Ignore The Mercury Prize: Here's Six New Acts You Need In Your Life

All the Twitter talk might be about the nominations coming out this evening, but check out these tips for the best acts you (might) not have heard of...
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Let’s Buy Happiness

To use the word “ethereal” is to offer yourself as a sacrifice to the Gods of the Music Journo Cliché. Unfortunately, if one looks at the definition of “ethereal”- 1: extremely light or delicate in way which seems to be not of this world, or 2: heavenly/spiritual- then it is indeed perfect for Let’s Buy Happiness.

They’ve actually been around since 2010, but with new single “Run” have really snagged my attention. With a debut album early next year, nationwide headlining tour in October (not to mention a romp round Mexico after that) expect big things and swathes of loveliness from the indie quintet.


IYES are an electronic two-piece from Brighton who have been causing a right old rumpus down on the South Coast and beyond, with their debut tune ‘Lighthouse’ doing more than enough to be termed/tainted as a ‘buzz’ tune earlier in the year

As it stands, all that’s available is a handful of demos, but there’s a real positive vibe behind these two: imagine the sweet melancholy of The XX, shot through with the kind of 80s synth lines that make them ripe for serotonin-flushing remixes.


This band should not be confused with their Polish namesakes who do a mean (and frankly awful) line in glam-ish thrash metal.

These boys are just about to release their debut single “See-Saw Girl” through the ever reliable Moshi Moshi Singles Club, and are a fitting addition to the stable that has overseen releases by the likes of Late Of The Pier, Disclosure and Kindness.

“See-Saw Girl” is fit to join any of these, with a thumping bass-line straight out of the Joy Division house of nightmares, and a yelped chorus that brings to mind the catchier bits of Fiction.

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After the almighty shrug that greeted Theme Park’s debut album, we feel a little tentative about recommending a band toeing a mean line in warm, jerky pop that sounds a bit like Talking Heads.

However, with a sound already seemingly defined by the Byrne-esque bounce of debut single “Over And Out”, they are tumbling into the indie ether in good stead. Indeed, it is hard to recall a band since The Vaccines (whose producer Dan Grech-Marguerat sat behind the desk for Flyte’s ‘Live EP’) giving such an early impression that they are defiantly en route to perch upon the rock and roll throne.

Les Jupes

This band from Winnipeg are the latest must-listen-to act for fans of The National, Interpol and Editors. Lead singer Michael P Falks has the kind of baritone delivery that will have sensitive boys across the land desperately scrabbling for online lyric compendiums.

Their latest release, E.P Negative Space, is out on the 30th September, and a listen to first single “Hold Me Down” confirms that they have let loose with their roots, and embraced Americana folk rather than English post-punk. It’s an exciting step on for them, and confirms them as genuine contenders to Berninger and friends.

Laura Jean

This half-Scandinavian, London-based singer came to the attention of the online world a month ago, when her friend Frank Turner gave some love (in the Facebook status sense) for her single “Drum Roll”.

It’s an undulating chest-beater of a tune, fitting for a gal that has developed quite a reputation as a DJ, and like all the best pop tunes made in the last five years sounds a bit like Robyn . With her blond hair and frankly smoking looks, the time is ripe for LJ to steam roll (er) her way into cans and stereos across the land.