‘This could be a new beginning, or a terrible ending. Well, here’s to not knowing!’ //The Slip, Blood Wizard
As we wave goodbye to all that we’ve seen in 2022, we take a look at what we can look out for next year in 2023.
Let’s take a look at the ones to watch:
Already garnering devoured attention on BBC Radio 1, this hard-hitter is not exactly befitting to the ones to watch, when they’re technically being watched already. But looks like she’ll have quite a year. Especially with her mixtape, Bubblegum coming out early Jan… Bubblegum adds a new chapter to Biig Piig’s incredible story thus far, channeling her innately adventurous spirit (musically, geographically, and emotionally) into her most colourful, confessional and surreal body of work thus far. Recorded between Los Angeles, New York and London, the mixtape explores themes of self-discovery, loneliness and longing as experienced by one singular artist’s life-long embrace of the unknown. Not necessarily an unknown feeling, might I add, as her 2020 single Feels Right, proved otherwise. No doubt thanks to the indie hipsters of today and TikTokers of tomorrow, it has become a masterful hit, racking up over 30 million listens on Spotify alone. With Spotify taking in a big chunk of stream listens (30%), that’s an awful lot of people listening from all walks of life.
The work of Midlands boys overpass has been slipping under the radar for quite some time now. Thankfully, their most recent late-night alternative 3AM is capturing the attention of the mighty algorithms as another swanky-indie-whatever people say I am band comes into the frame. The likes of One Night Lover and Otherside of Midnight have already surpassed a 100k listens on Spotify, no doubt helped by their emphatic appearances over festival season with Isle of Wight, Truck and Y-Not getting a patch of overpass in their speakers. Now, you could say that indie bands are a saturated form of an easy-go-to in our industry, but hey – there will always room for one more. Hold on to your hats folks, it’s going to be one of their most electrifying projects to date.
Jaws The Shark
I’ve been actively listening to Jaws The Shark for many a-month now, unaware of the monstering they have served so far in our earholes on airwaves and in live settings, actively supporting top trumps Dinosaur Pile-Up in similar circles. Demon Dream was the real footing that the solo project gathered. A swift swooping-in from cult indie label, Nice Swan Records led to debut EP, Another Day In Paradise, that garage rock-puck Erase Myself reached lift-off. Inevitably, another EP followed, marking Jaws The Shark‘s presence in an ever-changing music landscape but also marking him as a force to be reckoned with in a rock world littered with angsty workaholics and deprived rockstars eager for that rise to critical acclaim. Self titled EP, Jaws The Shark may be Olly Bailey’s best – and most fleshed out – piece of work to date. A blunt bite to the head, it’s dirty, forceful and perfectly Jaws The Shark.
Blood Wizard are not just an adverse brand for skateboards. Blood Wizard also describe themselves as a band; ‘wonky folk for wonky folks.’ Quite right, too. They’re worth more than being pigeon-holed into an Ultimate Indie playlist. No, they’re more than that. It’s too contrasting for that. Rather, it’s a kitchen-garden companionship; it’s wonky alternative for uniquely alternative people. So, their description is dead-on. They recently released their debut album too in the back end of last year, aptly named Western Spaghetti. The dreamy side of Honeyglaze awash with the dark harrowing thoughts of Do Nothing, they are triumphantly supporting that ol’ indie-alternative scene in Nottingham. Breaking Even may be that straight-edged indie stand-out from the album, but Imaginary House is definitely more of eclectic taste for the affluently weird and awkward. The new EP gives me majorTalking Heads vibes and if this is the new direction the guys are going in, then I’m okay with that. The stop and start latitudes of The Slip is enough to get you started.
As ever, Glasgow’s underbelly brings new kindred spirits up to the high rise of King Tut’s. This is Medicine Cabinet. The highly unfettered lust of indie-pop, the hooks are king. Their music is a fantasy, and you’re all invited. When it comes to this list of new, hot bands, these guys are new new, having only released two singles this year. Still, that hasn’t stopped them from boasting several headline shows and haggling support slots from the likes of Sports Team and The Murder Capital. But, as all support slots go, all you need is energy, energy, energy and the crowd will do the rest. Who are these guys? Well, they’re a mix of damaged Converse and Wet Leg. A fresh take on the thin slice between ‘core’ genres and sub-sub genres (that aren’t really genres), they see themselves as a bit of everything. Whatever it is, it’s exciting and has perfectly set them up for a magical 2023.