The team at Liverpool Noise pick their top Liverpool bands and artists you should be listening to this year.
Michael Fell – Music, Food and Entertainment writer, puts the case forward for Trudy & The Romance, Dan Croll, Oya Paya and Samurai Kip.
Trudy and The Romance
This group have been going from strength to strength recently, after appearing at SXSW Festival and tours around Europe, these are certainly ones you need to keep an eye out for in 2020. With their 50’s infused, surfer-style rock, 2020 is looking promising for them! Trudy and The Romance
After graduating from LIPA, his rhythm-orientated brand of songs ranging from soulful pop to anthemic and dreamy guitar-driven bangers, have graced the city’s music scene. Now residing in LA, California, his new music which has just been released including ‘Yesterday’, provides us with a taste of what’s in store. Dan Croll
One of those bands that, when using the term ‘DIY musicians’, mean it when they say it. Their videos have a wonderful rawness to them, along with their music which is self-described as #spicy, there are really not many more adjectives to use for this intercontinental trio. Spread across the globe but collectively in Liverpool, their indie-rock/hip-hop has all the spicy qualities one would expect. Oya Paya
Champions of the relatively underrepresented psychedelic jazz scene in Liverpool, places like Sound Duke Street have been home to the rising genre. Infusing hip-hop/soul/jazz Samurai Kip seem to have united a few different audiences, and rightly so, as they take to the skies for 2020 with the hint of new music to come! Samurai Kip
Music writer, Jamie Hankin discusses The Cheap Thrills, The Jagz and She Drew The Gun.
The Cheap Thrills
If sing-along choruses and swaggering melodies are your cup of tea then The Cheap Thrills may well be your tipple. Armed with an extensive list of fist-pumping tracks, Walton Vale’s finest are cementing their standing on the Liverpool music scene with aplomb. The Vue Du Monde EP released last October strut it’s way onto your playlist and into the hearts of their growing audience. Opening track Codependence a modern-day anthem with an empowering chorus, Saint or Sinner a lyrical, poignant masterpiece. Psychedelic undertones are divulged from the track Give Me Something More and the warming number Keep Me in Check amongst others detail that The Cheap Thrills have multiple strings to their bow. Certainly no one trick ponies.
In April, The Cheap Thrills headline at one of the city’s finest staples, The Arts Club where they’ll be sure to give a 1000 strong crowd an Easter weekend extravaganza. Arms in the air and bodies on shoulders embracing Cheap Thrills in more ways than one. Another joyful and exciting evening awaits. Heard on TV screens in the UK and radio stations in the US, The Cheap Thrills are going one way and that is up. Be sure to jump on the bandwagon now and share the journey to the top. The Cheap Thrills
A set list that is filed under their very own category “Merseysurf”, The Jagz are certainly starting to make waves. The Wirral five-piece make melodies that sway to the easy listening, upbeat side but are not afraid to dip their toe into psychedelic waters.
The Jagz first EP The Things You Do was well received for it’s laid back, cool vibe. Stories of young love told by melodies and basslines that set the mood and feeling. A flavoursome starter to create excitement and intrigue of the days and nights ahead. Follow up EP Cathedral Dreams is a showcase of the band’s variation and bravery to sail new seas. Tracks Cathedral Dreams and Good Times are a continuation of the crowd pleasers before The Jagz flaunt their vocal and lyrical prowess with the heavy number Life Keeps Rollin On and end with the psychedelic, Pink Floyd resonating Outro.
A sell-out headline gig at District last December acted as an early Christmas present for The Jagz growing army of adorers as the band increase their activity going into 2020. Their gigs are such joyous occasions with The Jagz fully connected with their fan base that create a vibrant, loving atmosphere. A following that roar each note back to the group and clearly revel in their talents. With more dates promised this year, it would be wise to join in the fun. Take to the water with the Mersey surfers and ride their waves. The Jagz
She Drew the Gun
The old adage is to not believe the hype; however, this is becoming increasingly difficult in the case of Wirral’s psych pop residents She Drew the Gun. The local act burst onto the scene and made a huge statement coming out on top of 5000 competitors to perform at Glastonbury in 2016. With tracks nearing the nine-figure listening mark on Spotify, there is a growing and unrelenting noise around She Drew the Gun.
Louisa Roach leads the way incredibly for the band with her classy, poignant song writing and ranging vocals. Her sound bites set the mood and feeling expertly as Roach flaunts her tones upon us. Heavy sounds, joyful vocals and spoken word to name just a few exhibits a singer assured and supported perfectly by the backing band members. A sound that is difficult to nail down and draw similarities, however a nod to Florence and the Machine would not sound a million miles away.
She Drew the Gun’s roaring successes to date are perhaps the tracks Since You Were Not Mine and Something For The Pain. Both numbers act as a perfect sample into background of the band and offer up all of the qualities previously mentioned. The Wirral act’s latest release Trouble Every Day is an exhibition of class and an intriguing left turn as we ponder what the band will serve up next. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of being in the queue to find out. She Drew The Gun
Editor, Clare Deane, looks at Pleasure Island, The Kairos, Paris Youth Foundation, SPINN and Esme Bridie.
Popping up on the local scene last year, Pleasure Island released their blistering debut single ‘The Game’ in November alongside a stand-out music video. The post punk, garage rock two piece look set to release their EP later this year, which we expect to be an assault on the senses. Pleasure Island
The Kairos haven’t wasted any time in 2020; our review of their second track ‘Teetotal’ describes the track as “Another passionate and aggressive nod to society that leaves your feet pounding.” The energy that the band create makes them a hugely exciting prospect for the year ahead. The Kairos
Paris Youth Foundation
Paris Youth Foundation shot to fame pretty much overnight after their debut track ‘If You Wanna’ was picked up by BBC Introducing, which quickly lead to Radio One airplay and a slot at Reading and Leeds Festival. Their EP ‘The Nights Are For Thinking About You’ captures the essence of young love and heartbreak. We could see their debut album this year or early next. Paris Youth Foundation
Indie pop quartet SPINN quickly rose through the ranks on the Liverpool scene thanks to their catchy pop tunes and their cheeky and charming nature. With clear influences of The Smiths and The Cure, their debut album SPINN was released in May 2019 to critic acclaim. 2020 promises to be another big year for them. SPINN
There’s probably no better compliment that I can give to Esme than the first time I saw her perform live I knew it was one of the best acoustic gigs I’ve ever seen. Esme writes beautiful songs and has the voice to match. After the release of her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Today It Rains’ in 2018, we’re hoping that 2020 will bring us some new music. Esme Bridie
Music writer, Jake Coolley, gives us his thoughts on Mutant Vinyl, Bobby West, Natalie McCool and Courting.
Multi-instrumentalist Mutant Vinyl is an artist who has been on our radar for many years, simply because he’s one of the most unique and talented musicians we’ve had the pleasure of watching perform. His blend of jazz, electronic-dub, pop fuse together in dream-like songs. After releasing the stunning ‘Daffodils In Angel Town’ last Spring, he’s started 2020 with the fantastic ‘Faux Rodeo’. I’d urge you to go and listen to Mutant Vinyl right away and thank us later! Mutant Vinyl
The former frontman of popular Liverpool band Broken Men, Bobby West has one hell of a voice. Since announcing his solo project last year we sat patiently waiting for gig announements and we were soon rewarded. After seeing Bobby at a Sofar Sounds event his soulful 60’s sound – think chilled out sax, we cannot wait to hear more from Bobby. Bobby West
For those who know the Liverpool music scene well Natalie McCool has been one of the finest talents in the city for quite some time now. With her enchanting alt-pop songs she has received critical acclaim from The Sunday Times, BBC Radio One, The Skinny and Clash Music. She has played at Isle of Wight, Festival No. 6 and Kendal Calling, as well as perfomring at festivals across Europe. Natalie will be performing at SXSW Festival this Spring and after releasing two new tracks last year we are expecting some new music in 2020. Natalie McCool
This young Liverpool post punk four piece create short, sharp, catchy songs which instantly made them ones to watch last year. Their early gigs were rough and raw, as you’d expect from a punk outfit. They’re honing their live sets impressively, growing in confidence with every show. Their new track football is frantic indie at it’s very best. Courting
Emma Stories puts forward her favourites for 2020 success with Blue Saint, Jalen N’Gonda and Remy Jude.
Blue Saint, a Congolese and British, Liverpool-based rapper, singer-songwriter, spoken word poet and producer blends hip–hop, RnB and electronic music. After releasing a semi-autobiographical concept EP series ‘Enter Mynd’ he received attention from BBC Introducing, The Independent and The Skinny. A multi-talented artist, Blue Saint is a fantastic live performer and enthralling story teller. Blue Saint
Since moving to Liverpool in 2014 Jalen’s fuse of jazz and soul has taken him across the world with a huge tour across North America. His 2018 EP ‘Talking About Mary’ was a gorgeous collection of soulful tracks and Jalen has announced that he’ll be releasing new music this year and we can’t wait to hear what he’s got lined up. Jalen N’Gonda
The Remy Jude Ensemble
Liverpool-based rapper Remy Jude had a big year in 2019. He was part of the Levis Music Project, mentored by Loyle Carner and played at Sound City where his performance was one of the stand outs. Late last year Remy formed The Remy Jude Ensemble; a six piece band with a soul/jazz/hip hop sound who released their visual EP and we expect to hear more from this exciting group this year. Remy Jude
Who are your favourite Liverpool bands and artists? Who are you tipping for success in 2020? Let us know in the comments below.