30 bands of 2016

With 2016 just around the corner, The Music Manual has chosen their tips for the new year, featuring some familiar faces who have huge events coming up, whether it be from new material or serious gig slots and some not so familiar artists who have literally sprouted up within the last few months but have already given us lots to shout about.

Hidden Charms

The foursome from London had two releases in 2015 with Dreaming of Another Girl and Love You Because You're There both on Deltasonic Records alongside playing with YAK and only recently taking a prime slot at This Feeling's Christmas Special. The new year seems focused on live performances with a whole set of European shows kicking off in The Netherlands. Hopes for a likely studio album in the Summer combined with festival slots up and down the country, Hidden Charms are the name on everyone's lips. There'll be a lot more to come from these bluesy rock'n'rollers.



Reading's Mellor are a quartet with bags of experience, sharing stages with the likes of Carl Barat and The Kooks has helped their momentum as they worked extensively on new material. Taken from their EP due for release in 2016, Seona, is arguably one of the most catchy tunes of 2015, reworking indie pop by topping it with golden harmonies.



Sad Boys (All I Wanna Do), the latest release from Chesterfield quartet, TRASH explores the self-proclaimed sound of 'trash pop'. Starting out in 2014, the foursome were signed to Clue Records this Summer, the home of Allusondrugs and NARCS, giving the lads a fantastic pedestal to go on to play at Y Not Festival. From Ulltra to Outlines Festival mixed with their freshly laid demo tapes, you will see TRASH pasted over gig posters everywhere...


The Pacers

London dwellers, The Pacers are a typical sixties pysch-garage outfit complete with drunken vocals and sultry far-eastern riffs which are likened to Iggy Pop jamming with Love. EP, Losing Touch / I'm Down was another well received release amongst the psychedelic spectrum in 2015, with an album yet to come, who knows what the future holds but if you want to catch the lads live just drop into any bar in Camden, they'll be there.


Shah Jahan

Set to release their first 7" single in March with the potential for a tour of UK in the summer, Chicago's Shah Jahan are an impressive hallucinogenic quartet, stepping out of the norm in their home-town, their music plays testament to clear influences such as The Beatles -  Sgt. Pepper phase and Supergrass. Predominant bass-lines and clear grooves best summarise their collective being, The Music Manual has had a sneaky listen to the new material, 2016 is going to be a good'un.



Springing EP, Automatic Hypnotist upon us last month, Rongorongo are a sextuplet bringing a post-punk synthetic atmosphere to Liverpool and beyond. Drawing comparisons from Nick Cave to Ian Curtis, the outfit have gained coverage on a multitude of platforms and performed at their label, War Room Records showcase earlier on this month. After the release of this EP, their popularity took to new levels, and is still set to continue well into the new year.


The Madcaps

Psych-punk foursome, The Madcaps from Rennes, France take influences from the likes of Black Lips and Allah Las and is explicit in latest track, Taco Truck taken from LP, Hot Sauce due for release on 15th January courtesy of Howlin' Banana Records. Hopping from country to country, The Madcaps are set for more UK based shows in the new year, perhaps a festival slot or two...


Fighting Caravans

Debut EP, Beasts of England led Leeds based quintet to new heights this year, touring all around the UK and Europe. Their numbing tracklisting plays havoc with their spaced out riffs and foreboding beats. Free downloads and mailing lists have helped the five lads to achieve big things this year and with studio time over these next few weeks and yet more touring in Spring, Fighting Caravans are making 2016 one to remember.



Signed to War Room Records, already working with the likes of Bill Ryder-Jones, Wirral based songstress MiNNETONKA aka Emma Leatherbarrow has had such a euphoric buzz surrounding her eponymous debut, Birds of Prey. Gaining coverage on major music websites and facing a mountain of succession, MiNNETONKA has rapidly become front of stage for female shoe-gaze artists everywhere. If this is the beginning, there is something extremely special about this project.



Split between Liverpool and Leeds, Trudy are a trio who have also had the pleasure of working with Mr Ryder-Jones at Parr Street Studios, set to go out on tour with him next year. Whilst gaining features in the most unlikeliest of places, their latest offering, Behave was produced by Spring King's Tarek Musa, a match seemingly made in musical heaven.



Not much is known about Liverpool's latest offering Fuss. Having their first gig at Leaf supporting The Vryll Society earlier on this month, the lads are going to pounce within the new year. Dropping track, Lung Butter, an abundance of shoegaze sounds purge out complete with hushed vocals and spaced instrumentals, perfect for early 2016.


Orange Vision

Supporting Spector on their UK tour, Orange Vision are an Oxford based psych foursome who first caught The Music Manual's eye back in the Summer with their double A-side EP, Dark Around The Eyes / Wish You Were Orange. They made some huge advancements this year but have so much more to come in the following months, with little signs of new material on the horizon, 2016 should be something special.



17-year old Liam Brown otherwise known as L U M E N, is a Liverpool lad with incredible talent creating electronic indie pop with so much charisma. Tracks such as Favourite Shoes are mixed in his bedroom and possess a thousand-pound studio finish, how Liam does it, who knows, one thing is for sure, his slot with Clean Cut Kid in January will be the making of him.


Indigo Moon

Liverpool quintet, Indigo Moon are set to release latest track, Inescapable at the end of December ahead of their multitude of live dates next year, including a special support slot at The Shipping Forecast with Fronteers. New material is currently being crafted and a potential 5-track EP should be revealed in late Spring, with all this going on, Indigo Moon are an exciting prospect for Liverpool music, especially if you want to get down to one of their sex parties...


Beach Baby

Featuring on iTunes' New Artists Radio, London's Beach Baby are loving the eighties reverb sound, with tracks such as Limousine working a synthetic-alt instrumental, giving them the same edge The Vaccines once had from their beginnings. Shows in Paris and Great Escape Festival line the pathway for 2016.


The Tip

Modern day Rolling Stones, Nashville's quartet The Tip have impressed over the last two years, even winning awards in their home state. With a sound tailored from influences such as T.Rex and David Bowie, their popularity has risen rapidly. There's no indication of them heading to the UK, however, there are shows in America's West Coast with plenty of new material in the pipeline.



After the release of their debut single, Wet Juice, Hull quartet Vulgarians have been touring extensively with The Wytches and Baby in Vain, spreading their hypnotic post-punk sound all over the UK. Secret Warehouse shows and promises of big news to come for the new year, Vulgarians are taking lead of the garage scene.



Beginning in January, London trio, Puppy released their self-titled EP on Best Fit Recordings providing the first inclination of an old-school 'heavy metal' sounding. A 90s grunge vocalism with scuzzed instrumentals allows imaginations to wonder to old-school superheroes from the 80s. Sludge and completely gooey, Puppy are your next favourite band.



Space-metal trio, Derelics have created a crazy concoction of psychedelia, heavy metal and grunge debuting with EP, Introducing. Dropping their material in April this year, the threesome have gigged moderately, savouring their unique sound. Drawing influences from the likes of Black Sabbath, there is a sheer level of respect for the lads who have sought to create something outside the box, carrying this into the new year certainly adds great variety.


The Levons

Track, Too Strange was a real game changer this year for Liverpool outfit, The Levons, who have been keeping themselves busy by filming music videos, featuring on Fred Perry Subculture bagging themselves a slot on Skeleton Key's Club Night at The Magnet and supporting the likes of Clean Cut Kid. Again, new material is likely with the focus remaining on securing those all important live shows.



A new page sprung up a month ago concerning an experimental duo, OVVLS. Not much is known about the project except for obscure imagery and a rather interesting witchy sound-bite uploaded to the page. With a launch show at Liverpool's Nordic Church on 29th January, OVVLS are set to unleash their debut single, Pain is Beauty in an event in conjunction with Threshold Festival's Chris Herstad Carney.

The Sundowners

Wirral based quintet, The Sundowners have been around for a fair bit however, it was recently revealed that their main focus for 2016 is to release more material at a faster rate, including their second heavily anticipated record. Expect copious amounts of gigs and be sure to catch history when they step out before The Coral on their tour next year.

Sophie and The Bom Boms

Los Angeles based, Sophie and The Bom Boms aka Sophie Stern has had massive success with latest release, Big Girls which was lifted from her forthcoming EP. Remixing the energetic past of techo-electronica of the 80s with modern-day pop vocals, the EP is set to become the sound of 2016, careless and free; just what is needed to welcome the new year.


Manchester's newest quartet, Cupids offer up doses of fiery, punchy tracks, using their local twang to provide a boy-next door type of grunge. Already announcing their slot at Rock'n'Roll club night, This Feeling's Big In 2016 in January and dropping latest tunes, Confession Box and Heaven Knows Me Now they have promises for more huge things to come, with Manchester's recent track record, here's another clear winner.


Releasing their debut album, Caballo Negro in November, Swedish-Latin quintet Sudakistan have created the perfect soundtrack for anarchy. Currently situated in Stockholm, their album has rocketed their name into the limelight, their hard work has certainly paid off. The Music Manual only hopes to see a shift to live performances, potentially a few shows on UK soil in 2016...

Our Girl

Brighton trio, Our Girl released debut single, Sleeper / Level courtesy of Cannibal Hymns earlier on this month, showcasing ethereal, spaced out instrumentals. Clear signs of post-punk and light grunge seep from the onset of their momentum. With an influx of gigs since the release of this single, their melancholic sound is tantalisingly desirable for 2016.

Blonde Bunny

London quartet, Blonde Bunny have no tracks from 2015, but have openly discussed their next EP which is all ready to go, suggesting that 2016 may see some movement from the foursome. Previous single, While We're Sleeping is a timeless piece of art, sheer mind-expanding brilliance, how the band is set to build upon this will be exciting to music lovers, there could be history made yet...


Australian quartet, Miners share a small spark of that excitement felt upon first listening to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, there must be something in the Aussie water with the recent influx of new-wave psych bands absolutely demolishing anything we have experienced here. Their latest EP, Pala, is a complete daze, dreamy and distant, showing the success of the foundation Miners have been around for several years.

The Vryll Society

Now known infamously around Liverpool, latest local superstars, The Vryll Society are another of Deltasonic's success stories, from releasing mind-blowing EP Pangea to sharing a stage with other huge bands including Manchester's Blossoms. Revealing their first batch of shows in January, their hectic schedule seemingly left them little time to get working on new material, oh, but they already thought about that, currently docking at Liverpool's Parr Street Studios cooking up a storm for 2016. 

The Serpent Power

Busy working in the studio and now splitting their time between performing as The Coral, Liverpool muso's Ian Skelly and Paul Molloy's dream-psych outfit wowed The Music Manual this year, with their self-titled album climbing above and beyond expectations, giving a real gritty outlook on grass-root psychedelia. It'll be interesting to see what comes from The Serpent Power camp in 2016 - we're in need for more.

Words Lauren Jones


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