A year in the life of indie discovery

Written by Alex Ramsden

Indie kids everywhere are in their Age of Discovery. There are so many quality bands chucking out choons under the radar that 2018 has seen me find the gems amongst the drab, mainstream music machine.

No, I don’t care about the latest Arianna Grande song or all the Ed Sheeran noise that sounds much the same. There is a whole world out there, waiting to be explored.

First- let me tell you a little bit about my 2018 obsession. Clean Cut Kid, a Liverpudlian band that have supported the likes of the Kooks and the Courteeners in recent years. They seem to be branching out into the bigger time with a sound and a style unlike most other artists. Their most recent EP ‘Painkiller’ is a barnstorming ballet of rich riffs and luscious lyrics. They have become a lot more meaty and heavy than the jangling and jingling carousel they created last year.

Second- my absolute song of the year is ‘All The Way’ by the Magic Gang. It is more catchy than a haddock in a barrel and has a chorus to die for. I am going as far as to say it’s my song of the year, just ahead of some other absolutely naughty tunes. The Brighton band are about to chuck their bucket hat into the indie kingdom and I urge you to listen to their album. In fact, stop reading this and listen to it.

Third- when you think of Australia, you probably follow the stereotype of koalas on eucalyptus trees and Crocodile Dundee. You should be ashamed. It’s 2018 now, people are easily offended. Anyway, two bands have come from the land down under to park their jeep in the outback of my mind. DMAs, a group of lads who look like plasterers but sing like angels will be supporting Courteeners at Heaton Park next summer after a couple of years of banging out lush, indie bangers. ‘Delete’ is of such significant quality to me that I actually let the feels wash over me the first time I heard it.

Fourth- staying on the other side of the planet comes San Cisco. Not to be confused with any golden gate bridges or Californian sunshine, these are an Aussie band with slick, quick beats that move your feet. Seriously, give ‘Fred Astaire’ a listen and you’ll be up together dancing cheek to cheek. I first saw them on Triple J’s ‘Like a Version’ covering Daft Punk and it was a pure vibe of techno-funk, hypnotic Australian rhythms and the sweet, sweet sound of indie-soaked songship.

Finally- hold onto your parkas, ‘cause here it comes. On one of my regular perusals through the indie chart on Spotify, I discovered a song called ‘Shaky Ground’ by a French-American two-piece Freedom Fry. A highly catchy chorus mixed with a lilting and sunny orchestra that is like listening to instant happiness in a bottle.

Seen the Leeds/Reading line-up? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Wait until Y Not or Kendal to be honest. For every great year of indie music and fashion, there is always something that let’s the side down.

While you’re still here, enough of my ramblings, here is a quick-fire run down of some bangers to turn right up and let your ears bleed with satisfaction:

1. Friends- Eliza and the Bear
2. Too Much Time Together- San Cisco
3. I Can’t See- Superfood
4. Real Love Baby- Father John Misty
5. New Year’s Eve- Pale Waves