Sunday, December 31, 2017

Little Indie's A-Z of Ones To Watch 2018: A - K





Little Indie has rounded up our longlist of emerging artists who we think will be worth taking a gamble on in 2018, as well as a few who 'hatched' awhile ago but are now ready - we think - to break free.

Our panel is made up of music writers, promoters, managers, agents, gig photographers.

ALAN WELLS
ALISON MACK
BRADEN FLETCHER
BRANDON WRIGHT
DAVE BEECH
ELLIE WARD
IZZY B
JANE DAVIES
JOHN LITHGOW
KELLY MUNRO
LEAH RAYMOND
LINN BRANSON
MIKE JONNS (THIS FEELING)
RICHARD BRABIN
RICHARD COBB
RICHARD O'HAGAN
SAM GEARY
STEVE WILLCOX

2018 Ones To Watch Part 1

ABISHA
The 22-year-old alternative R&B singer-songwriter from Devon (by way of South London) emerged in 2017 with her addictively impressive earworm debut 'All That'. The coolly-restrained slow-burner was produced by the legendary Mike Chapman after a chance meeting in a South East London pub. (Ellie Ward)
https://soundcloud.com/abishamusic/all-that


ALMA
Finnish pop princess - of the neon tinted hair - Alma-Sofia Miettinen, has a debut album in the offing, is currently penning with Charli XCX, and is a BBC Music Sound of 2018 longlist nominee to boot. (Izzy B)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6DukrYK5wQ


ANTEROS
London-based four-piece delivering their own brand of “bitter dream pop” won fans a-plenty this year. Inspired by Blur, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac and Blondie, recent single 'Bonnie' was “our tribute to girls”. (Braden Fletcher)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpaBluc6Wkk


ARTIFICIAL PLEASURE
The London electro-pop outfit caused all manner of excitement in 2017 with singles like 'Wound Up' and December EP release. Sounding like a Franz Ferdinand and WHITE mash-up, with killer beats and 80s grooves. (Richard O'Hagan)
https://soundcloud.com/artificialpleasure/wound-up-tight-1


AU/RA
Signed to Columbia Records, the Ibiza born, LA-based artist's second single, 'Kicks', is a dreamy portrait of how her passion sets her apart. Supporting Lewis Capaldi on tour in February. (Izzy B)
https://www.facebook.com/heyitsaura/


AVALANCHE PARTY
North Yorks garage-punks Avalanche Party blast out sonic walls of psych-noise fuzz, in around three minutes that will knock you for six in the way that only someone who's been floored in a boxing ring will understand the force of. (Alan Wells)
https://soundcloud.com/avalanche-party


BAD SOUNDS
Bath duo start 2018 supporting Rat Boy on his UK tour, with their debut album due later. Given prominence when ‘Are You High?’ was premiered by Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 as her Hottest Record In The World. With a raft of killer hooks, plenty of energy, and a great line in “I ain't sucking on lemons it just looks like it." (Leah Raymond)
https://www.facebook.com/realbadsounds


BANG BANG ROMEO
The four-piece fronted by 23-year-old Anastasia Walker, channel a psych essence in a big way built around the powerhouse blues-drenched vocals of Walker. (Brandon Wright)
https://soundcloud.com/bangbangromeo/chemical


BEACH RIOT
Introduced by Little Indie back in March, the East London/ Brighton four-piece belt out fuzzy fervour, incessant beats and wiry guitar sounds in their first two singles, 'B.A.D' and 'Mr Fixer'. (Linn Branson)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/introducing-beach-riot.html


BEACHTAPE
Although Little Indie introduced these Brighton beach babes back in 2016, it was this year with single 'Through & Through' and their debut EP 'Hold Music', of sludgey guitar and laidback vocals, that brought them to notice. (Sam Geary)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/track-of-day-beachtape-through-through.html

Beachtape

BELLE MT
London-based trio (pronounced Belle Mont) with evocative and infectious layered melodies that go from dark and foreboding to anthemic and hopeful, as heard on the haunting September released ‘Hollow’ and 'Let Me'. Heavy release schedule for 2018 and UK and US tours. (Braden Fletcher)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xNrkg958ZYM


BILLIE EILISH
At just 15-years-old, LA-based Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O'Connell, is a BBC Music Sound of 2018 longlist nominee after the release of her 'Don’t Smile At Me' EP, which was released earlier this summer and her mammoth single ‘Ocean Eyes.’ (Alison Mack)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8J-SX_5gcs


BLACKWATERS
Fast'n'furious punk Guildford, now Sheffield-based, four with a raucous sound both live and on record. (Brandon Wright)
https://soundcloud.com/blackwatersuk/let-the-good-times-roll


BLESSED
South-east London sister duo, Lauren and Georgia Morgan, arrived in 2017 with their R&B, dancehall, electronic and pop influenced fusion via ‘Pride’ and EP ‘Howlin’ (out now on Island Records). (Sam Geary)
https://open.spotify.com/album/2MxZufd0fNIG0tc5iPHrzv


BLOXX
Supported by Huw Stephens, ‘Coke’, the big, grungy, sub-four minute single from London foursome, was their highlight this year, following their debut AA-side debut ‘You/Your Boyfriend’, released previously on Chess Club. After touring with Sundara Karma and INHEAVEN in 2017, Bloxx are the main support for the upcoming Pale Waves UK tour. (Sam Geary)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/track-of-day-bloxx-coke.html


BLUSHES
Aylesbury, Bucks four-piece indie-alt band with influences of pop and R&B. Their unique sound palette includes male and female vocals and an electro-acoustic rhythm section. They kicked off 2017 with debut EP 'Private Viewing'. (Ellie Ward)
https://www.blushesbanduk.com/


BOY AZOOGA
Winner of Little Indie's Roundtable back in November, the psych-flecked debut single 'Face Behind Her Cigarette' for Heavenly Recordings by Cardiff’s Davey Newington, was a "celebration (rip off) of the late great William Onyeabor" - but enough to guarantee that the upcoming single (January) and album (March) will be worth hearing. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/little-indie-roundtable-review-we.html


CALVA LOUISE
Back in November Little Indie said that this London-based three-piece were going to explode - despite only releasing their debut single - ‘Getting Closer’ - that month on Modern Sky. Produced by Margo Broom (Fat White Family, Catholic Action), they fuse their off-kilter, grunge-punk element with a pop undertone, but which still manages to sound fresh and exciting. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/track-of-day-calva-louise-getting-closer.html


CARNATION
Manchester rock-wavers released their debut single ‘Fatal Attraction’ in November. A big, powerful number and sets them off on a strong course, and the trio - Cameron Nolan, Saul Backhouse, Oscar Mangini - look good for the next 12 months. (Leah Raymond)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/track-of-day-carnation-fatal-attractionr.html


CASSIA
Mixing warm Calypso-flavoured tropical grooves with infectiously raw guitar melodies, the Macclesfield trio are on tour in February. (Dave Beech)
https://soundcloud.com/wearecassia

Cassia

CHERRYADE
London-based pop duo, Ella and Alex, draw inspiration from socio-political issues, pop culture, and bind with a sassy punk edge. (Izzy B)
https://open.spotify.com/artist/2Z4zth26FtZ4lK2Yu9nBgV


COSMO CALLING
Described as the "birth child of Vampire Weekend and Fickle Friends", the Manchester pop-rock five-piece, fronted by dual vocalists Phoebe Taylor and Harry Preen, play their first London show in February. (Dave Beech)
https://soundcloud.com/cosmocalling


DAMA SCOUT
Featured on the Little Indie Roundtable back in April with 'Paper Boy', London/Glasgow's Dama Scout then returned with 'Suzie Wong' - a hooky, fuzz-filled track is overseen by the glistening vocal of Eva Liu against hooky guitars - actually a child's basic guitar captured on a laptop microphone - and wrapped in a krautrock sheen. The trio also released their self-titled debut EP via Hand In Hive in November. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/track-of-day-dama-scout-suzie-wong.html


DEAD NAKED HIPPIES
After two stonking singles in 'Drain You' and ‘I Can’t Wait’, the Leeds outfit (in partnership with Matt Peel's production), are hard-hitting and frontwoman Lucy Jowett passionate in her vocal delivery. (Sam Geary)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/track-of-day-dead-naked-hippies-i-cant.html


DEAD NATIVES
London four-piece indie rock band with soaring guitars and vocals coursing with attitude Dead Natives adopt elements of psychedelic rock and modern Britpop. After 2017 debut 'I Got Menace', they embark on their third early in 2018. (Izzy B)
https://www.facebook.com/deadnatives/


DEEP.SLEEP
Newcastle-based alt-indie band described as 'The 1975 meets New Order', drop their last single 'Soho' in October 6 through End Of The Trail Records. We can't wait to hear more next year. (Linn Branson)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/video-premiere-deepsleep-soho.html


DIVES
The debut single, and self-titled first EP released in November through Siluh Records, from this Austrian female grunge-psych trio showed their L.A. Witch mixed with Waxahatchee style, laced with infectious fuzzy guitars and foot-tapping beats. (Izzy B)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2017/10/track-of-day-dives-shrimp.html


DOME HALL
Newcastle's Dome Hall brought three singles this year: 'Sugarray', 'Marske Woods' and 'Nason', all suffused with alt-rock harmonies and layered melancholic dreaminess. (Leah Raymond)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/track-of-day-dome-hall-sugarray.html


DRAHLA
The Leeds post-punk trio released debut EP 'Third Article', produced by Hookworms' MJ, in November, saw singer/bassist Luciel Brown do a Jehnny Beth-alike over a brimful of shuddering rhythm forces and wiry guitars. (Richard O'Hagan)
https://soundcloud.com/drahla


DREAM WIFE
After a dominating 2017, which saw the band play SXSW and headline London's Scala, they kick 2018 off on a flying start with their self-titled debut album out on January 26 via Lucky Number. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/live-review-dream-wife-scala-london-oct.html

Dream Wife

DUCK
Little Indie featured Sheffield threesome in 2016 with 'Ange's Groove' and 'Always Meet Me In Dreamzzzz', both from their 'sLaCK gOb' EP. They returned in 2017 with their debut full-length, 'FaceAche', of pummeling, edgy synth/noise-pop. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/track-of-day-duck-monsters.html


ESTRONS
Cardiff’s Estrons combine wiry guitars with energy-fuelled, bold and fuzzy rhythms enhanced by Tali Källström's soulful vocals, to create their own blend of razor sharp post-punk with high-octane alt-rock. (Sam Geary)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/live-review-estrons-boy-azooga-hope.html


FAMILY FICTION
The alt-rock/Americana Brighton band took on a new moniker after previously being known as Cessna Deathwish, and returned with the affecting 'Money' late in the year. A Great Escape slot should be on the cards for these. (Dave Beech)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/track-of-day-family-friction-old-money.html


FENNE LILY
Bristol-based singer/songwriter - with over 23 million online streams - delivering alt folk songs of love and loss woven with integrity and sincerity. (Alison Mack)
https://www.fennelily.com/


FEVA
Newcastle alt-rockers released this blistering debut single 'Blind' in October, and with further releases and live shows in the works, FEVA are sure to be a name we'll be hearing a lot more of. (Sam Geary)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2017/10/track-of-day-feva-blind.html


FIRESTATIONS
Sweet flowing alt-pop from London five-piece Firestations with their end year single 'Build A Building', their first release on the Lost Map Records label. The track was the first single from their forthcoming second album, 'The Year Dot', due out early next year, so more ambient, smoothly textured vocals and lush guitar strums, look like the way. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/track-of-day-firestations-build-building.html


FLING
The Bradford five-piece - who Little Indie first discovered in 2016 - were given the thumbs up in 2017 by the likes of Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq and Zane Lowe. Continuing their non-stop release and tour schedule, 2018 should see them reach even higher. (Linn Branson)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/introducing-fling.html


FREAK
Little Indie's discovery at the start of 2016, Chelmsford's Connar Ridd has continued to build his reputation through likes of 'Cake', 'I Like To Smile When I’m Sad' and 'No Money'. Watch out for more of the fast-paced and raucous on 2018 with upcoming new single and live shows. (Linn Branson)
https://www.facebook.com/freakalt


GAFFA TAPE SANDY
Brighton-based three-piece - whose homebase is Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk - combine plenty of exuberance and catchy hooks of manic garage rock and zippy pop fervour, with off-kilter melodies which surround the dual vocals. (Sam Geary)
https://soundcloud.com/gaffatapesandy


GENDER ROLES
Brighton’s Gender Roles follow debut 'Skin' and early 2017 EP, 'Planet X-Ray' release through Hanger Records, with a signing to Big Scary Monsters and first single for them, 'Plastic', a gritty three-and-a-half-minute banger of fuzzy guitars and a full on noise close, from the grunge-punk trio. On tour in February. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/track-of-day-gender-roles-plastic_7.html

Gender Roles

GLASS PEAKS
Kent melancholic-alt-pop four-piece, likened to Foals, White Lies, Depeche Mode. Their October single 'Hold Me Closer' was described as 'an instant anthem' by Abbie McCarthy, (BBC Radio 1). (Braden Fletcher)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/video-glass-peaks-speak-and-spell.html


GLOO
Littlehampton, West Sussex trio revealed new single 'Force You' in September through their own DIY label Dropping Bags Records. Frenetic pace, distorted guitars and hooky melodies. (Sam Geary)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/watch-gloo-reveal-video-for-single.html


GOAT GIRL
Signed to Rough Trade before they’d released a single note into the world, London's DIY Goat Girl are "feisty, furious and fearless" - and on tour in April. (Richard Brabin)
https://www.facebook.com/goatgirlofficial/


HARVEY CAUSON
Bristol’s 19-year-old Harvey Causon bewitches with soft, glitchy electronica, deft take on contemporary R&B, as heard on his ‘Introspect EP’, the success of which led to appearances at The Great Escape, Dot To Dot and 2000 Trees Festivals, before signing to Bristol’s Leisure Records for a AA-side single. (Alison Mack)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/track-of-day-harvey-causon-alliance.html


HER'S
Eccentric Liverpool duo Audun Laading and Stephen Fitzpatrick. Layered pop rhythms, slinky electric guitar and cool electric bass lines. (Richard Brabin)
https://www.facebook.com/thatbandofhers/?fref=ts


HIMALAYAS
'Thank God I'm Not You' followed the Welsh quartet's debut EP 'Ecstasy', along with some killer shows through 2017. Set to scale further heights in 2018. (Mike Jonns)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/live-review-himalayas-verve-bar-leeds.html


HMLTD
This year has seen the London-based, multinational six-piece emerge as one of the most original new acts around. Genre-defying sonics and mesmerizing, all-encompassing live shows. (Steve Willcox)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/live-review-hmltd-hotel-lux-patterns.html


HOLY BOY
Norwegian-born, LA-based Helene Alexandra Jæger's eponymous debut EP was released in June. Holy Boy's arrangements are sparse, organ based rock full of atmosphere. With her full-length album due out next year, expect more compelling icy Scandi touches. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/track-of-day-holy-boy-sun-aint-gonna.html


HONEY LUNG
London's Honey Lung put out two singles this year, 'Sophomore' and the fabulous 'Stuttering Mind'. Melodic shoegaze drenched in reverb. If they can better the latter - will be hard! - next year, these guys are going high, high, high. (Linn Branson)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/track-of-day-honey-lung-stuttering-mind.html


HOT DREAMS
The London alt-rock quartet dropped their Ian Dowling (Everything Everything, Black Honey)-produced 'Another Night' late in the year. As it's the lead single from their forthcoming 2018 EP, their atmospheric sound and emotion-led vocals are definitely hot. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/track-of-day-hot-dreams-another-night.html

Hot Dreams

HOTEL LUX
London (via Portsmouth) five-piece ablaze with raw punk energy. 70s psych-rock combined with with wry and gritty lyrics. (Sam Geary)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/live-review-hmltd-hotel-lux-patterns.html


HOUSEHOLD DOGS
Leeds four-piece meld elements of Americana and alt-rock with a gritty pseudo-country sound. After the release of their debut single 'Basement 7' in April, they followed with ‘Is This All’ in November. (Sam Geary)
https://soundcloud.com/householddogs


IAMDDB
Manchester R&B, 'urban jazz' artist and BBC Music Sound of 2018 longlist nominee following breakthrough track 'Leaned Out', several EPs and collaborations with Lenzman and The Mouse Outfit. (Alison Mack)
https://soundcloud.com/IAMDDB


IDER
North London pop duo formed by Lily Somerville and Megan Markwick, saw their debut track 'Sorry' catch the attention of Shura, who then produced their 'Does She Even Know' from their debut EP 'Gut Me Like An Animal'. They kick of 2018 with their biggest headline show to date at Rich Mix Cinema in London in March. (Sam Geary)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/listen-ider-body-love.html


INDIGO HUSK
The London four-piece ended the year with a November dropping ‘Waste Of A Year’. Some of a misnomer, as 2017 can only have helped build their reputation, channelling a grungey garage rock energy with a punk vibe. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/track-of-day-indigo-husk-waste-of-year.html


IDLES
Floating for a few years, the Bristol-based punks finally released their debut album ‘Brutalism’ in 2017, and have the backing of Steve Lamacq. (Richard Brabin)
https://soundcloud.com/idles


ILL
Alt-post-punk Manchester four-piece with energetic live shows. Their debut album, 'We Are ILL', is set for release in spring 2018. (Sam Geary)
https://m.facebook.com/weareill


IVORY WAVE
The Birmingham five-piece put out their third single this year, and again fielded an infectious banger that gives frontman George Johnson plenty of vocal scope against acid house/dance style beats. (Linn Branson)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/track-of-day-ivory-wave-separate-beat.html


JOHNNY KILLS
London/Brighton-based surf-rock trio, made up of brothers Tim and Lewis Lloyd-Kinnings, and Cameron Gipp. "We write songs about being in your early 20s and clueless - fuzzy and anxious tunes for fuzzy and anxious times." Released four singles in 2017, produced by Forever Cult bassist Alex Greaves. (Linn Branson)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/track-of-day-johnny-kills-my-shirt-guy.html


JORDAN ALLEN
After their first UK headline tour in 2017, and ending the year on a high with 'R.O.S.I.E', expect the Bolton outfit to continue through into 2018 with their fervent fanbase behind them. (Ellie Ward)
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/track-of-day-jordan-allen-rosie.html


JORJA SMITH
20-year-old West Midlands R&B singer was nominated for Best Female at the MOBOs 2017, won the BRITs Critics' Choice Award 2017, and worked with Drake - which should be enough to stand her in good stead for a promising 2018. (Sam Geary)
https://www.vevo.com/watch/jorja-smith/on-my-mind/GB7QY1700287


KHALID
Georgia (US)-born, now El Paso, Texas-based, 19-year-old Khalid (pronounced Kuh-leed) Donnel Robinson Dominic Ellis released his debut ‘Location’ in 2016, with his first album ‘American Teen’ released this March and made it no.9 in US charts. Up for five Grammys in 2018, plus a BBC Music Sound of 2018 longlist nominee. Hits London for live dates in February. (Sam Geary)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=by3yRdlQvzs


See Part One here
See Part Two here

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