New Music Blog: Ones To Watch In 2020

Posted: Monday 6 January 2020

There aren’t many things better than discovering a new artist whose music you instantly connect with. Whether they’re touring the nation making their name or supporting big acts globally, we’re here to put a spotlight on the musically-gifted people with a bright future ahead of them. 2020 is already shaping up to be a big year for new music and we’ve picked out some of the hottest talent on offer right now. These are the acts you need to be listening to this year.


DENO

For Fans Of: Stormzy, Tion Wayne, The Weeknd
Essential Listening: ‘Change’, ‘Advice’, ‘Walking On’

The youngest of our picks at the age of 17, Deno had already achieved global success before he’d even taken his GCSEs. The singer/rapper from South London caught the eye of Stormzy after videos of him singing at school were posted on Snapchat and Instagram, next thing you know, the two were in the studio together, with Deno lending his R&B vocals to the number one album, Gang Signs & Prayer.

That’s not where the collaborations ended either, with the young star linking up with the late Cadet for 2018 single, ‘Advice’ and filling his debut EP, Eye 2 Eye, with features from Krept, JAY1 and DigDat. He’s clearly already made friends in all the right places and with influences that range from The Weeknd to Akon, he’s carved a sound unique to him and built a reputation as one of the most in-demand artists of the year.

O2 Institute Birmingham: Thursday 30 January* Buy Tickets

O2 Academy Islington: Friday 31 January* Buy Tickets

*This show is sold out but re-sale tickets may be available through our official ticketing partner, Ticketmaster.


THE BAND CAMINO

For Fans Of: The 1975, The Maine, LANY
Essential Listening: ‘Daphne Blue’, ‘See Through’, ‘Honest’

They’ve been dubbed Rock’s next big thing by Billboard and sold out their debut headline London show in a matter of minutes, so what is it about The Band CAMINO that makes them so exciting?

Firstly, there’s the songs. Gargantuan anthems that are synth-heavy, guitar-driven and written about heartbreak, perseverance and personal growth. The perfect blend of happy and sad. Songs you can slow dance to and songs you can jump around to. There’s three EPs worth (including latest offering, tryhard) to get your teeth into and a collective of vibrant singles to keep your appetite at bay as well.

Then there’s the live shows. Their energy will engulf you from the moment they step on stage and it’s impossible not to be drawn in by their confidence that radiates around the room. Intrigued? Come and see them when they make their UK return and you won’t be disappointed.

O2 Institute Birmingham: Wednesday 5 February* Buy Tickets

*This show is sold out but re-sale tickets may be available through our official ticketing partner, Ticketmaster.


INHALER

For Fans Of: The Amazons, Ten Tonnes, Blossoms
Essential Listening: ‘My Honest Face’, ‘Ice Cream Sundae’, ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’

Yes, Inhaler’s frontman, Elijah Hewson, is the son of Bono (yep, THE Bono) but that, dear friends, is where the similarities end. This Dublin quartet have been making quite the racket over the past year and they’re stomping into 2020 with a BBC Sound Of nod and an extensive headline tour that's on the verge of selling out.

Bonding over their love of bands such as The Stone Roses, Kings Of Leon and The Strokes, this quartet wasted no time at all in getting themselves out on the live circuit and it’s earned them a dedicated following on both sides of the Irish sea. A clutch of scuzzy indie singles and a love for the old-fashioned is what has set this band apart from anyone else and praise is coming in thick and fast, with both Blossoms and Kasabian requesting them as support for their headline shows and festivals snapping them up for their summer soirees. Penning anthems for a generation on the cusp of self-discovery, their young-at-heart but cool as f**k attitude make them one of the most accessible bands of the new decade.

O2 Academy Liverpool: Wednesday 12 February Buy Tickets

O2 Academy Birmingham: Thursday 13 February Buy Tickets


CELESTE

For Fans Of: Amy Winehouse, Adele, Maverick Sabre
Essential Listening: ‘Strange’, ‘She’s My Sunshine’, ‘Coco Blood’

Adding a whole lot more soul to our lives this year is British-Jamaican singer, Celeste. Quickly becoming one of the hottest rising talents of 2020, she’s already been named the BBC Introducing Artist Of The Year and the BRIT Awards Rising Star, and the accolades just keep on coming.

With a voice rich and soft, but with an undeniable power, she’ll leave you awestruck in an instant. Recent single, ‘Strange’, is a spine-tingling ballad that’s breathtakingly raw and packed full of emotion, showcasing Celeste’s artistry perfectly. Funky jazz elements flow throughout much of her catalogue, but it’s her voice that is the true shining star here, so it’s no wonder that she’s had everyone from Annie Mac to Elton John singing her praises.

Live, she’s already tackled Glastonbury, Primavera and Latitude festival stages, whilst back on home turf she recently sold out her headline residency in London. Further dates with Michael Kiwanuka are on the horizon, before she dazzles the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire audience at her biggest headline performance yet this spring.

O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire: Wednesday 29 April Buy Tickets


NASTY CHERRY

For Fans Of: MUNA, No Doubt, The Runaways
Essential Listening: ‘Win’, ‘Live Forever’, ‘Music With Your Dad’

Nasty Cherry are badass. That’s the first thing you need to know.

The Brit-American quartet met when pop queen, Charli XCX, had the idea to put together a band, launch them into the music stratosphere and film it all for Netflix series, I’m With The Band: Nasty Cherry. The response has been beyond anything they could have believed and now Nasty Cherry are tearing up stages like some sort of crazed monster.

Their debut EP, Season 1, gives you a feisty introduction into what they’re all about, but will equally leave you gagging for more. Vintage guitars are awash with pop, psychedelic rhythms that hark back to the days of Blondie and The Runaways, where every single thing they did was cool and they didn’t care if you liked them or not, as long as the music meant something. Whatever Nasty Cherry’s next steps are, believe us, you’ll know about it, because they won’t be doing it quietly.

O2 Academy Birmingham: Sunday 1 March Buy Tickets


THE MURDER CAPITAL

For Fans Of: Shame, Pixies, IDLES
Essential Listening: ‘Don’t Cling To Life’, ‘More Is Less’, ‘Green & Blue’

There must be something in the water over in Ireland, because they’re churning out talent at an alarming rate. Dermot Kennedy got a number one album, Fontaines D.C. are on a post-punk war path and our friends above in Inhaler are doing alright for themselves, too. Another band to add to the mix is The Murder Capital. A band that are making it okay to be vulnerable.

Though frequently placed amongst their friends in Fontaines D.C. and IDLES in the new punk rebellion, The Murder Capital are in fact their own creature, proudly wearing their hearts upon the sleeves of their dishevelled blazers.

Debut album, When I Have Fears - which scored a Top 20 position upon its release in August - is a dark and intense record, but something truly beautiful all the same. A coming-of-age album, it breaks down each and every moment of growing up, it welcomes pain like an old friend and shows that there’s light amongst all the doom and gloom. Heavy basslines and thick, scuzzy guitars are prominent here as vocalist, James McGovern, barks his grievances at the world. It’s a brutal, but captivating listen and is the launchpad for a band destined for great things.

O2 Institute Birmingham: Monday 24 February Buy Tickets

O2 Academy Liverpool: Tuesday 25 February Buy Tickets


LENNON STELLA

For Fans Of: The Chainsmokers, Anne-Marie, Miley Cyrus
Essential Listening: ‘Kissing Other People’, ‘La Di Da’, ‘Bad’

If you think you’ve not heard Lennon Stella before, you’re probably wrong. In 2018 she featured on the huge smash single, ‘Polaroid’ with Jonas Blue and Liam Payne, before then joining forces with Megan Trainor for ‘Workin’ On It’ and rounding up 2019 with The Chainsmokers’ single, ‘Takeaway’. Oh, and there’s the fact that she spent much of her teenage years starring in huge musical TV series, Nashville.

Initially starting her career alongside sister, Maisy Stella, Lennon has now grown and established herself as a fully-fledged pop star. Her influences include the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The 1975 and The Beatles, which brings a refreshing twist to the modern pop soundscape, as she incorporates her love for both the old and the new into her music.

Debut EP, Love, Me, was an early insight into her writing style, each song sung from the heart with glistening synth beats atop her husky vocals, but there are still so many layers to Lennon Stella that we’re yet to discover. Having concluded 2019 with a huge tour supporting The Chainsmokers and 5 Seconds Of Summer, as well as a jaunt on our shores with Anne-Marie, she’s now charging into the new decade with her own headline shows as she prepares for a full global pop takeover.

O2 Ritz Manchester: Tuesday 25 February Buy Tickets

O2 Institute Birmingham: Friday 28 February Buy Tickets

O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire: Monday 2 March* Buy Tickets

O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire: Tuesday 3 March Buy Tickets

*This show is sold out but re-sale tickets may be available through our official ticketing partner, Ticketmaster.


TONES AND I

For Fans Of: Alma, Sigrid, Shawn Mendes
Essential Listening: ‘Dance Monkey’, ‘Never Seen The Rain’, ‘The Kids Are Coming’

There aren’t many artists who can say they’ve broken records before they’ve even put out an album, but that’s something Australian singer, Tones and I, achieved off the back of her breakout single, ‘Dance Monkey’. She now holds the record for the most weeks spent at the top of the UK singles chart by a female artist, taking the crown from both Whitney Houston and Rhianna with her 11-week win. Not bad for someone who just over a year ago was busking on Byron Bay.

Thanks to the support of Australian radio station, Triple J and the hordes of followers she’d amassed from her busking days, Tones and I has swiftly become one of the biggest global sensations of the year. Her distinct, unique voice is what really sets her apart from other artists in pop music today, whilst her cheery melodies will lift even the dampest of spirits. Her debut EP, The Kids Are Coming is a collection of standout pop bangers that prove Tones and I as a force to be reckoned with and if things continue as they have done, she’ll be breaking more records before the year is out.

O2 Forum Kentish Town: Friday 28 February Buy Tickets

O2 Ritz Manchester: Sunday 1 March* Buy Tickets

*This show is sold out but re-sale tickets may be available through our official ticketing partner, Ticketmaster.


GRACE CARTER

For Fans Of: Ella Eyre, Lewis Capaldi, Freya Ridings
Essential Listening: ‘Why Her Not Me’, ‘Fired Up’, ‘Heal Me’

2019 was a big year for Grace Carter. Kicking it off with coming third in the BBC Sound of 2019, she then dived in deep with sets at SXSW and Glastonbury, toured across Asia, joined Lewis Capaldi on the road and continued to release soulful, rich and emotive songs that could break the coldest of hearts.

Growing up in Brighton, Grace initially put pen to paper to help vent her frustrations about her absent father, but little did she know that those songs would become the building blocks for a burgeoning career. After relocating to London, she poured everything she had into her music, channelling all of her emotions into debut release, Why Her Not Me. Seven songs of pure and honest soul with a modern edge, it showcased a maturity in her songwriting rarely seen and established her as a flourishing talent.

The end of the year was awash with self-love and acceptance for Grace, with singles ‘Fired Up’ and ‘Amnesia’ unleashing a new side to her, full of positivity and hope for the future. 2020 certainly holds a lot of promise for the singer and frankly, we can’t wait to see what comes next.

O2 Institute Birmingham: Sunday 22 March Buy Tickets

O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire: Wednesday 25 March Buy Tickets


D'ONE

For Fans Of: Yung Fume, M Huncho, Yxng Bane
Essential Listening: ‘Dior Runners’, ‘Next Up?’, ‘Blew A Bag’

The British rap scene is absolutely thriving right now, with a wealth of artists rising up through the ranks and dominating both airwaves and stages nationwide. Having already amassed millions of streams with his breakout EP, This Wasn’t Expected, in 2018, D’One went full steam ahead with the follow-up, last year’s full-length mixtape, No Handouts. Featuring guest appearances from Yung Fume and Park Hill amongst others, it saw D’One level up and prove his worth amongst the scene's finest.

Receiving continued praise from BBC Radio 1Xtra DJs for his versatility and sharp flow, it’s no surprise that his debut headline show in the capital was a sell-out and with his biggest live dates to come, there’s no doubt that D’One is on the brink of something big.

O2 Institute Birmingham: Wednesday 26 February Buy Tickets

O2 Academy Islington: Monday 2 March Buy Tickets


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