As the new year unfolds there is no better time to expand your music taste and explore genres and artists that you may not otherwise have chosen to listen to- or even have heard of. January is the time to put well-deserved emphasis on smaller artists; to connect with live music and local DIY scenes. So if you want to get going on this new year’s resolution, the list below is an opening into new listening-territory; as it were: an amalgamation of artists who are on the up in 2024.
This Hastings-based grunge alternative/ punk rock trio has been rapidly rising in popularity in the last year, with ablaze live performances reminiscent of the roughness and energy of Riot Grrrl. Endorsed by the likes of Elton John, Hole’s Courtney Love, and Wolf Alice, the HotWax band have gone on to release their flaming second EP: Invite me, kindly, which you can catch live on their 2024 tour with DIY Magazine.
- Dream Wife
Brighton’s Dream Wife have crafted a dreamy discography displaying a punchy concoction of indie rock, dream-pop, and pop-punk. The female-fronted band’s hits, call upon themes that a surprising number of us can relate to, with catchy, playful lyricism: Such as Hey Heartbreaker, and Hot (Don’t Date a Musician), the titular (and my favourite) track off their 2023 album.
- Vision Video
For those inclined to music on the darker side, Vision Video are an accessible and exceptionally slippery slope into an obsession with post-punk and goth music. The American band replicates nostalgic sounds from traditional bands including The Cure (check their cover of Pictures Of You) as well as introducing modern melodies for baby bats. The release of their 2023 single Normalized bodes well for an incoming album, as does their gig supporting Skeleton Family I caught in London last winter.
- She’s in Parties
Despite paying homage to the gothic in their name, the quartet She’s In Parties produce an exquisite mix of shoegaze and dream pop harmonies which make the listener feel as if they’re floating in layers of hazy noise. Reminiscent of the classic Cocteau Twins, and the vocals of contemporary Pale Waves, we can excitedly anticipate the Essex based band’s debut album End Scene, due for release in 2024.
- Bob Vylan
Bob Vylan’s discography incorporates punk rock, with influences from the UK grime and rap scenes; a perhaps unexpectedly felicitous mix. However, where these genres differ in sound, they ideologically align: grime participates in punk ideology. So, they implement the style and cadence of people of colour in grime within this subculture, boasting titles such as We Live Here and Hunger Games. Catch their 2024 album: Humble As The Sun.
5. The Last Dinner Party
After catching them by chance on an enclosed stage at a rural philosophy festival this summer, the The Last Dinner Party’s capacity to draw energy from such a small crowd impressed me. The female-fronted five-person band’s banquet of indie rock tunes have landed them supporting spots with Florence and the Machine and the Lana Del Rey. Hence there’s no doubt that we’re likely to eat up their debut album Prelude To Ecstasy later this year.
Last but by no means least, playing Oxford’s notorious Bullingdon this February, this English punk rock trio have also incorporated more danceable genres from indie rock to ska, with their live shows demonstrating noise-rock in the most positively conative sense of the word. Their 2024 single release featuring Sink Or Swim and Better Days include intense bass riffs and experimentation not to be missed.
In conclusion, rather than an exhaustive list, this selection of artists can serve as a platform from which to explore new musical-ground. Other ways to find new artists can be from gigs themselves- in Oxford, for example in venues such as: the Bullingdon, the Library, Common Ground, and the O2 Academy.