Discover the best new Liverpool bands & their latest releases!
2023 has seen so many new Liverpool bands and artists breakthrough! From Indie and Rock outfits to Folk songwriters and electronic experimenters... here's our rundown of some of our favourite new releases in the Liverpool music scene. You can also keep up to date with the best North-West releases via our playlist below.
Keyside - Angeline
Liverpool has long been a hotbed for creativity and innovation and Liverpool Indie outfit Keyside are keeping that trend going. The band have returned to excite the Indie scene with their newest release ‘Angeline’, following on from breakthrough debut tracks ‘Lights out’ and ‘Paris to Marseilles’. On the back of a recent signing with record label Modern Sky UK, this year has seen the band's continued success and exposure through mediums such as BBC introducing, performing at the Isle of Wight Festival and performances across various local venues.
With an upbeat rhythm and coastal sound reminiscent of ‘Circa Waves’, this latest track is ebbing with a euphonious melody and jangly hook. Vocally, Keyside put on an impressive performance, most notably during the chorus in which the lead singer exudes charisma and confidence, effortlessly riding the song’s infectious tune. The lyrical themes of the song juxtapose the twangy guitar riffs and airy bass lines with a melancholy narrative about ‘Angeline’, a woman struggling to cope with the pressures of everyday life.
While Keyside may not be a household name yet, their music is making waves in the Liverpool music scene and for good reason: they’ve created a sound that embodies the essence of British Indie music while also offering a modern freshness. If you’re in search of a musical pick-me-up or simply looking for a track to add to your Indie playlist, ‘Angeline’ is a perfect addition.
Words by Mya Kupfuwa
Dog Sport - Cylinders
The brilliant debut track from Dog Sport was an absolute pleasure for us to review as the Liverpool Post-Punk outfit are well on their way to cementing their name as one of the most exciting and daring new acts within the Alternative scene.
The first thing that hits you on this son are the crashing drums which pound through the track with an industrial intention. This is perfectly paired with vocals reminiscent of John Cooper Clarke’s northern poetic realism all laid over the glass-like Shoegaze tones of the guitars, weaving a dissonant horror theme through the chorus. The guitar work is particularly impressive as the tones achieved make the instruments wail and howl, giving an image of a horrifying, surreal journey through an industrial plane, never taking the spotlight through arrogance but through sheer power and magnitude when called upon.
Through the verse there is a brilliant minimalist approach with an eerie use of synth to give an overall space to the track with a subtle guitar riff complimenting it to give a very wide sound even with little sonic space being used. The silence is used immaculately, the silence is key. Last but not least, the real driving factor of this song is the bass which plays the key part in the constant rhythm, unrelenting and beautifully haunting. A stellar debut from Dog Sport which we’re sure will go down as a characteristically great song from a great catalogue yet to come.
Words by Charlie Prosser
Astles - This One's For You
Astles’ new single 'This One’s for You' fits perfectly with his oeuvre of soothing, soft Indie music, described aptly on his Spotify profile to be “as warm as milky tea”. Originally from the seaside town of Southport, Astles’ songs are a celebration of tenderness, all with a distinct undercurrent of nostalgia. Think somewhere between Matt Maltese and Billie Marten, he delivers a sound listeners are sure to savour.
'This One’s for You' begins with a slightly melancholy tone, with minimal instruments accompanying Daniel Astles’ voice. The track showcases his lullaby-esque tone with its calming rhythm and he manages to make even the drums sound soft and light. Then, as the song progresses, his voice becomes perfectly accompanied by a series of string instruments, subtly adding depth and dynamism to the track, and by the second chorus the lilting keys of a piano are added to create a vibrant symphony, captivating the listener throughout. The result? A building crescendo of textures and sounds that marks the upbeat denouement of the track.
Astles’ music charms listeners all the more live, and he is performing in several locations across the coming months, including trendy Jaguar Shoes in London and at Liverpool's Philharmonic Music Room where he will be accompanied by a string quartet. With his contemplative lyrics and flowing sound, Asltes is not one to miss!
Words by Saba Khorassani
Shefu - Butterknife
We couldn't publish this article without including the new single from our favourite local newcomers, Shefu. The quirky Alt-Rock quintet have made waves recently, finally playing a run of shows alongside fellow Liverpool outfit Crawlers, the support slot that they were destined to take on from day one! So, now is the perfect time to welcome their newly gained slew of Shefoids by releasing their third single, 'Butterknife'.
Photo Credit: Jess Meade
Opening with a raw, vulnerable and haunting acoustic intro, the song then jumps into a much bigger and more anthemic Rock sound. The track is filled with vocal prowess and instrumental flair, especially from the sharp, winding guitar line that cuts through with a wonderful power.
Radiating with 90s angsty energy, the track beautifully combines their love for both throw away humour and deeply poignant sentiments while delivering it all with a confident, moody swagger.
TOY CAR - Rat Race
One of our favourite newcomers from our hometown has to be the Indie noisemakers TOY CAR. Their string of singles and debut EP last year showcased their songwriting talents with songs like 'Burn The House Down' demonstrating a wonderful skill for atmospheric balance, dipping between introspective grooves and more expressive vocal deliveries. 'New' offered their most memorable melodies and showed their more lively side that comes out in a live setting. Yet, their new single 'Rat Race' sees them ramp the energy up even more and deliver an instant Indie anthem that we can't get enough of!
It is their first single they have all recorded as a band and this shines through as there's a scrappy, audible camaraderie and synergy between all members. From the very first moments of the track you are slapped awake by the fast-paced, punchy drum rhythm that is filled with an infectious Punk fire. The grumbling bass line is dark and moody and while the guitar radiates with a sharp, angsty tone, cutting through in the right moments to provide snippets of vibrant, Rock and Roll flair.
However, it is the vocals of songwriter Shaun Hough that give this track its anthemic, rebellious spirit. Each line is shouted down the mic with a true frontman's swagger that makes you wanna get up and into that moshpit, chanting the words back. There's elements of the noisy, fighting spirit of Oasis, the scrappy energy of 00s Indie and the dense, flavoursome instrumentation of modern Indie/Post-Punk bands such as Sports Team, FEET and Youth sector, a wonderful combination that should make any Indie fan excited for what is to come from these guys.
Woo - Babylon
Cult favourites Woo have struck again with a much darker and trancier song than their previous effort ‘My People’. The Rock outfit wear their influences on their sleeve in the most delectable and inventive way. A worry for new bands can be sounding like imitators of their predecessors but Woo have become originators while digging through the music history of both Liverpool and Manchester and created a track with the swagger of Oasis and the dark and mysterious melodies of Echo and the Bunnymen.
The drum beat may initially catch you off guard as it is not used to just keep time but used to create another layer of melodic texture through the off-kilter rhythmic pattern while the bass drives forward the groove for this track. For a song steeped in New-Wave and Post-Punk tradition the rhythm section really combines to give an almost trance like state. The guitars are used intermittently through the verse to give a great tension-building effect with long legato notes ringing out deep into the belly of this tune, only to take centre stage with a simple but roaringly powerful solo.
Finally, laid over all this fantastic soundscape is the brilliant, regional vocals providing a drone to the song, further pulling you into the trance like state created by the instrumental. A fantastic second single and sure to be an instant classic around Liverpool!
Words by Charlie Prosser
Alright (Okay) - 'Hotel Mabuhay'
Alright (Okay) have been making waves on their local underground scene for a good while now, known for their visceral live shows, quirky attitude and appealing dense and scrappy sound. This scrappiness is not to be confused with sloppiness because every note they play is placed there with intent yet they prefer to perform with a lucid, Garage band style rather than a crisper, commercialised delivery.
Photo Credit: Florintein
Their latest single 'Hotel Mabuhay' begins with an intimate, raw Indie Rock atmosphere as the deep vocals are spoken with swagger and instrumental tensions before before they properly dive into their gritty sonic swing. The production and performance has a very live feeling to it, capturing their renowned live ability to dissolve the liminal space between themselves and the audience. This creates a very immersive, all-consuming sound both, in the live setting and on this single.
The instrumental flair later in the track brings a joyous spirit to the otherwise dense and moody soundscape with a bright Indie guitar line, that rings of Arctic Monkeys' first record, piercing through the noise. There's an audible camaraderie to their vocal back and forth later in the song, as if you can feel the guys loving every moment of their time playing together and this feeling is infectious!
Worlds of gloomy retro Rock and bright Indie melody clash together beautifully on what may be their best single yet. However, it is always best sample live so look out for their upcoming dates.