First up are Oxford-based shimmery minimalists The Sea The Sea. Knowing exactly when to play and when not to might seem like basic musical comprehension, and in a way, it is. However not many bands's manage to pull it off with the same aplomb as The Sea The Sea. Huge sounding moments of pure instrumentals give way to understated and insightful sections of lyricism in which the vocals take precedence before exploding in to walls of complex instrumentals that are too delicate to be considered noise. This is a band who knows what they're doing.
Potentially future up-and-comers in the B-town scene are Birmingham's Faith. Utilising the traditional four-piece format, the band are drawing on influences such as The Enemy and The Courteeners while managing to keep their own distinct sound. There's uplifting elements at play throughout their music while a distinctly snarling vocal from Jason Payne drags it kicking and screaming back to the streets. Great stuff.
In keeping with a coincidental maritime theme are Portsmouth's Shores. A quaint and candid duo whose insightful and understated acoustic aesthetic will appeal to fans of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. The band's inherent understanding of tempo and dynamics makes for some seriously compelling listening in which Ben Hardicre's clear and emotive vocals only heighten the experience.
Freedom of the City
Currently jockeying to be Manchester's next biggest export, Freedom of the City are a band whose sound is instantly relatable and utterly irresistible. Eschewing the guttural grime that so many indie bands opt for, this four-piece are making music that's as eclectic as it is ambiguous, with some songs merging genres effortlessly. It's unusual for an indie band to encompass such a clean and polished sound but Freedom of the City benefit from it massively.