When you think of Liverpool, what do you think of? The historic and fierce football rivalry? The beautiful skyline that can be seen over the River Mersey? The warmth and feistiness of its’ people?
The first thing many will think of when they hear the name is the music scene and the great bands who came from and were nurtured within Liverpool. Acts like The Beatles, The La’s, Dead Or Alive, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Coral, and Miles Kane (Okay, technically he’s from the Wirral, but still).
With so much musical history in the city, there’s a lot of weight on the shoulders of local bands to carry on this legacy, and in certain parts of Liverpool, there isn’t a corner you can turn without hearing an acoustic group’s noise blaring out of a pub. Or if you get down to the Baltic Triangle, there will be several up-and-coming acts playing a set.
Luckily, we can say that most of these bands make a lot of our favourite music, so here are some of our best picks we think everyone should be listening to.
Starting the feature with one of the most prominent bands on the list, RATS are a group that just have that special feeling you can’t quite describe when listening to their music. The easiest way to explain it is to say their first single, Weekend, which was released back in 2018, is the first track I look for when making a new playlist.
With influences from all genres, RATS bring a sense of variety and surprise to each of their songs. Their most recent release, Dreams, has a near psychedelic, mellow and coincidentally dreamy feel to it, whereas JACK features a verse from UK hip-hop legend Skinnyman. This band of a thousand sounds creates music that I can only describe as “anything goes scally rock”. With murmurs of an EP in the works, I can confidently say that they’re ones to watch.
Alright! She’s not from Liverpool, but I feel this is an opportunity to show that talent can come from outside of the city too, and Abi is a perfect example of this. Her songwriting ability shows no restraint and a lot of creativity, with her first single, James’ Corsa, being written about losing her phone on a bus.
Her incredible vocals, mixed with hard-hitting indie-rock, creates a classic sound that you’ll find you can’t get enough of.
I first heard of The Letrasets when they supported Indoor Pets in April last year. Watching them live told me everything I need to know about them. They’re just a bunch of mates making dirty pop music that’s fun to listen to.
Sticking to the theme of dirty pop bands, ZULU are one of the best on the scene.
Fusing a vintage pop sound with modern psychedelic rock, their recent single, Tether, reaffirms the group as one of the most exciting young acts in Liverpool.
What can I say about this fellow then? He’s a jack of all trades, creates easy sounding guitar music, has soft vocals, and is a genuinely lovely guy.
His most famous song, Crazy About Her, summarises how we all feel about CSP and his fun bedroom indie-pop. A few weeks ago, after we all realised this whole lockdown thing might take longer than expected, he wrote, produced and released Quarantine to guarantee a smile on the face of its listeners, and I think I speak for everyone when I say it worked. Keep doing what you’re doing, king.
I was first introduced to The Kairos when I heard their debut single, Money Mind, and thought “wow, surely it can’t get any better from such a strong start”. Then at the beginning of this year, they released Teetotal, and I thought the same thing again. After hearing their unreleased tunes when they supported RATS at the Invisible Wind Factory, I realised that they’re going to keep improving the more songs they release.
Another band from RATS’ Invisible Wind Factory show and one you’ll surely remember if you see them perform live, STONE’s punk and poetic lyrics charge the bassy tunes with the power and potency that the music deserves.
The intensity can definitely be hard to keep up with, but if you manage to, you’ll be singing about nights out and social media for as long as your lungs will let you.
A fresh and exciting band, Ask Elliot have quickly established themselves as one of the most promising young acts of Liverpool, sneaking in a sold-out performance at the Arts Club before all of the music venues were forced to shut.
Quickly releasing four singles, each offering something different for the listener while keeping to the soft rock sound that they have shown to be masters of, my favourite is Honey; an acoustic and mellow tune that gets you in the mood to fall in love.