York is often overlooked when it comes to tallying Yorkshire's contributions to musical culture. With nearby Sheffield, Leeds, and Hull producing so many bands over the last couple of decades it's easy to forget that Shed Seven came from York and The Seahorses formed in there too despite John Squire's Madchester background. More recently bands such as King No-One have quietly carved out a niche and achieved a national audience with their brand of post-indie pop, and as with any city, if you look under the surface you will find bands. We take a look to see which 10 bands from York you need to hear now.
A hard-rocking fuzzy indie four-piece for fans of Arctic Monkeys and Bluetones, Hello Operator count the legendary Toni Visconti among their fans, the peerless producer stating "I've never travelled this far to see a band. Hello Operator exceeded my wildest dreams - They rock harder than anyone". Judge for yourself with their latest release 'I Created A Monster'.
Part Time Miserables
Continuing the great tradition of the grunge three-piece, Part Time Miserables possess an explosive quality that is often missing from bands seeking to work within the genre. The band have already earned themselves a reputation for strong live sets supporting acts in the UK and US and their eponymous debut EP is out now. Listen to the lead track 'Come Undone' below.
Describing her style as soulful folk Laura Kindelan's performance style is deceptively modern and very accessible for fans of either ingredient genre. That said, Laura's latest song, 'Sipping Whisky' was launched at one of York's most unique venues, The National Centre For Early Music, a venue based in a medieval church with a year-round program of diverse folk and other forms of music from music's pre-pop history. Check out the song below.
'Stay At Home', the lead track from PEACH's recent 'Down Season' kicks off with a delightful jangle reminiscent of Celebrity Skin era Hole, before changing tack and becoming a much more angular song. PEACH are not just a soundalike band, though their music does seem to make some reassuring references to the '90s guitar scenes on either side of The Atlantic. Watch their animated video for 'Stay At Home' here.
A band worth checking out for those that enjoyed the emergence a couple of years ago of young bands such as Pretty Vicious and The Sherlocks. The five-piece recently appeared at Yorkshire's Tramlines festival where they performed at The Fringe on the same billing as False Heads and Breed.
The Howl & The Hum
Another group of four lads - but this four-piece are a bit different to your standard indie four-piece. Their latest release 'Don't Shoot The Storm' is great fun to listen to while maintaining a deep, dark undercurrent. They describe themselves as "a miserable disco who write Bond themes for films where Jimmy is still hung up on that girl... with lyrics that make you call your mum the next morning". If they continue in the same vein this is a band who will fit into This Feeling line-ups while also not looking out of place at The Lexington alongside bands such as Sorry or Fontaines DC.
Welsh-born, York-based, it's early days for Kell Chambers, but if his single 'Wildfire' is anything to go on then this is another artist who will be straddling the genres of urban-soul and folkish guitar playing. Sadly for York, Kell will soon be relocating to Brighton to pursue his music professionally.
An artist who seems to split his time between skilful solo guitar backed renditions of soulful singer-songwriting and experimental ambient recordings. Ray Willis certainly has the skills to make a dent in either world, or both.
Highly proficient players with a knack for restrained reverbed guitars, Violet Contours display a range of sounds demonstrated across songs including 'Hold On', 'Ghana' and 'D.O.T', something that many bands don't seem interested in doing these days. Hopefully, they'll maintain the variety as they evolve.
Clever lyrics with a healthy amount of cynicism make Silvertones stand out from the indie guitar jangle crowd. Listing The Cribs, The Strokes and Oasis as their main influences there's actually a lot about this three-piece that may remind listeners of indie bands a bit further back in history - think NME darlings circa 1991 and you'll be in the right ballpark.