From Anteros and Cabbage to Serpentwithfeet and Rusalka
Cai Trefor

17:53 21st December 2016

What will 2017 bring? Politically, we don't want to talk about it. It's not looking too clever.

Musically, though, we're in good company - listening to each and everyone of those bands below has reaffirmed this.

All of these bands are yet to reveal their full potential as they dont have albums out yet, but sometimes one song or an EP is enough to tell they'll be hitting new, greater heights in 2017.


Their single ‘Breakfast’ is one of the best pop songs of the year and there’s plenty more at that level up their sleeve. Singer Laura Hayden has a commanding stage presence and impeccable vocals. She is the band leader pop needs to make 2017 a fun year for music. Bassist/producer Joshua Rumble ensures that even without backing tracks their stage sound is as beautifully embelished as their recordings. Meanwhile, Blossoms’ guitar tech Jackson Couzens has just taken on guitar duties, and Harry Balazs has at the drum kit like there’s no tomorrow. They’ll win over the nation this summer.

Dead Pretties

Their first single will be out early 2017. So far, the only way to hear Dead Pretties properly has been to go to a gig where you can see their frontman Jacob Slater act like he’s walk through fire to get what he wants. He has all the hallmarks of a classic frontman and this band could well be at the forefront of a whole host of garage rock-ish bands who gatecreash the mainstream in 2017.


No band in the UK is talked about as much as HMLTD. Live, they’re like a potent mix of The Cure, Jesus and Mary Chain and The Prodigy and with Faris Badwan having been in the studio with them recently it wil be exciting to see what comes out next year. 2017 is theirs for the taking.

Lucia Fontaine

Seriously catchy anthemic pop rock with strong repeat value from Glasgow’s fastest rising  alternative band. With WHITE guitarist Hamish Fingland providing an awesome wall of sound alongside the synths and Fontaine’s irresistible voice; it’s easy to see why there’s so much love being sent their way at the moment.

Jorja Smith

Without a shadow, this MOBO nominated neo-soul singer will melt hearts throughout 2017. The 19-year-old Walsall-raised singer has been supporting NAO this year and is likely to be as well-known as her by this time next year.

Ava Lily

Bristol-based singer Ava Lily is Naughty Boy’s latest discoveries. On ‘Painkillers’ her first and only single out so far, her sweet soulful voice crackles under the light distortion and has the warmth of an old cut of vinyl and it suits the west coast hip-hop instrumentation. The leftfield beats, accented with horns, put this future star in line to be taken seriously by the likes of Sonar as much as Radio 1.

Bad Nerves

Dune Rats-esque surf punk that sounds like a gang of friends high on speed playing so hard and fast it seems like they're purposely trying to break every string and drum skin in front of them. Somehow their melodies remain in-tact and this pop edge should see them making some mean progress next year.

The Orielles

New signing for Heavenly records that Tim Burgess saw potential in a couple of years ago. Having seen them play Tim Peaks at Festival Number 6 in 2014 it was evident the garage-surf-pop trio had something special to give. But just how great they’d turn out on their effortlessly catchy easy-listening EP Jobin couldn’t have been anticipated. Hopefully a debut album next year will see them make the jump from hip support act to solid headliners

Dream Wife

“I tell you what I want, what I really really want. I’m gonna fuck you up!” scream this indie-punk Icelandic/Brightonian trio. This re-construction of the Spice Girls is true grrrl power.. Elsewhere, their cut ‘Hey Heartbreak’, taken from EP01, seems to reference '70s new wave of Blondie and infuse it with fat glam rock riffs. It’s a potent combination that can’t help but endear millions to want to go and discover them live where they’ll be creating some riotous scenes.

Rejjie Snow

Dublin’s best rapper has his debut album, Dear Annie, produced by Grammy-award winning producer Rahki (Eminem Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent). It’s out in 2017 and likely to be a smash. The few tracks that have come out already have hooked in so much interest and live he’s phenomenal. Snow was a highlight of Trans Musicales 2016, the festival famed for giving emerging artist some of their last gigs as a small act before they bust into the mainstream. World’s his oyster.


London rapper Dave might have a tune out with Drake but it’s his unaided EP Six Paths that’s more engaging. His rhymes are drawn from deep, personal experiences such as  gambling with the law and coming face-to-face with the most extreme situations living in London’s ganglands can throw at you. This is vivid story telling in rap at its best.


Touring with Jake Bugg and Blossoms just after releasing a scorching debut single ‘Company of Thieves' that was produced by Matthew E. White was a strong move. Georgie will take 2017 by storm with her confident, stylish hook-laden songs that seem ready to be belted out under the Glastonury sun on the Other stage.

Goat Girl

They’re South London’s most lauded new band and put out their debut singles ‘Scum’ and ‘Country Sleaze’ on Rough Trade Records this year. Their sound is akin to Fat White Family’s ‘Touch The Leather’ and has that sinister haunted house feel perfect for havin’ it in a small venue with beer splattering all over the place. Debut album should appear in 2017.


Think the Roses’ spirit, Super Furries creativity, The Clash’s bollocks and you’re somewhere close to Cabbage. The most exciting and ferocious new live act on the planet. (MJ)


’Get Off’ is one of the most addictive songs we’ve heard in a long time. It must be difficult for these Liverpudlian indie sorts to know how to follow this level of graetness. It's their only songs out and it could go one of two ways once the next single comes out. Hopefully they’ve got a myriad more this great. The quickest way to find out will be to catch them live at The Lexington in Angel, London on 10 January.


Having been over to a plethora of industry showcases in France recently, the one name that kept creeping up was Fishbach. The French are convinced she’ll blow up next year and so are we. There’s haunting beauty at play and Fishbach suit fans of The College soundtrack, The Cure, and more synth-based darkwave.

Be Charlotte

Dundee-based pop singer Be Charlotte introduced herself to Gigwise with anthemic, catchy single 'Machines that Breathe' and it’s been a song we keep going back to. The pitch-perfect teenage singer uses a mix of live instruments and digital technologies to create an alluring soundscape that lends from avant electronica and indie pop. It’s difficult to know exactly how she’ll turn out by the time her debut album arrives as she’s got such a versatile voice that could be used in just about any genre. One things sure, though; she’ll be a strong presence in 2017 with major labels vying for the attention of this unique, inspiring new artist.

The Amazons

Likely to blow up Catfish and The Bottlemen style. These are indie rockers from Reading have an arena rock sound that appeals to a lot of people. Get used to seeing them about in 2017.

Little Cub

Domino Records signees Little Cub make fantastic alt-pop cut with self-effacing lyrical delivery and gorgeous electronic soundscape. Think Hot Chip but more introverted and with more of a fondness for panning their sound to create a dreamy other-worldly sentiment.


A huge draw for fans of Wolf Alice at their most feral. They marry explosive guitar and drum tracks with punchy, angsty vocals. Likely to pack out the Festival Republic stage at Reading this year if they get booked.


In Roskilde Festival 2016, Smerz, a little-known electronic duo based in Copenhagen managed to stand out as one of the best acts adn they were a highlight of the Escho/Mayhem stage. There’s tasteful bass heavy dance grooves and gorgeous hypnotic vocals. Since their festival performance the band have been picking up a fair bit of attention from the likes of i-D and Noisey and rightfully so - they're too good to be missed.


This Peckham-based neo-soul singers voice is delightful. Her intelligent use of reverbs, delay's, and backing vocals create a lush wall of sound that's propelled by the punchy bass lines and inventive percussion. This is seriously accomplished stuff form Island Records’ new bright hope.

Alexandra Savior

With a debut album co-written with Alex Turner and released on Columbia Records, Savior is a surefire go-to for many indie types looking for new music to believe in. The significance of those who work around her shouldn’t distract from the majesty of this individual. Savior is on her way to becoming iconic in her own right thanks to a sharp artistic vision, beautiful voice, and crafty lyrics. Let 2017 be the year Savior shines.

Eat Fast

Fairly reminiscent of Yuck which is no bad thing. These atmospheric layers of sound within scuzzy Sonic Youth-esque wig-outs and machine-gun drumming is an intense whack to the senses. Huge potential.


Ultimately QTY make catchy, sexy rock ‘n’ roll and are from New York so inevitably being good and having a way with melody and words brings about comparisons to others who were great and from said city; Lou Reed and The Strokes namely. But the girl/boy duo thing they’ve got going also conjures up similarities to Big Deal and there’s shades of Tom Petty in there.


Having met Phil Saxe, Happy Mondays’ first manager and A&R for Factory Records earlier this year, he recommended we check out TVAM. He selected this psychedelic/shoegazey new act to play Off The Record Festival and said he thought there's something little bit different about TVAM that makes him shine. It’s certainly an inspired sound and one we’re glad to have been introduced to by a legend.

Rory Wynne

Set to tour with Blossoms next year, Rory Wynne will become a much more well-known name. Fortunatley it’ll be for all the right reasons as they mix Britpop and 60s rock ‘n’ roll into a potent mix that’s a mark above the majority of indie bands in the country at the moment. They could well be commonly looked back on as an essential compent in the continuation in tradition of the great British guitar band in years to come.


Adam Naas

Naas’ voice is an arresting force of rare exquisitve beaurty. This 24-year-old Frenchman doesn’t strike you as anything you’ve never heard before. It’s slick atmospheric pop and you can file it next to a whole host of acts likely to win over judges at the BRITs. But it’s executed to such a degree that there’s always time in the day to let it wash over you.


Welsh singer Casi has just been signed by Chess Club who are also home to Danish star MO. She shares similar qualities to a whole host of Scandinavian acts, including Lykke Li, who also combines kaleidoscopic mixture of electronic sounds to glitter the bare bones of an emotionaly fragile song. With only one single out so far, we haven’t seen the full scope of what Casi can give but if she continues in this vein she’ll go far.


Rascalton are one of the most exciting live bands we've seen in ages. It's energetic, raw and unpredictable. People are starting to talk about them already and we think 2017 will be a fun year for them. They have the tunes, the singalongs and the attitude. If you get the chance to see them, don't miss it. (JM)

Jay Som

Dream pop in the vein of Girls and Smith Westerns lo-fi drum sound and jangly melodies in-tact. Currently signed with Polyvinyl who are also home to Beach Slang, she’s going to release a full length next year and should win over avid indie collectors, and find herself neatly position in the Rough Trade recommends section. 

Hector Plimmer

Plimmer plays across the spectrum of hip-hop, beats, funk, soul, disco, Afro-beat, house and jazz. He’s loved by Giles Peterson and found himself on the latest Brownswood Bubblers compilation. They say it’s difficult to make a career in music out of word of mouth these days, but we challenge you not to want to introduce your friends to this extraordinary producer.

Low Island

This Oxford quartet use intelligent dance music production techniques to add engaging psychedelic flourishes and hypnotic rhythms to dreamy songwriting. Great piece to bring out your 'Lotus Flower’ Thom Yorke dance to.


Outstanding vocalist with shades of Jeff Buckley at times. Instrumentally, he challenges all conventions by bringing in classical as well as bass lines that’ll threaten the foundations of your house. Don’t let this artist pass you by.


A proper punk band from Derry Northern Ireland. The Clash and The Jam would be proud.


This list isn’t a ranked lis,t but if it was, this phenomenal group would come in the top ten. There’s something just magical about them.

The Molochs

'60’s Rolling Stones-esque rock ‘n’ roll that would fit into the Austin Powers’ soundtrack seamlessly. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this was actually recorded back in the day, there’s nothing to suggest they’ve heard any music since 1972 and it’s a hell of a lot of fun to take in.

The Blinders

The Blinders are raging, angry, hell bent driven on a mission to to stamp their punkadelic politicised soul onto mainstream consciousness. One of the most exciting new bands to emerge from these shores in a long, long time. (MJ)


Chances are PJ Harvey will love Rusalka when she hears it. There's something of Bjork and Patti Smith in those awesome vocals, too. This band are our new addiction and we're delighted to have discovered them.

All written by Cai Trefor except for the valued contribution of (JM) Johnny Madden of Baby Strange and (MJ) Mikey Jonns of This Feeling.

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