Chuffed to Bits: 25 MORE British Music Artists You Should Be Listening To

I’d like to start this with one word:  WOW.  Just… WOW.  To be honest, I was simply blown away by how many people clicked the “Like” button on Facebook for my list of 25 British Music Artists You Should Be Listening To.  Seriously, I was flabbergasted.   I never imagined when I was writing it that as many people would read it as they did, and that it would be as widely circulated and shared as it was.  After all, it’s just one girl’s opinion, and music is highly subjective.  So I offer my gratitude to everyone who took the time to read it, share it, and comment on it.  From the bottom of my music loving, Anglophile heart, a profound and sincere thank you.

And because there were so many fantastic artists suggested by readers, as well as so many artists that I didn’t include on my first list, I felt compelled to compile a second list.  So I spent many hours listening to lots and lots of music.  Yeah, I know…. Poor me.  But yay for you because I did all the hard work, and now you can benefit from the fruits of my labour.  Don’t you just love how that works out?

So here, in no particular order, are 25 MORE British music artists that I think you should be listening to.

  1. Plan B. This rapper/soul singer from Forest Gate in East London was suggested to me in the reader comments of my last list, and once I heard the song She Said, that was it.  I was a goner.  The best way I can think of to describe the sound and style of Plan B (a.k.a. Ben Drew) is Smokey Robinson meets Eminem, but with an English accent. The three songs I fancy most of his are all from his concept album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, which is scheduled for release in the States in April of this year.  I’m counting down the days.  Mark my words, this guy is going to be huge in the U.S., and he’s already well on his way: he’s playing at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in April.  Highly recommended.  Listen: Stay Too Long, Love Goes Down, She Said
  2. Daughter (Elena Tonra). This is another fabulous reader recommendation from my first list.  Hailing from North London, Daughter—also known as Elena Tonra—has a pure, lingering voice and in some ways, she reminds me of Laura Marling (see my first list).  She’s young (only 19!), ridiculously talented, and writes beautiful songs that will just break your heart.  I’m still stunned that her 4 track demo EP is available for download for FREE.  Yes, FREE.  Check out her MySpace page for details.  This girl can’t be missed.  Listen: Your Kisses, In The Shallows, Run
  3. Elbow. The same music loving friend who introduced me to Bad Lieutenant (see my first list) a few years back orchestrated my introduction to Elbow, and I’m very grateful to him for that.  This band from Ramsbottom in Greater Manchester creates captivating, dreamy melodies, and Guy Garvey’s voice… I could seriously listen to this man sing the phonebook. They are the 2008 winners of the Mercury Music Prize for their album, The Seldom Seen Kid, which is where you should start your relationship with them.  Their next offering, Build a Rocket Boys!, is slated for release in March of 2011.  Listen: Starlings, One Day Like This, Lippy Kids
  4. The Daydream Club. The beautiful harmonies of Adam Pickering and Paula Walker are ethereal and haunting, and their debut album, Overgrown, is just charming all the way around.  The duo, based in Leicestershire in the East Midlands area of England, was recently selected to participate in the BBC Introducing Musicians’ Masterclass at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.  Pretty fantastic, huh?  When I asked them what they wanted listeners to know about their music, they said, “We wanted to create something honest and real… We wanted people to be impressed by us and our songs, no gimmicks… just us.  We hope that the listener gains an intimate, personal experience from our music.”  Indeed they will.  The Daydream Club is perfect chill-out music; pure, soothing, and lovely.  Listen: On The Move, The Record Shop, In The Arms of Another Day
  5. The Vaccines. I really love these guys.  This London-based band only formed in 2010, but they are already making their presence known in a very big way.  Their sound has a Ramones punk quality to it that is infectious and addictive.  Listening to The Vaccines makes me want to put my Doc Martens on and dance around.  Crossing my fingers that they tour the U.S. so I can see them live.  Listen: Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra), Blow It Up, Post Break-Up Sex
  6. Rox. Another awesome reader recommendation from my first list, Rox is a soul singer hailing from Norbury in London.  And man, does this girl have some pipes.  Her song, My Baby Left Me, is what initially drew me in.  Citing Sade and Lauryn Hill as influences, this alumna of the legendary BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology was also selected as HMV’s Next Big Thing.  Check her out.  You won’t be disappointed.   Listen: My Baby Left Me, I Don’t Believe, Forever Always Wishing
  7. The Boxer Rebellion. This alt-rock band was formed in London, and consists of two Englishmen, an American, and an Aussie.  I love The Boxer Rebellion’s sound.  It’s dark and brooding at times, and really gets under my skin.  Their third studio album, The Cold Still, was just released in the U.S., and they recently appeared as the musical guests on The Late Show with David Letterman.  They are definitely ones to watch.  Listen: Step Out of the Car, Flashing Red Light Means Go, Evacuate
  8. Noah and the Whale. If you’re experiencing heartbreak, you really need Noah and the Whale for your wallow.  This is aching, gut-wrenchingly sad music that will help soothe your pain and mend your soul.  Lead singer Charlie Fink’s own painful break-up from former band member Laura Marling actually inspired the album The First Days of Spring, and the heartbreak that permeates his voice just makes me want to find him and give him a hug.  Their next studio album, which is apparently more upbeat, is scheduled for release in March of 2011.  I can’t wait to check it out.  Listen: 5 Years Time, My Broken Heart, Blue Skies
  9. The Lowly Knights. These blokes from Belfast have a folksy pop sound that I dug right from the jump.  Great harmonies, catchy melodies, and an energy that permeates their recordings.  I desperately want to see them perform live.  They’ve put out three EPs thus far, and they’re another one of those bands to keep a close eye on, because they’re going to be huge.  Listen: You Can’t Help Who You Love, Devotion, You Can Tell A Man By How He Lifts His Hands
  10. La Roux. Elly Jackson’s voice rocks my socks off.  In fact, La Roux’s song Bulletproof is the ring tone on my mobile phone.  Jackson, along with Ben Langmaid, creates electropop songs that you will find yourself humming for days after hearing them.  Hailing from Brixton in London, La Roux is a must-have for any fan of the Brit pop genre.  Listen: Bulletproof, As If By Magic, In for the Kill
  11. Foals. Another great reader recommendation from my first list.  Foals is a five-piece band from Oxford, England that is a favourite of music critics and listeners alike.  Their second album, Total Life Forever, was nominated in 2010 for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize.  Their sound fluctuates from indie rock to alternative dance, and is just really pleasing to the ears.  They are fast becoming one of my new favourite bands.  Listen: This Orient, Spanish Sahara, Miami
  12. The Hoosiers. The Hoosiers were a big part of the reason I felt compelled to make this second list.  I first heard these guys when they appeared on an episode of Live from Abbey Road.  They played Goodbye Mr. A, and I was putty in their hands.  I still find myself singing the hook in that song from time to time.  This is English pop/rock at its finest.  Their second album, The Illusion of Safety, was released in 2010, but I recommend beginning with their excellent first album, The Trick to Life, if you’re new to their music.  Listen: Goodbye Mr. A, Run Rabbit Run, Unlikely Hero
  13. Jamie Woon. Another wonderful reader recommendation from my last list.  Hailing from New Malden in Kingston upon Thames in London, Woon has opened for fellow BRIT School alum Amy Winehouse, and his debut album is set to be released in April of 2011.  He describes his own music as “R&B… groove-based, vocal-led music…”  Woon is amazingly talented.  Watch his video for Spirits on YouTube, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.  Listen: Spirits, Night Air, Spiral
  14. Little Boots. If you like Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears (and yes, I know you’re out there, closet Britney fans), you’ll love Little Boots.  Also known as Victoria Christina Hesketh, I first heard her music when she was featured on Last Call with Carson Daly a few years back.  Originally from Blackpool, Lancashire in England, her electro-dance pop sound and hooks will invade your brain.  Pick up her album Hands, and get ready to shake your money maker.  Listen: Remedy, Hearts Collide, New In Town
  15. Alan Pownall. This singer/songwriter from North London was another great reader recommendation from the last list.  Fun facts: he was the opening act for Adele (see my first list) on her debut tour, and he once lived in a flat above Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall from Mumford & Sons with his friend, Justin Young of The Vaccines (see #6).  Pownall’s sound is reminiscent of Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz.  It makes me crave a hammock on the beach, a floppy hat, and a drink with an umbrella in it.  Listen: Chasing Time, Take Me, Colourful Day
  16. Paloma Faith. Paloma hails from Hackney in London, and has a jazzy, soulful sound that begs comparison to Duffy, Amy Winehouse, and even the incomparable Etta James.  Her theatrical image and stage style kind of reminds me of Lady Gaga, sans the meat dress.  She’s also a 2011 BRIT Awards nominee and sometime actress, appearing on television and in films. Paloma has a great sound, and a whole lot of sass.  Listen: Upside Down, New York, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful
  17. Mt. Desolation. Another great reader recommendation.  I love the band Keane, so when I heard that Keane members Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quin had started an alt-country band as a side project, I felt compelled to check it out.  I’m so glad I did.  Rice-Oxley and Quin are the principal members of Mt. Desolation, and they have some impressive secondary members and guest artists that include Pete Roe (see #19) as well as members of The Killers, Noah and the Whale (see #9), and Mumford & Sons.  Listen: Bitter Pill, State of Our Affairs, Departure
  18. Pete Roe. Another fantastic reader recommendation from my last list.  This singer/songwriter from Bristol, England could be a folk singer transplant from the 1960s, and is a supporting act, as well as a band member, for my beloved Laura Marling.  Roe’s 4-song EP, The Merry-Go-Round, has been in constant play on my iPod since I got it.  His sound is mellow, catchy, and extremely pleasing to the ears.  Listen: Bellina, Oh Susannah, The Merry-Go-Round
  19. Fossil Collective. It was a complete fluke that I even discovered this indie rock duo from the UK.  Whilst listening to a Fleet Foxes song on YouTube one day, I noticed a recommendation for Fossil Collective in the comments section.  I entered a search for their song On and On, and BAM!  I was in love.  I hear elements of Travis and Midlake in their sound, and I think you should get their EP, Honey Slides, right now.  Seriously.  Off you go.  Listen: On and On, Without a Fight, When Frank Became an Orb
  20. Peggy Sue. Yet another lovely reader recommendation from my last list.  Peggy Sue is an indie pop/folk duo from Brighton, England.  They’ve toured with Kate Nash (see my first list) and Mumford & Sons, and are currently recording their second album.  I adore the lovely harmonies these ladies create, and I think you will, too.  Listen: Lover Gone, Shape We Made, Watchman
  21. White Lies. Another awesome reader recommendation.  This alt-rock band from Ealing in London has a dark, powerful sound that draws comparisons to The Killers, Joy Division, and Interpol, and they cite Talking Heads as one of their influences.  Their latest album, Ritual, was released in January of 2011, and is excellent.  It’s in regular rotation on my iPod.  Listen: Bigger Than Us, Peace & Quiet, Strangers
  22. Lulu and the Lampshades. I found out about this quirky pop-folk band from Bristol when I saw a viral video of two of their members singing whilst doing an amazing cups routine to their song, You’re Gonna Miss Me. I explored further via a Google search, and discovered a zany, whimsical sound that I really loved.  Listen: You’re Gonna Miss Me, Feet to the Sky, Impasse
  23. Andrew Davie. Another reader recommendation from my first list.  This London-based singer/songwriter is up-and-coming, and extremely talented.  He’s supported the likes of bands such as Mumford & Sons, and cites Tom Waits, Daniel Johnston, and Elliott Smith as influences.  Andrew’s got the goods.  Do yourself a favour and check him out.  Listen: Elysium, Lie Down, Dangerous Thoughts
  24. Hurts. I stumbled upon this English synthpop duo from Manchester on Absolute Radio (which you should listen to, if you don’t already).  Hurts finished in 4th place in the BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll, and their song Illuminated has been featured on television shows like Bones, Fringe, and House.  Their sound reminds me a bit of the Pet Shop Boys; radio-friendly songs with great hooks.  Listen: Wonderful Life, Illuminated, Better Than Love
  25. Lucky Soul. Lucky Soul is a six-piece indie pop band hailing from Greenwich in South East London.  They remind me of their labelmates, Camera Obscura and The School (see my first list), and at times, I also hear elements of The Cardigans.  I get a great 1960s, retro vibe from their sound.  Their fun, swingy style is like Pixie Stix for your ears. Listen: Struck Dumb, Up In Flames, Southern Melancholy

Comments

  1. avatarJ says

    Ahhhh…. and now we have Alan on the list I am totally on board. Plus Noah & The Whale, The Vaccines, and others… nice taste!

  2. avatar says

    Thanks for all the recommendations! On a recent trip to the UK, I discovered some cool new bands that are along the lines of Blur, Arctic Monkeys, and The Beatles.

    Check out the following: The Holloways, The Twang, The Hot Melts, The Draymin, The Law, The Rifles, The Answering Machine, Grammatics, Jon Windle, and Little Man Tate.

    If I had to recommend just a couple, start with The Holloways’ most recent album, No Smoke No Mirrors. Then move on to The Twang’s Jewellery Quarter. Follow with Jon Windle’s Step Out The Man. All available on US iTunes.

  3. avatarDJ in San Diego says

    I already love half the artists you’ve named here, I can’t wait to check out the others! It seems we have very similar tastes in music. :-)

    • avatarAmie says

      Um, because I’d never heard of them before I read your comment. ;-) Thanks for reading, and for the rec, Sara! :-)

  4. avatar says

    I stumbled upon your list while I was checking out the Daydream Club’s myspace page-you’ve got wikkid taste in music Amie, it’s right up my street!!!I’m in a band too you see, called Lola King and the Kickstarts, and we’re good friends with Paula and Adam (Daydream club), infact they lived with us in London for a while!!!! We’re releasing our new E.P.” To Love, To Bounce, To Be Brave”, soon and would love to know what you think of it!! You can find all 3 tracks from the E.P on our myspace page…..
    myspace.com/lolakingandthekickstarts
    xxx Lola xxx

    • avatarAmie says

      Hi Lola-

      Thanks so much for the compliment, and for taking the time to read this piece and comment. :-)

      I had a listen to some of your songs, and I LOVE your sound! From the first 10 seconds of “Bang!”, you had me. Brilliant hooks, and your voice is fab! Will your EP be available on iTunes in the U.S.?

      Thanks again for reading. ;-) xx

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