2018 has been a busy one. The UK’s unsigned music scene is growing faster and faster by the day, and the sheer amount of new talent dying to breakthrough is making it harder and harder for bands to prove themselves and their sound.
This year we’ve received more new music submissions than ever, and as usual have tried to listen to, and feature as many new, upcoming artists as we possibly can; resulting in frantic attempts to write about each and every release we’ve loved from what has been a very long list.
Long list aside though, there’s been some strong standouts. We’ve picked our five must listen bands of the year, all of which we really think you should be keeping an eye on in 2019, and you can find each one of them below.
Just one year into their career, 2018 has been a big one for London newcomers Latenight Honeymoon. Their glistening, hometown inspired debut Live Your Life Without Me told us a romance drenched story of London’s nightlife back in August; later confirming it’s self as a potential indie pop anthem as the quartet excelled in hyping up crowds across the country on their first ever tour with Anteros.
Fast forward to December and Latenight Honeymoon are one of the most exciting breakthroughs of the year, second single Lost On You proves their knack for catchy, shimmering pop; separating the Londoners from the same-y Oasis wannabes the UK is currently drowning in.
Brighton’s own masters of dreamy, pounding pop Birthday Card continue to grow from strength to strength with everything they do. Their self declared ‘melancholy pop’ fuses 80’s new wave with 21st century synth pop, creating dreamy soundscapes packed with pure pop goodness. Slowly making their way out of Brighton with live shows in London, Bristol and Sheffield, 2018 has seen the Birthday Card fanbase grow as it deserves to.
This year has seen the release of both Berlin and Something Like Heaven, both of which offer a more confident, experimental side to indie’s most aesthetically pleasing newcomers; and having recently signed to booking agents CloseUp, 2019 is bound to be the year Birthday Card breakthrough.
Safe To Swim
Also from Brighton, and also no strangers to writing soaring, addictive indie pop Safe To Swim have properly proved themselves this year. Five singles and countless live shows in, the quartet’s sound is instantly recognisable and catchier than ever. Latest single Friends is inarguably their best work yet; poignantly written around a friend’s loss, it’s a bittersweet example of the Brighton boys’ ability to subtly explore darker themes while remaining furiously infectious.
If their progress this year is anything to go by, next year we’ll be hearing a lot more of Safe To Swim; and hopefully see them headline right across the country.
Having tested the waters with a handful of DIY solo projects earlier in the year, 2018 has seen Oli Green grow his brainchild FEVER DAYS into a fully fledged indie band overflowing with potential. The Tyneside four piece fuse psychedelic effects with singalong choruses and tight guitar to create perfectly put together indie anthems.
Oli and co have worked relentlessly throughout the year, playing endless shows in Newcastle including Hit The North, Evolution Emerging and support slots with the likes of Spring King, Our Girl and Jordan Allen to name a few. Combine their talent with their admirable work ethic and FEVER DAYS are sure to at least double their success by the time summer comes back around.
Bath based indie rockers Farebrother are no strangers to highly desired live shows. Having previously played alongside The Amazons, Anteros and Flyte as well as at the prestigious Dot to Dot Festival, it’s no surprise that their first two singles have already racked up over 140,000 Spotify streams.
The recently released I’d Be The Worst has cemented the quartet as a must watch for 2019. Oozing with ambition, infectious hooks and delightful pop influence, Farebrother’s sound is now tighter than ever. It’s difficult not to be impressed by the four, and if they continue to write songs as tight as their third single they’re bound to be found across countless festival stages in 2019.