2018- Ones to Watch

As the class of 2017’s Ones to Watch graduate onto big things, it makes sense to start the year off with a fresh batch of up and coming talent who are soon to be making waves within the music industry. Last year’s bands included: Sundara Karma (who went onto headline a show at Brixton’s O2 Academy and release their debut album), Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Declan McKenna, VANT, The Big Moon (who went on to be nominated for this year’s Mercury Prize), Blaenavon, Cabbage, Will Joseph Cook, Clean Cut Kid and The Amazons, all of which have gone on to do exciting things, whether it be releasing their debut album or collecting an array of prestigious awards. This year’s list could go on forever, but I’ve picked out my highlights.

The Magic Gang

Brighton’s The Magic Gang have been about for the last few years. They’ve supported countless bands and played multiple day time festival slots, but now it’s their turn to take to the big stage. They’ve taken their time putting out gloriously upbeat, alternative singles and- hopefully- are preparing to put out a full length record in the near future. Regardless, they’re definitely worth a listen.

FOR FANS OF: Sundara Karma, The Big Moon, Circa Waves

LISTEN TO: Jasmine, How Can I Compete, Your Love, All This Way


Pale Waves

Pale Waves are one of the latest great bands to come from the hit-making record label Dirty Hit. In the last year or so they’ve already played Madison Square Garden, had singles produced by label mate Matty Healy (The 1975) and toured the UK a handful of times on their own. Their sound is similar to that of The 1975s, with its dark, sugar coated outside and classic indie-rock core. Oh, and they’ve already got matching band tattoos, so they’re in it for the long run!

FOR FANS OF: The 1975, The Japanese House, Swim Deep, Fickle Friends

LISTEN TO: There’s A Honey, Television Romance, New Year’s Eve


Billie Eilish

Straight out of LA, 16-year-old Billie Eilish is already making waves in the world of music. Her soothing indie-elctropop spell tales of teenage love and loss, in ways which are mature beyond her years. The tracks themselves are effortlessly easy to listen to, with hints of artists such as Lana Del Rey seeping through. In 2017, Eilish released the EP stylised as dont smile at me, which includes a successful collab with Vince Staples (which echoes singles ‘watch’).  The EP has the youthful optimism of Lorde’s Pure Heroine, with a cool edge. I can’t wait to see Eilish live eventually, with a sporadic selection of sold out worldwide dates popping up all over the place as we speak.

FOR FANS OF: Lana Del Rey, Lorde

LISTEN TO: Watch, idontwannabeyouanymore, Party Favor and Ocean Eyes


Ten Tonnes

Ten Tonnes is an exciting up and coming singer/songwriter who plays upbeat, easy to listen to alternative tunes on his electric guitar. The songs ooze an air of cool, with catchy chorus’ galore. He’s also brilliant live, with a natural, relaxed and collected stage presence, and is about to embark on a UK tour as support for RatBoy, with fellow 2018 up and coming trailblazers Bad Sounds.

FOR FANS OF: Tom Grennan, Will Joseph Cook, and feel good pop songs.

LISTEN TO: Lucy, Cracks Between, Born to Lose, Love Me To Death


Tom Grennan

Tom Grennan is undeniably one to watch. His voice is timeless, with a maturity many take years of graft to grasp. Grennan’s polished pop songs are a masterclass in how to write a modern classic and his soulful, blusey voice is tireless.

FOR FANS OF: Soulful strong male vocals

LISTEN TO: Found What I’ve Been Looking For, Royal Highness, Praying, Something in the Water


Rex Orange County

Rex Orange County’s is a British singer/songwriter, whose songs possess the lyrical wit of that of The Streets and are fused with hip-hop, pop and jazz influence. He’s already has a large following of famous fans, including Tyler, The Creator, who featured Rex Orange County on his latest album and has been tipped by BBC Music on their Sound of 2018 list, in which he came second. His music is effortlessly cool and clever. It’s something unique and special.

FOR FANS OF: The Streets, Rat Boy, Declan McKenna

LISTEN TO: Best Friend, Loving is Easy, Television/So Far So Good



Sigrid is set to be one of the most exciting solo artists of the year. The Norwegian singer’s feel good pop tunes are infectiously catchy and are set to soundtrack the Summer of 2018. She shot to fame after releasing the Don’t Kill My Vibe EP in 2017 and has been unstoppable since, with a sold out UK tour coming up and plenty of big festival sets already under her belt. What’s more, she’s recently been crowned the winner of BBC Music’s Sound of 2018. Watch this space!

FOR FANS OF: MØ, Dua Lipa, Anne-Marie, and a strong female pop vocal.

LISTEN TO: Don’t Kill My Vibe, Strangers, Plot Twist


Sam Fender

Sam Fender is just beginning to emerge in the music industry. He’s insanely talented and provides an essential “woke” (if you will) narrative of the world. The soulful singer songwriter writes politically and socially aware tracks, which take on the topics of sexual harassment and the government’s role in society. Fender’s guitar lead music doesn’t become tiresome either and with four singles released thus far, I can’t wait to hear what comes next.

FOR FANS OF: Tom Grennan, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Declan McKenna, The Amazons

LISTEN TO: Play God, Start Again, Greasy Spoon



Superorganism are out of this world. Literally. They’re a fascinating band who experiment with sound in a unique and exciting way. Whilst their core is that of indie rock origin, they throw curveballs in the form of samples and sound effects. Their sound is refreshing to listen to, whilst their live set up is equally as exciting.

FOR FANS OF: Something totally unique, slightly out-there and with a pretty open-mind!

LISTEN TO: Something For Your M.I.N.D, Everybody Wants to Be Famous


Tom Walker

Tom Walker is a self taught musician, who has a degree in songwriting and he’s insanely brilliant at all of it. Singer/songwriter Walker fuses eclectic samples with bold beats and catchy hooks. Hip-hop and pop influence seeps in, whilst traditional songwriting remains at core. His voice is incredibly soulful and easy to listen to. He’s also set to tour the UK in March and is definitely not one to be missed.

FOR FANS OF: Jack Garratt, James Bay, Saint Raymond

LISTEN TO: Leave a Light On, Just You and I, Fly Away With Me


The Night Café

The Night Café are a brilliantly traditional indie-rock, alternative band. They’re pretty refined in their genre and their tracks could easily excite the toughest of audiences. They’ve supported Blaenavon on a couple of their tours and are playing the odd show around the country in their own right. They’re a band just on the cusp of making it big and I can’t wait to see them grow and mature into something huge.

FOR FANS OF: Blaenavon, Sundara Karma, The Magic Gang

LISTEN TO: Mixed Signals, Addicted, Felicity



FEET are one of the first bands to come out of Yala Records- the brainchild of The Maccabees Felix White. Their indie-rock, alternative sound is laced with elements of raucous punk. Whilst they’ve only officially released two songs I think they’re going to go on to do really great, big things. Watch this space.

FOR FANS OF: Slaves, Palma Violets, Cabbage, Wolf Alice

LISTEN TO: Petty Thieving, Macho Macho


King Nun

I remember the first time I saw King Nun. It was a boiling hot summers day at a market in Kingston in 2015 and the audience consisted of passers by and- mainly- band family members. I don’t remember how I wound up to be there, but the band played a memorable set. Two year’s later and the band have been signed to Dirty Hit Records- the record label behind The 1975, Wolf Alice, Superfood etc.- and have since put out a few singles and EPs. Their sound is loud and raucous. It’s gritty and raw and they play an electric live set. With the nurture of Dirty Hit, they’re certain to flourish into something big.


LISTEN TO: Tulip, Sponge, Speakerface


Bad Sounds

Brothers Ewan and Callum started Bad Sounds a couple of years ago, fusing hip hop influences with cool indie-pop. They’re experimental with sound and sampling and electronic beats run deep throughout all of their tracks. They put out a couple of EPs last year (PHRESSSH and Mixtape One) and have already embarked on their maiden tour of the UK. What’s more, they’re due to join Rat Boy on his early 2018 tour- along with the formidable Ten Tonnes.

FOR FANS OF: Superfood, something totally different.

LISTEN TO: Wages, Are You High?, Avalanche



2018- Ones to Watch

New Artist of the Month (August 2017)- Ten Tonnes

This month’s up and coming artist of the month is Ten Tonnes.

Ten Tonnes- also known as Ethan Barnett- has previously released two EPs, Lucy (2016) and Born to Lose (2017) and has the most soulful indie-rock voice. This, paired with his fascinatingly written lyrics, makes him undoubtedly one to watch. A BBC Introducing graduate (like his older brother George Ezra), he has already toured across the UK and played at major UK festivals, including Reading and Leeds. His track ‘Silver Heat’ (a track about flashbacks to old memories, many of which about an ex girlfriend), from his 2017 EP Born to Lose, was produced by The Maccabees’ Hugo White.

He played a triumphant set at this year’s Reading Festival to an eager audience, which saw Barnett bring his sun-kissed, soulful indie-rock to the Festival Republic Stage (a leap from the BBC Introducing Stage which he played in 2016). He played the singles ‘Lucy’ and ‘Born to Lose’.

He is set to release his latest single, ‘Cracks Between’, on the 1st August 2017, which was originally broadcast on Huw Stephen’s BBC Radio 1 show on the 30th August.

New Artist of the Month (August 2017)- Ten Tonnes

Up and Coming Artist of the Month- July 2017 // Everywhere- “Man Up” (new single)


This month’s featured up and coming artist are a UK based band called Everywhere. The band recently released the new single “Man Up”.

Everywhere are an Alt Rock band based in London, who formed in 2012. The band started out with Swedish lead singer Max Berga emailing out early demos to producers all over the world- something which paid off as acclaimed hit maker Mark Needham (The Killers,  Imagine Dragons, Fleetwood Mac, Blondie) proposed sessions in LA. The band eventually became what it is today as a result and they have previously released singles, including “Eddie”, in 2013, which got played on BBC Radio 2.

The critically praised band are already starting to make waves in the music industry and have found success in playing alongside huge indie artists including Django Django and Palma Violets at the NME Awards in 2013. They later went on to support indie-rock icons the Kaiser Chiefs and headline Notting Hill Arts Club, in London. They’ve been snapped up by BBC Introducing London for their previous single “Some Other Dude” (from the band’s 2016 Sophomore EP, Fiction Act) and have had over a million streams on Spotify so far.

The band officially released their first 2017 single “Man Up” on the 9th June (which can be found on Spotify, as well as on Soundcloud and other digital online stores). The single features Swedish singer/songwriter Rebecca Nohr.

“Man Up” is an infectiously catchy electro-pop tune, complete with groovy synths (vaguely reminiscent of 80s pop music) and a funky, distinct bass line. The tune is gloriously upbeat and optimistic, despite the lyrics echoing tales of unfulfilled expectations, dominant partners and the archaic ideas of what being a man is and what it really takes to be one. Rebecca Nohr’s vocals lend perfectly to the tune- offering a female perspective to the unfolding events. Overall the track is effortlessly easy to listen to and its bold chorus lingers in your mind for ages. It’s a keen dance floor filler, as well as a perfect summer anthem. It’s harmless pop in a bold electronic, alternative disguise. There’s definitely an undertone of assured anthem, similar to that seen in songs by The Killers, Mystery Jets and Two Door Cinema Club, within it too.

The single’s stunning abstract artwork was designed by German graphic artist Sebastian Onufszak.

The band say “We’re currently working on an album, it’s still early but hopefully it should be out this fall” and I, for one, can’t wait. Watch this space.

You can find and follow the band here:









Up and Coming Artist of the Month- July 2017 // Everywhere- “Man Up” (new single)

2017- Ones to Watch

If there’s anything certain for 2017 it’s that the music industry is about to be stormed by a handful of up and coming artists who are just about to break it. Last year’s list featured artists like Blossoms (who went on to pretty much own 2016), Rat Boy and The Japanese House, all of which have gone on to have huge success. There are hundreds of bands and artists I could write about (and I’m still planning a huge master post of them all), but here are a selection.

Sundara Karma– I featured Sundara Karma on the list last year and they’ve done a lot since then (toured constantly, played Reading Festival, Glastonbury etc), however I think 2017 is going to be their year. They released their debut album, Youth is Only Fun in Retrospect, at the beginning of January and are about to go on a UK headline tour (featuring a date at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire) and support indie giants Two Door Cinema Club. There’s no doubt that the band will probably play all the festivals (John Peel or The Other Stage at Glastonbury maybe?) and they’ve probably got a few more tour dates up their sleeves (a huge Brixton show would be brilliant?!). You’d be mad not to catch them. I’ve been saying it for the last couple of years, but Sundara Karma are a band with songs that could easily fill arenas. Their songs are catchy, upbeat and powerful. I can’t believe it’s taken so long to get the recognition they deserve.

FOR FANS OF: Two Door Cinema Club, Circa Waves and (mainly) easy listening, feel good indie rock.

HAVE A LISTEN TO: She Said, The Night and Flame

Rag ‘N’ Bone Man– Rag ‘N’ Bone Man- whose real name is Rory Graham- is set to become one of the most successful up and coming artists of 2017. Graham started as an MC and some of this still seeps through into his current material- take ‘Wolves’ for example (a collaboration with Stig Of The Dump) or ‘Rain’ (with Kate Tempest). He has the most stunningly beautiful blusey voice. It’s deep and powerful. It’s another George Ezra effect, you don’t expect the man singing to look how he does but in all honesty it tops it off perfectly. Brighton based Rag ‘N’ Bone Man has already won 2017’s Brits Critic’s Choice Award, following in the footsteps of Adele and James Bay (amongst others). There’s actually nothing quite like him. His voice is so powerful. He’s already confirmed to play Isle of Wight Festival and Wild Life Festival.

FOR FANS OF: Something unique and soulful, blusey, powerful voices.

HAVE A LISTEN TO: Wolves, Human and Hell Yeah

Declan McKenna: Newly turned 18 year old Declan McKenna is already taking the music world by storm. Having toured with the likes of Blossoms and Cage the Elephant, performed on Later Live With Jools Holland and having won the 2015 Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition he’s definitely someone you should know about. His music has a laid back quality, whilst still remaining witty in lyric and incredibly catchy. McKenna is a brilliant example of what the future has in terms of music. He’s got something important to say, too. His song ‘Paracetamol’ was inspired by a transgender girl, Leelah Acorn, who committed suicide in late 2014 and the media’s representation of the LGBQT community, incredibly infectious ‘Brazil’ is all about the corruption within FIFA and the effects of the World Cup on Brazil and ‘Isombard’ has hints of extreme right wing views trying to be justified by those with power without proper understanding and a total disregard for those who it affects (ignorance I suppose). Declan McKenna is important and necessary in today’s world and I couldn’t be happier that people like him are leading the way for my generation. McKenna has just finished on a UK tour and has just released his latest single, “The kids Don’t Wanna Come Home”.

FOR FANS OF: The View, music with a message and brilliant indie-rock.

HAVE A LISTEN TO: Brazil, Bethlehem and Isombard.

VANT: “We’re VANT from planet Earth” is what Mattie Vant (lead singer) introduced the band as. It’s something I’ve remembered. This is a significant statement; they don’t believe in world boarders. VANT are a politically driven band producing today’s version of protest music. They stand proud for what they believe in and aren’t afraid to fight for it. Their music is loud and unbelievably catchy.  It’s a breath of fresh air on the indie-rock scene. The music creates a hybrid across genres, too. They’ve toured with the likes of You Me At Six, regularly feature in Kerrang, they’re an NME favourite, they’ve already triumphantly conquered Glastonbury and Reading Festival AND they’re due to release their debut album this Feburary. Their music is universally relevant and something you should check out.

FOR FANS OF: Spring King, Palma Violets and music with a message.

HAVE A LISTEN TO: KARMA SEEKER, FLY-BY ALIEN and DO YOU KNOW ME? (yes, they’re all brilliantly capitalised)

 The Big Moon– The Big Moon are a dreamy all-female four piece indie-rock band from London. Their music sounds like the firey remains of their 90s predecessors and their melodic tunes are nothing but a treat.  I first heard of the band because they were supporting The Maccabees on their January 2016 UK tour and I’ve been hooked since. Their music is so easy to listen to and unbelievably catchy and their live shows are frill-free and fascinating. They’re set to release their debut album, Love in the 4th Dimension, this year too.

FOR FANS OF: Haim, Spring King and Sundara Karma

LISTEN TO: Sucker, The Road, Cupid and Silent Movie Susie

Blaenavon– I can’t quite describe how much I love Blaenavon. Their music is the type of music you want to fall in and out of love to, look dramatically out of bus windows on drizzly days to and dance to, simultaneously (or maybe that’s just me). Their music has this sophisticated, laid-back indie vibe and it’s something you don’t see a lot at the moment. Their EPs are each stunningly composed with absolute bangers, from the loud ‘Hell is in my Head’ (which I first heard in a supermarket car park on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show) to their latest single ‘Orthodox Man’, which you can help wanting to sway to. They’ve done a lot of supporting over the last year (from Sundara Karma to The Hunna) and I think it’s paid off. Blaenavon are a gem and shouldn’t be missed. Their debut album, That’s Your Lot, is out in April (and their EP and album artwork is brilliant too).

FOR FANS OF: Swim Deep, Peace, Circa Waves and Sundara Karma

LISTEN TO: Let’s Pray, Orthodox Man, Hell is in Your Head and Prague

Cabbage– Cabbage are Manchester’s answer to the universe. Their music tells the truths of Tory Britain, struggles of modern day life and are a beacon of truth for many of Britain’s youth. Again, their music has something significant to say (and something that shouldn’t be ignored). They definitely don’t want it written about in The Sun though. It’s not something your parents will love (and that’s the point). They join the NME tour with Blossoms later this year and you should probably prepare to see them at pretty much every festival going.

FOR FANS OF: Slaves, Palma Violets and The Libertines

LISTEN TO: Fickle, Terrorist Synthesiser and Dinner Lady

Will Joseph Cook– Nothing but feel good indie rock from a chilled out teenager who knows how to write a killer tune. Ugh, it doesn’t get much better than ‘Take Me Dancing’. It’s the epitome of euphoric music. Will Joseph Cook goes on tour supporting Sundara Karma this month.

FOR FANS OF: (a toned down) Everything Everything, Cage the Elephant and Viola Beach

LISTEN TO: Take Me Dancing, Sweet Dreamer and Girls Like Me

Clean Cut Kid–  I don’t really know how Clean Cut Kid aren’t huge. They’re here, there and everywhere at the moment and have been firm festival favourites, supported bands like the Courteeners and have released a handful of brilliant EPs brimming with feel good hits. The band offer something unique that works, but also something that remains quite classic. I can’t wait to see where this year takes them.

FOR FANS OF: alll the indie music and something a bit different

LISTEN TO: We Used to be in Love, Vitamin C and Runaway

The Amazons– The Amazons are one of those bands on the cusp of success. They’ve been around for a couple of years, but they’re just starting to make their mark on an ever evolving industry. Their area sized songs echo that of successful bands that have come before them. They’re going to be a band you hear about a lot over the next year. Watch this space.

FOR FANS OF: Sundara Karma, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Viola Beach, The Sherlocks and Blossoms

LISTEN TO: Ultraviolet, Stay With Me, In My Mind and Night Driving

Of course, there are many other artists who could’ve been featured on here and I’m still planning a huge post with them all on, but for now these are my essential ones to keep an eye on. This year’s future big names are mainly young people with message who write music with meaning. Long are the days where music is all about ex-lovers and turbulent relationships. It’s all about making the world a better place and fighting for what you believe in.

2017- Ones to Watch

2016- The Ones to Watch

January’s nearly over and 2016 is set to be huge for some new artists. I thought I’d suggest some artists and bands who are, undoubtedly, going to be huge this year.

Rat Boy– I’ve been singing Rat Boy’s praises for the last few months. After triumphantly supporting bands like Circa Waves and The 1975, their success is almost inevitable. They’re set to release an album this year too and are going on a headline tour of the UK in May (some days sold out on the day of release). They’re being tipped to be big by the BBC too. They have the energy and enthusiasm of a young Jamie T and lyrics comparable to those of great artists and bands, like The Streets.

FOR FANS OF: Jamie T, The Streets, those who like a bit of teenage fuelled, political lined lyrics and energetic indie rock.

HAVE A LISTEN TO: Wasteman, Move and Fake ID

Sundara Karma– I stumbled upon Sundara Karma at some point last year. I’m not entirely sure when or where but I’ve been following their music a lot since. They’ve supported The Wombats on huge dates- like at Alexandra Palace- and have played festivals up and down the country, including Reading and Leeds. They’re exciting and fresh indie rock. Oscar, lead singer, has a really unique and powerful voice which sings songs meant for arenas and huge audiences. The songs are unbelievably catchy and will soon become staples on every playlist! They’re inspired by a load of huge names, like Bowie and The Doors.

FOR FANS OF: Huuuuuge, arena style chorus’ (and bands like Catfish and the Bottlemen, in terms of area filling songs, and Circa Waves)

HAVE A LISTEN TO: Flame, Loveblood and Vivienne

The Japanese House– Ever since I heard Zane Lowe play “Still” on BBC Radio 1 last year I’ve been obsessed with the laid back, easy listening tunes of The Japanese House. The Japanese House is 19-year-old Amber Bain and she’s signed to Dirty Hit Records (The 1975, Wolf Alice). She’s worked with The 1975’s George Daniel and Matty Healy to produce music (including the EP “Pools to Bathe In”). The lyrics are lined with melancholic themes but are extremely emotional and easy to listen to. She’s supporting The 1975 on tour in March, which I’m excited to see, and I eagerly anticipate new material.

FOR FANS OF: The 1975 and laid-back, easy to listen to tunes with a unique twist.

HAVE A LISTEN TO: Still, Cool Blue and Teeth

Black Honey– On a Sunday morning at Reading Festival I discovered Brighton based, female fronted band “Black Honey ”  on the Festival Republic stage. There’s nothing I hate more than comparing female fronted bands to Wolf Alice- as everyone does, about every female fronted band- but Black Honey do, indeed, sound similar to Wolf Alice. Perhaps even a bit like Blondie (and even The Pretty Reckless). Izzy, the lead vocals, has a slight “Lana Del Rey” about her voice too. The tunes are huge, “Madonna” in particular, and are extremely memorable. They’ll be huge this year and follow in the success of female fronted bands like Wolf Alice. It’s definitely the time for a female fronted bands in alternative, indie rock.

FOR FANS OF: Wolf Alice, huge tunes and powerful female fronted indie-rock bands.

HAVE A LISTEN TO: Madonna, Sleep Forever and Corrine.

The Sherlocks– Where do you even start with The Sherlocks? They followed my sister on Twitter a year or two ago which provoked a peek at their performance at Reading Festival last year (which turned into being totally encapsulated by the set and ending up seeing it in its entirety). They have the determination of a young Alex Turner with a Gallagher brothers edge. They sound a bit like The Courteeners, with a Catfish and the Bottlemen aftertaste and a bit of Kasabian charm (especially in Escapade). They’re young, exciting and have all the elements to become something pretty big and special. I’m excited to see where they’re lead over the next year. They’re touring the UK in February.

FOR FANS OF: The Courteeners, Catfish and the Bottlemen and 2006 Alex Turner haircuts

HAVE A LISTEN TO: Live For The Moment, Escapade and Heart of Gold

Blossoms– Finally, there’s Blossoms. The music reminds me of bands like Peace whilst the vocals have a Van McCann (Catfish and the Bottlemen) touch. In some ways it reminds me of bands like The Kooks or Tame Impala. I particularly like how defined they are in their genre with their music that sets them apart from other bands and makes them totally unique. Blossoms are definitely ones to watch over the next year or so, so expect them to pop up all over the place!

FOR FANS OF: The Kooks, Tame Impala, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Peace

HAVE A LISTEN TO: At Most a Kiss, Charlemagne and Blown Rose



2016- The Ones to Watch