Whilst 2019 was certainly a turbulent year to say the least, the year ultimately saw the release of a plethora of phenomenal music spanning the entirety of the alternative music spectrum. With the year now wrapped up, it’s time to look forward to the brave new world that is 2020. Whist it remains to be seen what the year holds, it already looks clear that this year is set to be abound with brilliant music, with hundreds of artists from all corners the of the globe and alt scene gearing up to release new music. With that in mind, we handpick our top 20 artists set to breakout and breakthrough this year.
Leeched are a band that radiate monochromatic misanthropy. Void of light, colour and joy, Leeched’s caustic sound blurs the faded line between extreme metal, hardcore and predatory powerviolence. Whilst the band effortlessly demonstrated their cold and caustic craft with You Took The Sun When You Left in 2018, the group are set to grab the attention of the national hardcore scene with a cold vice grip with their forthcoming release To Dull The Blades Of Your Abuse. Set to be released January 31st via Prosthetic Records, Leeched are an auditory experience reserved for those seek emotional musical exploits at their most abrasive.
TL;DR: Authentically miserable extreme metal at it’s most violent and malicious.
FFO: Nails. Full Of Hell, Helpless
Forming after the dismantlement of a number of fragmenting bands, the formation of Bristol’s Superlove was akin to that of a perfect chemical reaction. Providing swaggering charm, copious riffs and haplessly infectious hooks, Superlove present energised alt-rock in a fashion that’s impossible not to love. Last year saw the three piece bounding and bouncing across the nation with the likes of Vukovi and Dream State as well as making appearances at acclaimed festivals such as Handmade Festival and Burn It Down. With a mammoth tour with Roam impending and with new music on the horizon, 2020 is the year that Superlove will be impossible to ignore.
TD;LR: Swaggering but wholesome riffs, melodies and fun from the west country.
FFO: Lower Than Atlantis, Vukovi, Press To Meco
Trippy and slack progressive stoner rock played through deafening amps - this is the basic premise of InTechnicolour. Composed of members of Delta Sleep, Luo and Broker, Brighton’s InTechnicolour present a colourful and radiant shade of stoner-rock rarely witnessed. Reminiscing thoughts of Queens Of The Stone Age and Kyuss at their most melodic and playful, InTechninclour present stoner-rock that’s removed from the barren desert wastelands yet still loyal to the conventions of the genre.Playful yet sincere, InTechiclour will release their new album Big Sleeper via Big Scary Monsters in February prior to taking the sounds of their record to new horizons and pastures this year.
TL;DR: Loose and lax stoner rock for the progressively inclined.
FFO: Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Haggard Cat
Raw intimacy and deep relatability; this is the ethos at the heart of the Cheltenham based Floorboards. Using their finesse, Floorboards dynamically take time tested emo and tailor it for the modern age, with their sound amplifying all the elements and atmospherics that make the genre originally so alluring. As proved on their released material thus far, Floorboards are wholly reminiscent of the halcyon golden days of the DIY emo movement whilst sounding fresh, modern and original. 2019 may have been the biggest year thus far for Floorboards, with a set at 2000 Trees Festival now under their belts, but in 2020 the national scene as a whole will ultimately understand why this act are the most beloved band within the Cotswolds.
TL;DR: Time tested emo for the new decade that bristles with human emotion.
FFO: Title Fight, Basement, Hindsights
Formally known as Flat Earth Society, Peterborough’s FES are a wonderful proposition composed of all the best elements that math rock and indie pop have to offer. Dainty, youthful, yet wise beyond their years, FES spent the vast majority of 2019 bringing their airy and tastefully hyperactive math pop to audiences all across the country, frequently performing alongside Orchards, Hypophora and In Dynamics in the process. Clearly this persistent touring payed off, with the band already confirmed for the colossal celebration of contemporary music that is destined to be ArcTanGent 2020. If you like your math poppy, your pop mathy and your music just generally fantastic, don’t sleep on FES before they breakout later this year.
TL;DR: Delicious sugar coated math pop that’s more infectious than the Norovirus.
FFO: Orchards, Tricot, Invalids
RELATED: Live Review: Orchards w/ FES & Dirt | The Crofters Rights, Bristol | 02/04/19
What do you get when you mix the volatile punk energy of The Bronx with the rawness of the DIY scene and with a perfectly understandable hatred of tories, the right and xenophobia in all it’s abhorrent forms? You get the Bristolian bruisers in Brasher. Despite only performing a handful of shows at the current time, Brasher’s reputation precedes them, with their live performances thus far being hedonistic but violently positive celebrations of youth and personalty. Even with just a few highly discussed shows to their namesake, the group released their full length debut Everything just last month, with the record being an offering of wild and rowdy southern tinged punk for the conscious and jaundiced youth. With more shows rushing up to the meet the band, Brasher are a rallying call for those who feel marginalised and cast aside within our careless society.
TL;DR: Raw and outrageous party punk that'll piss off your tory dad.
FFO: The Bronx, Metz, The Saint Pierre Snake Invasion
Composed of members of Fresh and Happy Accidents, Cheerbleederz are a three piece formed of friendship and love. Hailing from the inner sanctums hidden within the urbanite metropolis of inner London, the group’s lo-fi indie punk is a stark contrast to their inner city surroundings, with their carefully constructed art animating themes of buoyancy and harmony. Despite being a recently formed act, Cheerbleederz have already found themselves performing at events such as Manchester Punk Festival and Switzerland's Inhumano Fest. If you like the aggression within indie punk being substituted by delicately crafted melodies and considerate thoughtfulness make sure to check out their forthcoming EP Lobotany, released 7th February via Big Scary Monsters.
TL;DR: Lo-fi indie punk loveliness from members of Fresh and Happy Accidents.
FFO: Kississippi, Fresh, Happy Accidents
Weaving joy, laughter, humour and inspirational aspiration into their work, the Scottish post rockers Vasa present a new radiant shade of post rock. Following the self-release of their debut record Colours in 2005, the post-rock sensations shook the national scene with their expertly crafted soundscapes that straddle the line between blind childish wonder and composed merriment. Even despite lacking the backing of a label, the group has already performed alongside bands such as Black Peaks, Maybeshewill, TTNG and Deafheaven as well as appearing at a diverse array of events including T In The Park and ArcTanGent due to their widely appealing content. With their sophomore album forthcoming in February alongside a tour with Thank You Scientist, 2020 will see Vasa become one of the most discussed acts within the post rock echelon.
TL;DR: Aspirational and go-lucky instrumental post-rock with a colourful twist
FFO: And So I Watch You From Afar, Cleft, Body Hound
Hailing from the labyrinthine streets of London, Beggar are a product of their unforgiving environment. Inspired by the pressure and anxiety the endless streets of London emit, Beggar present dense sludge infused post-metal at it’s most unfiltered. Due to the be released in April 2020 via APF Records, the group’s forthcoming full length Compelled To Repeat is scheduled to a soundtrack of a heartless city that forces anxiety and restlessness on it’s inhabitants. With the record also being mastered by James Plotkin, the man behind select releases by Sun O))), Pelican and Earth, Beggar are destined to resonate with thousands this year.
TL;DR: Filthy and nihilistic post metal that’s grimy as the streets the band have emerged from.
FFO: Ohhms, Pelican, Inter Arma
Hailing from the sun kissed sands of Melbourne, MOBS are truly something unique. Sharing a love of films and popular culture from the 1980’s and 90’s, MOBS present groove ridden indie pop revolving around neon synth melodies and classic pop hooks. Packaged in an aesthetic based on the pop culture that reigned supreme during the golden days of pop, MOBS bridge the gap between neon lit nostalgia and cutting edge originality. Despite calling the literal opposite side of the planet home, the band are already eyeing up our more grey shores, with the band having been invited to perform the iconic Great Escape Festival later this year. With such an aesthetic, sound and tone, 2020 will see MOBS spread their synth infused sound all across the globe.
TL;DR: Australian groove infused indie bops based on 80’s and 90’’s films and pop culture.
FFO: Set It Off, The Sunday Sadness, Deaf Havana