UPCOMER – LELO

Another top-notch local Leeds artist for you – the Northern cultural capital is bustling with brilliant music this year. This time, we’re introducing mellow dream-pop solo project LELO and his debut single ‘HOME’. ‘HOME’ is a slow, purely acoustic track, at once uplifting and nostalgia-provoking, and a perfect listen for lovers of musicians like Bear’s Den and Luke Sital-Singh – and perhaps providing a source of comfort during this slightly scary, post-election period of uncertainty. Look out for LELO’s debut EP to be released on July 10th and if you’re in Leeds, catch him at Oporto on July 16th.

UPCOMER: Tom Branfoot

A local Leeds artist with an exquisite, dark new single ‘Knees Please’. Influenced by Nick Cave and James Blake, Branfoot has settled upon a sombre brand of pop, and one which is really somewhat different to what other upcoming bands on the Leeds scene have to offer. There’s a majestic, smooth quality to both the vocals and fragmentary instrumental of ‘Knees Please’, which is as unnerving as it is entrancing, and it’s no wonder that his single release show at Wharf Chambers a couple of weeks ago was so successful. Definitely music which stays with you even after the song has ended. Make sure to catch Tom Branfoot supporting PILL at Headrow House on May 30th.

BAND OF THE WEEK – Laminate Pet Animal

After seeing these guys live last week, I can honestly say I can’t recommend their music enough.

A local Leeds band, they mainly play small gigs in intimate venues – I caught them at the Brudenell. I’d listened to them online before, but it really doesn’t do them the same justice as it did hearing them live: the entire soundscape they use and the atmosphere they created was stunning. They have a good selection of songs released so far on Spotify – my personal favourite being ‘Once’ – but if you’re in the area, you really need to catch them at their next gig.

Here’s their latest release:

BAND OF THE WEEK – THE WHOLLS

British alt-rock band whose musical careers are sure to be kick-started by their appearances at Reading & Leeds this weekend. They first burst onto the scene just last year, with explosive single ‘X21’, and its combination of tentative guitar riffs in the build-up with a jubilant, indie chorus earned them a lot of listeners almost instantly. This year, they’ve released a couple more singles (‘Angry Faces’ and ‘Roll Out’), both gig-ready tunes fuelled by a certain infectious intensity to remind you of Childcare and Spring King. A must-see if you are going to either festival this weekend – catch them at the BBC Introducing stage on Friday at Reading, or on Saturday at Leeds! https://soundcloud.com/thewholls/x21

SONG FOR THE WEEKEND – January Sun by Fizzy Blood

Feisty, energised rock song from this fresh Leeds band. These guys are probably the first truly heavy rock band we’ve featured in a while, and this is perhaps testament to how awesome ‘January Sun’ is – and how much potential we see in these guys. Not only is it full of both rock’n’roll and punk elements, it’s also got a pretty catchy chorus – and would be absolutely unreal at a gig. If you live in or around Leeds, you gotta try to catch these guys. ‘January Sun’ is featured on the band’s 2015 debut album ‘Feast’, which is worth a full listen if you enjoy this song. If you’re a Royal Blood or Pretty Vicious fan, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll love this.

BAND OF THE WEEK – AUTOBAHN

Leeds indie-punk five-piece, with moodily atmospheric tunes. Whether they’re a fan of Kraftwerk or just appreciate the German word for motorway, I do not know, but they certainly can make music that Joy Division fans will be elated to hear. The first song I heard from the band was ‘Society’, and I was straightaway captured by how well they’d managed to emulate that distinctive post-punk sound of the 80s: their elegant, archaic vocals and morose guitar-rock are a modern emblem of all the best from the post-punk movement – Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, and of course Joy Division themselves. After releasing a couple of uninventively named EPs, Autobahn 1 and Autobahn 2, the band began releasing singles from their debut album this year, ‘Dissemble’, including their most popular ‘Society’, the curiously uplifting ‘Immaterial Man’, and concept-orientated ‘Missing in Action’. If there’s ever a rainy day, or it’s one of those days where gloomy post-punk fits your mood perfectly, then these guys are the ones to be listening to.