It’s as traditional as a brace of resolutions which won’t make it past the second week of January for anyone vaguely involved in music to cast some runes and come up with some recommendations on ones to watch. And we’re not ones to tarry with tradition so here’s some releases and bands we’re excited to hear music from in 2018.
Of course we’re going to start with our own releases – already on their way are the third Grawl!x album and the long-awaited debut long player from LIINES. You can expect both in the first half of the year. And our other bands are all working away too but Riding The Low and You Want Fox both have albums brewing and the prolific Unqualified Nurse Band are making murmurs we’ll get their third album too (or at least a single in the next month or so).
As usual this is a starter list – we’re fully expecting new music and bands to reach us during the next 12 months and sweep us off our feet but this list gives us some stuff to get into right now and get excited for. We always want to hear new music so drop us a tweet, Facebook comment / message or an email (but please read our demo policy first!).
And if you have some Christmas cash burning a hole in your pocket you can pick up records we’ve already unleashed on the world from our shop here.
Reckless Yes ones to watch 2018
Sarah first came across LIINES while editor at Louder Than War (thanks to a tip off from blogger Dave Brown of Even The Stars) and they were one of the first bands she forced Pete along to catch live. One cold, wet Sheffield night in March 2016 and we both knew immediately we wanted to work with them as a label. The debut album has been a long time in the making but is well worth the wait – and with PRS funding, some amazing dates to announce, and growing support from fans and the media we’re looking forward to sharing the album with you in spring.
Another artist Sarah first came across as a music journalist and one who has had us captivated at every live performance since – from the shadows and space of Derby Cathedral to the close-quarters intimacy of Dubrek. Appendix is at the pressing plant as we write and we’re itching with excitement at sharing it with you. A beautiful piece of art from the music to the packaging it’s a brilliant and hopeful conclusion to James Machin’s trilogy on grief.
After a great year in 2017, which started with a sell out show for us and the release of their second album Grow Up (on one of our fave labels Fierce Panda), we think 2018 may be the year Desperate Journalist go from noir pop indie darlings to mainstream contenders. If you’re not into them yet pick up either of their albums and make sure you know all about them before they become 6Music mainstays.
Cherry Hex and The Dream Church
We were completely spellbound when Nottingham duo Cherry Hex and The Dream Church played Six Impossible Things for us last spring and their early tracks have rarely been off our playlists. We were excited to hear they’d signed to Phlexx Records and loved the EP Witch Girl they released in December. If there’s any justice they’ll be beguiling bigger and bigger audiences in 2018.
It was after midnight and thick with the gin and candlelight of a Ruby Tuesday when Sarah first saw Elsa Hewitt take the stage. Mesmerised by the beats and ambient vibes it was with no less wide-eyes wonder we listed to the three (yes THREE) albums she put out in 2017. Beautiful, captivating stuff and even though we’re being spoilt already we can’t help but look forward to hearing more!
Find Elsa Hewitt on Bandcamp.
Alright The Captain
One of our favourite math rock outfits Alright The Captain are promising more gigs and new music in 2018. Their last album Contact Fix was released in 2015 so it feels like we’ve waited long enough for a follow up!
Last year was a blinder for the fiercely DIY False Advertising – our highlight would be them playing a Reckless Yes show for us but they might pick out playing SXSW or releasing their EP. If the right offers come from the right places then we can easily see them holding their own in arenas or on festival main stages before too long.
There’s been a lot of excitement about this band around Liverpool over the last couple of years and after Sarah caught them in 2016 – with a live show somewhere between party and protest – we’ve been keeping an eye out for the first music to appear online. It duly did in 2017 and now we’re looking forward to this band playing more gigs, releasing more music and breaking out beyond the North West bubble in 2018.
We’ve been loving the work of Dream Nails over the last year and have had the pleasure of supporting them with a few pieces in the old music press. They also seem to get paired up with our LIINES a fair bit – kudos to Fan Club and to Get In Her Ears for making a wonderful pairing there – and the release of their Dare To Care EP was a brilliant finish to their 2017. We only hope more people hear their music and get to see this band live in 2018.
Dream Wife are at that point where they go from underground to mainstream and the release of their debut in January should quicken the pace of that. With a punk-pop sound and something to say, as well as a solid aesthetic to everything they do they might just be the Properly Proper Pop Band we’ve been waiting years for.
The Spook School
We’re still a bit sad that FortunaPOP! is no more but we’re glad to see some of the band’s from that stable have found new homes and are back to releasing awesome music on the world. The Spook School’s third album will land early in 2018 via Alcopop Records and if you’ve not already fallen in love with them this is the time.
Queen Zee and The Sasstones
A debut album is due in 2018 from this band who, fronted by Queen Zee, use their music as a platform to preach for equality – a cause we’re happy to pin our colours to and dance while we do it.
We loved chatting to Peaness at Indietracks as part of our Reckless Yes in-conversation last summer and we loved seeing them perform even more. With the release of their EP on Alcopop Records they got us really excited for what is going to come their way next.
Dystopian Future Movies
It was a Dystopian Future Movies gig in late 2015 that led Pete to contact Sarah and inadvertently Reckless Yes was begun. So, we owe this band our very existence and yet they are the ones that keep rewarding us, Last year’s debut Time was everything we’d long hoped for (and a little bit more) and with a tour in February we’re looking forward to yet another year of big riffs from the band.
If you like your rock dark and fuzzed out then you should definitely be getting your ears around Birmingham’s Table Scraps. They’ve played with Unqualified Nurse Band a couple of times and its a great pairing – both bands have a frenetic energy to their sound and creativity and we’re looking forward to Table Scraps’ debut album in February.
Find Table Scraps on Bandcamp.
Oh Haiku Salut, how do we love you, let us count the ways…
You might know of Haiku Salut from their work with Public Service Broadcasting but they can also often be found knocking about musically with Grawl!x as well as making phenomenal music from wild and weird instruments (as well as those more familiar). Their third album is out in 2018 and we’re already jiggling with anticipation.
Our own music
No, not Reckless Yes bands (although YES Reckless Yes bands!) but the musical stuff that Pete and Sarah are individually involved in. If we can’t tell you about it, who will? So, together as SeiSui they are working on more of their shoegaze / spoken word studio project with release of new tracks imminent.
Meanwhile Pete has been working on a couple of new bands too; God No! – described as “part Slint, part Shellac, part Pavement and part Brainiac” and featuring Sex Jokes’ Shelley Jane Newman and Mender / Alight the Captain’s Ash West Mullen – and Heavy Pets – described as “dark rock and roll drawing on timeless diverse influences such as Link Wray and Johnny Cashall the way through to The Dead Weather, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave and Pixies” featuring Phil Wagg of Hudson Super 6 and a couple of as yet unnamed by surely awesome others.
Sarah? Well…she’s got to finish writing a book (more on this soon!), and write about all this awesome music for lots of different places too, but she’s also threatening to do something pop-punky with Rescue Daisy. Time will tell.
Find SeiSui on Bandcamp. Links to the other bands will be available soon no doubt.