’s flow is formidable and relentless. Truly one of a kind.
For fans of: Lady Leshurr, Section Boyz
Best track: ‘Skwod’
Who: In our own words, the UK’s answer to Father John Misty.
Sounds like: The end of the world, but soundtracked by wickedly funny and touching odes to mankind. Maltese is one of Britain’s best new songwriters.
For fans of: Leonard Cohen, Father John Misty.
Best track: ‘As The World Caves In’
Who: South London’s next great producer, following in the steps of Mura Masa.
Sound like: Soulful jazzy tunes or country-tinged club thumpers – Misch is the master of just about every type of sound.
For fans of: Loyle Carner, Jungle
Best track: ‘South Of The River’
Who: Visceral four-piece, signed to Rough Trade.
Sounds like: Languishing guitars and disdain for Brexit Britain combine on these rage-filled and witty anthems.
For fans of: The Big Moon, Protomartyr
Best track: ‘Country Sleaze’
Who: Rapper from South-East London with serious bags of potential.
Sounds like: Dancehall-infused bangers, mainly, where Banks shows her chops as both a strong vocalist and unrivalled lyricist.
For fans of: Stefflon Don, Yungen
Best track: ‘Day Ones’