From their humble beginnings in a West London student home, Tugboat Captain have come an awful long way. The band first emerged back in 2016 with the distinctly DIY-debut release, which established their unmistakable way with a melody. The giant leap forward came with second record, Everybody Seems to Think That I’m a Raincloud, a collection of heartbreak anthems, that was one of the sleeper indiepop hits of 2017. That record’s success saw them play for the likes of Wales Goes Pop and Indietracks, drew near universal acclaim from the blogging community, and this Spring will see them head to America to play at both New Colossus Fest and SXSW.
Tugboat Captain’s ever evolving sound takes in elements from across the lineage of alternative music history. Equally influenced by The Beatles as Galaxie 500, sounding one second like Guided By Voices, the next like Camera Obscura. The band are currently gearing up to the release of their third album, recorded last year at Abbey Road, and early snippets have hinted at their most ambitious and enthralling release to date. Don’t miss the chance to see where this band are headed next, because for this band the sky’s the only limit.
The Other Ones are a London-based quartet who describe their music as, “loud, fuzz drenched pop songs”. Formed back in 2017, the band have since spent their time making a name on the London DIY-scene, through impressive lives shows and a series of self-releases. This culminated in September last year, with their most recent, and best, release to date, Picking Up the Pieces. With a sound going from riot grrrl influenced punk to melodic bedroom-pop, fans of Fresh or Fightmilk will find an awful lot to love with The Other Ones.
Formed back at the start of 2018, SUDS are three gals, one lad and a variety of instruments based out of Peterborough. In March last year they caught the ear of many with their debut EP, It Suits Me Well, which showcased just how far their friendship, and their music had come. They closed out a break-out 2019, with the December release of their most recent single, You’ll Feel Better.
SUDS’ sound is one of atmospheric guitar sketches, soft soaring vocals and creative rhythms, the sound of creative people casting off the shackles of the daily grind and letting their musical imaginations run wild. The band have recently completed work on a brand new EP, so expect new material from a band who’s musical journey is just getting started.
Beginning life as the solo project of frontman Neil Jarvis, Sprinters first emerged back in 2017 with their self-titled debut album on Icecapades. Two years later, and now a four-piece band, the band have recently released their second album, Struck Gold, on the Madrid-based Meritorio Records.
Struck Gold is something of a re-invention for the band, the indiepop that emerged from Neil’s solo songwriting largely removed and replaced with songs that are noisier, sharper and more focused than ever before. The result of taking a year out to focus entirely on this new record, the tracks on Struck Gold seem to push Sprinters’ sound; the gentle janglers are lusher and more swoonsome, the angular numbers are crisper, the noisier sections, terrifically loud and thrilling, which bodes very nicely for a live set that might just blow you away.
One of our favourite new bands of recent years, we clearly aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed the brilliance of South Wales-trio Adwaith. Their acclaimed debut album, Melyn, drew near universal critical acclaim, culminating in the band winning last year’s Welsh Music Prize. The band have wasted no time in following up on Melyn’s success, releasing a series of new tracks that hint at where their fascinating music is headed next.
Describing Adwaith’s sound is a difficult task, each track is equally likely to be a slice of perfect indiepop, an ethereal soundscape or a swampy blast of ravey psychedelica. With an eclectic, magpie-like approach to songwriting, Adwaith manage to create a sound entirely their own, and one that looks set to propel them as far as their ambition and imagination can take them. More than just the future of Welsh-music, Adwaith might just be the future of music as we know it.
Rose Tiger is the brainchild of Wendy Kilmman, after spending years recording and touring with the likes of Nouvelle Vague and Jehnny Beth, Wendy decided to venture out into a project entirely of his own. The debut Rose Tiger EP, From Top to Bottom, emerged back in 2017, and was followed up last year with a brand new EP, Role Playing Game, and most recently the wonderful single, A Million Hearts.
Rose Tiger set out with the aim of combining Wendy’s twin passions, music and video games. Taking influence from Japanese composers such as Nobuo Uematsu, as well as a host of pop-histories more intriguing characters, the result is an ambitious fusion of new wave and 1970’s folk. With an expanded three-piece live band, don’t miss Rose Tiger’s intriguing musical visions coming to life.
Hailing from Hull, bdrmm are a quintet who infuse what they describe as introverted small-town sketches, with the lush, musical expanse of shoegaze and dreampop. After catching the ear of many with a handful of self-released singles, the band recently teamed up with cult shoegaze label, Sonic Cathedral for the release of their sublime debut EP, If Not, When?
Describing their sound as, “slacker-shoegaze”, on If Not, When?, bdrmm take influences from the dreamy-soundscapes of Beach House, the jangly tones of DIIV and more recently a healthy dose of driving post-punk, in doing so creating a sound all of their own. Having gained fans in the likes of Huw Stevens, Steve Lamacq and John Kennedy, bdrmm’s ability to make adolescent disconnection sound this broad and exciting, marks them out as a band not to be missed.
Originally from Groningen in Holland, CIEL have now made Brighton their home and have been winning over audiences with their dreampop snapshots ever since. The band released their debut EP back in 2017 and have recently been squirrelled away working on new music. Having previously supported the likes of Penelope Isles, Marika Hackman and Sasami, CIEL will provide the perfect accompaniment for a night of getting lost in glorious shimmering reverb.
Withered Hand is the songwriting output of Dan Willson. A cult figure in the Scottish music scene since 2009, Dan has released two widely acclaimed albums, New Gods (2014) and Good News (2009) and several lo-fi EPs. Currently working towards his third full length album, Withered Hand continues to tour in the UK and further afield, playing in venues ranging from concert halls to living rooms.
This solo acoustic performance celebrates ten years since his debut LP Good News was released and he will be performing it in full, followed by a Christmas pick n mix of other Withered Hand songs.
Darren Hayman is a thoughtful, concise and detailed songwriter. He eschews the big, the bright and the loud for the small, twisted and lost. For 15 years, and over 14 albums, Hayman has taken a singular and erratic route through England’s tired and heartbroken underbelly.
The Tubs are the new project formed by of Owen ‘O’ Williams and George ‘GN’ Nicholls, best known as two of the primary songwriters in Joanna Gruesome. Also featuring members of Flowers and Garden Centre, The Tubs have impressed live audiences supporting the likes of Flasher, Porridge Radio and Public Practice, and the band recently shared their debut single Silver Moon.
Citing an eclectic mix of influences from British folk to post-punk, perhaps the sound that most comes across in Silver Moon is the sort of jangling guitar music, more often seen emanating from Australia via the likes of The Goon Sax or Terry. While this is only the start for The Tubs, this already feels like the start of something truly exciting.
th’sheridans are the London-based duo consisting of Adam Sherif and Julia Oertli. The band describe themselves as a “DIY incongru-pop outfit” and are inspired by food, dating, small towns and “using radical softness as a response to everyday racism and sexism”.
There’s a winning simplicity and honesty to the music th’sheridans make; at a time when everything is loud and frenetic, they offer quiet contemplation and a moment away from the churn. Equally influenced by folk, riot grill and Klezmer Music, their live show promises everything from car boot sale drum machines to sassy high kicks and is entirely unmissable.
Stockholm psych-pop act Melby first emerged back in 2016 with their ear catching debut single Human and they haven’t really stopped impressing since. A steady stream of excellent singles and acclaimed EP’s followed, culminating earlier this year with the release of their debut album, None of This Makes Me Worry.
Taking influence from a vast variety of genres, Melby’s sound is one of glistening melodies and expansive rhythms, dreamy-pop songs given an emotional depth by Matilda Wiezell’s soaring, enchanting vocal style. None of This Makes Me Worry was, according to the band, the closest they’ve got to capturing the energy and dynamism of their live show, on that evidence Melby are a band not to be missed.
The latest wonderful act to emerge from the fertile Falmouth music scene are dreamy-indie types L I P S, who released their self-titled, debut EP earlier this year through Chicago-based label Sunday Records.
A hugely impressive debut; L I P S is a sublimely recorded collection of classic-pop songs given a modern twist, a record equally like to draw admiring glances from fans of The Sundays and Alvvays as it does from their more underground peers like Worst Place and Foundlings. Part of a current wave of brilliant indiepop coming to the forefront of the UK’s musical underground, L I P S are on the verge of something very special.
Hailing from Cardiff, Rosehip Teahouse, started life back in 2015 as the bedroom-pop project of guitarist and vocalist, Faye Rogers. Now expanded into a full-band, they have impressed with their sparkling take on DIY-pop, which has seen the band pack out their own headline tour and bag a high profile slot at Indietracks.
Musically, Rosehip Teahouse inhabit a world of melancholic beauty. Recalling the likes of Let’s Buy Happiness or a less frenetic Mothers. A band in that thrilling early stage; full of creativity and fearlessness, simultaneously making you long to hear what comes next and simply enjoy where they already are.
Born in a South Edinburgh barn circa 2015, Nice Church are ever evolving collective of musicians split between Scotland’s two biggest cities, with influences as diverse as Stanley Brinks, Erasure and Cats (the animals not the musical). They first emerged back in 2018, with their debut album, Chord on Cord, a record they followed up this April with their self-titled second offering.
An eclectic collection melding elements of anti-folk, slacker rock and anti-folk, Nice Church saw the band expand both their ambition and their musical horizons. Paired with a comedic pessimism that came up with song titles like Everything Is Terrible and The One Day the Sun Came Out, Nice Church are a delightful and defiantly independent treasure.
Entry is free and support comes from Alex Chilltown.
Originally from locations as diverse as Spain, Brazil and the musical hotbed of Essex, GHUM have since gone on to become one of the most exciting bands in the fertile London DIY-scene. The band initially formed when band-member Marina put an advert on Gumtree, and the quarter bonded over a shared love for The Cure, Warpaint and PJ Harvey.
The band caught the ear of many with their self-titled EP back in 2017 and have gone on to take their post-punk-grunge-goth across both the UK and Europe, including dates with the likes of Dream Wife and L.A. Witch as well as taking to the mainstage at last year’s Indietracks Festival. Recent double-A single, I’m the Storm/Undone saw them team up with Everything Sucks Music; harnessing their throbbing bass-lines, complex beats and new wave influenced guitars to their most emotionally honest lyrics to date. A recent sold out show at Bermondsey Social Club confirmed GHUM’s reputation as one of the most exciting new bands London has to offer, and an act you don’t want to miss.
Alex Chilltown is the musical moniker of suburban Londoner Josh Esaw, who started sharing his music with the world back in 2013 and has been making textural, hypnotic, indie-sadcore ever since. Alex Chilltown’s music explores ideas of self-identity and how we can interpret what all the noise around us really means. Josh has always been joined by a revolving cast of musicians to make his musical sketches come true, culminating in the 2017 EP, Eaten Up By Nothing, which saw them catch the ear of everyone from Gold Flake Paint to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
With new material coming rapidly onto the horizon, Alex Chilltown is ready to achieve his musical ambitions to embrace complex, weird, and messy ideas, and one day debate Matty from the 1975 on the merits of postmodernism. Unique, intriguing and just a little bit odd, a trip into the world of Alex Chilltown is one well worth taking.