Whilst Backseat Mafia now boasts writers and readers from all over the world, it all started in the northern city of Sheffield. We’re a proud lot here, and are particularly proud of the great musical acts we have brought to the world. Pulp, Richard Hawley, Joe Cocker and Arctic Monkeys are our crowning glories. But if you look a little deeper, there are so many other amazing musical acts to add to our list. 2016 has been a great year for Sheffield acts, with some awesome new names emerging, and those we already loved developing into bonafide recording artists. Here are just a few that we are particularly excited about here at Backseat Mafia Towers.
* Chosen and written by Simfelemy
It’s been a busy year for singer, songwriter, and rocker of bow ties Jordan Rabjohn. He released his punk-pop debut album ‘R’, along with a string of quirky videos on his YouTube channel. He finished the year off in style by winning the regional finals of the Future Music Songwriting Competition. He’s definitely our favourite for the UK finals next year. Check out the video for his song ‘Mexico’.
Braver Than Fiction
When talking about Lazurus style comebacks, they don’t get much bigger than local favourites Braver Than Fiction. After lead singer Mel’s cancer diagnosis in 2015 (she kicked its ass by the way), they relaunched themselves onto the scene with a series of fund raising gigs for McMillan cancer care, and a brand new four track EP ‘The Fool‘. There’s no keeping a good band down, and by the sound of these new tracks, 2017 is likely to be even bigger.
Think hip-hop music and Northern industrial towns don’t go hand in hand? Think again. Street artist Kid Acne is as much a part of Sheffield’s landscape as the cheese grater, or the now extinct Tinsley Cooling Towers. But art is just one string to his bow, and this year his collaboration with DJ Benjamin, Mongrels, produced a killer album ‘Attack The Monolith’. Check our our review here.
Ryan Young & Electric Sunrise
Local live favourites Ryan Young & Electric Sunrise already had a string of great singles under their belt. But 2016 saw them stepping things up with the release of their awesome debut album ‘Heat seeker’ (read our review here), and it is jam packed full of good old-fashioned rock n roll. They’ve already got one of the hottest albums of 2016. With the follow up already underway, I don’t doubt for a second that next year will be just s huge for them. Check out our review for ‘Heat Seeker’ here.
Dan Loops’ debut album is the music equivalent of DIY. The singer, rapper, songwriter, poet, producer, multi-instramentalist and probably brain surgeon too brought out his debut this year, simply titled ‘An Album’. There’s been some awesome videos for songs from the album too, like this one for album highlight ‘Little old Lady’. Check out our review of ‘An Album’ here.
Sheffield has always been a big player in the rock scene. With acts like While She Sleeps and Bring Me The Horizon heralding from the steel city, it has paved the way for a whole new wave of acts wanting to take the crown. Eden Haze show strong signs of being the next big rock act to make their way into the mainstream. Their recent ‘Body’ EP is proof of that, and this is the video for our favourite track ‘Heart’.
Electronic producer, singer-songwriter Web Sheldon is a long standing friend of ours here at BSM. Inbetween releasing his Eps ‘Today Is All’ and ‘Modern Life Is Lies’, he managed to fit in doing a guest mix for our SoundCloud page. We’re particularly fond of this quirky trip-hop opener from the new EP.
Bayonet are Vince, Lewis, Danny and Sam, a gang of school friends who have given us such indie pop gems as “Heart Attack”, “Weekend” and “Everything”. I described them as an indie band designed for posters on teenage girl’s bedroom walls playing dreamy indie pop tunes and having seen them live on a few occasions now and interviewed them, the lads are also infectiously likeable, down-to-earth, hardworking musicians who deserve every success in the future. If you like the 1975 or Lisbon, check them out.
The SSS (Josh, Tom, Morgan, Cal and Max ) have conquered Sheffield’s live scene to some extent. They’ve played sold out gigs in The Leadmill and even packed out City Hall’s Ballroom and have unleashed the darkly melodic Merseybeat vibes of “The One You Need” this autumn. The band have been previously compared to other local heroes, the Arctic Monkeys and The Coral or The Zutons especially on their darker more wistful tracks. Their singles are modern indie classic, the kind to yell out from the moshpit to your best friend or to mouth to that girl you fancy on the dancefloor at the indie disco.
The Wired are Caleb, Jacob, Richard and Harris and are another up and coming band of indie heroes. With tracks like “Long Lost Days” and “Fit the Feel”, they capture a slightly timeless and summery vibe with tunes which sound like they should be soundtracking cult indie film montages and Caleb’s vocals sounding like a mixture of indie frontman (early Michael Stipe, Paul Draper) and some 1950s heartthrob. The Wired may be young and probably still have a long, exciting road ahead of them, but based on their current form, they’re an intriguing chunk of raw talent with a great ear for an indie anthem.
Listen to music from these and other great Sheffield bands and artists on our Spotify playlist.