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  • Writer's pictureBOOT - - - MUSIC

BOOT LOCAL: 4 emerging North-West artists who you need to hear!


Manchester duo Sleepyhead have refining their slick, dreamy, love-struck brand of Indie Pop for a few years now and have impressed the local scene with their ability to create such a layered sound with just two people. The duo dynamic has not held them back from creating songs that are full of instrumental subtleties and overlapping rhythms that you can get lost in. After nearly a year break following their 6-track EP 'Blue' the pair have returned with their brand new single 'In Nature'.

The mixture of some dance worthy disco rhythms and super smooth vocal lines puts in mind the likes of The 1975 and Blaenavon. However, these guys offer a more direct and energetic approach than many dreamy, melody weavers. This is due to the perpetuating drum rhythm on the chorus that ties together the harmonious vocal layers and jangly instrumentals and delivers them as one solid punch. A really great blend between attention-grabbing force and smooth, Indie Pop harmony.

Nikki and The Waves

With a sound that is as just as colourful as their dress sense, Art-Pop outfit Nikki and The Waves have been making, well...waves with their new EP 'Songs To Play Tennis To'. They leaped into 2022 with the first single off the EP, 'online chess' and it made a clear statement for what the new 6-track offering was going to be all about! Led by a thick and funky baseline, the track's groove is instantly infectious and will have your hips swaying before you can say "Bishop to G5". 'Phone Song' then brought along an even deeper groove that has a really playful feel that provides the perfect platform for Nikki to deliver her, smooth and serene melodies with a loose, carefree swagger.

The EP on the whole is full of flavour. It's bright, bold and combines an audible tongue-in-cheek humour with a fantastically detailed approach to funky Art-Pop rhythms. The closing track '19' sees out the the 6-track collection with their most emotive performance to date. A delicate piano line joins in the fun and, following a crashing, climatic barrel of uplifting-instrumentals, closes the EP with a gentle descent into a contemplative soundscape. It demonstrates another layer of sonic understanding and makes you pause for thought before you start craving for the funky Indie Pop party to start all over again and re-hit that play button.

Ruby Joyce

Over the last four years, dreamy, Indie-Pop songwriter Ruby Joyce has been experimenting with a wide range of styles and aesthetics. Considering that her first single was released when she was just 15 it is no surprise that she now produces such audibly refined songwriting but beginning at such an early age has provided her with an unusually plentiful amount of time to test out different moods and atmospheres. The results that now, whenever she releases a new track you can be sure that she will have chosen a completely new sonic theme, yet created that theme with so much skill and detail that you will be immersed by it. This is true, once again, for her latest release 'Growing On You'.

Built around a web of winding, Dream Pop guitars, Ruby takes a more unforgiving approach and delivers perhaps her most angsty track to date. There is a really intriguing contrast at play throughout the song. The instrumentals creating quite a serene, hazy summer swing full of warm Indie tones and an upbeat rhythm. Meanwhile, Ruby's vocals have a smooth melody but with a distinctively passionate undertone. Her voice drifts between a resonant depth that rings of The Smiths and a brighter, sun-kissed chorus melody that is undeniably infectious. Both the vocals and instrumentation capture the heartfelt intensity of the lyrical content and make you feel every emotion that is being radiated towards you. A perfect summer track for pouring out your true feelings to and another great example of Ruby Joyce's mastery of theme.


With influences ranging from The Blossoms to The Cure, new Indie five-piece TRAITS look set to take over Liverpool’s music scene having just brought out theirdebut single 'Holding On'. The quintet formed in January 2022, having been members of various different Indiebands previously. Finding the perfect lineup did not take long, and their debut single ‘Holding on’ dropped on May 27th 2022. The track has already been a resounding success for the band, having reached 2.5k streams on Spotify so far. You would be forgiven for thinking these Scouse musicians have been playing musictogether for years, and their feature on BBC Introducing is a good indication ofhow established their debut single sounds.

The indie-synth track is perfect for a spot of easy listening. Sultry vocals merge seamlessly with a lo-fi instrumental and with the added addition of slick synthesisersolos, a serene tone is captured throughout the 3 minutes and 49 seconds. Having indulged in this single, we can’t wait to see what the coming months have in store for these young musicians. TRAITS will be warming up for fellow Scouse outfit, The Cheap Thrills at Hangar 34, Liverpool, on Saturday 6th August 2022 which is the perfect setting to discover this new talent. With a debut single as strong as this and a growing selection of local support you can be sure that there will be more great things coming from these talented Liverpudlians. LISTEN TO ALL OUR FAVOURITE LOCAL MUSIC ON OUR SPOTIFY PLAYLIST


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