New year, new music!
Shannon Cotton and Jessie Atkinson
15:51 4th January 2019

If you’re looking for the perfect distraction from dry January blues and ‘New Year, new me’ social posts, here’s our inaugural list of new bands to get your ears around. Collated mostly after witnessing some incredible live shows last year, we’re confident these acts are going to own 2019. And you never know, you might even find your favourite new band…

King Nun

We’ve long had our ears attuned to scuzzy soundscape London four piece King Nun have been nurturing. Last year saw the release of their first EP I Have Love and they’ve gone from being ‘Hung Around’ to touring the length and breadth of the country with their delightful fuzzy noise. (SC)


We’ve long been fans of the colourful sonic crusade Theo Spark and Jamie She have been embarking on as Wooze - ‘Hello Can You Go’ grabbed our attention, ‘Party With Out Ya’ sustained it and latest cut ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ has only confirmed our love for the duo. After catching them live across the capital at the tail end of 2018, it seems there’s even more bangers in the bag too. Jump on the hype, you won’t want to miss this party. (SC)

Sophie and the Giants

2018 was a year spent piquing interests for Sophie and the Giants. After we caught them at a few festivals over summer they went on to support Tom Grennan across Europe as well as Reverend and the Makers with their floor-filling, anthemic, power pop gems. (SC)


Krautrock, post-punk goodness unfurls from Squid’s stand-out track, ‘The Dial’. Another Dan Carey-approved band, there’s plenty more where that swirling, jarring goodness came from, and we’re so happy to be awaiting their excellent guitar music in the year of our lord, 2019. (JA)


Raw, impassioned and brutally honest are the type of tales told in Slowthai’s verses. The Northampton rapper pairs sharp wit with even sharper observations of British life in his music. His latest cut ‘Doorman’, a tectonic collaboration with Mura Masa, has had our finger firmly on the repeat button since it dropped. (SC)


Any band that reference Wetherspoons in their songs are alright by us, but Cambridge-bred Ugly have gone one better and named the pub chain in their track ‘The Last Supper At The Regal Wetherspoon’. It’s jangly guitars and shimmery synths executed to the highest of standards and you can’t really argue with that. (SC)


Get misty-eyed for Fur, whose vintage, sepia pop will come all tied up in a bow on Valentine’s Day in the form of their first EP. Lovely guitar tones and prom-night doo-wop do it for us, while the band's personal dedication to the aesthetic make the whole fifties thing totally, enchantingly believable. (JA)


Heading up the charge of really fucking good Scottish bands breaking through at the moment are Lucia. Packing a pop punch, the husky vocals of singer Lucia Fairfull are accentuated by racing riffs that veer between slacker rock (‘Melted Ice Cream’) and frenetic fuzz (‘Saturday Is Dead’). (SC)

Black Midi

Having worked with Dan Carey on their debut monster ‘bmbmbm’ in 2018, the idiosyncratic Black Midi are bound for total underground domination this year thanks to a formidable live reputation and a drummer threatening to become the best in a generation. Hear them live for a substance-free trip brought to you by precarious, apocalyptic math rock. (JA)


Lovable indie dreamboat Zuzu is a whizz with bouncy guitar and ecstatic songwriting. Hear the pop sensibilities of her Scouse forebears come through in bright, catchy tunes that have earned her spins from Steve Lamacq and a support slot with The Courtneeners. (JA)

Stereo Honey

Kaleidoscopic and enchanting, the hypnotic vocals of Stereo Honey’s singer Pete Restrick were enough to give us goosebumps every time we caught the band over last year’s festival season, despite the searing heat outside. The primal percussion of ‘The Bay’ and the intricate guitar lines of ‘What Makes A Man’ had us hitting the repeat button when we got home too and it looks set to stay that way in 2019. (SC)

Easy Life 

Lush sounds from Leicester quintet Easy Life soundtracked our summer last year as their refreshing take on jazz paired with indie sensibilities infiltrated our office speakers. A triumphant sold out gig at London’s Moth Club later, we’re already itching to see what the five piece deliver this year. 

Poppy Ajudha

On the crest of jazz’s renaissance comes the extraordinary voice of Poppy Ajudha, whose vibrato vocal straddles eras. Live, she pours forth her heart-rending songwriting on guitar and piano, allowing the raw heart of jazz to beat in full view. (JA)


Lingering guitars and electrifying drums are just two of the thrilling elements of Guru’s debut track ‘Consumer Helpline’. The band had set tongues wagging before they’d even released anything online after a series of captivating live shows and once the rest of the country catches on, they’ll be queuing round the corner for a stick of this Brighton rock. (SC)


Performing under the pseudonym Lion, Beth Lowen possesses a vocal seemingly weathered by heartache that you just can’t fake. Evidenced on tracks like ‘Garden’, her self-titled debut EP was released late last year and was celebrated with a gripping show at Camden Assembly which proved Lowen has the ability to command a crowd with just a guitar and that voice. We can’t wait to see what comes next. (SC)

The Murder Capital

Growling Irish punk rock at it’s most potent, The Murder Capital had us gripped from the moment their SOMA session (below) appeared online. ‘More Is Less’ is an anarchic, fuzzy and frantic cut that hopefully nods to what else is to come from the Dublin-based five piece in 2019. (SC)

Jerry Williams

Jerry Williams’ saccharine pop nuggets are enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. With influences ranging from Johnny Cash to Jamie T, the Portsmouth singer already has an admirable amount of accolades under her belt - from performing at SXSW and supporting Calpurnia across Europe - and 2019 looks set to be the year she pushes down on the accelerator even further. (SC)

Sports Team 

Tongue-in-cheek and so “ironic” we can’t decide if they even want to be here, Sports Team make clever, frenetic indie. Frontman Alex Rice has a voice reminiscent of The Wedding Present’s David Gedge, with a dash of Jarvis Cocker’s eccentricity, while the whole band have a live reputation that precedes them. (JA)

Another Sky

Another Sky’s vocalist Catrin Vincent is simply otherworldly. Unrivalled by so many of their peers, the four piece have chosen to take a very colloquial approach to their lyrical themes and paired with such a haunting voice it carries an even more powerful message than you might suspect. Innovative industrial sonic components layered in the instrumental mean there’s always a new element to Another Sky to discover. Start the journey now by spinning ‘Avalanche’ below. (SC)


Where do we start with Famous? ‘Surf’s Up!’ made it’s way into our consciousness at the tail end of last year and it’s been ingrained in our cerebal cortex ever since. Described by some Gigwise staffers as “what my anxiety sounds like” and “it’s making me nervous, but in a good way”, to have that much of an affect on how a human feels is rather profound. We’re going to stop waxing lyrical and let you press play for yourself though. (SC)

Chappaqua Wrestling

Another entry straight out of the hotbed of musical talent that is Brighton, but now located in Manchester, this duo spin gorgeous guitars together with hot boy vocals for giddy indie that’s ready for 2019 with fun effects and licks. Swoon along to their six-string journeys and be ready for more this year. (JA)


Russo are the No Doubt for millennials that we didn’t know we needed. Fronted by Cailin Russo, the LA quartet captured our attention at Reading Festival last summer with their slinky basslines and power pop prowess and their debut EP House With A Pool is a modern day masterclass in how to be diverse and dazzling at the same time. (SC)


Every day is a tropical paradise with the soothing sounds of Cassia flowing through your speakers. The Macclesfield trio recently played a mammoth hometown show at Manchester’s O2 Ritz and possess a penchant for fluid percussion paired with jangly indie riffs akin to early Vampire Weekend. With an eagerly anticipated debut album on the horizon, pass us a Margarita whilst we listen to ‘Sink’ on repeat. (SC)


With How Does It Feel? - one of the best EP’s of last year - still ringing in our ears, we await further releases from Brighton’s Projector with impatience. Their catchy grunge-rock, sultry hooks and penchant for a Pixies cover are the ultimate examples of how guitar music is still live, kicking and totally original. (JA)

Sick Joy

Sick Joy have cemented their place on this year’s list with their garage rock inflected grunge grippers that are surely heavy enough to shake the foundations of Brighton Pier in their seaside hometown. Last year’s abrasive Amateurs EP caught our attention and now we’re hooked - more of the same in 2019 please. (SC)

Bang Bang Romeo

Stadium-filling sounds don’t come more powerful than those out of Bang Bang Romeo. Thanks largely to vocalist Anastasia ‘Stars’ Walker’s once-in-a-blue-moon voice, this is a classic rock band coming for the big leagues in 2019. With their debut album A Heartbreaker’s Guide to the Galaxy coming in June, Bang Bang Romeo will also support P!nk on tour in the summer…no biggie. (JA)

Emerson Snowe

Emerson Snowe’s poignant odes make the morbid a little less miserable. ‘If I Die, Then I Die’ is as melancholic as you would imagine, whilst the more uplifting ‘Sunlight’ takes aim at overusing social media in favour of regaling in the natural light. The set works stripped back and acoustic too as we witnessed when Australian Emerson was in the capital late last year to play some shows ahead of his Great Escape appearance this summer. (SC)

Girl Crush

Ottilia Kjulsten and David Sugar are Girl Crush. The Swedish/British duo deal in chronicling heartbreak through woozy, dream-like soundscapes. It’s blissed-out synth pop with a modern day bite, with their most recent offering ‘Radio Silence’ being an ode to being ghosted by a potential love interest, with a deeper insight into how we navigate online relationships. (SC)

The Slaughter House Band 

One of our most exciting discoveries of 2018, The Slaughter House Band prove there is definitely something in the water down in Brighton. Think an Iggy Pop and Shame hybrid with a tambourine thrown in for good measure atop classic riffs and a distinctive growl courtesy of singer Raz Hyland. You’re going to want to keep your eyes firmly on these guys this year. (SC)

Photo: Anoushka Khandwala (collage design)