Berlin Sound

20 Berlin Bands You Need To Hear Now

Thursday 10th August 2017

Berlin duo Gurr

From Tangerine Dream to Rammstein, Berlin has given the world some impressive bands, not to mention nightlife that has included iconic clubs such as Berghain and The Dschungel. With its unique history of division and reunification, Germany's liberal capital has attracted and nurtured musical talent from around the world, with the likes of Bowie and Iggy Pop setting up camp in the legendary Hansa Tonstudio for much of their acclaimed late 1970s output. We now look to the new generation of Berlin bands that you need to hear now.

Gurr
One of Berlin's hotly tipped emerging bands, and one that has also enjoyed success on the UK live circuit. Andreya Casablanca and Laura Lee Jenkins met in their American studies class in Berlin, before spending time in the US and soaking up West Coast culture and coining the term for their own genre, First Wave Gurrlcore. Their debut album, 'In My Head' was recorded at Berlin's Funkhaus which was once an East German radio studio.

I Heart Sharks
Made up of a mix of British and German members, but Berlin based, I Heart Sharks are considered one of the leading indie bands from the city and combine guitar-orientated elements of British indie with more typical Berlin influenced electronics.  

Ziúr
Dark, unsettling techno for fans of Haxan Cloak, Factory Floor, patten and Holly Herndon. As well as making music, Ziúr also organises BOO HOO one of Berlin's most talked about club nights. The debut album from Ziúr is expected in October 2017.

Grossstadtgeflüster
Based in Kreuzberg, famous for its DIY creative culture, this irreverent electronic hip-hop trio is Berlin's lo-fi answer to Die Antwoord. Watch their latest video below.

Lary
With an urban bass driven flavour to her varied and socially aware pop output, Lary has won over festival crowds at home and abroad.

Olson
Another urban Kreuzberg resident, Olson's rap background can be heard on most of his work, although his recent collaboration with Lary (see above) 'Lieblingsongs' sees a softer poppier approach.

Mia
One of Germany's brightest indie-rock bands, Mia recently made a light-hearted hat tip to German greats Kraftwerk in their all new collaboration with singer Balbina. Video below.

Balbina
The guest vocal on the track above, Balbina has a deeply introspective and slightly avant garde approach to pop and performance. For fans of Bjork and Robyn.

Judith Holofernes
Like many German artists and bands, Judith Holofernes is not scared of using pop to convey and communicate her ideas. Her latest track 'Analogpunk 2.0' is a retro-gaming inspired song that dips between retro '90s indie pop and rap.

Jennifer Rostock
Fronted by Jennifer Weist With elements of hard rock and urban tinged electronics, Jennifer Rostock have a nu-metal sound reminiscent of the American bands that gave rise to the genre in the late '90s but with an up to date European, female driven outlook.

SXTN
A provocative hip-hop duo that wouldn't be out of place sharing a billing with Ho99o9 or Death Grips, SXTN turn the stereotypical ideas of women in hip hop on their head. Check out their latest 'Die FTZN Sind Wieder Da' below.

Ana Ana
Germany and Berlin both have a given reputation for producing electronic artists, and Ana Ana describes her music simply as Berlin electro pop, although her sound seems to owe more of its ancestry to artists such as Massive Attack and Portishead.

Evvol
Comprising of Irish singer Julie Chance and Australian instrumentalist Jane Arnison, Evvol is a darkwave electronic duo currently based in Kreuzberg. Evvol has been commissioned by Berlin's Pop-Kultur festival to create and perform a work entitled 'Human Resonance', promising to expand on the band's prominent themes of the human condition.

Lyra
Lyra Pramuk is a performance artist who moved to Berlin three years ago, quickly becoming a central character in the city's club scene with her experimental performance art orientated pieces.

Laisse-Moi
Like a Hyper-real airbrushed rendering of the 1980s electro/club scene, Laisse-Moi make big synth-pop with deep breathy female vocals in the vein of Yazoo. 

Tellavision
Avant garde, not quite fully electronic music, with a rich, refreshing, broad palette of varied sonic textures. Tellavision is an unconventional outfit with an unconventional sound that doesn't really fit into any specific genre. 

Slow Steve
Mellow indie pop with an extra warmth added by a generous amount of analogue synth. Slow Steve is signed to influential Berlin indie label Morr Music. 

Mother of the Unicorn
Mother of The Unicorn is actually a side project of Slow Steve (see above) and take the use of warm organ tones one step further. Change your preconceptions about line-dancing by watching their video for 'Perky' below.

Roosevelt
Signed to City Slang, another Berlin indie label whose roster includes artists such as Sinkane and The Notwist, Roosevelt make super slick dancefloor friendly tracks that have a definite Giorgio Moroder vibe.

Diät
Berlin's post-Cold War moodiness is arguably more and more replaced by multiculturalism and tourist friendly destinations, but Diät's music, described by the band as tough new wave, has a wonderful bleak quality that will appeal to fans of Joy Division and similarly dark bands of the early '80s. 


Thanks to everyone who made suggestions or got in touch to be involved.

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