Ride

Managing to reform and sound as vital as you ever have is no easy task, but shoegaze-pioneers Ride have done just that. The Oxford group’s dream-pop sound might have enjoyed a major renaissance over the last decade or so, but their time away has added heft and an experimental attitude to their more classic melodies.

Listen to: Vapour Trail, Leave Them All Behind

Paradiso // 28 January // Tickets


Georgia

From being playlisted on major radio stations to being remixed by some of the world’s hottest DJs, DIY pop producer Georgia is currently tipped for big, big things – and with good reason. The curly-haired 29-year-old crafts pop that’s mashes house and techno together with her more mainstream influences. Comparisons with Robyn are not unjust. Live, Georgia is hypnotic – a hurricanic presence standing alone on stage armed only with a drumkit. Go see.

Listen to: Started Out, Never Let You Go

Bitterzoet // 15 February // Tickets


Girl Ray

Named punningly after the avant garde artist Man Ray, Girl Ray make lo-fi pop that harks back to the sounds of the 70s. The trio’s winsome songs about romance and youthful angst might pay tribute to their musical heroes, but the group's sounds is undeniably their own. On latest album Girl they've added R&B melodies to their lo-fi leanings, resulting in a more mature and, ultimately, rewarding sound. Growing up never sounded so good.

Listen to: Started Out, Never Let You Go

Cinetol // 1 March // Tickets


Elbow

I have seen Elbow around 1,000,000 times, and it’s getting creepy. The reason I have frequented their gigs so often? Because they are just magnificent. Frontman Guy Garvey might be one of the best lyricists alive, and when you combine that with the group’s music – swooning orchestrals, epic melodies and the occasional heavy riff – it’s just perfect. New album Giants of All Sizes is a real winner, too, a darker, heavier and more melancholic record than normal, but no worse for it. Live, Garvey is a true charmer, and if you don’t leave with a warm feeling in the pit of your stomach and a smile on your face then there's nothing more anyone can do for you!

Listen to: Lippy Kids, Mirrorball, Grounds for Divorce, Open Arms, All Disco, New York Morning (and I could keep going)

Ziggo Dome // 24 March // Tickets


Viagra Boys

There’s a wealth of post punk bands currently making music raging against the modern world, but there’s not many bands making music that’s doing it quite as mercilessly (and mockingly) as Viagra Boys. The six-strong Stockholm group’s heavy bass lines and squalling blasts of reverberating guitar and saxophone perfectly counterpoint lead singer Sebastian Murphy’s deadpan drawl. It’s no surprise they’ve toured with fellow point-blank piss-takers Sleaford Mods. Touted as one of Europe’s best live bands, catch them at Paradiso in March.

Listen to: Just Like You, Slow Learner

Paradiso Noord // 31 March // Tickets


Destroyer

Possibly my favourite band in the world right now, if you haven’t heard Destroyer (or heard of Destroyer) then you should rectify that right now. Why? Where to start. It’s not just that singer Dan Bejar has a truly singular voice (in every sense), it’s also that Destroyer are a band on a mission: to strip songs down to their barest bones. That aim might seem simple, but this dedication to austerity means that almost every one of their songs offer moments to savour, whether it’s the blast of saxs that weave through the outro of Tinseltown Swimming in Blood or the rip-roaring acoustics of Times Square. Live, their tighter than ever. Give Destroyer time and you’ll reap some very welcome rewards.

Listen to: Tinseltown Swimming in Blood, Crimson Tide, Kaputt

Paradiso // 30 April // Tickets


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