The sheer variety of musical talent that’s coming out of Sheffield in 2018 is off the chain.
From hip-hop to folk to cosmic punk it’s pretty much all happening in the Steel City.
Here are 20 of our top picks.
I could hardly believe it when I heard this experimental hip-hop banger. I loved Creep and Crawl, with its fat groove, big tight production, and introspective lyrics.
But Oh Jane is a whole other level. Otis Mensah is reaching new plains of sophistication, and I’ve got my fingers crossed for a whole album of this stuff. Otis has the potential to literally set things off.
These jazz-rockers have somehow captured their massive live sound and energy in their new album Momento Mori, which the following video comes from.
It’s lush, melodic, and beautiful, even at it’s noisiest moments. Check it out, and hear their whole album on Bandcamp.
Before Breakfast are one the most striking bands in Sheffield right now.
Yes, the pop-folk quartet write clever songs, and beautiful harmonies. They also write incredibly honestly and frankly about some hugely important and difficult topics.
Check out the video for their single, Fat Child.
The Rheingans Sisters
Sheffield is home to some of the UK’s most critically acclaimed folk musicians, and The Rheingans Sisters are a prime example.
Their award-winning single Mackerel beautifully explores themes of life and death in Senja, a remote island in north-west Norway.
Dead Slow Hoot
Self-proclaimed ‘indie sad boys’ Dead Slow Hoot are one of the most original indie bands in Sheffield right now.
They’ve written some big, spooky anthems, and their whole vibe is fresh and fun. Check out this big scary single from last year, I hope you never say a word.
Katie Pham and the Moonbathers
Dreamy and jazzy, Katie Pham with her caramelly voice sounds like an angsty Nina Persson. I especially enjoy the Voyager EP.
These folks are one of several exciting acts that are coming out of the Blancmange Lounge collective, along with the likes of Jackie Moonbather, Rosey PM, and others. Check this out. Check ’em all out.
Renegade Brass Band
There’s a lot of brass talent in the Steel City, but no one can claim to have done as much for that reputation as the original heavyweights – Renegade Brass Band.
Check out the moody and groovy EAF, a great example of these guys at their best.
Mango Rescue Team
The tropical carnival extravaganza known as Mango Rescue Team are a wild latin-punk troupe known for their tremendous ability to get people sweaty and moving.
Check out the psychedelic carnival vibes going on in this live video of Melocoton.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve listened to Jim Ghedi’s latest album, A Hymn for Ancient Land. It’s simply the most beautiful, soothing collection of songs I’ve heard this year.
Check out this live video of Home for Moss Valley, which comes from that incredible record.
James Ewan Tait
James Ewan Tait is producing some uniquely enjoyable music. His recent EP, Everything, loads, all the time, forever, is a rich journey condensed into four masterfully crafted songs.
His new live video for Lime Grove shows him, in my opinion, at his best ever.
Call it weird, synthy, garage-rock, call it alternative psychedelic pop – Mysteron are enigmatic, and, yes, quite mysterious.
Check out their single and video Wet Man. It’s bold, funny, and brimming with character.
Rogue Siesta create soulful, bluesy reggae, and they are experts at getting a crowd moving.
Groovy, fun, and brilliantly executed, Rogue Siesta represent a large proportion of what’s good about music in Sheffield.
Watch this high-energy live video of their banger, Bear Trap.
Describing themselves as an ‘indie glitter band’ The Seamonsters are rapidly rising, and with good reason. These youngsters have already claimed support slots with the likes of VANT and Kate Nash, thanks to their fresh, fun sound, and charisma.
Check out their video for Sunshine Criminal.
The hugely talented Franz Von is a rapper and emcee who creates socially hip-hop and jungle fusion rooted in African rhythms. His EP Escapism is a blistering debut release.
Check out his insane video for Energy Waves.
Jackie Moonbather smashed the ball out of the park with his album The Month of May. This single Love Theme From May, along with beautiful visuals from GRIT multimedia, is simply masterful.
It’s like DIY soul – or something – with bags of charm, and some delicious grooves.
Life Aquatic Band
Life Aquatic Band are a zany, brassy, folk-funk-punk outfit that have been making waves in Sheffield for some time.
Their songs are intelligent and catchy, and their live shows are a delight. Paint is Blue is a dreamy, melancholic classic.
Be sure to check out their latest single, Keep the Rain Away, too.
Dutch singer-songwriter LIO is a vocalist of the highest order, and recent months have seen her earn support slots with the likes of Stevie Parker, Slow Club and While She Sleeps.
After flying solo for several for several years, LIO now works with a full live band, and it’s taken her sound to the next level. Check out her amazing voice from this live session, shot by Riffly.
Oh Papa create dreamy surf pop music, and deliver it with understated brilliance. Their debut album is on its way, and we can’t wait.
In the meantime, check out this live acoustic video of them performing Magnetic at Sofar sounds.
K.O.G & The Zongo Brigade
K.O.G & The Zongo Brigade have been taking festivals all over the world by storm with their incredible afro-fusion sounds, led by the force-of-nature that is K.O.G.
Check out this massive party banger, Turn up the music and find out what the fuss is all about.
TYNI is doing something unlike anyone else in Sheffield at the moment and it’s very cool. A lot of character, and a lot fun.
Check out the lyric video for her pop anthem, Fighter.
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Header image: Rob Blackham