20 New British Bands To Watch This Year

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20 British alternative bands we're calling must-sees for 2023.

If 2022 was a great if unsteady year for UK indie music, 2023 is the year bands are truly back. If your crate digging has dried out, you’re stuck in a sonic rut or merely hungry for bragging rights – here's a fast track to the top UK bands due to pump out some of the best new alternative music releases in the coming year.

Beef up your 2023 playlists with these up and coming bands – your ears and mates will thank you later. In no particular order...

PUNK

Bar Italia

FROM: London

GENRE: Shoegaze/Punk

Sludgy indie straight from the mouth of London, bar italia have been gigging at some of London’s most iconic venues including Avalon cafe, Shacklewell Arms and Bermondsey Social Club – a great blueprint on how to plan a music tour.

One of the buzziest new bands for 2023, their fresh take on shoegaze/punk is short, sour and sure to soundtrack your long bus rides or your afters.

BAR ITALIA | Spotify

Cucamaras

FROM: Nottingham

GENRE: Indie/Punk/Noise

Middle English band Cucamaras are one of our favourite discoveries of last year.

Owning acerbic turn of phrases, slice of life imagery and urgent revelations of small city life, the Nottingham natives are carving their own space into the noise rock scene.

Cucamaras | Spotify

Ghost Car

FROM: London

GENRE: Post-Punk/Garage Rock/Noise

International outfit Ghost Car are screaming into the void against homophobia, racism, political injustice, the patriarchy and toxic relationships.

Hints of noise-pop combined with the shouty angry lyrics, it’s destined to be an urgent and formidable year for Ghost Car. Listen up!

Ghost Car | Spotify

ROCK

For Breakfast

FROM: London

GENRE: Rock/Psychedelia/Jazz/Noise Rock

The 4 piece London outfit have just released their second EP 'Trapped In The Big Room', and they show no sign of slowing down.

After gigging continuously throughout 2022, expect to hear their noise rock/jazz/psychadelia waves piercing through a Radio 6 introducing. Lauren Laverne, listen up.

FOR BREAKFAST | Spotify

Gentle Stranger

FROM: UK

GENRE: Noise Rock

Gentle Stranger’s immediate sound explores noise-rock/shoegaze/ambient, maybe all of it.

Using unconventional soundscapes, otherworldly and guttural vocal technique and complete and utter switch ups in form, their debut 'Upon Return' is sure to leave you breathless and itching to see the insanity live.

A masterclass in how to compose a song that breaks all the rules.

Gentle Stranger | Spotify

Kyoto Kyoto

FROM: Germany, based in London

GENRE: Rock/Math Rock/Noise Rock

German-Language London-Based outfit Kyoto Kyoto have already ticked most dream indie gig venues off their list. Their math-rock infused noisy Deutsche sound is sure to be filling bigger venues very very soon.

One to really rattle your skull to, or (try to) emulate in the drum practice rooms.

Kyoto Kyoto | Spotify

CIVIL PARTNERSHIP

FROM: London

GENRE: Noise-Rock/Shoegaze/Indie/Sleaze

London Collective ‘Civil Partnership’ spit droll words of an English underbelly, soundtracked to spacious drums and minor chords. All of this conjures a palette of those rainy nights on the bus home in London.You know the ones.

We'll be shoving this in our ears on all future failed nights out.

CIVIL PARTNERSHIP | Spotify

Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something

FROM: UK

GENRE: Glam-Rock/Alt-Rock

UK rock bands are having something of a renaissance and Queer outfit Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something are jumping on board.

Incorporating glam-rock, power vocals, a PJ Harvey tinge and earhooks through and through, we’re ready and waiting for their anticipated LP coming Spring 2022.

Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something | Spotify

BERRIES

FROM: London

GENRE: Grunge/Rock/Indie

Grungy 90’s/00’s inspired alt-rock from BERRIES is sure to get you all dressed up to burn the house to the ground.

Snappy choruses, scuzzy guitars and to-the-point lyrics combine to form a powerful, airtight sound for your listening pleasure. One of the best new rock bands, and so much more as well.

BERRIES | Spotify

INDIE

Ora Violet

FROM: UK

GENRE: Indie

The international outfit fronted by British singer Tommy Blitz have done the rounds in 2022, at EartH in Hackney and a sold out headline gig at Old Blue Last.

Formed from impromptu jam sessions, they’re set to release their debut EP in Feb 2023.Their straight up indie sound will most likely be heard in the best dive spots everywhere this year.

Ora Violet | Spotify

Eades

FROM: Leeds

GENRE: Indie

A classic British indie band, straight from Leeds, the 5 piece’s big sound and off-kilter outlook is ready to cartwheel their way onto festival stages this summer.

Their debut LP 'Delusional Space' finally scratched the itch but we’re ready and waiting for more.

Eades | Spotify

Beige Banquet

FROM: London

GENRE: DIY/Bedroom Rock/Indie

Looping drum beats, anxious vocals and a formidable guitar start as the foundations for a Beige Banquet track.

From lockdown duo to unstoppable five-piece in the space of 2 years, we can hear this soundtracking record stores and filling out gig spaces across the country. Rough Trade pay attention!

Beige Banquet | Spotify

adults

FROM: London

GENRE: Indie/Shoegaze

adults’ call-and response lyrics, tongue in cheek song titles and electric energy make them one of the best new bands of 2023, and indicate they’re here to stay.

We can definitely imagine crowds of thousands head thrashing to the wink-wink nudge-nudge ‘tfl has a lot to answer for’ whilst downing a can of flat cider on day 2 of a camping festival.

adults | Spotify

POP

CVC

FROM: Wales

GENRE: Indie Pop

A favourite new British pop group, Welsh outfit CVC are poised for greatness in 2023 off the back of the release of their debut album in January.

The band, an acronym for Church Village Collective, have made a name for themselves in native Wales but their pop inflected indie sound, earworm melody and wide gamut of influences from Snoop Dogg to Stills and Nash are sure to place them on your 2023 playlist.

CVC | Spotify

LibraLibra

FROM: Brighton

GENRE: Noise Pop

One of our favourite new British pop groups. The anti-authoritarian collective have been touring the UK, playing some iconic venues, working with IDLES' producer, releasing an EP and playing on every BBC regional introducing spot.

Our guess is, in 2023 we’ll be hearing a touch more from their punk infected, Life Without Buildings vocals esque noise pop punk. All of it.

LibraLibra | Spotify

Latenight Honeymoon

FROM: Brighton

GENRE: Indie Pop

Latenight Honeymoon gained Pirate residency status in 2022, using the free rehearsal space to practice for a host of gigs and prepare their EP ‘All of this makes so much sense yet none of this makes much sense at all’. Their earworm melodies and ascerbic lyrics play like the soundtrack to an indie brit flick in all the right ways.

Latenight Honeymoon | Spotify

Breakup Haircut

FROM: London

GENRE: Pop/Punk/Pop-Punk

Half pop, half punk outfit Breakup Haircut impress with their hilarious lyrics (someone tell me where I can find the dog, singing Come On Eileen on the floor on my own, I want to go home!). This combined with their “genuine effort to not use the same 3 drumbeats” are sure to cement them as your new indie favourite.

Breakup Haircut | Spotify

FOLK

Shovel Dance Collective

FROM: UK

GENRE: Folk

The queer folk unit from British islands and further afield explore drone, classical folk and ancient traditions in their sweeping sound. One for the quiet moments on a post-rave Sunday morning.

Shovel Dance Collective | Spotify

Frankie Morrow

FROM: West Scotland

GENRE: Folk/Indietronica

Hushed tones and lush arrangements make up Scotland born London based outfit Frankie Morrow. Their sound is destined to be in a Spike Jonze film. This is perfect for solo reading, heartbreak, a long drive – you know the deal.

Frankie Morrow | Spotify

Modern Classical

Brixton Chamber Orchestra

FROM: Brixton, London

GENRE: Jazz/Classical/Orchestra/Grime

Pirate Residents and Registered charity Brixton Chamber Orchestra is intertwining classical music with Grime and Drill, showcasing their orchestral arrangements in the New Year.

Their flexible and loose style evoke great band practice ideas. It’ll be one worth seeing in the flesh.

Brixton Chamber Orchestra | GIGS

Listening through this list, it's clear that good British bands aren't hard to come by, but it's also clear that the UK doesn't have one sound.

Pop, indie, experimental, metal, jazz, punk, shoegaze and ska bands have a place amongst grime, techno, reggae, dance hall and orchestral acts in cities and towns across the UK.

Amongst the most current bands on the scene, we’re more than excited to see what projects come from these 20 up-and-comers.

It’s amazing to see the UK indie music scene continuing to thrive and produce some of the most cutting edge and interesting sounds against all odds. My only piece of advice would be to catch acts like these in small venues while you have the chance.

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