There are two misconceptions about Listen With Monger that I need to put to bed. Firstly, there are no ‘guys’, there is no ‘team’, there are no ‘writers’ – it’s just me, one Monger writing about music. So that explains why LWM isn’t represented at more events and can’t cover all the music that gets sent in. The second is that I don’t get paid to do this. Someone was genuinely surprised the other day to learn that I had a job as well! Anyway, the point is that every year I forlornly read the listings and line ups for festivals in the UK that I can’t attend through lack of time, money or both and then get grumpy and tend to ignore them altogether. However, I have always had a massive soft spot for the Great Escape Festival on Brighton due to its unwavering commitment to blooding new talent rather than wheeling Coldplay and Tom Jones out to entertain the masses. 

So, I thought I’d knock up a little LWM guide to the best new kids on the block to check out at the Great Escape this weekend (not THE New Kids on the Block, obviously, although I hear their Grime comeback album is a peach). It’s in alphabetical order too, cos I’m organised like that:

Alice Jemima
Alice Jemima – Having signed to Rob Da Bank’s Sunday Best label, things are looking mighty promising for this Devon damsel and her uniquely soulful take on the singer-songwriter thang. A beautifully pure voice and songwriting talents to match – what a combination!?

Bokito – London based bunch Bokito would score well on the beard front if you were playing new band top trumps but more importantly they’d rank pretty high on the wonderfully unhinged indie with a portion of melodies on the side swing-o-meter. A double threat then.

Bryde – Lo-fi but high art from London based Bryde and one for all you Anna Calvi, PJ Harvey and Scout Niblett fans out there. She also seems like a really nice person so that’s got to be worth supporting, hasn’t it?

Cassels – I’m so pleased these two brothers are getting the recognition they deserve for their
angular, acerbic art-rock. It’s not polished and it’s not mainstream but there’s real substance here as well as the kind of ‘death or glory’ passion that rock is missing at the moment.

Childcare – They might have been out on tour with Bastille last year but Childcare are still very much in their infancy band wise. Don’t let that fool you though, their tunes are razor sharp and the melodie will catch in to you like a fish-hook baited with a kebab at three in the morning.

Goose – Not exactly the wise old men of the Great Escape (the Charlatans take that crown) but Belgian electro nuts Goose have been around a fair while. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of one of their intensely fun shows then get yourself deep in to the crowd and just let those beats and bass lines assault you.

Hannah Georgas – One of the many wonderful Canadian imports that have come my way in recent years and one that keeps rolling around when I rotate my car tunes. Blissful and powerful in equal measure.

Jerry Williams – Following in the Lily Allen and Kate Nash vein of things, Jerry Williams is an indie-pop heroine for the millennials and I mean that with all the love in the world. Sublime songs delivered with a wry sense of, well, knowing.

Life – Hull’s political agitators Life are riding that ‘right place right time’ wave all the way to the top (or as close to the top as Supreme Leader May’s regime will allow). These four gents are exactly the band we need right now as they speak their minds with the perfect balance of aggression, melody and articulacy.

Nova Twins
Nova Twins – These two ladies of London town put on a pretty fierce live show by all accounts and they’ve got the songs and the chops to match the reputation so I’d urge you to check out their bubblegum-rock if you can handle the pace.

Parek & Singh – There has suddenly been a bit of a stir whipped up around these two and I’m so glad that these most dapper gents from Kolkata are getting some attention. Twee-indie is where Parek and Singh start but they usually end up with some large scale pop by the time they’ve finished with you.

Shitkid – Of all the recent imports, Gothenburg’s Shitkid goes against the grain of the sultry pop that is largely drifting this way but instead goes for the bonkers agit-pop of Whale or early Bjork. Really Marmite stuff but definitely worth experiencing.

Xam Volo
The Lottery Winners – This quartet have done it the hard way with endless gigging and a fair few line-up changes but that hasn’t dampened their spirits or dulled their knife-edge indie-pop that should have fans new and old bouncing along in euphoric unison.

Wildwood Kin – If you’re looking for some soothing yet rousing sounds then the folk-pop of Exeter’s Wildwood Kin has to be right at the top of your list. These women work hard and the rewards are coming in with tour dates aplenty as well as recently signing to Sony imprint Silvertone.

Xam Volo – THE man with THE voice. Funky, soulful, jazz influenced but with a real sense of
adventure and innovation. Expect Jools Holland to be snapping him up for a show any day now.