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London Music Scene Blog

London Music Scene

 

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.

GLYTSH took control of the UK metal scene with their dark vehement aesthetic in Hard(core) Memory

After boldly covering NIN’s most seductive single for their debut and creating a triumphant hit out of it by unveiling the demure holes that were left unfilled, the London-based metal-inclined duo, GLYTSH, have released their sophomore single, Hard(core) Memory.

Hard(core) Memory is Reznor served with Peaches (hold the cream) paired with the fierce provocative metal aesthetic of In This Moment. Reminiscences aside, their projection of autonomy through infectiously unfuckwithable attitude is nothing short of hypnotic around the bite of the industrial beats, scuzzy grungy drums and feral guitars. It stays on the right side of lascivious, while teasingly toeing the line, unapologetically proving that assertive feminine energy has never been about getting dicks hard.

Considering that Hard(core) vindicated me more than Bikini Kill’s I Like Fucking, it’s safe to say the French vocalist, Jennifer Diehl and Swiss guitarist, Claire Genoud, are a fair way along in their mission in reminding us that the Riot Grrrl ethos didn’t end with the dawn of the new millennium.

The official video for Hard(core) Memory premiered on June 1st. Check it out via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

ku:hu shows us that striking moment when you knew it was over on, ‘by your side’ (feat. wroi)

With an honest tone and introspective lyrics that have been made with such care and tenderness, ku:hu brings us into the picture that is content about the final decision to stop something that isn’t working on, ‘by your side (feat. wroi).

ku:hu is a Vadodara, India-born London, UK-based queer non-binary RnB/Lo-fi musician and photographer who created this new single with a few mates while at Berklee College of Music.

Their love for music stemmed from the influences surrounding them growing up, such as Hindustani classical music and pop/rock music. This love for music further blossomed through classical piano lessons under the instruction of Australian pianist, Elaine Fenn, where her speciality in performance was from 20th-century western classical music, especially serialist works by Arnold Shoenberg and jazz works by George Gershwin.” ~ ku:hu

Bringing us a single that is so distinctive and packed with a stirring vocal experience that might have you feeling somehow sad and relieved at the same time, ku:hu leads us into a new experience that so many of us shall relate to. Your ears might be perked up and your thoughts on overload, from an insightful artist who has that inventive style that you can’t help but admire.

by your side(feat. wroi) from London, UK-based queer non-binary RnB/Lo-fi musician ku:hu is an enchanting track that brings us into a true moment that might shatter fragile hearts. The vocals are completely enthralling and shall change your mood altogether as there is such a reflective edge here, from an artist who is uniquely exhilarating and is always looking to make music that is completely real.

There is so much to close your eyes to as we are taken on a vivid journey, to where the moment is cherished but the closure is probably for the best.

Hear this wonderful new track on Spotify and follow the IG for more.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Evan de Roeper searches for that closure that he can’t seem to find on that ‘Midnight Drive’

Taken off his brand new EP called ‘Lavender’, Evan de Roeper wonders why an ex’s memory refuses to leave his mind and seems to stick around to haunt him mysteriously via his darkly lit ‘Midnight Drive‘.

Evan de Roeper is a London, England-based indie alt-RnB singer-songwriter who has roots in the UK, India, The Netherlands and Singapore.

I like the colour purple so I wanted to create a body of work that tried to capture the colour. Lavender is a shade of purple and in flower language, it can symbolise devotion. So with that in mind, I tried writing songs that could be associated with devoting yourself to someone or not being confident enough to devote yourself fully.” ~ Evan de Roeper

Drawing us a picture through his intricate lyrics that describe this torn photograph just right, Evan de Roeper urges this tainted shadow to vanish into the distance, so that he may fully move on and love properly again. Through his quality vocal output and a story that shall make so many of us shiver in reflection as we remember going through the same process, this is a track that might make many think deeper about a time that shall never be forgotten easily.

Midnight Drive‘ from London, UK-based indie alt-RnB singer-songwriter Evan de Roeper is a notable moment for anyone who has had to deal with a past relationship that no matter how hard you try, refuses to leave your memory. Flashing back into your perspective like a pesky fly that won’t leave you alone, the frustration is easy to hear from a clearly talented creative. This is a single that is sung with such passion but in a mellow way, that lets us know that this song has helped him veer into a more content path that shall save him from future frustration.

When the love is so intense between two connected hearts, sometimes it just wants to stay with you for longer than you first imagined.

Listen to this new single that shall make you reminisce on Soundcloud and see his moves on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

London-based folk artist John Lion releases new lyric video for his latest creation, ‘Tea Lady’

After impressing us with his previous single ‘The Sun Is Up‘ from July 2021, John Lion shows us the first single off his upcoming EP that is due for release soon with the story all about the forbidden love he needs to forget on, ‘Tea Lady‘.

John Lion is a London, UK-based indie-folk singer-songwriter who makes a blend of music that is always sincere and filled with soothing soundscapes.

A folk tune that takes its inspiration from the likes of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and other folk heroes.” ~ John Lion

Bringing forth mellow energy that is packed with life and love that so many will possibly find eerily familiar, John Lion guides us inside his mind that has decided that his best friend is more important to him, that a romance that might not be possible anyway.

Tea Lady‘ from London, UK-based indie-folk singer-songwriter John Lion sends a picture of emotion that has many potential possibilities, but ultimately a dead-end if you want to keep that true friendship alive. He sings with an easygoing style that is rather unique and displays the truth to be shone so that it may set him free.

This is a track for anyone who has almost done something that could have shattered like glass all over the floor when you felt something that perhaps wasn’t reciprocated by the other side.

Love is rather harsh sometimes after all, should you fall feel tenderness with the wrong person.

See this new lyric video on YouTube.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Gemma Felicity lets the enlightening realness in on her honest debut single, ‘This Place’

Showing us inside a world that seems to care more about things that don’t actually matter, Gemma Felicity sings with true love and insight to inspire our precious souls to look deeper on her spellbinding debut track, ‘This Place‘.

Gemma Felicity is a London, UK-based indie-pop singer-songwriter/poet who writes from the heart and has the kind of vocal ability that will have you pressing repeat.

The happiest saddest most chilled overthinker.” ~ Gemma Felicity

Exposing the world for what it is as many drown out the noise with strong drinks and evil powers while talking about meaningless subjects, Gemma Felicity is quite incredible as she reminds us that we shouldn’t change for anything or follow shallow fads. Her gorgeous voice is pure and striking, with exquisite visuals that will stop you in your tracks, urging you to look further inside so that you remain on track to achieving your wildest dreams no matter the precarious detours tempting you.

This Place‘ from London, UK-based indie-pop singer-songwriter/poet Gemma Felicity is one of the most real releases you are likely to hear this year. Her vocals are sensational and calming, with smart lyrics that show us that she is a deep thinker who detests the superficial energy that can break your priceless glow forever if you let it.

Life is surely about taking action and thinking about things that can change lives, not pointless chatter that just seems to heighten your anxiety and make you wonder if you can actually be in this fake place for much longer.

View something rather special on YouTube and see what she gets up to next on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Emerging London Hip hop artist Kashi Sankara knows that he will undoubtedly get it all on, ‘That’s What I’m a Do’

Taking his spot right near the top of the game with masterful aplomb, Kashi Sankara means business on a new track that should ingrain that much-need conviction in your pounding veins as you reach for your attainable goals on, ‘That’s What I’m a Do‘.

Kashi Sankara is an extremely confident London, UK-born indie Hip hop artist who was raised between London, Lagos and Atlanta.

Taken off his debut 6-track EP ‘Kashimawo‘, Kashi Sankara shows us how he is unhurriedly flowing that true artistry back into the minds of rap fans all over the world. His sword-like lyrics are tightly projected like a ninja and well-written to slice with venom, containing an enlightened philosophy that is ready for the big time no matter what anyone else says.

His music hopes to inspire in the face of self-doubt and encourage others to seek the unconventional in order to make their aims a reality.” ~ Kashi Sankara

That’s What I’m a Do‘ from London, UK-born indie Hip hop artist Kashi Sankara is a punchy presentation that will certainly please all underground fans of this diluted genre. With so much ravaging violence and familiar drug-fueled stories hogging the attention of many, this is a welcome return to the timeless feel of that real storytelling excellence. This is a highly enjoyable track that shows us that extra belief is needed to really make it, in a crowded pond that can drown you out in an instant.

Listen to this new single on Soundcloud and see more via the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

The Prods struck a satrical pose in their punk-meets-Britpop hit, Catalogue Model

White-hot frenetic punk guitars meet Sleaford Mods-Esque satirical animosity in The Prods’ latest single, Catalogue Model. With a bite of Blur in the Britpop nuances, Catalogue Model throws texture from all across the alt-spectrum to originally outscore every playfully scathing hit to precede it.

I just wish I could have been in the room while the concept of a track around the swagger of a 1980s catalogue model was born. The London-hailing outfit is clearly a cut above the rest when creating ridiculously immersive pop-hooked punk hits.

Catalogue Model officially released on May 20th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jo-Jo & The Teeth gave us the couture of glam rock n roll with their blisteringly hot pop-rock anthem, Don’t Get Too Heavy

‘Don’t Get Too Heavy’ from the London-based outfit, Jo-Jo & The Teeth is the only riff-slicked pop-hooked rock n’ roll debut you need to hear in 2022. A rebellious streak runs right through the glam rock earworm, but like every good hit, it does plenty more than just show its teeth.

If you amped up the visceral attitude in Stevie Nicks’ vocals to 11, they’d still pale in comparison to the hooky veracity of Jo-Jo O’Donoghue’s blisteringly hot pop-rock vocal lines. That’s probably blasphemy, but I’ll prepare to repent for it to do Jo-Jo & The Teeth justice. It’s the least I could do given that she has given rock n roll an Americana iteration of Peaches.

Don’t Get Too Heavy is the lead track from the forthcoming self-produced debut album, No More Good News; I already want it on my turntable.

The official music video for Don’t Get Too Heavy premiered on May 6th; watch it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

London’s Savannah Gardener obliterated the boundary between country and soul in ‘City of Cowboys’.

Her sound may scream Nashville, but Savannah Gardener’s roots are implanted in London’s landscape; she’s captivated audiences across the breadth of it, and she’s set to swoon plenty more with her latest single, City of Cowboys.

How many songwriters have perpetuated the myth that making one single entity your ENTIRE world is romantic? Millions? All it took was one soulfully demure single from Savannah Gardener to dispel it. Her emboldening approach to lyricism on the subjects of heartbreak, adversity and triumph carries an intuitive resonance that makes her soundscapes captivating from the first breath.

The twang of the bluegrassy resonator guitars, the accordance of the gentle chords and her anachronistically sweet vocals pull together to deliver the ultimate urban county redemption story that you’ll want to aurally turn the pages of time after time.

City of Cowboys is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

HULX lets us know the metaphysical score in his latest composition, SURREALISM

Transcend reality by the hand of the University of Westminster music student, HULX, via his latest instrumental composition, SURREALISM. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take any escape from this material-mortal coil I can get my existentially lovebitten mind on. And under HULX’s futuristic and imaginative duress, you’d struggle to get further away from our battery farm of an unromantic existence.

The sonorous score is cinematically crafted through HULX’s already virtuosic flair over a set of keys, but there’s just enough space dust to take you to a new plateau of consciousness that reminds you of the true beauty of the human experience. It pours through the inexplicably intuitive progressions.

SURREALISM is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast