(Photo credit: Elizabeth Peyton)
Many people go the entire year without digging through the rubble to discover great new bands and artists before they explode on to the scene, but what fun is that? I think half of the fun of listening to music is trying to find really good new bands and songs before all the fans and the press do. I couldn’t end the year without naming some of my favorite songs that particularly deserve much more hype and praise than they’ve already received and songs that may have unfairly eluded some best of 2016 lists.
1. Isaac Gracie – Last Words
London-based singer-songwriter, Isaac Gracie, had a big 2016. He debuted his first track “Last Words” (which was made Zane Lowe’s “World Record” on Apple’s Beats 1), released his debut EP (Songs From My Bedroom), signed a record deal with Virgin EMI, and drew comparisons to the likes of Jeff Buckley and early Radiohead.
2. Marching Church – Heart Of Life
Marching Church (pictured above) are a Danish band formed by Elias Bender Rønnenfelt (who’s also a member of two other bands, Iceage and Vår) and they released their second LP this year called Telling It Like It Is. I’m not familiar with much of their discography, but once I heard this unique, strange, and wonderful track “Heart Of Life” off their new album, I knew I found a band worth investigating.
3. Free Money – What Did I Miss?
Free Money are a four-piece rock band from East London that have fully gripped my attention as of late. They formed in May, released their debut single, “Headful”, then released a second single “What Did I Miss?”, the latter of which is already an energetic anthem of youth.
4. Same Streets – Ain’t Got Nothing
Same Streets are a four-piece rock ‘n’roll band from Nottingham, England and I knew when I heard them earlier this year that they had something really special. The band’s sound is marked by the raw vocals of James Gooch and their great songwriting is evident in tracks like “Ain’t Got Nothing” and “Wired.”
5. White – Living Fiction
White are yet another of Glasgow, Scotland’s finest new bands. They’re an interesting concoction of funk, electro pop, new wave, and rock and if I had to compare them to anyone, I’d say they sound a bit like Haircut 100, Orange Juice, David Bowie, and perhaps like a new wave version of Suede. Either way, the band nailed it with their track “Living Fiction.”
6. The Blinders – Swine
The Blinders are a three-piece band based in Manchester, England and they join the ranks of many other great, new, political punk rock bands like Vant and Cabbage. Their song “Swine” has got a riff that will rock your world and lyrics that will make you want to mosh until you pass out. Their music video displays the easy point-scoring message of “f*** the Tories” on the lead singer’s guitar and the video ends with his jump through the drum kit.
7. White Room – Think Too Much
White Room are a five-piece band from Brighton, England with a promising new sound. My favorite track of theirs is probably “Think Too Much”, which reminds me a bit of The Coral and Small Faces and I find myself replaying this track over and over again because it’s just pop rock bliss. Though it’s worth mentioning that the band’s sounds is very diverse and this track differs greatly from their other tracks “In My Head”, “Freaking On”, and “You’ll See.”