Thu 24 Jun 2021

5-a-side… 5 new solo artists


bb sway is one of the most exciting new solo artists around.

With EURO 2020 entering the final stages, we’ve curated a 5-a-side team of solo artists who are on the same wavelength. Here’s 5 of the best new solo artists you can see live later this year.

bb sway

Who: bb sway emerged in 2019 with her debut EP ‘cosy’ which was released via NX Records. The EP, supported by the likes of Mary Anne Hobbs at BBC 6 Music, showed bb sway to be an exciting new prospect with a playful yet meticulous approach to arrangement, and lyrics that make you feel like you’re hearing hushed secrets from a friend.

Driven by a desire to spread her message, create something relatable and help with emotional healing, bb sway creates bedroom pop with a wide-eyed inquisitiveness and a genuine heart.

When: Thursday 2nd September @ Folklore, London

One Track to Start With: ‘Bet You Know’

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Liz Lawrence

Who: At the start of summer 2020, Liz Lawrence left London and moved back to her hometown in the West Midlands. She built a studio from scratch with her dad, a carpenter, on the site where her grandfather’s garden shed had stood unopened for 20 years. She christened it ‘The Coffin’. During that period of upheaval, she completed her new album, ‘The Avalanche’. The album, due for release September 17th 2021, came quickly. Lawrence wrote, arranged and played everything herself, and for the first time, she produced the entire album, too. It allowed her to distil the essence of her celebrated live shows onto record. “I feel like there’s power and aggression in the way I perform live, and I wanted to capture that on The Avalanche,” she explains. “It was a complete pleasure to write. I’d had all that anxiety around releasing ‘Pity Party’ [her 2nd studio album] after such a long period of not writing under my own name. But I was buzzing off the fact that people were receptive to it live, and it gave me so much confidence to make this.”


Friday 1st October @ The Bodega, Nottingham

Sunday 3rd October @ The Cluny, Newcastle

Wednesday 6th October @ Gorilla, Manchester

One Track to Start With: ‘None of my Friends

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Billie Marten

Who: Raised in the rolling hills of North Yorkshire on artists such as Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading, and Kate Bush, Marten’s critically acclaimed debut album Writing of Blues and Yellows, was released in 2016 when she was still just 17, while its follow-up Feeding Seahorses By Hand was similarly lauded in 2019. Recorded with Rich Cooper in London, Marten’s new material blends those signature hushed, resonant vocals with a rapid pulse and rich instrumentation, her inspirations now stretching from krautrockers Can, to Broadcast, Arthur Russell, and Fiona Apple.


Tuesday 21st September @ The Castle and Falcon, Birmingham

Wednesday 29th September @ Manchester Academy

One Track to Start With: ‘Creature of Mine’

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Lizzie Reid

Who: An emotionally raw songwriter, Reid’s songs explore themes of love, loss, identity and modern life. Debut EP Cubicle was released in February 2020, and included singles ‘Company Car’, ‘Seamless’ and ‘Always Lovely’, which have racked up plays across BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 music and Radio X.

Drawing comparisons to contemporaries like Laura Marling, Angel Olsen and Julia Jacklin, Reid has an honest vulnerability which shines through in her songs creating a mature, steely eyed reflection on the topics she tackles.

When: Tuesday 28th September @ The Castle Hotel, Manchester

One Track to Start With: ‘Always Lonely’

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Who: Pizzagirl has earned acclaim across the board with a persona that is part surreptitious hit maker and part clinically-out-of-it TV host veering dangerously off script. The Guardian and The Sunday Times have offered broadsheet credibility, and indie titans in NME, DIY and DORK, as well as documenters of style and culture at The FADER, VICE, Clash and The Line of Best Fit have offered championing words.

On the airwaves a host of DJs have labelled themselves fans of, including Annie Mac and Gemma Bradley at BBC Radio 1; Lauren Laverne, Shaun Keaveny and Radcliffe & Maconie at BBC 6 Music; as well as Travis Holocombe at KCRW.


Wednesday 13th October @ Shipping Forecast, Liverpool

Thursday 14th October @ The Lexington, London

Friday 15th October @ YES (The Basement), Manchester

One Track to Start With: ‘sugar ray’

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