Our Neu section is all about finding the buzziest new bands and artists poking their heads above the water right now, and then telling you about them immediately.
Neu Bulletins - shared every Wednesday - are DIY’s guide to the best new music. They contain every single thing that’s been played at full volume in the office, whether that’s a small handful or a gazillion acts. Just depends how good the week’s been.
Alongside our weekly round-up of discoveries, there are also Neu Picks. These are the very best songs / bands to have caught our attention, and there’s a new one every weekday. Catch up with the most recent picks here.
Once a month, we also share Neu Recommended, our list of who’s pricking our ears at the moment and why you should be just as excited by them as we are. Featuring MONEYPHONE, Rachel Chinouriri, Body Type and more, here’s your next buzzy update.
Nostalgia-drenched, genre-blurring Toronto pop duo.
Nostalgia runs freely through ‘Athletes’, the new EP from Toronto duo MONEYPHONE. The vocals across the five-track release range from soft, deliberate rapping to honeyed harmonies and heavily autotuned verses of the kind that Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon utilises so well. The EP’s gorgeous title track is a warm cut, full of feeling and set around a simple, choppy guitar line. ‘Athletes’ is as indebted to emo singer-songwriters as it is rap and hip-hop, and it’s when the two states melt together that the duo really hit the sweet spot.
Listen: The gorgeous, hushed ‘Domicile’.
Similar to: Kevin Abstract raised on a diet of ’90s emo and Bon Iver.
This Croydon singer-songwriter makes music sure to tug on the heartstrings.
Rachel Chinouriri makes emotionally-charged alt-pop/R&B that feels extremely personal whilst still retaining its universality. Recent single ‘So My Darling’ sees simply beautiful, deftly sung vocals acting as the base for all manner of woozy, Daughter-esque instrumentals to float around.
Listen: Romantic ode ‘So My Darling’.
Similar to: Daughter, Florence & The Machine.
Impassioned surf-rock from Australia’s next buzzy export.
If you’ve read our July issue, you’ll know that there’s a whole host of new, brilliantly exciting Australian bands emerging right now. Next in line is Body Type, a Sydney quartet making surf-rock to throw yourself around a sweaty basement with a huge grin on your face to. The wide-eyed fun of The Big Moon springs to mind immediately.
Listen: The brilliantly fun ‘Palms’.
Similar to: The Big Moon, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.
Cambridgeshire lot fusing the cheery and chilled in promising style.
What do you get if you take the burbling, 100-a-day rumble of King Krule and lace it across doe-eyed, 50s-infused jangles? Well you get Cambridgeshire newbies UGLY’s latest offering ‘Emphysema’, that’s what. For lusher than a track about lung disease has any right to be, it’s also, however, riddled with an underlying chaos. Sure the chords are sweet, but it all might collapse at any moment.
Listen: The aforementioned single or claustrophobic previous offering ‘Switch’
Similar to: The sound of South London on a little countryside holiday.
Visceral, emotional and unpigeonholable sounds from Tunbridge Wells.
With Slaves and now Lady Bird repping the small town of Tunbridge Wells, you’d be forgiven for thinking its inhabits fall solely into the 100mph school of noisy musical thought. Not so JC Palmer. On recent EP ‘Endless Laughter’, the trio veer from Hookworms crunchy noise to Radiohead fragility at the toss of a coin, spinning intricate, intelligent sonic nuggets at every turn.
Listen: ‘Shake The Hand’ is an itchy, tetchy banger.
Similar to: Have a big cathartic cry and then having a big cathartic dance in succession.
Smart French synth sounds already making waves across the Channel.
With a debut album out this month and a none-too-small show at London’s Village Underground to launch it, French duo Agar Agar’s Italo-disco synths and smart, playful dance-pop is already making noises away from home turf. You can see why; kooky yet cool in equal measure, their warm, pillowy beats are ones to dive straight into.
Listen: Excellently named single ‘Sorry About The Carpet’ is like a nighttime drive through a Tron universe.
Similar to: Metronomy given a cool French makeover.
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DIY’s essential, weekly (ish) guide to the best new music.