These articles are impossible to write, you want to shout out as many people as possible but if you do that then people stop reading, the list loses meaning and you end up looking like the NME 100 just throwing such a wide net that it looks like your desperately hoping that “the next big thing” will be caught in it in an attempt to save face… With that said it’s a great chance for us to shout out an eclectic range of artists we thing will be doing bits in the new year. Leo Joslin, Becca St. Vincent and James Ward contributed to this list which is in no particular order.
The three-piece synth poppers have already given a taste of what we can expect from them in 2019 with the release of latest single Still Life, but they’ve got a whole new E.P. in the works to follow up 2017’s Space E.P., with the help of PRS Foundation’s Emerging Artist Fund. Recording with Richard Formby (who’s worked with Wild Beasts and The Pigeon Detectives amongst others) in a wool factory set in the Yorkshire countryside, PEAKES’ music sees them explore silence as a creative force. Their songs feel like they’re set in a massive and sparse room, with Maxwell Shirley’s synths and Molly Puckering’s vocals reaching out of the emptiness to pull the listener into their own private world. Pete Redshaw’s drumming holds the group’s ambient environment together, creating a sound that’s both free, but constantly searching forward.
Check out the video for Still Life
Long Legged Creatures
They may have only made themselves known to the Leeds live scene at the start of this year, but Long Legged Creatures have already set up a reputation amongst those that have seen them of being complete show stealers. They skirt around being pigeonholed into a genre, floating between jazz undercurrents that have gained them slots with Tight Lines and supports for Slow Loris and Necktr, live production and keyboards that echoes parts of fellow Leeds group Vessels, and deep bass lines that would be at home coming out the speakers at Beaverworks. Long Legged Creatures’ songs are intentionally jarring, with skewed harmonies and often suddenly changing dynamics, giving them something unique to the Leeds scene. They smashed their set at the Pretend Launch night in November, and are promising big things in 2019.
Check out their latest single, Lack Of Communication
Another group that only made their debut this year in May, but one that promises to be an important part of the Leeds post-punk scene. Somewhat of a local supergroup, comprising of members from Chest Pains, Treeboy & Arc and Glass Mountain, they’ve already released two singles in half a year, debut The City Calls and follow-up Final Call. They’ve crafted a sound that echoes that of post-punk titans Protomartyr in their rhythm section, as well as nods to forefathers Joy Division and Bauhaus with swirling synths and distant but piercing guitar lines. Gigs with FEHM, Cannibal Animal, Polevaulter and LUMER, as well as promoters Pizza For The People and Bleakhaus, have set themselves up with Yorkshire’s bubbling post-punk crowd, and 2019 promises to be the year that the group become mainstays of the scene.
Check out their latest single, Final Call
Perhaps somewhat more established than most on this list, Polo have been quieter than usual these past few months, gearing up for the release of their second E.P. and a seven-date tour of the North in the new year. They’ve had more than their fair share of festival and radio success as a result of their previous releases, and their brand of glistening electro pop seems to somewhat transcend the gritty DIY scene that surrounds them in the city. A second round of PRS funding and continued excitement throughout the industry points towards 2019 being a big year for the three-piece.
Check out their latest single, Louder Than Words
2018 was a busy year for the duo, seeing them gig heavily, and they’re already lined up to play Chalkpit Records launch party in January at Oporto. Based on a childhood friendship, they possess harmonies that are only found with those who’ve been performing together for years, effortless in nature. Equally comfortable and proficient with either their full band or stripped back to just the pair, they’ve played regularly with Sofar Sounds from Leeds to London, as well as slots at Dot To Dot and YNOT festivals. Their songs are intimate and open, touching on subjects close to them, in a fashion reminiscent of Lucy Rose, and they’ve hinted at big things in 2019.
Check out their latest single, Two Halves
A new project from the mind behind Dulahli, Anthony Phelan. Nothings out yet but we might have stolen a listen to some of the early demos and you can expect some smooth pop sounds a-la Tom Misch mixed with the energy you’d find in Anthony’s other projects. There’s not too much to say as yet as the first stuff is dropping in February so for now just look at the pretty pictures Leo got taken, oooh doesn’t it look a bit like Colors?
Morpher killed the end of 2018 spreading their wonky jazz wherever they went on their debut tour and playing shows with the mighty Henge along the way. You can know Morpher’s music but to really understand them as a band you need to see them live. The British jazz movement can only move further into the mainstream conscience in the next year and this bands’ original and dancey vibe will grab the ear of many a listener looking to be ahead of the curve in 2019. The huge success of the Sons of Kemet album Your Queen Is a Reptile last year proves there’s a lot of room for this kind of sax led live band and there’s no reason why the Morpher Trio can’t exploit that space in the Northern scene in the next year. With only one single and three demos out so far they’re sure to have more music on the way in the next couple of months that you’re doing to need in your life.
For now you can Ride the Space Potato with them
Silky smooth and effortlessly cool, B-ahwe succeeds in blending together the likes of jazz, hip-hop and soul to create a melody that is both dreamy and enchanting in its composition. Having formed in late 2017, B-ahwe have already caused quite the stir within the Leeds jazz scene, recently performing alongside Tetes De Pois at a Tight Lines x Super Friendz event in October. Beautifully fronted by Bethany Herrington, B-ahwe’s work never fails to impress; their collaboration with Lausse the Cat in particular being worth the listen.
Check out B-wahe’s Tight Lines performance
Like Wilted, Talkboy is another Leeds super-group, a merger of the wonderful Kell and Wes (featuring members from Fizzy Blood and Laminate Pet Animal). Obviously hype for this band was already brewing before they’d even played their first gig. Despite a single being only a rumour and a couple of live shows under their belt, Talkboy were booked to play Live at Leeds last May and made appearances around the country in the summer, clearly demonstrating why they should be ones to watch this year. They are an indie rock band, but their beautifully tranquil harmonies add layers of depth that make them so unlike the typical indie band you see today. All eyes are on Talkboy this year, buts it’s unclear if they’ll just remain something of a side project for their members who already have other band commitments… the uncertainty just makes it all the more exciting really doesn’t it?
Check out their second single Over and Under:
Having formed in 2017, Mamilah have already firmly cemented themselves within the Leeds music scene, and this year should hopefully see them gain more recognition from outside of the Leeds bubble, having spent September playing gigs around the country (including a massive EP launch at Belgrave). Their music manages to be a mix of both soulful vocals and groovy melodies, and their gigs are always overflowing with dance energy. The title track from their debut EP, Moonlight Walking, encompasses everything this band is about, and is guaranteed to get you up and moving.
Check out their most recent single Moonlight Walking