Tuesday Ten: The UK’s Up-and-Comers

By | May 20, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Oh, those Brits. As if it weren’t enough the whole UK is full of beautiful people, beautiful countrysides, and (mostly) beautiful accents, they also have a well-documented history of making some of the best and most innovative music out there. Plus, you’re probably still mostly convinced that Hogwarts is a real place. (Still waiting for our owl…)

In celebration of all the great music the UK has given us, here are some of our staff’s favorite up-and-coming UK artists in this week’s Tuesday Ten.


With the summer season knocking at your doorstep with every 70 degree day and graduation selfie posted to Instagram, you may be looking to breathe some sunlight and fresh air into your musical world as well. Thankfully, the Lake District-based duo Aquilo are here to help you out with that. Their debut, self-titled EP came out just under a month ago and lead single “You There” has gotten over 175,000 plays on SoundCloud in addition to earning praise from BBC Radio 1 and countless tastemaker blogs. One Google Image search of “Lake District” brings up absolutely stunning photos of expansive landscapes, rolling hills, delicate waters, and an overall sense of relaxation – something pretty similar to the sound that Aquilo are conjuring with each release. Their sound is reminiscent of Coldplay pre-Viva La Vida or Barcelona’s Absolutes record with their blend of heartfelt lyrics, wind-swept instrumentals (which would make sense, as “aquilo” is Latin for “north wind”), and stunning vocals. (Tarynn Law)


If you’ve kept an eye on the UK rock scene lately, you’ll have seen the name Canterbury pop up over and over again. That’s because this band – who aren’t actually from Canterbury – tour almost non-stop. And the hard work has paid off – you won’t find a tighter live setup anywhere else. Their music is a call to arms, and they’ll make you fall in line by the end of the opening song. Once you’re hooked on the distorted guitar riffs and pounding basslines, all you can do is let their introspective storm of colors sweep over you and cling to the lifeline of anthemic choruses. So if you want a break from all the pop punk but you’re not ready for something heavier, this is the band for you. Let them fill the void with a whole new world of edgy, experimental styles which make them hard to compare – you won’t have heard anything quite like it. When they opened for Taking Back Sunday in March, Adam Lazzara called them the only new band worth checking out. Take his advice, because they won’t be supporting the huge names for much longer – they’ll be one of them. (Alex Bear)


Nostalgia for the musical goldmine of the early 2000’s is at an all-time-high in our scene – that’s not news to anyone. But few bands manage to capture that sense of excitement and nostalgia, while still balancing it out with newness and originality, quite like Decade. The Bath-based quintet seamlessly blend pop punk and post hardcore influence in the same style of the early works of Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and Northstar – and yet they sound nothing like those bands. They have the same infectious hooks and pop sensibility that fuelled the more recent success stories of bands like All Time Low and Mayday Parade – but you wouldn’t make immediate sonic comparisons to those artists, either. Decade manage to craft music that sounds just as familiar as it does fresh, with singalong-ready melodies over unpredictable chord progressions. The end product is something impressively unique. And there’s no question that 2014 is going to be their year – they’ve already released their debut full-length Good Luck and toured with We Are The In Crowd, Tonight Alive, and the aforementioned Mayday Parade. This is one train you’ll want to get on, and fast. (Eleanor Grace)

Fickle Friends

Brighton’s own Fickle Friends are new – really new. They just released their debut single “Swim” four months ago and it’s already garnered over 400,000 plays on SoundCloud, gotten plays from BBC Radio 1, and landed them gigs at just about every festival you can think of in the UK. One listen to “Swim” and you know it’s got those automatic summer feel-good anthem vibes, but it’s also got a darker story to tell. Vocalist Natassja Shine has said that the track “follows the idea that people get mixed-up in confusion and sometimes feel like they’re drowning.” Both “Swim” and “Play” have an instant accessibility and ability to make you hit the repeat button that most breakout bands would dream of with their 80’s-influenced, synth-laced and sunny sound. Oh, and did we mention that they aren’t signed? That’s probably not going to last for long, so check them out now so you can say you knew them way back when. (Tarynn Law)


Female-fronted quintet Marmozets may be young, but they’re no strangers to big stages. They’ve got an impressive festival history which includes appearances at multiple Slam Dunk Festivals and spots at Download and Reading & Leeds. Vocalist Becca MacIntyre’s voice is truly something to behold; alternating between blood-curling screams and sassy, accented clean vocals, she’s backed by daunting guitars and pulverizing drums. Embodying the aggression of the Dillinger Escape Plan and melodies that could rival Paramore (because, you know, every female-fronted band really just wants to be Paramore, right?), Marmozets are also bringing their unique blend of pop and math rock to the second half of the Van’s Warped Tour in the states. The band has played sold out shows alongside The Used and Four Year Strong and, with a new album recently recorded, you’ll surely be the first to catch some new songs this summer. (Alex Rudisill)

Moose Blood

Emo and pop punk are not only confined to American suburbs – they’re also alive and well in the UK. Hailing from Canterbury, England, Moose Blood lean much more towards emo in their songs, but in a way that makes the listener smile along to old memories as opposed to curl up naked crying in the shower. Their lyrics often give a nod to classics such as Brand New and Dashboard Confessional; lines like “Bored with nothing to do / but lay around listening to Deja Entendu / thinking about you” lend an immediate personal connection with their audience, who likely also spend a good deal of their time laying around listening to sad music. You’ll like Moose Blood if you grew up listening to (and still love) bands like American Football, but you also appreciate bands that continue to expand the genre. If that’s you, Moose Blood will fit perfectly as the next constant rotation in your growing music library. (Alyssa Dempsey)


English quintet Natives are here to whisk you away to a world of seaside summertime, using their feel-good anthems that will leave you hyped for days after. Their 2014 debut album Indoor War, released in March, swept listeners off their feet with lyrics that read like a diary and vibrant riffs just as bright as a golden July afternoon. Characterized by repetitive funky beats that have us tapping (if not dancing) along, Natives create a sugary blend of pop-punk and rock, adopting hook-infused choruses that will surely get crowds going. They’ll be hitting the road this summer on a headlining tour across the UK, including several festivals. Natives may still be young as a band, but they’re not at all foreign to creating lively soundtracks that are fit to be blasted in a convertible with the top down, and the salty wind smoothing back your hair. (Emily Yee)

Royal Blood

Royal Blood is a name you’ll want to remember. Born out of Brighton just last year, this bass and drums duo is already proving unforgettable with their blistering style of aggressive alt rock. The rhythm-dominated sound is heavy and forceful, but so very satisfying. It’s the kind of music that you crank up loud without remorse and let it shake you to the bone. The sultry, blues-y feel of the tracks is cast in high definition and high volume rock. Vocalist Mike Kerr sings with a teasing clarity that complements the grit and the ferocious thundering of Ben Thatcher behind the kit. It feels like these songs might crawl up under your skin and infiltrate your thoughts with their wickedly memorable riffs. If you need any more reason to get into this band (if for some reason you aren’t convinced by now), the band is slotted to play with Arctic Monkeys later this month as well as some of UK’s biggest festivals this summer. Royal Blood needs to be on your radar. Period. (Hannah Pierangelo)

Twin Atlantic

If you’re searching for a catchy indie rock band from the UK with an even stronger accent than The 1975, look no further than Twin Atlantic. Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, their impressive resume already includes opening for bands such as blink-182, My Chemical Romance, and The Gaslight Anthem, as well as a stint on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour. With driving, crunchy guitar riffs and powerful vocal melodies that could consume an arena, their songs create an invigorating energy that is incredibly addictive after just a few listens. Even their slower songs still manage to retain the same intensity and passion. The band’s new single, “Heart and Soul,” is brimming with newfound confidence and insatiable hooks, ensuring that their upcoming third album, Great Divide, will be their biggest one yet. (Catherine Yi)

The Younger

The Younger is an appropriate moniker for the UK four piece, consisting of vocalist Daniel Lawrence, guitarist Simon Hall, bassist Jay Bude and drummer Reece Bude. The band formed a mere two years ago and are already cranking out tunes decade-old outfits could envy. The accomplishments the youthful band have already achieved, such as two stunning releases and a couple appearances on the 2013 UK Warped Tour, serve to prove that the band have found something worthwhile. What the band have is something that’s been all but outlawed in some facets of the music industry: raw, unbridled talent. Take a look at any facet of their career and you’ll find the qualities they’ve built their career on: no gimmicks, no fangirl-inducing tactics, just good music. You don’t have to think too hard when listening – you just have to take in the pounding vocals, the expertly-crafted guitars, the ear-catching drumbeat. Another attribute you’ll notice: they’re even freaking better live, and they have an unplugged version of “Missing” to prove it. How? We don’t know. What we do know is that this band is going places and you don’t want to be left behind. (Emillie Marvel)

Featured image photo credit: Samuel Bradley

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