Sounds like: Scotland’s next best indie band.
For fans of: Franz Ferdinand, Strokes, Bloc Party
Need to know: The quartet released their debut single ‘L.U.V.’ at the start of 2016, but it was the exuberant ‘Rita Ora’, a love letter to the aforementioned pop star, which got heads turning – and even got a retweet from Ora. Aww.
What’s next: The band are poised to release new music in the first half of next year as they aim to release their new album in 2017
Essential track: ‘Rita Ora’
From: London, via Rotterdam and Birmingham
Sounds like: The new queen of UK rap is into bubbling, which isn’t some unseemly practice that Tove Lo might advocate but an offshoot of hip-hop that a Dutch DJ invented in 1988 by playing a dancehall record at the wrong speed. Stefflon adds her own Anglo-Scandi-Jamaican twist, while still taking the time to point out the “diamonds in my Rolex” like the poutiest brag rapper.
For fans of: Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Angel
Need to know: Having landed in London aged 14 after growing up in the Netherlands, one-time professional cake decorator Stefflon Don – aka Stephanie Allen – came to prominence with a 2015 cover of Section Boyz’ ‘Lock Arff’ and a spot on Jeremih’s Late Nights: Europe mixtape, prompting Sony to snap her up for her first single ‘Hot Prop’. Whether they threw in a pricey watch was unconfirmed as NME.com went to press.
What’s next: She’s becoming a fixture on the London scene – so keep an eye on her socials for more gigs.
See them live: Bristol Motion (January 27)
Essential track: ‘Hot Prop’
Sounds like: Sweaty, heavy and ear-piercing rock riffs
For fans of: Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Queens of The Stone Age
Need to know: It took the group eight tries to get the right drummer, but when they did, things started to fall into the place for the quartet. They’ve gigged their socks off around the UK in the last two years and released a string of killer singles, especially ‘In My Mind’ that’ll make you want to start a moshpit on your commute.
What’s next: A headline tour for next year has just been announced.
See them live: Southampton The Joiners (March 2) Coventry Central Library (4), Leicester The Cookie (11)
Essential track: ‘In My Mind’
From: South-east London
Sounds like: Urban punk with killer basslines and tongue-tripping lyrics.
For fans of: Sleigh Bells, Skunk Anansie, Skinny Girl Diet
Need to know: Georgia and Amy have been music-school peers of big names like Novelist and Ed Sheeran. Their tracks brim with braggadocio, and they say their gigs are all about making people “feeling empowered”.
What’s next: Following their self-titled EP, released earlier this year, we can expect more music and more eardrum-popping shows.
See them live: Guildford The Star Inn (February 24)
Essential track: ‘Bassline Bitch’
From: Rennes, France
Sounds like: A melting pot of R&B, pop, indie, electro crafted into streamlined bangers.
For fans of: Jungle, Bon Iver, Gorillaz
Need to know: After building a steady fan base in their native France, the group received international attention when their funked-up single ‘Five Minutes’ was used in an Apple advert. A recent live tour of the UK sold-out soon after and world domination is now on the cards.
What’s next: ‘Her Tape 2’ is being readied for release early next year and a UK tour is likely for next Spring.
See them live: Stay tuned for live dates.
Essential track: ‘Queens’