Ones To Watch 2019

Ones To Watch 2019:

Words: Elena Katrina, Samantha Sadler and Gary Lambert.

You’re not going to find  your usual suspects here, there’s no Anteros, Sam Fender, Yonaka et al here. We’ve already covered those bands that all the big boys are playing catch up on now. These are some of the bands who have piqued our interest enough to demand some time on them in the months ahead! We can but hope that these will really bring it to the game and show up with even better than we’ve heard so far!

There are loads more that we could add to the list so keep an eye as we might make a playlist too!

Elena’s Picks:

Rubber Jaw

Signed to Creation 23 – Alan McGee’s revived Creation label,  this Essex band have very little online so far but what I’ve heard so far has certainly given me some pause for thought – enough to really want to see what happens for them in 2019.

Listen to Rubber Jaw:


No idea what it is about Glasgow but my year wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have one eye and ear on what was going on there because there’s such a great scene and from what I’ve seen so far, Alligator are going to bite and fight their way to the centre of it. They’ve got early 90s Oasis vibes going on so I’m keen to see how they continue to find and define themselves as it’s still super early days for them…. I know they’ll be finding themselves at Liverpool Sound City this May so there’s a good start.

Listen to Alligator:


If Haim and the 1975 had a child together it would be Raffer. I don’t feel like there’s much more to add at this point – that’s a pretty exciting prospect don’t you think? Let’s see what 2019 brings for this Kent based solo artist. He’s already started to make a name for himself in the new music circles, will that soon extend to the wider public?

Listen to Raffer:

Island Club

I thoroughly enjoy an interesting vocal and Brighton’s Island Club certainly have that – it’s instantly recognisable and not just that it’s combined with sparkling indie-disco-pop tracks – it’s hard for me to stay sitting down. It makes sense I’d want to keep my eye on them, they remind me of Haus (who are far too underrated!!) and Indoor Pets – who should probably be on this list had I not been listening to them for an untold number of years already.

Listen to Island Club:


Since their 2017 EP Knives & Flowers, I’ve developed a very small crush on Valeras – to the point there was the time I heard them randomly on the radio in work and I leapt out of my seat and cheered, much to everyone else’s bemusement -I cheered to a band they’d never heard of. Thanks to a tiny dark and damp Manchester venue I managed to see Valeras play earlier this year and I can’t wait to see them again – in fact, I think a Popped Presents might be begging for them this year.  They sit easily alongside bands I love such as Estrons and Yonaka so I hope they can elevate to similar levels.

Listen to Valeras:

The Golden Age Of TV 

I often find bands that I can’t understand why they aren’t bigger than they are, because I can’t be the only one who thinks they’re epic. The Golden Age Of TV are one of these such bands and I hope that 2019 finds them in a position to get to wider audeices because they very much deserve to. With plays on Radio 1 and BBC 6 music as well as support slots for the likes of Fizzy Blood in 2018, I’m pretty sure 2019 can see them make more waves – fingers crossed the next set of tunes are in the bag ready and waiting!

Listen to The Golden Age Of TV:

Gary’s Picks:

Dollie Demi

Without doubt, this Manchester/Nottingham band was the best surprise I received in 2018 as they opened up for Dream Wife in Manchester. With a mix of aggression, punk guitars, and a frontwoman who wanted to make sure that nobody in the room had their eyes anywhere other than the stage, it was beyond exciting. With only three songs on Spotify, all with fewer than 1,000 streams, there is plenty of opportunities for you to get listening and be on the bandwagon before the bandwagon has even been built.

Listen to Dollie Demi:

Nocturnal Coast

I have seen this four-piece several times over the last few months, and in a short period of time they have matured into a confident, tight unit that mix rock n roll with some scouse humour to create songs which have a connection to both your mind and your ears. Whilst the songs are accessible to all, this band can take you on a journey too as their sets include several solos and give plenty of time for their musicianship to come to the fore without ever drifting towards the pastiche of their inspirations.

Listen to Nocturnal Coast:


Now their name might sound like a sun lotion that you get from Lidl in packaging similar to Ambre Solaire, it isn’t the only link with sunshine. This young trio are able to generate sand and summer through the air with their synth-driven tracks that are the musical version of an Ibiza beach bar at sunset. With the songs sounding like they could have been written on any day since 1990, they are going to set off the memories of music fans all over the country. I cannot wait to watch Ambiere in the open air with a beer in a paper cup.

Listen to Ambiere:

Samantha’s picks:

Honey Moon

I fell in love with these guys when I caught them supporting the awesome Her’s and I haven’t been able to get enough since. Dreamy croon pop at it’s finest, their tracks are packed full of jangly beats and vintage twists that sound just as good live as they do on Spotify. Hopefully, the London outfit will be picked up by some festivals in 2019 as I reckon they’ll sound incredible with the sun beating down and a can of cider in hand.

Listen to Honey Moon:

Martha Hill

Martha is an absolute dream and I haven’t actually been lucky enough to catch her live yet (aside from when I have seen her busking on Northumberland Street) but I promise I will in 2019. She released tracks Spiders’  and ‘Wallflower’ this year, supported Maximo Park with a huge orchestra and toured EVERYWHERE. Oh and her music is fantastic. So excited to hear more.

Listen to Martha Hall:


I feel like Llovers have made it into pretty much every round-up list I wrote in 2018 but there’s a good reason for that – they are fucking brilliant. I first caught them at Stockton Calling last year and they’ve been on all of my Spotify playlists ever since. With their infectious soundscapes and anthemic choruses, you can’t pick any faults with these North East lads. Get ready to get lost in their soaring riffs and cosmic synths – I reckon 2019 will be their year.

Listen to Llovers:


I first caught Leeds outfit FEHM randomly in Newcastle and I was drawn in by their similarities to Joy Division and proper 80’s bluesy indie-rock. Dark and stormy soundscapes are greeted with electronic melodies and powerful vocals from frontman Paul and they are pretty mesmerising to watch live if I’m honest. If you’re a fan of New Order and want something with a twist of modern day music, give this lot a go. You won’t regret it.

Listen to FEHM:





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  • About Popped Music

    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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