Updated: Jun 17, 2019
Words by Abi Whistance
Driven by a demand for diversity, Leeds continues to be the host to an astounding variety of genres and styles throughout the city, shifting with what seems to be relative ease from more melodic indie bangers unearthed at Belgrave Music Hall to your classic emo variety packages found at Key Club. With such an excess of assorted material to spend your time flicking through it really does begin to get a little overwhelming, too often leaving you swamped in LP’s still begging the question ‘where in God’s name do I start?’. To make it all a tad easier for you we’ve compiled a list of who you really should be looking out for this year, and don’t worry, we’ll guide you through it.
Rothschild – Bear Trap
Since their inception in May 2018, Rothschild have provided a refreshingly callous sound to those in need of it, somewhat reminiscent of post-screamo juggernaut Nothing More in their pre-self-titled days. Debut single Bear Trap faultlessly encapsulates the raw feeling and sheer brutality of affection, effortlessly shifting from softer melodies to blocks of unshakeable, tumultuous noise that send you tottering a good few metres from your built-in sound system. With an EP on the cards and a Santiago gig looming ever closer, Rothschild are gearing up for even bigger and better things this year, making them one you better be keeping an eye on.
Out of the Woods - You
Indie rock foursome Out of the Woods may only be seventeen years of age, but their ability to pack a hard punch with any of their fistful of tunes is definitely not up for dispute. After catching them at their supporting slot for Conflare at Chapel in late 2018, it’s hard not to be blown away by the utter power and grit they possess when on stage; a blatant contrast from their nonchalant nature when off of it. Their single You perfectly demonstrates both their silkier and starker side, with soul-shredding solos flowing into indulgent harmonies dripping in reverb, stunning any audience into quiet submission. With so much potential at such a tender age, hopping on the Out of the Woods bandwagon is advised before you get left behind.
A Night In November – Keep Dancing (Keep Fighting)
A typical poppy-punk anthem, Keep Dancing (Keep Fighting) is essentially like what you imagine Less Than Jake would’ve sounded like if they’d accessed a bit more NOFX and a bit less Madness at the pivotal age of 14. Compiled of tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a classic punk rock sound, A Night In November have that ideal amount of energy to get you up and at ‘em without that feeling lasting more than three minutes and forty seconds. With a handful of upcoming gigs in January, your best bet to catch these in their prime is at Key Club on the 23rd of this month- I mean, what else would you be doing on a Wednesday?
Nova Hands – Who Is Your Daddy and What Does He Do?
Notorious local legends Nova Hands regularly sum themselves up as just ‘loving to play really loud, then really quiet, then really loud again’, and that truly does leave little else to be said about them. If you’re partial to your curious time signatures and late eighties indie rock there’s nothing about Nova Hands you won’t enjoy; their quintessential math rock sound embedding them firmly in the alternative scene in Leeds. Who Is Your Daddy and What Does He Do? may not be the most up to date release on this list, throwing it all the way back to 2016 with their EP R-EP, but it certainly is one of the best.
Avalanche Party – Million Dollar Man
With their thrashing garage-punk sound admired by the likes of Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq of the BBC, Avalanche Party are probably one of the most renowned bands on this list. Their most recent release, Million Dollar Man, is something for those with an acquired taste; repetitive in an almost trance-inducing way, yet by some weird turn of events not drifting into dull like we’ve grown to expect from artists so similar. If you’re a fan of Born Slippy you’ll love this- a thumping bass drum and a whole lot of attitude is a staple.