The following five bands have unique sounds…plus all the infectious passion and energy to deliver it. Of course, their stories are also different, but a common theme with some has been blowing up quickly.
Aquilo (made up of Ben Fletcher and Tom Higham) hit 250 million streams for their hit “Just Asking” before the two even recorded its live video, which was filmed in The Pool Recording Studios, London.
Their first EP was released in 2014, which was followed by Silhouettes in 2017 and ii in 2018.
The duo cite music like that of The National and Big Thief as influences for their knack for writing sad songs “that stab you in the heart”.
In addition to putting out their own work, the duo has also featured on Madeon’s track “Innocence,” from his debut album ‘Adventure’, and worked with Canadian producer Vanic for “Losing You.”
Aquilo has been remixed by the likes of Mura Masa and Marian Hill.
The UK trio Flawes—AKA Josh Carruthers, Josh Hussey, and Freddie Edwards—found rapid success after becoming a band and releasing their first song, garnering wide play on BBC Radio 1 before ever playing live.
The band then went on to tour for two years before releasing their full-length debut album Highlights through Red Bull Records.
The alt-pop album follows their release of the single “Ghost Town” alongside singer-songwriter Rozes.
The release of Highlights is led by the track with the same name, which was co-written by Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway, best known for working with Lewis Capaldi and Gabrielle Aplin.
Flawes frontman JC says:
“The song ‘Highlights’ explores my relationship with social media, and how in certain instances it can affect real life relationships and the real world in a negative way. I tend to always overthink situations, so it’s a cynical look on this that builds up to the line ‘Nothing’s real but no one needs to know’.”
On the album, he continues that “’Highlights’ represents the journey we’ve taken as a band over the last three years. Our sound has naturally evolved, and we couldn’t be happier with where it has ended up. These 12 songs are quite literally the highlights from the writing process.”
They then created their EP Reverie during quarantine, with each band member working remotely with producers including Toby Scott (Gorgon City, Pet Shop Boys). The result of Reverie is a collection that features fresh sounds and live energy.
Lo-fi alt/pop band Weston Estate is named in jest after an affluent neighborhood that’s near their hometown of Cary, North Carolina. The band came to be in 2017, making a notable 2018 debut when they performed at an event in their hometown.
“We were playing sad songs and there was a mosh pit. We somehow got a mosh pit out of high-schoolers at a charity event,” remembers Srikar Nanduri (guitar.) Other band members are Manas Panchavati (vocals), Tanmay Joshi (vocals), Abhi Manhass (production, bass), and Marco Luka (vocals.)
They released their single “Saturday Nights” through Arista Records. The sound includes a hip-hop beat amongst a sonic landscape with some adolescent puppy love shaping up the lyrics.
Their experimental sound is inspired by artists like Daniel Caesar, Young Thug, and Frank Ocean, but also taps into influences from their own respective cultures. All are of the band members are of Indian descent besides Marco, who is a first-generation Cuban-American.
“We are rather smart boys…intelligent lads. Our band philosophy is optimistic nihilism. Straight-edged middle-aged women getting lit to our music is our aesthetic.”
Próxima Parada is made up of Nick Larson (vocals, keys, guitar), Kevin Middlekauff (bass), Josh Collins (guitar), and Aaron Kroeger (drums), started in 2013 when then college friends started playing in San Luis Obispo.
They’ve released several full-length albums, keeping with their distinct blend of soulful melody and hard-hitting rhythm.
FUKC band. One part John, one part Lemu. Lemu has a love of electronica and John has an English post-punk obsession. Both of the guys are inspired by ’60s and ’70s French pop.
“Being both English and French, we like to think that we’re the soundtrack to Brexit.”
The duo’s first, recently released single is entitled “My Father’s Son.” The song is a fun, electro/alt mixture that’s quite catchy and a solid first release.
As for what else we can expect from the guys, that would be “loads more new music, videos and sofa surfing.”
“We have so much music we want to get out before we do anything live; we’re totally independent right now so we can release to our own schedule which for us is exciting…maybe one track a month, maybe more. We have plans but we’re going to wait to do live shows; we want them to an be an extravaganza, a portal into the FUKC world, not just a replica of the records.”