It’s that time of the year again; swipe right on 2016 and refresh your Spotify playlist. Here’s a number of artists you should keep your eyes firmly on this year and if 2016 was anything to go by, our predictions were pretty good…

Abattoir Blues

The post-punk quartet that is Abattoir Blues douse their sound with doomy guitars and raspy, vicious vocals. After releasing their debut single Sense this year, Abattoir Blues have built a loyal following down in their hometown of Brighton, before infecting the UK with their ruinous aura touring with The Wytches and The Big Moon this year. Hopefully, 2017 will see the four-piece break away from the underground of Brighton’s music scene, and join the haul of emerging talents taking control of the independent music sphere.
Jasmin Robinson

Bonzai

Barely out of her teenage years, Indiana-born Bonzai is a pocket-rocket ready to explode. Her first three EPs are packed with razor sharp electronic bangers but crank the sound up too much and they’ll lurch out of your speakers and leave you gasping for air. She’s got the bite of Azealia Banks with the production of a warehouse rave behind her but knows when to heel and reel you back in. Already a fully formed solo artist, she also could be an exciting addition to a number of other artists artillery next year.
Josh Shreeve

Drones Club

Underneath strobes and lasers, kitted out in boiler suits and flak jackets, Drones Club are battle-ready for 2017. In times of division their sound is secular, marrying Faithless’ eye-rolling anthems with just about every synth and modulator within reach, revelling in electro hedonism. Socially primed and unflinching, there’s never enough fucked-up dance music like this in the world.
Ethan Weatherby

Elf Kid

It’s mad to think that London MC Elf Kid came bounding in with debut track ‘Golden Boy’ over a year ago. The member of The Square (Novelist, DeeJillz) has spent 2016 getting a feeling for going solo and he looks more than comfortable. Almost breaking down London Field Brewhouse’s rickety wooden shack at his Visions Festival performance this year, Elf showed a crowd including new found fans Shura and Wolf Alice’s Theo what 2017 could look like.
Josh Shreeve

Jay Prince

Jay Prince must have been gutted when Chance The Rapper cancelled his UK tour halfway through it. The East-London rapper was supporting the Chicago star towards the back end of the year on a tour which propped Prince up onto the next level. Last EP Smile Good blends soul, hip-hop and R&B and takes pinches of influence from Chance, Kendrick Lamar and even the Kanye College Dropout days. If Jay Prince plays his cards right 2017 is his for the taking.
Josh Shreeve

NGOD

Bradford five-piece NGOD burst onto the scene last year after releasing debut single ‘Blue’ which was chosen for the FIFA 17 soundtrack. Gathering attention from BBC Introducing with their skillful production and rampant melodies, the band have gathered momentum for this year and are now set to support The Kaiser Chiefs in February alongside Spring King. Having mastered an attractive blend of explosive rock and sleek stylish pop, 2017 is sure to be a blast for NGOD.
Will Fisher

Pinegrove

Ever wondered what Pavement would sound like if they listened to country? Probably not, but if that combination sounded interesting, check-out Montclair, New Jersey’s Pinegrove. Over the past few years, they’ve honed their own brand of indie-rock with tinges of midwest-emo, folk and country, evolving the short, simplistic songs from their 2015 compilation ‘Everything So Far’ into lush, layered anthems. Their debut full-length ‘Cardinal’, released this year through Run For Cover Records featured on several year-end lists, and the band announced they would return to the UK for a tour in early February.
Ethan Megenis-Clarke

Rag’n’Bone Man

If you haven’t heard of Rag n Bone Man aka Rory Graham, now is the time to get your ears prepped and stank face ready. With the voice of an angel, this British singer- songwriter dropped his epic single ‘Human’ back in July on Columbia Records and the charts have been going nuts ever since. He has already sold out Electric Brixton in November and his album will drop early next year with some impressive producers to help out.
Liz Stephens

RAYE

Already teasing us with her immense capabilities in 2016, Croydon’s Raye released the emphatic EP ‘Second’ with guest-slots from Stormzy and Charli XCX. Although her sound is RnB at its core, she’s shown she can span genres, boasting her vocal talents on the rip-roaring dance tracks by Jonas Blue and Jax Jones. At just nineteen years old, Raye is soon to be the word on everyone’s lips.
Will Fisher

Sketch by Rory Brown

About The Author

Josh Shreeve

Director of VLM and radio man at Forge Radio. Studies journalism at the University of Sheffield.

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