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London Music Scene Blog

Along with Paris and New York, London consistently ranks as one of the best cities in the world for its rich and diverse culture. For decades, a massive part of that culture has revolved around music.

Barely a day goes by before a new metropolitan festival starts in the capital. With All Points East, Camden Rocks Festival, Meltdown and British Summer Time in Hyde Park and plenty more major festivals happening in London’s 32 boroughs, the city constantly attracts music fans from across the UK and beyond.

Pop, rock, classical, jazz, rap, folk and indie fans will never find a shortage of events at the music venues spread across the city. Unsurprisingly, the city has also generated a significant proportion of the UK’s most iconic acts from across all genres.

From Tottenham-born Adele to Amy Winehouse to the original UK rock icon Led Zeppelin to David Bowie, the iconic recording studios in London have never fallen short of talented artists already at their doorsteps. There is only a handful of recording studios in the world that have become a household name; London’s Abbey Road Studios is one of them. Within the walls of Abbey Road Studios, The White Album by The Beatles, Odessy and Oracle by the Zombies and Money by Pink Floyd are just some of the iconic albums that have the talent at Abbey Road Studios to thank.

The London Music Scene wouldn’t be the same without the grassroots venues. The Dublin Castle, the Lexington, Nambucca, The Fiddler’s Elbow, XOYO, The Macbeth and the Jazz Café have all played their part in getting artists discovered.

In the urban arena, the award-winning London-based rappers, Stormzy, Dave, AJ Tracey, Aitch, Skepta and Slowthai have completely redefined the UK hip hop scene in recent years. While exceptionally distinct acts, such as Wolf Alice, Django Django, Baby Queen, have made waves with their off-kilter infectious sound. Wolf Alice, who are thought of as London’s answer to Sonic Youth, won the Mercury Music prize in 2018. They also managed to reach number 2 in the album charts with two of their albums. Yet, most artists live in the ever-growing shadow of the two London heavyweights, Adele and Ed Sheeran. They may not be every musos cup of tea, but that didn’t get in the way of Ed Sheeran selling over 150 million albums worldwide and becoming recognised as one of the best-selling artists to have ever lived. Adele hasn’t done too badly for herself during her decade long career either. Her distinct vocal timbre has allowed her to pick up 15 Grammy awards and plenty of other awards along the way. Adele rocketed herself towards stardom with the release of her debut album, 19, while Ed Sheeran went on the arduous journey from busker to a best-selling artist and became the ultimate contemporary artist success story.

David Seymour constructed a euphonic paradise in his jazz-folk piece, What a Life

Easy listening doesn’t come much easier than, What a Life, a standout piece on David Seymour’s jazz-folk fusion EP, Shelter. The elegant-with-soul slice of euphonic paradise doesn’t allow sophistication to get in the way of the accessibility of the release which prises minds open to the possibility of utopias lying wherever your rose-tinted perception looks for them.

The Latin guitar flourishes which beckons the outro adds another layer of auditory serenity to the organically free-flowing release after the female vocalist spills her equable graceful beguile over the score written and composed by David Seymour who has been integral to the London music scene for the past three decades. Following his position as a world music agent at Jenako Arts, he studied with the one and only Amancio D’Silva before studying at the music department at New City College with Chris Wilson.

By filtering jazz through a lens of folk and ensuring soul spills from every note of the instrumentation, David Seymour established himself as an essential artist for anyone who seeks the spiritual sanctity of folk and the expressive fluency of easy-listening jazz. With more music in the pipeline, Seymour is undoubtedly one to watch throughout 2024.

Stream What a Life with the rest of David Seymour’s seminal EP on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Awakening to Bella Gate: ‘Sleepwalking’ Melds Classic and Contemporary with Masterful Artistry

If you’re still sleeping on the breakthrough UK singer-songwriter, Bella Gate, her revolutionary approach to power balladry exhibited in her latest single, Sleepwalking, will prise your heart and soul open to her immensely affecting artistry.

The classic songwriting style is enough to slip you back into the 70s before the Florence and the Machine artful touches pull you right back to modernity as Bella Gate’s vocals channel the spirituality of Stevie Nicks and the deep resonant timbre of Adele, with all the emotive authenticity to boot.

While looking back on chapters of teenage love and self-discovery, most will shudder at the naivety; Bella Gate is viscerally living through the torment within Sleepwalking; vicariously join her as the pop-rock piano keys dance beneath her endlessly ascending vocal register as they spill the agony in a retrospective call for clarity.

With plenty more singles in the pipeline for 2024, the 23-year-old Edinburgh/London residing artist is more than worth a spot on your radar. If she’s esteemed enough to have her debut LP mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Geoff Pesche, she, and her talent in bringing a fresh and innovative vibe to the industry, is one to watch.

Sleepwalking was officially released on April 26th; stream the single on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Yur Mum – Duality: Unflinchingly Authentic Brazilian Punk Rock

I may be late jumping on Yur Mum’s scuzzy punk rock bandwagon, but after feeling how deep the unique angle to their visceral edge cuts while they played in support of The Battery Farm and witnessing how they can merit the title of their latest LP, Duality, I discovered a duo that’s criminal to sleep on.

The way their Brazilian roots pull through the complex fusion of frenetic percussive rhythms creating a thunderous heartbeat pulsating through rapid and intricate cadences against the snarled basslines incited a riot of distinctly augmented annihilation.

Affectingly authentic to the core and so much more than the sum of their synergistically dualistic parts, Yur Mum is destined for bigger stages; the intuition into each other’s pandemonic energy is evidenced in every antagonised aural atom of their sound.

Two of the standout singles from the duo’s latest album, Anhangá and Hands to the Sky encompass the versatility of the London-based Brazilian duo comprising Anelise Kunz (bass/vox) and Fabio Couto (drums).

Hands to the Sky goes heavy, low down and dirty, and infectiously kinetic with the grooves that leave the rhythmic pulses in a vice grip as the bass lines whip up hypersonic fury around Anelise’s rock reverent vocals. Anhangá hits even harder, orbiting around profane levels of distortion while Anelise uses the gratifyingly discordant noise as the playground for her chameleonically charismatic presence.

Stream and purchase the Duality LP on Bandcamp.

Follow Yur Mum on Instagram or hit their official website for more info.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

London’s Forsylver became indie royalty with their latest release, Promethazine Queen

Launched to a capacity crowd at 93 Feet East in Shoreditch, the latest single, Promethazine Queen, from London’s hottest breakthrough indie outfit, Forsylver, is the perfect introduction to the expansively influenced outfit who have hit the ground running straight out of the gate.

With a vocal style that shifts between invokes the sticky-sweet euphonic magnetism of The Feeling harmonising atop the flares of funk in the eclectic indie-pop-rock tapestry to Arctic Monkeys-reminiscent cutting commentaries Forsylver’s distinctive style emboldens the sincerity within Promethazine Queen. From the Daft Punk-esque riot of a middle eight to the jangle pop guitars to the complex time signatures in the rhythm section, Promethazine Queen is a perfect circle of expression and innovation.

Instead of following trends, the fourpiece, fronted by Joe Ewer with Will Farrow carving out the funk-pop guitar chops, Alex McKenzie feeding the rhythms on bass and Shunya Matsumoto giving the percussion a Radiohead-art-rock flair, are etching their innovation into the tapestry of the future of indie.

Forsylver may have only been on the scene since late 2023, but they’re already an unreckonable force. With plenty more planned for 2024, they should be the epicentre of every indie fan’s radar.

Promethazine Queen was officially released on May 3rd; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

ELZON earned a place in the RnB pantheon with his organically experimental playlist staple, Is He Home

After an extended intro of tripped-out Latin guitars, the standout single, Is He Home, from ELZON’s debut EP, C U SOON, kicks right into the early 2000s-inspired alt-RnB grooves to pull you under the wavy melodies that don’t ask for permission before crashing into your soul.

The London-based rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer’s talent in crafting immersive soundscapes is only one facet of his talent; his ability to tune into experimentalism with organically rich panache is another. Vocally, there are few artists with as much honey in their harmonies; with his seminal single, Is He Home, the originator earned a place in the pantheon of songwriters alongside the Weeknd, Justin Timberlake and the King of Pop himself. As for the colour in his melodies, you couldn’t ask for a more hypnotic kaleidoscope to sonically gaze into.

Before making his debut, ELZON cut his teeth in the industry by penning songs for other artists, working alongside the likes of the Grammy-nominated producer Ammar Junedi and the underground luminary CASSO. After the launch of his critically acclaimed EP, ELZON graced several editorial playlists including New Music Friday UK, Channel X, and Mood; the RnB crooner is clearly on the rise, join him on his ascent by sinking into Is He Home, which is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dizzy Goku – Better Sides of You: A Perennial Pop Soulworm

With his latest single, Better Sides of You, the hopeless romantic hit maker Dizzy Goku, AKA North African Pepper, gave melody-driven pop a tantalising urban twist as an attest to his ability to craft earworms that linger in the soul.

This single, infused with a vocal melody as sweet as the intricate Latin-tinged guitar work, feeds into an intimate pseudo-dream-pop production which carries echoes of 90s pop. The track maintains the vulnerability and accessibility of bedroom pop, making it impossible not to succumb to its sweet, vulnerable pull. As the epitome of relatable tentative love songs, it masterfully balances realism and sincerity, enhancing the emotional depth rather than diluting it.

Crafted with the aid of London-based talents Rocco Hussle, Sh0tgun Josh, and Debani—contributing drums, baseline, and electric guitar respectively—the track’s soundscape is rich yet distinctly raw exploration of cautious love, articulated through Dizzy Goku’s personal lens and inspired by the poignant truth that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

As the lead single of his upcoming EP, it sets a formidable standard and signals more meticulously crafted, thoughtfully polished projects slated for later this year.

Better Sides of You was officially released on March 8th; stream the single on Spotify now or watch the official music video on YouTube. 

Follow Dizzy Goku on Instagram. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chill Hop meets RnB Dream Pop in Eth4n’s emotion-driven release, Daisy

Driven by emotion and experimental innovation, the standout single, Daisy, from Eth4n’s debut EP, Inerrata, is a hazily melodic installation of aural hypnosis that demands you submit to the catharsis from the first note.

With saturated in delay guitars giving the seminal release a vintage tape deck recording feel and the mellow electronic elements rounding out the RnB dream pop/chill hop hybrid instrumentals, Daisy unravels as an intoxicatingly artful release.

By borrowing the serene dream pop timbres of AIKA’s vocal harmonies, the bitter-sweet exploration of how affection gives us a temporary lust for life strikes all the right evocative chords, especially when Eth4n’s effect-laden pseudo-trap vocals enter the mix and inject swathes of dynamism into the vignette of tentative idiosyncratic affection.

The Australian-born, London-based experimentalist may pull inspiration from the likes of Frank Ocean and JPEGMafia, but rather than assimilating their styles, he runs with the influence into brand-new sonic territory that you’ll be compelled to join him in every time you need sanctuary.

Stream Eth4n’s Inerrata EP on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

West-London’s Drill king, Light served fierce flows and savage lyricism with ‘Ko-Lee Noodles’

Light’s latest single, Ko-Lee Noodles, is an indomitable testament to the West-London-hailing rap artist’s fierce fortitude. His ever-growing loyal fanbase, which is pushing him ever closer to the 1 million stream mark, will note that his signature of mellifluous grooves, punchy flows savage lyricism has followed him into this drill hit, but this time, there’s a relentlessly fierce intensity to the release that is as real as it comes.

The last time something hit so hard, dinosaurs went extinct, but Light’s legacy in the UK rap scene will never die; he’ll be riding high for as long as he continues to wax lyrical with unparalleled ferocity.

With the melodic emotionally charged instrumentals tempering the energy while drenching the polished production in a haunting atmosphere, Light’s candour becomes all the more affecting in the confessionally confronting release.

Light was officially released on April 16; stream the single on Spotify or watch the official music video on the GRM Daily YouTube channel.

To stay up to date with all of the latest releases from Light, follow the luminary on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Indie sleaze voraciously came back around with Sweet Houdini’s antagonised earworm, Metaphorical Red

Sweet Houdini

Essex’s Sweet Houdini’s latest single, ‘Metaphorical Red‘, opens a temporal gateway back to the anthemics of 90s alt-rock with the swagger and grit that infectiously shakes, rattles, and rolls with a palpable sense of antagonism and volition.

The supersonic and vortexical electronic cuts weave seamlessly around thunderous drums and effect-laden guitars, reminiscent of the Black Keys’ bluesy grooves; this sonic backdrop sets the stage for a snarling confrontation that captivates from the first verse, making ‘Metaphorical Red’ a sludgy earworm that rivals the likes of Mansun.

Sweet Houdini doesn’t just pay homage to the alt-rock era; they reinvent it. Their sound crosses the Atlantic, delivering harsher sonic palettes reminiscent of US Alt Indie. The track is a testament to the band’s ability to channel the spirit of 90s icons like Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins, while injecting their unique personality and magnetism.

With ‘Metaphorical Red’, Sweet Houdini has done more than kick up a storm; they’ve choked the atmosphere with a resurgence of indie sleaze. Their energetic live performances, known for authenticity and genuine crowd interaction, mirror the raw emotion and energy of this track. It’s a bold statement in the alt-rock scene, proving that Sweet Houdini is not just a band to watch, but a force to be reckoned with.

Check out Metaphorical Red when it drops on April 5th on Sweet Houdini’s official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Make a Date with Cliff Lynch’s Soul-Wrapped Pop Hit, Sex on the Weekend

Cliff Lynch, emerging from his boyband roots with Roman Road, has crafted a pop anthem that is brimming with the exoticism of sonic seduction and offers a refreshing departure from the assimilative new wave pop trend currently saturating the UK indie scene with his latest single, Sex on the Weekend.

Hit play and get into tune with the 90s boyband-esque harmonies and colourfully moody melodies which complement Lynch’s distinctively bold approach to pop, which is charting his own path through a genre often mired in superficiality. Fuck baseless earworms when you can discover soul-stirring experiences which showcase artist’s commitment to depth and authenticity, which is exactly what you get with Sex on the Weekend.

The single explores lust-fuelled emotional themes, yet nothing about it feels salacious. Instead, Cliff Lynch delivers an intimately vulnerable testament to lyrical candour. The Latin guitar grooves and solid backbeat create a backdrop that is both sensual and sincere. This track is a challenge to every lothario who believes hook-up culture needs to lack soul.

Born in South London and influenced by icons like Queen, Michael Jackson, and Justin Timberlake, Lynch’s solo material takes a mature, singer/songwriter approach, blending rock, R&B, and beloved pop elements. ‘Sex on the Weekend’ is a testament to his evolution as an artist, from his early days with Cloud 9 and Roman Road to his current solo endeavours.

As Lynch gears up for his debut EP release in 2024, ‘Sex on the Weekend’ stands as a compelling preview of what’s to come. It’s a track that will leave listeners hot under the collar, not just for its sensual themes, but for its heartfelt honesty and the undeniable talent of Cliff Lynch as a solo artist in the pop domain.

Stream Sex on the Weekend on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast