2017 has been an amazing year for new music. People of a certain age often think that the golden age of music is in the past (coincidentally in their era!) but if you’re prepared to look for it, there’s plenty vibrant music waiting to be discovered and enjoyed if you’ve got an open mind and ear.
These are artists whom have either particularly impressed me live or released a stand-out album. Some of them have been around for a while and only recently come to my attention.
I loved Chic and Gary Numan too amongst others, but I don’t really see the point in putting them on the list as everyone knows them.
So without further ado, in no particular order…
New to me, but been around for a while – accessible catchy tunes and a great live performance make Anteros well worth checking out. Blondie is a good point of reference.
Jane Weaver consistently releases great music, and her latest album Modern Kosmology is no exception.
Possibly my favourite single of the year, and “Price of Tears”, Baxter’s first album for Heavenly Recordings is a fab album to boot. Be sure to have a listen, particularly if you’re a fan of his dad (Ian Dury in case you hadn’t guessed!). Check him out in 2018 at Liverpool Sound City and Gorilla in Manchester.
Simon Raynonde’s (Cocteau Twins and Bella Union Label) long awaited musical debut was well worth the 20 year wait. This track should appeal to any fans of The Sundays in particular.
The Filthy Tongues
The Filthy Tongues are the core of Angelfish and Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, who’ve been making quality music since the 80s. Their latest album “Jacob’s Ladder” is IMHO the best thing they’ve done yet. Great band live and the current album Jacob’s Ladder is excellent from start to finish.
Japanese Breakfast’s “Soft Sounds from Another Planet” is a superb album and an impressive band live.
If you like Amy Winehouse or Adele then you need to check out Mica Millar! She is excellent live, if you get the chance to see her at an intimate venue, grab the chance whilst you can!
Brix & The Extricated
Great to see Brix on the top of her game, performing both new material and Fall hits with fellow ex-members of The Fall. An incredible performer live!
Bang Bang Romeo
Bang Bang Romeo literally stopped everyone in their tracks at Sound City when we heard Anastasia Walker’s amazing voice!
Jalen N’ Gonda
Great voice and catchy tunes, if you like Soul then Jalen N’Gonda needs to be firmly on your radar!
Joe Bone and the Dark Vibes
Glasgow’s best kept secret have promised they are playing some gigs further afield in 2018. Any promoters looking for a live act who can capture an audience, should look no further.
I realise I’m a bit late on this one, I’d seen the name but never really bothered to check them out until lately. Once I had a listen I realised I need to see them in 2018!
If you like you’re music quirky and electronic, check out Be Charlotte. Having never heard of her before, it did take me a few songs to get into her live set, but once I got into it, she’s rarely been off my spotify playlist since!
The Orielles have been around for a while, and they just keep getting better and better. This is the perfect Indie single!
Berlyn Trilogy is a Modern Synthpop band using a range of synthesizers and vocals, propelled along by pounding rhythmical drum machines and a bass guitar, they describe themselves as retro-futurist romantics with classic electronic structure and a darkly exciting edge.
Hannah Peel is a “must-see” live, as unique as she is talented.
Husband and Wife duo Simon & Rebecca Owen take their influences from the lyrical darkness of Joy Division & Depeche Mode, the experimentalism of early O.M.D and style and groove of Pet Shop Boys. Future Perfect have a sound that’s looking forwards and never backwards.
I don’t like Country music generally, so it’s all the more remarkable that Narn made it on to my list! Very impressive Live.
All Hail Hyena
Jay Stansfield grabbed my attention a few years ago with his solo act at Liverpool Light Night, his band All Hail Hyena! are excellent live and check out the quality of their videos!
Usually when you see a band twice in a year they start to lose their appeal a bit, a third time becomes too much, yet I’ve managed to see Pink Kink 5 times this year – and the fifth time sounded as fresh as the first! I expect big things of them next year!
Abi Harding’s new band AbiChan were amazing live, can’t wait for them to release an album!
Lucy Whittaker performs good commercial pop music, which wouldn’t sound out of place on daytime Radio 1.
Mane puts on an impressive live performance – she’s based in Switzerland so if you get a chance to see her in the UK then you should definitely go!
I’d never heard of Nils Bech to be honest, so was surprised he sub-headlined at Threshold, though once he took to the stage it made perfect sense. A sublime operatic voice with an electronic beat, fab stuff.
Queen Zee and the Sasstones
To be honest, I can’t remember a lot about Queen Zee and the Sasstones live set when I saw them, other than mayhem! They cast a spell over the room, so they must be doing something right!
Parralox were a worthy headliner of this year’s Silicon Dreams festival, playing crowd pleasing covers as well as original material.
No particular connection with 2017, other than the fact that she’s still brilliant 🙂 Keeping my fingers crossed that she performs live in 2018, somewhere I can get to!
And that ends my 2017 roundup, I can’t wait to see what new (and new to me) delights 2018 has to offer.
Originally published in Urbanista Magazine UK
Words + Pictures + Opinions by John W. King