The Next Big Sound: 2017 Top Picks

Pippa Smith 19 January 2017

The Big Moon

Interviewed by TCS early in Michaelmas, this slick, all-female line up is beginning to take the world of indie rock by storm. They combine laid back electric with ‘tropical rubicon courage’ lyrics to create a compelling sound reminiscent of Wolf Alice and contemporary newbies Spring King. The band ooze stage confidence and energy and songs such as ‘Cupid’ and ‘Sucker’ blast out sharp and yet cool lyrics about the woes of modern dating. The Big Moon supported Mystery Jets at the Cambridge Junction in 2016 but with a new single, ‘Formidable’ released on Friday I predict it won’t be long before they return as a headline act.


This Manchester based band originally formed at Hull University have had success with their first few singles, drawing comparisons with Foals, The Smiths and even David Bowie. I personally place their thoughtful lyrics and resonant vocal somewhere akin to London band Spector, who’ve experienced great success in recent years. ‘Life of Leisure’ and ‘Runaway’ were released in 2016 to a warm critical reception and with a band promising another new record early this year 2017 could be the year this emerging band break into the big time.


As BBC Introducing’s official sound of 2017 Ray BLK couldn’t not feature on our list. BLK stands for Building, Living, Knowing, tying in with the lyrical focus on Ray’s Catford roots, dysfunctional relationshps and the artist’s English Literature degree. Her first EP, ‘Havisham’ took inspiration from Great Expectations and Ray took advantage of the internet circuit for UK R&B to catapult her work into the public domain. Her latest single ’Patience’ as well as ‘My Hood’, which features a verse from Stormzy signify a talent for street-smart soul which can only see more success in 2017.

Fickle Friends

With fresh female vocals and a chilled out, Two Door Cinema Club-style vibe, fickle friends are perfectly pitched to do great things in 2017. The single ‘Swim’ has already gained the band attention and they are rumoured to be currently recording their debut album. Other highlights so far include the catchy vocals of ‘Brooklyn’ and trendy, upbeat tones of ‘Say No More’.

The Magic Gang

The no-nonsense melodies and stripped-backed guitar of this Brighton-based foursome have attracted much critical acclaim over the past year. Earlier tracks such as ‘Jasmine’ and ‘All That I Want Is You’ were blasted out at countless festivals across thecountry, perfectly encapsulating a laid-back summer atmosphere, and ‘The Second EP from’ with its lead single ‘All This Way’ strengthens the band’s unashamed sense of identity. More music in the year to come can only increase their popularity.


Leering vocals and an insistent, slightly grungey guitar line place Cabbage somewhere between the Libertines, Slaves and Nirvanna. Their brazen lyrics and songs such as ‘Terrorist Synthesizer’ and ‘Uber Capitalist Death Trade’ confirm the Manchester boys certainly don’t shy away from a statement. They also make a remarkable amount of noise – perhaps not one to listen to in the bath, but nonetheless a band tipped by many to soar high in 2017.

Mamas Gun

Named after Erykah Badu’s album, Mamas Gun have released 3 albums since 2009 with modest success. However, slick production and catchy melodies render ‘Red Cassette’ and ‘On a String’ something of hidden gems. The band are said to be recording their 4th album for release soon. Perhaps this will be the one to retrieve Mamas Gun the recognition they deserve.

AJ Tracey

And finally, something for the grime fans. AJ Tracey has attracted attention in recent months with ‘Thiago Silver’ and ‘Buster Canon’. Taking advantage of the recent surge in British grime this London based artist received recognition from The Guardian last year as one of the UK’s most exciting new artists.  With the fast-paced evolution of grime set to follow the same trajectory this year, Tracey can only go on to bigger and better things.

To listen to the 2017 Top Picks Playlist visit our spotify account: tcsnewspaper