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.
The Glasgow-based singer-songwriter released her debut EP Outside in October, featuring singles Away and When They Didn't Care plus three further tracks that demonstrate her ability to craft songs that describe the human condition and reaction to situation. Her voice adds depth and genuine emotional intelligence to the words she's singing.
Molly Linen is on Facebook and Twitter. The Outside EP can be purchased on 10" vinyl and digital via Bandcamp. She plays Celtic Connections at Glasgow's Hug And Pint on January 18. Photo credit - Beth Chalmers Photography
Odd Morris are Daragh Griffin (vocals / guitar), Kris Hassett (guitar), Ciarán McCarthy (bass) and Sam Martin (drums). They are another band to emerge from the fertile Dublin music scene at present, but another with a mind, sound and personality of their own. They're two singles in - What Might Be and Lilac Leaves - and are already headlining prestigious venues such as Whelan's back home and have made their first trip to London where they've been well received and noticed by the likes of 6 Music.
Odd Morris's website can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter. Photo credit - Nicholas O'Donnell
They play Dublin Whelans (January 31) and London Dalston Victoria (February 5).
Tobias Okandi's voice might be familiar to you. If you followed O Children at the start of the decade, he was the front man of the band that released two albums. He's been away recuperating from an accident, sorting his head out and starting to make music again, of which Devil I Know was the first release into the world to coincide with his live return in Porto at the start of December. Social media posts and new songs revealed at that show suggest that there's plenty more to come.
THE RED STAINS
Already making their mark a few months into their life as a band for their high-energy shows, lipstick red graffiti and songs about female empowerment, jumping the tram and letting your parents down, The Red Stains are Natalie, Sterling, Ella and Ben. They don't have any studio recorded output available yet, just some rough live recordings - but they've been at work and hopefully the New Year will see their first proper releases.
The Red Stains are on Facebook and Twitter.
Named after the violent gangs of the eighteen hundreds, Scuttlers have something of the street about them. They've made their name through increasingly confident and imposing live performances throughout the year as well as singles Lies In The Sky and There's Nothing New. They've got a new single set to be released in February ahead of their Manchester Night And Day headline show that they describe as going "in a different direction" as they seek to build their growing hometown fanbase and further afield.
Scuttlers are on Facebook and Twitter. They play Manchester Night And Day on March 21.
The Detroit three-piece describe themselves as "a power trio of a mysterious hue" and combine familiar sounds from underground garage scenes with something that sounds modern and of these difficult times. Their recent single Shadow Box is the first taster of their debut album Silhouettes due for release on February 14th.
Shadow Show are on Facebook and Twitter. Silhouettes can be preordered via Burger Records in the US and Stolen Body in the UK (on two limited edition coloured Charades or Dreamheads or an eco vinyl). Photo credit - Julia Khoroshilov
LA-based talker is the project of Celeste Taucher. 2019 saw her release her debut EP Horror Films and follow it up late in the year with singles Keep Me Safe and Learning The Feeling. Her songs connect because they're written about personal experiences and learning to come to terms with who she is yet are relatable to situations others have found themselves in.
talker is on Facebook and Twitter. She plays San Francisco Neck Of The Woods (January 25), Sacramento The Starlet Room (26), Seattle Crocodile Back Bar (30), Portland Green House (31) and Vancouver Sofar Sounds (February 2).
The Leeds five-piece announced themselves in January with their debut single Deranged and followed it up later in the year with Sour and Freaky Friday as well as building a powerful reputation on the Leeds live scene. In our interview with them earlier in the year they described themselves as "we’re five feminists trying to make a living in a male dominated industry, and more than anything love writing music together. That’s all there is to it really, support us or don’t, we’ll carry on anyway."
Venus's website can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter.
VLURE are on Facebook and Twitter. Photo credit - Rory Barnes
They play Dundee Beat Generator Live (January 18), Dunfermline PJ Molloys (25) and Glasgow Hug And Pint on February 28.
The Wha are Finn Cusack, Sam Cullen, Marek The Lech and Abe G Harris. Already signed to influential indie label Chess Club, who've released the early singles of many bands that have gone on to much bigger things and with a 7" of their two releases to date The Innocents and 40 Odd Years out in the world, the four-piece have already built up a strong following and reputation and back home that is certain to follow them to the UK where they've played a couple of live shows in London and picked up support from 6 Music.
They're fiercely independent in their stance though, rightly refusing to be lumped into some sort of Irish musical movement, recently telling DIY in this insightful interview that "There’s a very strong scene at the moment, deadly tunes left, right and centre but we’re not part of it. We’ve no intention of being part of the so-called ‘post-punk’ scene, though we recognize its importance and placement at this moment in time. As it stands we’re more interested in doing our own thing."
Our interview with them can be found here.
The Wha are on Facebook and Twitter. Photo credit - Nicholas O'Donnell
Part One of our list of 20 For 2020 can be found here.