Every year we give our predictions as to bands that will make their mark in the following year. Sometimes we're way off the mark, sometimes we're spot on and other times we're a year or even two or three ahead of a band breaking. What really matters though is we think these twenty artists are great - and think you should check them out.
2019 was a quiet year for Blanketman with no new releases since 2018's double A-side Sick & Tired and Flip It Over but with a number of live shows including well-received performances at Neighbourhood, Off The Record and Kendal Calling cementing their reputation as one of the bands to watch around Manchester, the anticipation for their 2020 releases has grown.
Blanketman are on Facebook and Twitter. Photo credit - Rosie Butcher
Bri is an electro-folk artist from Dublin who released her debut single Low Supply this year. With a follow-up single Polite due for release in January and an Irish tour planned to follow it, her intriguing and intoxicating mix of styles and rich emotional vocal style is certain to win her many admirers as she builds on the success of the debut which attracted significant radio attention in Ireland.
Bri is on Facebook. She plays Dublin Soundhouse on February 8.
Cayley Thomas's debut album How Else Can I Tell You? is scheduled for release in May 2020 and the Edmonton-based songwriter showcased it with a single Midnight Hours in November - a song that demonstrates her rich, soulful and emotive voice and ability to challenge the listener with her lyrics.
Cayley Thomas's official site can be found here and she is on Facebook and Twitter. Photo credit - Levi Manchak
Dirty Laces stepped up and blossomed in 2019. They ended the year with sold-out show at the Deaf Institute and Gorilla in Manchester after a summer of festival appearances. Newer material revealed a more ambitious approach to their sound and their live shows the ability to effortlessly pull it off, lifting out of the mass of similar-sounding contemporaries in Manchester.
Dirty Laces are on Facebook and Twitter.
Ellysse Mason's voice is the kind that will draw you into her web, as she did when we caught her at a Musicians Against Homelessness gig earlier this year. Another artist who hasn't released anything during 2019, other than a live performance video of an unreleased track via Cottonopolis Music, she's spent the year building her audience through her shows as she prepares the follow-up to her 2018 EP Hunt Me Down.
Ellysse Mason's website can be found here and she is on Facebook and Twitter. She plays Manchester Band On The Wall on January 16.
Fever are James Harrod, Mitchell Capes, Charley May and Joe Gray. They only formed earlier this year yet gathered serious attention ahead of the release of their debut single Jungle Man. The follow-up Money Love is due out on January 17th.
They play Manchester Bread Shed (January 18), Hull Adelphi (24), London Water Rats (Feb 1), Nottingham Chameleon (13), Birmingham Sunflower Lounge (14), Rhyl The Front Room (15) before supporting Blossoms on their UK tour at Norwich UEA (March 7), Margate Winter Gardens (8), Nottingham Rock City (10), Sheffield O2 Academy (11), Bath Forum (12), Exeter University (14), Bournemouth Academy (15) and London O2 Kentish Town Forum (17).
Fever are on Facebook and Twitter.
Happy Couple were tour support for The Murder Capital in October this year across the UK and won over audiences wherever they went with a set that we described as "songs that stop, start and agitate the listener's attention by leaving you unsure of where it's going next." They've only released one single to date - Split In Two - but with it's follow-up due early next year, they've very much on our radar - and they should be on yours too.
They play Brighton Hope And Ruin (January 18).
Happy Couple are on Facebook and Twitter.
HIS FATHER'S VOICE
His Father's Voice formed back in 2014 in Limerick, but only started to play shows in 2018 before releasing their debut EP Context And Perspective in March 2019 and a follow-up single In The Shade later in the year. They are Ash O'Connor (vocals / rhythm guitar), James Reidy (lead guitar / synths / backing vocals), Laya Meabhdh Kenny (bass) and Cian McGuirk (drums).
His Father's Voice are on Facebook and Twitter. The single as well as their previous releases are available on Bandcamp.
Julia Bardo was better known as a member of Working Men's Club until she revealed her debut track Desire in January - and by the end of the year she'd signed to Wichita and left Working Men's Club to pursue her solo career. Desire was a song with a timeless feel to it, drenched in delicious harmonies - and her live shows revealed there's plenty more to come in 2020.
Julia Bardo is on Facebook and Twitter. She plays Manchester Yes on March 11. Photo credit - Ashton Fernihough
Loose Articles burst onto the Manchester scene in 2019, well-known faces on the local gig circuit coming together to form a four-piece of their own. With shared lead vocals of contrasting styles from Natalie and Tre and with Erin on guitar and Louise on drums, they released their debut EP Orchid Lounge in December covering subjects as diverse as equality of the sexes (Lethal Weapon), scraping money together to go down the pub (Money For Booze), a slippery reptile of an ex (Snake) and a mate who hogs the karaoke in their local (Orchid Lounge).
Loose Articles are on Facebook and Twitter.
The EP can be purchased on CD here.
Part Two of our 20 for 2020 can be found here.