Sounds like: Abrasive post-punk that’s big on atmosphere and meaning.
For fans of: Crows, Eagulls, Hookworms
Need to know: They’re a band that believes in tackling society’s problems in their songs, whether they be mental health or the refugee crisis, as evidenced on recent single ‘Sense’/’Fading’.
What’s next: Expect the band to up their productivity release-wise after finally putting out their first physical single in late 2016.
See them live: They’ve no gigs announced at present, but they’re a band who tour hard so expect more of the same in 2017.
Essential track: ‘Sense’
She Drew The Gun
Sounds like: Psychedelic pop with relatable tales firmly rooted in modern times.
For fans of: Angel Olsen, Bat For Lashes, Sufjan Stevens
Need to know: They got a big leg up in 2016 by winning Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition. Festival booker Emily Eavis is a huge fan; “These guys won because they blew us all away. They stood out in the most brilliant way – spiked indie with biting lyrics. Intense and great.”
What’s next: Their debut album was released back in April, but it all seems to be building up for a massive 2017 for them.
See them live: Shepherds Bush Empire, London (Dec 16)
Essential track: ‘Poem’
From: South London
Sounds like: Paraphrasing The Cardigans’ ‘Lovefool’ and lacing minimalist beats with forthright R&B vocals, BLK’s 2015 first single ‘50/50’ put a half-arsed partner in his place – under her box-fresh trainer – while 2016’s Stormzy collab ‘My Hood’ made a tour of the fried chicken shops and greasy spoons of South London sound far more epic than they deserve, what with all the botulism.
For fans of: Nao, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill
Need to know: Ray’s 2015 debut EP ‘Havisham’ was a musical reworking of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, in which a girl jilted at the alter turns into a bitter, world-hating recluse, a bit like Donald Trump even though he won. Her recent mini-album ‘Durt’ – featuring Wretch 32, Stormzy and SG Lewis – is only slightly more upbeat, tackling teenage pregnancy, urban deprivation and Tory policy to enslave the poor, and that’s just the first song.
What’s next: A bright 2017; Ray has already made the Sound Of 2017 longlist and looks to live up her billing as ‘the UK’s Lauren Hill’.
See them live: London Village Underground (February 27)
Essential Track: ‘My Hood’
From: Los Angeles
Sounds like: Barbed, off-kilter fuzz-pop that flits from serene purrs to ferocious yells in seconds.
For fans of: Hinds, Twin Peaks, Warpaint
Need to know: Burger Records alumni Cherry Glazerr have been garnering plaudits for their barbed, off-kilter fuzz-pop for a while now. It’s been two years since their last release in slinking single ‘Had Ten Dollaz’, but the first tastes of their new record show leaps forward in both sound and the band’s overall vision.
What’s next: ‘Apocalipstick’, the group’s first album for new label home Secretly Canadian, will be released on January 20.
See them live: They’ve got two return trips to the UK booked already with a London date in February and a place on the line-up at Brighton festival The Great Escape in May.
Essential track: ‘Told You I’d Be With The Guys’
Sounds like: Kraftwerk-esque synth lines but with a far more human feel.
For fans of: Veronica Falls, Chvrches, Passion Pit
Need to know: As her other band Veronica Falls take a brief hiatus, Roxanne Welch is currently dabbling with her new project, Patience, made up of meaty electronic basslines as Welch’s harmonious and uplifting vocal parts.
What’s next: She’s currently working on a debut album in LA, with a 2017 release looking likely
See them live: As Welch is currently finishing up the record, live dates might be a while.
Essential track: ‘The Pressure’