With the re-opening of live music venues, countless talented releases, and the emergence of many electrifying artists, 2021 was a good year for music. Whether it be rock, indie, or punk, the alternative music scene within the UK is always one that never lets down.
Unfortunately, there is no space to fit the overwhelming amount of talent that the modern UK scene has to offer, however here are ten of the most enthralling bands and artists to keep a close watch on throughout 2022.
Being born out of lockdown, Carpark create a sound that is reminiscent of the 90s alternative scene, with an indie twist. Picked up by Lauran Hibberd for her UK headline tour, the band supported the pop singer across the continent and most recently played our Never Known NK007 Live Music Night. With their most recent release ‘Happy For a Day’, Carpark have their upcoming EP release party and first headline show on the 4th of February at London’s Laylow.
Photo by Ben Stapleton
2021 has been an impressive year for Essex-hailing alt-rock star Cassyette. With her music being written in lockdown it came as a shock to the musician to make such an impact on the UK alternative scene. Since her debut single ‘Dear Goth’, she has made her festival debut at Download Pilot, made her sold-out UK headline debut, supported Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes across their UK tour, supported Willow Smith, and has an upcoming full UK headline tour this February. There is much more to come for the alternative artist.
Photo by Jessie Rose
The alt-pop singer Cody Frost made her musical debut in 2021 with ‘Verbal Warnings’. The Lancashire-hailing singer has supported Hot Milk across their ‘IJWKWHWID’ tour, as well as at Jack Saunders’ ‘Hopscotch’ and has been picked up by BBC Introducing for their special Manchester gig. 2021 saw the release of her debut EP ‘IT’S NOT REAL’ and her most recent release ‘BERLIN’. 2022 will have much in store for the young artist.
Photo by Naomi Kane
After their sold-out London headline show at ‘The Grace’, Islington, and headlining the Never Known NK007 Live Music Night, London’s Crashface are set for big things. The band led by Charlie Hinton and Otto Balfour, are ones making waves within London’s underground modern punk scene. 2021 saw the release of their debut EP ‘HEAVY INFECTIOUS’. Their most recent single ‘Arguments’ shows off their ferocious sound, and with the same being said for their attitude, then Crashface are not ones to be messed with.
Photo by Ben Stapleton
Making waves within both the fashion and music scene, July Jones is a multi-disciplinary artist, DJ, and model set to make a big impression. 2021 saw her musical debut with ‘Butterflies’ featuring Suzy Wu and Girli, and the founding of Hotdrive with the latter. The artistic duo is using their sound to spread awareness for female and queer representation within music. Having supported Girli on her ‘Damsel in Distress’ tour, she made her live headline debut on December 9th and has plenty more up her sleeve.
Photo by Monika Wilczynska
The Mysterines have big plans for 2022, with the release of their debut full length album ‘Reeling’ and UK Headline tour. The indie rock band are hot off the heels of their hit ‘Hung Up’, and their headline ‘Life’s a Bitch’ tour, also appearing at Jack Saunders’ biggest ‘Hopscotch’ gig to date. There are no signs of slowing down for the London group as they are ready to hit the stage again this March.
Photo by Steve Gullick
THE NINTH WAVE
With the upcoming sophomore album ‘Heavy like a Headache’ releasing on the 11th of March, The Ninth Wave have become perhaps the leading figure within the post-punk new wave scene within the modern alternative community. In the lead up to the release and upcoming tour, co-lead vocalist Haydn Park-Patterson spoke to us about what the album has in store, which can be read on our Subculture and Arts page.
Photo by Ben Stapleton
STORM ST CLAIRE
Storm St Claire, the multi-disciplinary artist, and curator of our Never Known Live Music Nights is one to watch in 2022. The creative, who made her live debut at Camden’s ‘The Dublin Castle’ is set to release her first solo EP ‘STORM HATES THE WORLD AND IT HATES THEM BACK’, an EP that explores themes of self-identity. 2021 saw the release of part one of this project: ‘MY MIND MY BODY’. With her next gig being at The Beehive in Bow, London, it is safe to say that she is an artist to be kept an eye on within London’s underground alternative scene.
Photo by El Hogg
Having most recently performed their Headline UK tour, Glasgow’s VLURE create exhilarating indie inspired by post-punk and electronica, seen since their debut single ‘Shattered Faith’ releasing in 2021. With their debut EP ‘Euphoria’ releasing on the 25th of March, we can only lie in wait for what the four piece have in store for the rest of the upcoming year.
Photo by Marilena Vlachopoulou
The dark alt-pop artist Zand is only just getting started. Having recently released ‘I Spit On Your Grave’, Zand has created their own universe of music entitled “Ugly Pop,” tackling often taboo topics with her anti-pop sound. 2021 saw them supporting Bob Vylan on tour, as well as Hot Milk amongst others. With 2020 seeing the release of their debut EP, much is to be expected from them in 2022.
Photo by Sophie Thompson
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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