No article on Liverpool and music would be complete without mentioning The Beatles so we're getting it out of the way early; John, Paul, George & Ringo’s music changed the world. Fact. They cast a light across the Mersey and left a pretty big shadow. But there were great artists in Liverpool before The Beatles and there has been many a great artist since, Billy Fury was having chart success from the late fifties and Gerry & The Pacemakers debut single reached #1 in March 1963, granted it was only a month before The Beatles managed to get to #1 with their third single ‘From Me to You’ in April ’63.
Beatlemania and the Merseybeat legacy lives on; Liverpool has been renowned for producing some of the best talent from every generation since the 60’s; Elvis Costello, Echo & The Bunnymen, The La’s, Lightning Seeds, The Wombats, The Coral… we could go on.
Right now you have the likes of Miles Kane, Circa Waves, Dan Croll and Stealing Sheep all receiving critical acclaim. Meaning Liverpool is still very much a hotbed for great musicians and artists, a city that nearly half a century after The Beatles called it quits, is still brimming with raw, natural talent.
So with that in mind, we bring you 20 Liverpool Bands you need to hear now…
Effortlessly cool, having already supported Blur and The Who at Hyde Park, Sugarmen’s infectious melodies are a great place to start this list, they were one of our favourite’s at this years Dot To Dot Festival. Check out their new single 'Plastic Ocean' below.
Lo Fi brilliance signed to Heavenly Records. For fans of Parquet Courts and bands of a similar ilk, their debut album ‘Highest Point In Cliff Town’ is one of our favourites from 2015. They are set to support label mates The Wytches at The Garage on 26th November so keep an eye for our videos from that gig.
Rock and Rollers retaining their pop sensibilities, The Levons' evocative guitars and harmonies have them clearly wearing their sixties influence on their sleeves. Even their name is a nod towards the drummer from The Band, Levon Helm. The video for ‘Too Strange’ can be watched below (nice choice of attire), looking forward to hearing more from these guys very soon.
Baroque pop, folk-tinged psych, Sundowners influences are clear when you listen to their beautifully crafted songs (Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds etc), but always managing to put their own stamp on them. They have gained a reputation for being incredible live whilst out on the road with the likes of Kasabian last year and earning comparisons to contemporaries like GOAT and Tame Impala is only a good thing.
Describing themselves purely as ‘Scouse Psych Pop’ but you can hear so much more at play here, taking cues from garage rock of the sixties as well as the revival in the noughties you can tell why these guys are renowned for their frenetic live shows.
Mesmerising out-of-this-world folk from acoustic singer songwriter Marvin Powell. His dark, melancholy lyrics are delivered beautifully over a wash of jangling psych tinged folk guitars, evoking the likes of Nick Drake and Donovan.
Co-founding member of The Coral and more recently a touring guitarist for the Arctic Monkeys, Bill Ryder-Jones is already well established in the Liverpool music scene. However his solo work in recent is years is well deserving of a spot on this list, especially his latest album 'West Kirby County Primary' released at the start of November.
Starting out as a solo project for Louisa Roach (but "has since become so much more than she"). She Drew The Gun have drawn a number of comparisons to Portishead due to their atmospheric sound and the hypnotic storytelling delivery of the lyrics. They can count Steve Lamacq amongst their admirers, and will likely have their debut album ready early in 2016.
Indie Rockers The Protagonists reformed at the start of the new year with new members and a new sound to boot. Catchy hooks with plenty of reverb gives the British R&B influenced sound a thrashing and the vocals delivered in a distinctly contemporary indie manner. The single 'Ribcage' released earlier this year on Sugarhouse Records is a belter.
Visitors blend Garage Rock with Grunge, complete with all the blues inspired bass lines and guitar riffs drenched in fuzz as those genres imply. Reminiscent of Royal Blood and the earlier records by The Black Keys, as well as Ty Segall's side project Fuzz (often cited as an influence). Check out the video for 'Stay Away' taken from their EP 'Truth'.
We Are Catchers bring some Californian sunshine from the west coast of America all the way to the west coast of Britain. Melodically and stylistically owing a lot to The Beach Boys, We Are Catchers 2014 debut is full of harmonies and piano melodies that wouldn't seem out of place on Pet Sounds.
Signed to legendary local label Deltasonic The Vryll Society make beautifully crafted, melodic space rock, earning them favourable comparisons to the likes of The Stone Roses. Their recently released debut EP Pangea is both majestic and groovy, enough to stimulate both the mind and soul.
Waves of shimmering, languid guitars reminiscent of, and approved by Nick McCabe, coupled with distant dreamy vocals, Sunstack Jones are a shoegaze-y, psyche-pop outfit in it for making great albums. Number 3 is set to drop imminently but until then check out latest single Lighthouse below.
Indie with a dose mathrock, a formula we've heard before through Foals but delivered here with renewed energy and honesty. Catchy hooks, heavy guitar riffs and a raw vocal delivery, it's no wonder Moats have already trotted the globe playing shows in Austin, Texas after winning an unsigned band competition last year.
For fans of Thee Oh Sees, White Fence and the like, Strange Collective play Garage Rock; full of fuzz drenched malicious licks; it's organised chaos and bags of fun.
Describing themselves as 'The Bee Gees on diazapam' listening to All We Are's self titled debut album released earlier this year, you fully see what they mean. Beautifully high-pitched harmonies over catchy, trippy melodies. Very cool, very chilled.
Progressive neo-psych music here, soulful soaring vocals stand out and wash over you in a haze of rhythmic psychedelia, whilst keeping one foot firmly in its roots of Blues and Soul.
Dreamy psych-pop, sweeping guitar melodies and vocals with a hint of melancholy, all drenched in reverb. The drumbeats and synths give them that electronic/disco feel, reminiscent of Tame Impala's latest effort 'Currents' or The Horrors on 'Luminous'.
Indie Rock done right, with loads of energy, big hooks, catchy choruses and infectious melodies. Lives have been locked away for a while honing their sound but we're expecting some new tunes from these guys very soon.
Shamona's influences are deeply rooted in 60s R&B, Blues, Folk and Rock. Their sound also retains all the classic pop sensibilities of the big artists from that golden era of music. Check out their EP below.
To find out more about any of the artists here, simply click on the red band/artist name to link through to their Twitter profile, where you can follow and them to keep track of the next time they'll be playing near you.
We'll have another list for you soon, so until then, KEEP THE FAITH - the bands are out there, and let us know if there's a band that would make a good addition to this list or future lists!