The Big Moon, Fickle Friends, and other essential British indie
As this year comes to an end, along with my time writing for the Daily, I want to write about something close to home. As an exchange student from England, and someone who is passionate about new and upcoming music, there is no better way to write about bands from England that may not be that well known around here. So, in this article I present to you some of my favorite artists from back home.
With only a few EP releases, Flyte is creating a big name for itself with a consistently high standard of production and excellent a capella videos released through its Facebook page. Supported by Bombay Bicycle Club a few years ago, the band now runs its own club night in London where it hosts other indie bands. Although there’s currently slim pickings on Flyte's Spotify page, “Light Me Up” and “Echoes” are songs to add to your playlist, but check out the band's Facebook too, where it has released several videos, including a beautiful rendition of Arcade Fire’s “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” complete with a film in an echoey London tunnel.
The Big Moon
I am always a big fan of any all-girl band that is completely rocking it, and The Big Moon is a fantastic example. When I saw them last summer, they completely pulled off a cover of Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger” in their lovely grunge rock style. Lead singer Soph Nathan’s vocals can be low one moment, before jumping into a perfect croon, allowing the band a varied sound throughout its songs. Their debut album, Love in the 4th Dimension, was recently released to lots of praise, and they also seem like really cool people, so what’s not to love?
When I saw Vitamin in a small club in west London for £4, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Falling on the more dancy side of the scale, Vitamin is an upbeat quartet that has a great album art aesthetic, as well as great music. Although they, like a few other artists on this list, still haven't released a full album, all their releases so far have been to such high standards both musically and production wise. “If This Isn’t Love” is one of their best songs to date and has a classic Vitamin sound to it, which is impressive for a band so young in its career.
Perhaps a telling look into my personal music taste, Fickle Friends is yet another indie pop band that is producing consistently high quality, summery tunes. Fickle Friends has a more retro take on pop, featuring a load of synths, the perfect pop voice of lead singer Natassja Shiner and both male and female backing vocals, adding a lot of depth. “Could Be Wrong” is a fantastic track that will make you dance around your room singing into a hairbrush, and that’s all I really want from a song.
The Magic Gang
For anyone who is a massive sucker for top quality indie rock, look no further than The Magic Gang. All their songs are infectiously happy and fit perfectly for summer weather and sitting out in the grass. Despite the lyrics covering some darker topics — as all great indie does — you can sing blissfully unaware to the joyful backing instrumentals. “All This Way” is a perfect example, as the lyrics ask how “I got all this way on my own?” yet the backing guitar offers some of the best happy and carefree music I’ve ever heard.
Although Raleigh Ritchie (real name Jacob Anderson) is perhaps the most well known name on this list, it's likely for reasons other than his music. Being a bit of a jack of all trades, Ritchie is perhaps more famous for his role as Grey Worm in "Game of Thrones." Don’t let this fool you, however, as music has always been one of his main passions, and he’s an excellent rapper and lyricist. His debut album You’re a Man Now Boy is full of excellent songs that are both poignant and self-aware, without ever taking himself too seriously.
Check out these bands here.