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Manchester Bands: Ones to watch for 2021

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Our story began in Manchester in 1981. A city in the North of England, Manchester at that time, was bleak, poverty-stricken and depressed from industrial decline. Yet, there remained a defiant relentless creativity from the true melting pot of sub-cultures that co-existed there.

Forty years later and the city has doubled down on its creativity and is bursting with energy. We are releasing a selection of Manchester-themed articles to celebrate our roots. Starting off, we bring you a selection of the most exciting bands from Manchester to watch for 2021.

Phoebe Green

Signing to Chess Club Records and releasing her EP ‘I Can’t Cry for You’ proves 2020 was a great year for Phoebe but it certainly doesn’t stop there. The EP’s single ‘Reinvent’, co-written with the Big Moon’s Julia Jackson, features film-soundtrack style retro synths and diary-entry style lyrics flowing softly over. Her raw indie-pop is the perfect soundtrack to uplift a cold January morning.

Follow Phoebe Green on Facebook here


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Manchester Band Separator. Photo by Carolina Sepúlveda

Arising from Manchester’s darker alternative scene, Separator slice through traditional post-punk with a modern groovy and gritty sound. The 6-piece, with their howling guitars, and heavily accented growling vocals have shaken up the Manchester DIY scene. Laying down secure foundations with their debut EP in 2020 that echoes psychedelic, classic and space rock amongst an eerie backdrop, the Manchester band is certainly one to watch for this year.

Follow Separator on Facebook here


Loose Articles

Self-proclaimed ‘Feminine & Threatening. Working & Class’, 4-piece Loose Articles blend garage rock and punk, championing feminine energy. Their latest single ‘Up the Disco’ proves the band have not been sitting quietly: sharp, repetitive and rolling guitar hooks, thumping basslines and punchy vocals with plenty of snarls from vocalist Natalie.

Follow Loose Articles on Facebook here

To check out some of the other female bands making a racket in Manchester check out our article here


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Manchester Band Delights. Photo by Delights Facebook

Merging indie pop, funk and dream pop, Delights’ self-proclaimed ‘kaleidoscopic guitar janglers’ are truly a delight for the ears. Providing cathartic lightness from a too often dark and grey city, Delights make us yearn for the summer months to come.

Follow Delights on Facebook here

Working Men’s Club

Perhaps Manchester’s biggest success story from the past year is Working Men’s Club. Championing Manchester’s iconic rave spirit through repeating guitar hooks, juicy drum beats and spoken word style vocals the band have caused a stir since the release of their debut self-titled album last year. Having appeared on Jools Holland in 2020 and set to support iconic Manchester band New Order this year (fingers crossed), Working Men’s Club are proving their piercing sound is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

Follow Working Men’s Club on Facebook here


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Manchester Band Document. Photo by Shot By Phox

There’s no doubt post-punk outfit Document are set to make a huge storm in 2021 after establishing themselves as a key member in the city’s post-punk revival since their birth last year. Ominous, drudging, heavy riffs, blasting sardonic vocals make us long for a violent and sweaty mosh pit this year.

Follow Document on Facebook here


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Manchester Band Foxglove. Photo by Vic Utting Photography

Manchester’s indie pop quartet Foxglove’s layer ambient, hazy guitars with vocalist Abi’s powerful pop vocals. For fans of Pale Waves or HAIM, their infectious pop anthems provide pure escapism that we can’t get enough of.

Follow Foxglove on Facebook here

For more info on Manchester and its subcultures check out our Manchester book section here

Underground Soundwave presents an ongoing series of reports on emerging and established bands with close-up Q&As, new release reviews and gig reports with a special emphasis on supporting diversity in music, women in music, independent labels and venues and the local music scene.

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