Welcome to the first installment of a new feature, where we welcome other music bloggers that we know and love to share some of their favourite up-and-coming artists and underrated acts. Kicking things off is Georgia from gigsandfreudianslips: “In the music blogging game, you naturally come across a ton of acts who are unsigned and you just think ‘this is audacious; they aren’t signed yet the freaking Chainsmokers are??!’. Unsigned and smaller acts struggle to obtain the same amount of promotion as the bigger names, and work A LOT HARDER for slithers of column inches talking about their music, which is why a large emphasis on my blog has been on acts who fall in this bracket. Here are five unsigned / signed but still upcoming acts I take pleasure in introducing the readers of Belwood Music to.”
These guys have been going for a few years now, and I always refer to them as ‘the best band to never break out of Hull’, although that’s thankfully starting to change. One stand out feature of the group is the voice of their lead singer (so I think he’s called Reuben?); his sweet but powerful when it needs to be voice fits perfectly in their indie pop vibe. It has the same qualities that Years and Years’ Olly Alexander’s voice has, and they are also one of my favourite bands. The lyrics frequently hint at the desired protagonist of the song potentially being male, such as ‘so if you’re told you’re afraid you might like it, ‘cause I’m a boy’, and the openness of lyricism and possibly sexuality from the lead singer is another aspect of The Hubbards I really like.
Another pick of mine who are based in Yorkshire, this time from county town York. Groovy, electro-synth energetic indie numbers are their forte, and regardless of whether the storyline to a song is uplifting or more downbeat, you will find your toes tapping to their music. Their songs have powerful messages behind them, as does their band name itself – in several interviews, they’ve stated that their name represents the equality of all people, regardless of their age, gender and sexuality.
Admittedly, I hadn’t unearthed the Brighton female trio before watching their set at Truck Festival this summer. The intensity and energy of their performance blew me away; it’s often commented on the lack of female presence within the punk and rock scenes, so to see an all-women band nail it and astonish a predominantly male crowd delighted me. One moment of their set which particularly stood out was Rakel’s gritty, bold vocals on ‘FU’; every time she hit the song’s chorus, the volume and brashness of her voice increased, creating an almost intimidating, terrifying atmosphere in the tent. The girls were added straight to my Spotify playlist as soon as I got back from Truck.
One of the craziest, sprightly bands you’ll ever see, they are part of the fresh wave of punk, introducing the genre to a whole new generation. Sometimes niche bands overcomplicate their tracks with about a hundred different verses, a middle 8 but no chorus; BlackWaters keep it simpler with standard song structuring, with singalong chorus, witty and clever lyricism, combined with their brooding post punk undertones. Slaves are regarded as one of the best live bands by many critics, and I genuinely feel BlackWaters are up there with them.
The guys from Sheffield have released two monster tunes – Nobody’s Watching and Mind Pollution – and they make abrasive rock music with an aggressive punk edge, something I cannot get enough of. They will be the biggest thing from Sheffield in a matter of months, and I am pumped to see what they have in the bag next.
In case you’re interested, some bigger bands I also am really into include The Big Moon (feisty female indie rock group who have produced some stellar songs, and are racing up the festival lineup ranks), and Nothing but Thieves (their second album Broken Machine is on par with their first record; they’ve conquered both the heavy and softer sides of rock, and Conor is a marvellous vocalist).
Be sure to pay a visit to gigsandfreudianslips!