Welcome to Even The Stars Tips For 2016. The artists and bands on this list we expect great things from in 2016. We've selected fifty bands and we'll reveal nine a day Monday to Friday with our top five selections on Saturday.
On day one we present Control Of The Going, Daisy Victoria, Fickle Friends, Ist Ist, Lunar, Polo, Scarlet, Vant and Viola Beach.
Our criteria for inclusion in this list is twofold - firstly that they haven't released an album yet and secondly that they didn't appear in our 2015 list, which excludes the likes of Blossoms, LIINES and Trampolene who have made an impact this year. We look forward to being told about all the bands and artists we've missed off.
CONTROL OF THE GOING
Control Of The Going didn't play their first gig until July this year, but have since then been building themselves a fearsome reputation as a live band by their insatiable appetite for writing and performing. They've released two EPs this year as well - Epilepsy Bus Ride and Wild Flower - which have gathered rave reviews. Featuring Liam Hart on guitar and vocals, Matt Byrne and Ashley Hart on guitars, Tom Sillitoe on bass, Alex Reid on drums and Minesh Mistry on keyboards, the Tameside six-piece have big plans for 2016.
Read our interview with them from June here.
Control Of The Going are on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud. The EPs are available to purchase from their Bandcamp page.
August saw the release of Pain Of Dancers, a magnificient eighties-influenced single that built of the promise of Daisy Victoria's two EPs from 2014 - Heart Full Of Beef and Nobody Dies. The London-based singer hasn't really made it up North yet, so we're looking forward to her making the trip up to see her transform these songs into the live environment as well as deliver to us in 2016 the songs she's been working on this year.
Daisy Victoria is on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.
We spoke to her earlier in the year to find out a little bit more about her here.
Ist Ist burst on to the Manchester scene at the start of the year with a series of demos before they'd even played a gig. Brutal at times, hard and industrial at others, the three-piece have revealed further sides to them as they've crashed their way into the ears and hearts of Manchester's gig goers.
We described them thus after a recent show "Ist Ist are still growing. No longer could a detractor put them in a box and categorise them dismissively. They still have the fury and power of those early shows and that massive fuck you attitude, even more so if we're being straight, but we're seeing new sides to them with every song they reveal, every twist and turn they take. It feels like the journey is just beginning."
We caught them at Sound Control in October here.
Lunar are another band that started life this year. Their debut gig was only in May and by September they'd sold out Sound Control for the launch of their first single Our Way as well as supported The Sherlocks at their big Manchester show. With songs like Showboater and Come Home in their locker, they look well primed to make further breakthroughs in 2016, led by Sam Carson and featuring some great boy/girl vocal interaction between him and bassist Christie O'Connell.
Lunar are on Facebook and Twitter.
We spoke to Lunar around the release of their debut single Our Way here.
Polo are a Leeds duo - Kat and Luke - who we first caught opening up the Belgrave Music Hall at Live At Leeds earlier in the year on the back of two tracks they'd released on their Soundcloud page. Their most recent single Visions Of Fortune mixes some delicious electronic beats with Kat's voice that is haunting in parts and down to earth in others, an intoxicating combination that bodes well for 2016.
Polo's official website can be found here. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.
Scarlet released their debut EP Fishes back in May and are in the studio recording their debut album. The Liverpool-based band are led by Jessie and have been building an expanding reputation over there with support from most of our favourite Liverpool music people - Get Into This, The Von Pip Music Express, The Music Manual and Jake Morley - and with Marshall Amps, Q and Richer Sounds Unsigned picking up on their recent album demo Heavy, they are set to grow bigger and better as they prepare for that album release.
Scarlet are on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.
We interviewed Scarlet earlier this year here.
Come March time you won't be able to move for Viola Beach. Already getting a reputation for being one of the north west's most active bands they've secured the opening slot on the dream Blossoms / The Vryll Society tour. Their sound has been compared to Vampire Weekend and Pavement, but it's got their own personalities stamped through it as well and their live shows are a great deal of fun and energy and there's plenty more where their debut single Swings & Waterslides and Cherry Vimto came from.
Viola Beach are on Facebook and Twitter.
We caught Viola Beach at the Night And Day in Manchester in November here.
Fickle Friends are a band we haven't covered yet, but that's likely to change in 2016 as they embark on a mad 32-date tour of the UK in February and March. A five piece consisting of Natti, Sam, Harry, Chris and Wilson, they've been making big waves in Brighton and London this year and their latest song Say No More, a big anthem with pop leanings, has had over 60k hits on Soundcloud in two months.
Fickle Friends are on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.
We first caught Vant supporting Blossoms back in May and wrote "The London-based four-piece, named after front man Mattie Vant trade in loud blasts of rock propelled forward by a dual guitar and bass onslaught and a penchant for swearing. They don't take any prisoners along the way, they cram ten or so songs into their half an hour with debut single Parasite clocking in under two minutes and it's b-side Don't You Know Me equally forthright in its sonic assault on the audience." Since then, their signing to Parlophone has been confirmed, they've released another single Parking Lot as they record their debut album and they're treading the route of high-profile support slots before making that inevitable step up in 2016.
Vant's official website can be found here. They are also on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.