Discover the best new Manchester bands!
2023 has seen so many new Manchester 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 Manc music scene. You can also keep up to date with the best North-West releases via our playlist below.
Manchester Synth-Punk’s Sugarstone have just released their new EP ‘Terrible Tendencies'. The infectious lead single ‘Tender Hook’ was named BBC Introducing ‘Track of the Week’ and BBC 6 Music’s Finest Hour ‘Tune of the Week’...and it is easy to see why! A swooping cocophony of fuzzy, retro-tinged, electro Rock bursting with angst.
The EP as a whole acts as the perfect indication of the band's sonic trajectory, audibly and aesthetically tapping into the industrial goth and dance sounds of the 80s, a hugely influential era for the band. Sugarstone state themseleves that "If Ridley Scott made Blade Runner today, you can bet he’d hire us to score his night club scenes" and we think they're damn right!
Their high-octane brand of sonic cyberpunk has landed them prominent support slots with Kid Kapichi, Calva Louise, CLT DRP, Tokky Horror and a three-date tour with Witch Fever. Sugarstone are quickly becoming one of the most sought after live bands in the country and this insatiable live energy is perfectly captured on the EP, bursting with industrial intensity.
Alternative/rock band, BÖHMEN, released their debut single after a long anticipated wait from their fans. Titled 'Ride or Die', the song marks their entrance into Manchester’s electric music scene.
The track is a captivating piece of Indie-Rock that delves into the band’s deepest inspirations, distinguished by powerful vocals, hard-hitting guitar riffs and raw emotional energy.
They have used innovative and hypnotising words & melodies to grasp the essence of human connection and the desire for unwavering support with lyrics such as: “You can always count on me, to come and fall at your knees” & “All those feelings that I had I never figured out”.
The song was released back in July and has already gained over 20,000 Spotify streams.
The band chose their name, BÖHMEN, from a translation of the word 'Bohemia', which is a place where people with similar interests come together. The band strongly believe that the audience and the artist are one, where "like-minded people come together for the pure love of music".
They have since followed this track up with another powerful anthem 'Lana' and with these two tracks it is clear that BÖHMEN have true potential.
Words by Kayleigh Cantrell
If you’re not sure if you’ve seen SLAP RASH live on your local circuit yet then you definitely haven’t because theirs is a performance that you don’t forget.
The brother-sister duo are one of the most visceral live acts across the North-West right now and their music aims to capture all the thrashing energy and harsh, Punk intensity of their live shows in recorded form.
Their debut EP ‘Catherine Special’ is an in-your-face, grimey expression of social unrest and self-analytical outbursts. Everything about their music is full-on, making a gigantic noise between just two people as they combine their dark, gravely bass lines and smashing drum sounds to create a cacophony of noise.
The vocals too are harsh and in-your-face on every track as Amelia spits out her discontent, demanding you take notice. A furious sonic sandstorm that is not for the faint-hearted!
As his latest release ‘TACTILE’ demonstrates, Manchester based budding singer-songwriter Stan Buckroyd is crafting his own sound by merging a variety of contemporary indie-pop influences all whilst striving for authenticity.
The exuberant guitar solos that open and close the track instantly remind listeners of early 2010s UK festival staples, reminiscent of Two Door Cinema Club, The Wombats, Circa Waves, and more recently, Vistas.
Yet these peppery solos are married with verses that flirt with Sam Fender’s plodding rhythmic instrumentals, building on Buckroyd’s previous single ‘PLASTIC HAPPY’ that borrows Springsteen-esque saxophone in the second half of the track.
When you add an earworm of a chorus brimming with overspilling, rapid-fire, conversational lyrics; raspy vocals that retain his hybrid Nottingham-Mancunian accent; and summery tones of TikTok famous The Backseat Lovers, Buckroyd has fashioned a song packed with a modern charm.
Fresh off the back of his self-proclaimed first UK tour, including three Northern dates in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle, 20-year-old Buckroyd is one to add to your watchlist, with ‘TACTILE’ being only the beginning
Words by Ben Cole
Cruush have also been focusing on their debut EP in 2023. The 5-track collection ‘Wishful Thinker’ also offers some of the engulfing cacophonous sounds of SLAP RASH, yet, for the majority, they venture into a more lucid and dreamy Shoegaze sound.
They prefer to layer their guitars with plenty of distortion and echo so that every note they play leaves an audible trail lingering in the background of the songs. The vocals swim through this dense instrumental soundscape with a contrastingly soft and ethereal tone, ringing of Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell in places.
Their music is mellow and introspective at times, angsty and expansive in moments and gloomy and insular in others yet it always draws emotions from the dark depths of contemplative thinking. Definitely an EP that you can get lost in!
The Post-Punk Salfordians display remnants of the founders of the genre with XTC sounding guitar parts and a more modern approach with a rather Sports Team style intro on their recent track 'W.I.C' which features on their new EP 'Graphic Silence'.
Continuous staccato guitar parts punctuate the song with the two lead axes adding more to an already interesting vocal line, which doesn’t disappoint either. Lyrics such as "Am I a real man or just a plastic model?" gives off a scent of David Byrne style existentialism with some irony in there too.
The loud choruses are met with sharp adjustments from outbursts of guitar strumming patterns in unison then reverting back to the staccato style plucking heard in the verses. The necessary guitar solo comes in after the first chorus too, containing clashing guitar parts eventually leading to a call and response section which echoes a Bloc Party style riff.
See the lads live in action at Northern Quarter boozer / music venue Gullivers on Saturday 25th November.
Words by Ben Taylor
Running on the back of the success of their single ‘Before’, after a brief hiatus, the Manchester band Little Strange have just released their new single entitled ‘I Get By’. They have gained both a cult following from their live performances, having supported bands like Working Men’s Club, as well as notable attention with their previous single ‘Holy Rigmarole’, which was played on BBC Radio One’s Future Alternative show.
The new track combines Garage with modern day Rock and Roll. Classic Rock riffs, licks and distorted guitar tones mean there’s no slowing down with this track. It starts off with a crunchy, Led Zeppelin type riff pervading the song with a psychedelic feeling throughout. That psychedelic feeling is further pushed by an awesome slider guitar solo giving the track a combination of Rock and Country. Towards the end, a slightly ominous feeling lingers as the piercing guitar draws the track to a wonderful close.
There is a clear hint of retro influences from artists such as The Beatles and T. Rex in this single as well as notes of fellow Blues Rock troubadours The Black Keys, so dive in and inudlge in their vintage Rock sounds.
Words by Jamie Griffiths