Thu 3 Feb 2022

20 new acts you should see at Neighbourhood Weekender

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Neighbourhood Weekender has added loads more artists to the bill, including a host of new acts who are set to dominate your playlists in the months and years to come. Here, we take a look at those artists and get to know them a bit better.

Abbie Ozard

Refining her talents as a songwriter and vocalist at Manchester’s BIMM, Abbie Ozard was catapulted into the public consciousness after signing with Liverpool based Modern Sky Entertainment UK.

Since then, Abbie’s stock has continued to grow. Teaming up with Rich Turvey (Blossoms, Vistas) on co-production duties, her singles that followed, ‘Growing Pains’, ‘Heartbreak Radio’ and ‘On A Low’ all received coveted Huw Stephens spins on BBC Radio 1, as well as support from key tastemakers at BBC Introducing Manchester, Shell Zenner (Amazing Radio) and the ever loyal Chris Hawkins at BBC 6Music. The latter, ‘Heartbreak Radio’ made quite a stir on Spotify, gaining key playlist support, landing New Music Friday UK, The Indie List and many more.

Baby Queen

23-year-old South Africa-born, London-based artist Baby Queen (real name Bella Latham)
arrived in the pop sphere barely a year ago but she has already carved her name deep into
its fabric as the genre’s new anti-hero.

Since her first release last summer ‘Internet Religion’, a takedown of how social media
warps her generation, she has dropped a steady slew of singles that placed her at the
forefront of a musical movement. Tipped by everyone from NME and Radio 1 to Courtney
Love and Pale Waves, Baby Queen is ready to reign supreme.

Brooke Combe

Brooke Combe discovered a love for music aged just 5 years old, after getting her first toy drum kit.
Eventually she added playing saxophone, trombone, guitar, bass and piano to her repertoire while at
secondary school and began to find her own uniquely powerful voice along the way. Combe, influenced by the ‘90s R&B played in her mum and dad’s house, as well as the Motown her grandparents would play her, developed a love of great songwriting and vocalists and lyricists with their own idiosyncrasies – such as Amy Winehouse and Fleetwood Mac – before beginning to work on her own material.

Daisy Brain

Daisy Brain has gone from strength to strength since the release of debut single ‘Boring’ in June. Debut EP ‘Let’s Go Camping’is a four track mission statement that encapsulates the energy and breadth of Daisy Brain’s 90’s tinged indie rock.

Dylan John Thomas

Dylan hails from the east end of Glasgow, and is already breaking records in the motherland. He sold out the legendary King Tuts quicker than any other debuting Scot, and clocked over a million streams of his earliest introductory material. Mentored by Gerry Cinnamon who took Dylan touring to sold-out arenas across this fair isle and into Europe, and hand-picked by Liam Gallagher to support him at the aircraft-hanger sized Hydro Arena, these are all telling rites of passage and moments on a timeline that should find Dylan John Thomas as the next big talent to break out.   

Eli Smart

If Eli Smart’s music sounds hard to pin down then that’s because it comes from two very different places. And not two different places in the abstract, metaphorical sense. But literally two very different places.  

Smart grew up on the island of Kauai, Hawaii in a family of musicians. His maternal grandmother was in one of LA’s first ever all female rock groups and opened for Jimi Hendrix, while his his grandfather was a jazz composer who worked with Duke Ellington. Smart’s father is also a jazz musician and his parents run a ukulele story on Kauai. Music then, was unsurprisingly a constant presence in Smart’s life; records by The Beatles, Gladys Knight, Prince and Beck drifting through the house and feeding into his musical DNA, almost by osmosis. 

Frankie Beetlestone

Frankie Beetlestone is a 19-year-old singer/songwriter from Outerbridge, Sheffield. He
released his self-written and produced EP ‘Tasting The Sky’ in November 2021. Speaking
about the EP, Frankie says “I wanted to write and produce a collection of songs about the
highs and lows of life from the perspective of a teenager growing up.” Frankie’s music is
unforgivingly genre-bending, exploring tumultuous relationships, heartbreak, the ache and
pleasure of growing up. He has so far had support from Jack Saunders on BBC Radio 1 and
Brook Reese on Apple Music 1, along with being championed by BBC Introducing Sheffield.
Last year, Frankie supported Tom Grennan on his sold-out headline tour across the UK, Finn
Askew at Abbie McCarthey’s Good Karma Club show, as well as performing his first headline
show in Sheffield.

Gabe Coulter

Gabe Coulter’s striking song writing makes an immediate impression. Indeed, the Grammy-nominated producer Two Inch Punch (Rex Orange County, Rag N Bone Man) heard just one demo track and was sufficiently impressed to make working with him a priority.

Combining emotional resonance, witty, observant song writing and a passionate, personality-fuelled vocal that will appeal to fans of Dermot Kennedy or Sam Fender, Gabe’s songs have a timeless quality that’s remarkable for an artist who is in his early twenties.

Kynsy

Kynsy is the solo project of the 23 year-old Irish multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Ciara Lindsey.

Cementing her place as an artist on the cusp of a breakthrough 2021, NME included Kynsy in the NME 100 with “Happiness Isn’t A Fixed State” at number 1 in the NME 100 playlist, and Dork added her to their influential Hype List for the year while Nialler 9 included her as one of the best new acts of 2020.

Kynsy’s louche, almost rakish delivery is half world-weary lounge singer, half astute soothsayer. Moving from the metallic lurch of a nightclubbing Iggy Pop to the icy cool of St. Vincent and the futurism of Julian Casablancas, Kynsy has constructed her own world, one with a playful juxtaposition between the warmth of pitch perfect pop melodies and the stinging realism of her lyrics.

Louis Dunford

With a knack for finding light in the darkest places, Louis Dunford is something of a rarity in the musical landscape: a storyteller with stories that need to be told. Things are happening quickly again for Louis, but this time things feel different. This time it’s all happening on Louis’ terms. This time, it feels right.

Michael Aldag

The better you get to know Michael the more you’ll get used to his self-effacing turns of phrase but,
for the record, his songs really are particularly good. Since uploading his debut single ‘Entitled’ in
2019 he’s released a barrage of songs combining razor-sharp lyrics that recall Lily Allen, Lorde and
The Streets, with fresh beats that see 80s synthpop through the prism of 21st Century existential
angst. Somewhere among it all, Michael says, are some unexpected influences. There’s Marina &
The Diamonds, whose music Michael’s dad would often play in the car on family trips, while his
penchant for an anthemic chorus could give Bastille or The Killers a run for their money. “I
remember seeing The Killers at the Echo Arena a few years back,” Michael adds. “And when I saw
Brandon with his foot on the monitor I just thought: ‘Okay. Wow. That is exactly what I want to
do.’”

Noisy

Comprised of singer/rapper Cody, guitarist Connor and producer Spencer, the band is the culmination of several years of hanging out at skateparks. They’ve been Noisy for the past year and a half, an 18-month period that’s seen them build a makeshift studio in Spencer’s house and put it to good use: coming up with a name, and then a suitably clamorous sound to follow. To Noisy’s quote, the band are for all the Friday guys, for all 20-somethings smashing it on a weekend, spending five days aching, and then getting out and doing it again.

Oliver Keane

Derby born and newly London based, Oliver Keane is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Having first picked up a guitar aged nine, initially training classically and forming a strong technical foundation to his playing. Since hitting his teens Oliver was determined to forge his own path and has barely paused for breath.

Pixey

Pixey grew up in the sleepy but picturesque village Parbold, Lancashire before moving to Liverpool for school and remaining there to this day. She first discovered music as a toddler before discovering the likes of Kate Bush, Björk, and George Harrison, whose classic songwriting struck a chord with her in her youth. She taught herself Ableton production software before mastering guitar and eventually drums and bass after her previous (and current) boyfriend(s) left their instruments lying around to prove she could learn it quicker and play it better.

Once able to carve out her own sound, Pixey turned to The Verve, The Prodigy and De La Soul for sonic inspiration: “I particularly like the idea of using samples and making my own riffs sound like samples which was heavily inspired by the [De La Soul] album 3 Feet High and Rising. Starting out initially though Grimes was a huge catalyst when I realized she wrote, recorded & produced herself.”

Now with her second full EP out on Chess Club – a label famed for breaking new talent, where recent exciting signings include Alfie Templeman and Phoebe Green, and past successes include Jungle, Wolf Alice and Easy Life – Pixey is making more waves than ever before.

RATS

The best bands have both an intrinsic bond that binds them together, and a natural flair that instantly wins over hearts and minds. That’s exactly what you have in RATS – four childhood friends who met on the streets of Liverpool, but are now destined for arenas. 

A blast of direct and anthemic indie that’s as infectious as it is heartfelt, the sound of RATS has already seen them burst out of their native Liverpool, with their sizeable ambition lining up the rest of the world in their sights next. Lyrically, RATS take on all of the drama, turmoil, joy and celebration that comes with living in our modern society. 

Retro Video Club

Instead of celebrating every triumph, Retro Video Club have always been focused on how to do better. How to achieve more. How to reach more people. This new chapter of the band sees them less talk, more action. They know things are only just getting started though. 

A great live show is something Retro Video Club have always strived for. Every time they walk on stage, they know they’re going up against whoever else their crowd may be seeing that weekend. They’ve funnelled any cash they’ve ever made back into the live experience, always wanting to create more of a spectacle. “We’ve always thought about how we can fill a stage, so when we get the opportunity to play them, it feels right. I never feel like an imposter. It feels like we belong.” 

Seb Lowe

Hailing from Saddleworth in Oldham; the dust, glitches and scratches on the film reel of modern life are currently the main focus for Seb, whose debut release (produced by James Skelly and containing tracks previously debuted to his 125000 + Tik Tok followers) picks at society’s irresistibly itchy scabs. Playing live, there’ll be short songs, long songs and in-between songs from a broken-bottle-shard-sharp, open-hearted and politically-literate wordsmith.

The Mary Wallopers

The Mary Wallopers are a folk group from Dundalk, breathing new life into both well known & rare ballads. Travelling the length & breadth of the country singing & collecting songs, they exude a raw energy that could be described as the Clancy Brothers meet John Lydon.  

The Royston Club

The Royston Club are the Wrexham band tipped by Gigwise as “the new band from Wales most likely to do a Catfish”. 2021 saw the band fly past four million streams on Spotify alone, sell out a debut vinyl run in 24 hours, and sell out a 12-date debut UK headline tour.

The band have gained extensive support from Radio X (Xposure Playlist), BBC 6 Music (Steve Lamacq & Tom Robinson), BBC Wales (including a Janice Long live session), BBC Introducing as well as Sirius XM in the US.

Tommy Lefroy

Imagine a twinning combination of the pop sensibilities of Taylor Swift and the indie rock charm of Phoebe Bridges and you’ve discovered the Tommy Lefroy sound. Formed by a songwriting bond that crosses state lines and global land masses, Tommy Lefroy is the collective name for songwriters Wynter Bethel and Tessa Mouzourakis. A duo who seem to have a sibling-like songwriting connection with a unique sound that sparks emotion like few others.

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