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Ones To Watch in 2021

Entering the new year with hearts full of hope and promise, we present to you the sound of tomorrow.

Ones To Watch 2021 - GIG GOER

While 2020 was a year ruled by great uncertainties and unpredictable struggles, we look towards the future with courage and optimism, because even during the darkest of times, music has always been there for us. Comforting our weary souls and creating the soundtrack to the coming 12 months, dive into the list of the artists who, in our opinion, deserve the spotlight in 2021.

Holly Humberstone

Releasing her debut EP Falling Asleep At The Wheel last year, Holly Humberstone unveiled her sweet vocals and mesmerisingly dark sound to the world. With melodies that comfortably sit between indie and mainstream, and heart-on-sleeve lyricism that welcomes you into her personal thoughts and feelings, she’s an artist that you will have no difficulty connecting to. Candidly exploring topics of mental health and romantic relationships, she vocalises the preoccupations of the upcoming generation in an irresistibly infectious manner, and this will see her connecting with even more listeners in the upcoming year. (Athena Kam)

chloe moriondo 

At only eighteen, chloe moriondo is making a splash. Blending bedroom pop, indie, and low-key pop-punk, her sound is going to take her far this year. The honest production and raw vocals make her music relatable while the warmth and fizziness of her musical stylings make listening to chloe’s music increasingly enjoyable with each new release. Tracks like GIRL ON TV and I Want To Be With You are great teasers for what is to come. Given that she signed to Fueled By Ramen in August, we’ve got all eyes on chloe moriondo in 2021. (Courtney Rogers)


Marrying the bittersweet nostalgia of the moments past with the infinite possibilities of the future, mehro’s music is sure to resonate with every nerve in your body and every corner of your soul. This LA-based newcomer won us over the moment we heard his debut single, perfume, in February 2020. Drawing inspiration from the world that surrounds him (lightning) and the dark thoughts that reside within (hideous), mehro offers a great dose of harmony and emotional depth within his work. With a knack for poignant storytelling, he balances out somber lyricism with his ethereal guitar work and captivating vocals, creating an aura of pure bliss and sonic refinement. Reminiscent of greats like Jeff Buckley and Neil Young, and with only three songs released so far, mehro is a truly exceptional and fascinating new talent to keep an eye on. (Kasia Osowiecka)

Sam Tompkins

Brighton-based fusion artist Sam Tompkins makes music for us to cry to, and he takes pride in that. Using raw lyrics based on things he’s experienced in his life – drug use and abuse, love and loss of loved ones, mental health, and loneliness – he gives his listeners something to resonate with and make their own. Sam is one of the most talented artists of the moment. 2020 was a strong year for Tompkins; he released an array of singles and the, extremely fitting, isolation diaries EP. We’re expecting to see Sam exceed in 2021 as he’s set to head on an EU tour in March, and the new material he’s got in the works is “his best work yet.” Sam’s connectivity and communication with his fans is a vital part of his music, as, after opening up to us about his mental health, he’s formed a whole community. Keep an ear out. (Zoe Waggitt)

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard have been making some serious waves in the indie music scene with their anthemic rock tunes that will transport you back to the days of glam rock. Hailing from Cardiff, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard are truly marvellous, with tracks such as Double Denim Hop not only featuring devilishly good guitar hooks but also proving just why so many people have come to admire this relatively new band. Single Hollywood Actors is also another song you should be adding to your playlists immediately. With its pop rock approach, this track really is somewhat of a small musical triumph that puts Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard firmly on the ‘Ones To Watch’ list. (Faith Martin)

Baby Queen

The rate at which Baby Queen had exploded on the music scene last year has been astounding to witness. We covered her debut release, Internet Religion, in June and by November, she was opening for YUNGBLUD on his virtual UK tour dates reaching millions globally. Her quirky, raw representation of Gen Z attitudes and problems combined with her varying aesthetics and pop styles demonstrate a promising future. Her explosive, danceable single, Want Me, is a great starting point for anyone looking to listen to Baby Queen. (Courtney Rogers)


The Cleveland-born, Wisconsin-based performer, Kenneth La’ron aka KennyHoopla is one of the hottest new names on the alt scene right now, and it’s not only because he had collaborated with Travis Barker, nothing,nowhere., grandson, and Jesse of The Neighbourhood last year alone. His debut EP, how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?//, is a snapshot of the millennial angst and the unfiltered honesty and vulnerability screaming loudly at the world through the speakers. Self-labeled as “new wave nostalgia”, the sound of KennyHoopla brims with a variety of influences, ranging from indie masters and rock heroes to pop punk underdogs, melting into one giant hot sonic pot. The future of music starts now, and it is called KennyHoopla. (Kasia Osowiecka)

will hyde

Making his debut last year with the with u in mind. EP, will hyde has charmed with his infectious and bouncy melodies, while keeping it real with his honest songwriting. His shining authenticity transforms his music into a platform for catharsis and truth-searching, as he opens up about his own struggles with mental health and relationships. Without shying away from hard-hitting topics, Will’s open admittances will be sure to help some feel more comfortable in their own skin, and offer a refreshing reminder that none of us are perfect and that’s okay – we can still find the beauty in our life, create, and grow stronger from the flaws. (Athena Kam)

Alfie Templeman

17-year-old bedroom-pop artist Alfie Templeman is one of the youngest, most prevalent faces on the indie scene. He began making music in 2018, and the recognition came piling in following his Happiness In Liquid Form EP, released earlier in 2020. Templeman features on BBC Music’s Future Sound of 2021 longlist, and he performed the hit Forever Isn’t Long Enough on the end of the year on Top Of The Pops last week. Templeman is starting the new year in good stead. (Zoe Waggitt)


Offering something different is difficult in a heavily saturated music scene, but joan have done it. While everyone else was stuck experimenting with eighties synthpop, the duo dabbled in nineties throwbacks and electric indie-pop. Their 2020 EP, cloudy, contains some of the best pop music released in recent years including the outrageously catchy want u back. With a strong team, growing fanbase, and the prospect of going on tour again, we think joan are heading towards their most fruitful year yet in 2021. (Courtney Rogers)

Maya Delilah

We knew we were in for a treat when Maya Delilah shared her debut EP Oh Boy last year. A collection of whimsical guitars and lulling vocals, listening to her music feels like floating on a cloud nine made of cotton candy that offers a sweet escape into your fancies and daydreams. With touches of R&B, chill-pop, and soul effusing into her melodies, it’s an intoxicating combination that you won’t be able to get enough of. Given the oft-nightmarish reality of 2020, Maya provided much-sought relief, and will continue to do so this year with promises of new music on the horizon. (Athena Kam)


Originating from The Netherlands, now based in London, Eyelar has already established her name and position in the music world. In the last couple of years she has continued to expand her stellar songwriting catalogue, having worked with Charli XCX, Bastille, and Demi Lovato amongst many other pop and alternative artists. Honing her craft, Eyelar had mastered the more mainstream side to pop music with the release of her summer pop banger Say It With Your Eyes, before stripping back for the emotionally vulnerable and intimate pop stunner, Doin’ It Again. With elegance and radiance to her sound, 2020 was the year Eyelar embraced her inner pop star, emerging as an artist in her own right. (Kasia Osowiecka)


If 2020 was good for anyone, it was definitely TikTokers. The platform saw exponential growth with many musicians gaining recognition along the way. Thanks to her song Supalonely with Gus Dapperton featuring in a dance trend started by @zoifishh, Kiwi singer BENEE is one of those artists that benefited. Her warm tones and infectious energy make every day feel like summer. Her debut album Hey u x dropped in November so expect lots of promotion and big things from BENEE this year. (Courtney Rogers)


‘Fake it ’til you make it’. We’ve probably all heard of that phrase before, but UPSAHL takes the message to heart as she plays out a confident and self-assured character while simultaneously going through a Young Life Crisis, also the title of her sophomore EP. Oozing with attitude and swagger, she crafts magnetic, rock-tinged sound that compels you with its catchiness. Besides her solo music, she has also penned tracks for the likes of Dua Lipa and Madison Beer, so you can guarantee that UPSAHL has plenty of credentials under her belt to live up to and exceed all expectations. (Athena Kam)


Another TikTok recognisee, Yorkshire’s KiD RAiN has spent the year grafting, putting masses of effort into his content, in hopes of his voice getting heard. Gathering over 12,000 monthly Spotify listeners since his debut at the start of 2020, I’d say his attempts have been successful. He ended his first year in music with the much-anticipated Bored Of Love EP, which contained a fusion of sounds inspired by the likes of Lauv, Yungblud and Charlie Puth. He’s set himself up for a promising 2021, and we can’t wait to hear what he comes out with next. (Zoe Waggitt)

Luke Wild

With over a decade of musical experience under his belt, LA-based artist Luke Wild elevated his songwriting to new heights with his debut EP, Sunburn. Blending the airy dream-pop aesthetic with punk rock energy, Wild crafts a world full of sonic wonders. His meticulous approach to his work alongside the openness and poetic lyrical prowess with which he designs his tunes brings forth a unique talent. A hidden gem in the over-saturated indie scene. With his inspirations ranging from Elvis Presley to Frank Ocean and everything in between, Luke Wild synthesises a sound that is beautifully and utterly his own. From the indie-electronic delight that is Fever Brain, to deep self-reflection and self-awareness in Everything Is So Hard to soul-searching moments (Drop Me Off In The Sky), Luke Wild creates pure melodic magic. (Kasia Osowiecka)

Somebody’s Child

Irish artist Cian Godfrey, AKA Somebody’s Child, shares a sound and a narrative that makes you feel you’re right at home with the ones who understand you. The release of his debut EP 20-Something gave us a raw, pounding run of indie (mixed with a dash of rock) melodies that would get your heart pumping, but his most recent release Lost strips all back for a touching confession. His prowess across a range of styles makes him one to keep an eye on, as we eagerly await what new directions he may take his music in. (Athena Kam)

The Rills

The Rills are an indie/post-punk band from London whose infectious melodies and hard-hitting lyrics make for a thrilling musical experience. This four piece are set to take 2021 by storm and with their Spotify monthly listeners exceeding 53000 it’s clear to see that people just can’t get enough of this fresh and inventive new band. Their latest single Stardog features a high energy chorus and sharp guitar lines that ooze confidence whilst also presenting itself as a track that would most certainly be the highlight of any live show. Previous singles such as Pyro prove just why you should be checking out The Rills and their no nonsense, straight talking post-punk tunes. (Faith Martin)

Arrows In Action

Arrows In Action are a power-pop/pop-punk band from Gainesville, Florida. Having been making music for three years, it’s only in the last couple months they’ve started getting the recognition they deserve; tracks such as This Time, Failing On Purpose, and Honey show us what they’re really about. AIA’s promotion tactic is using TikTok, which seems to be the place for many an up-and-coming artist; sketches, ‘meme’ videos, and just general chit-chats, with their music playing in the background has helped boost up their listeners. For fans of All Time Low, Mayday Parade, and You vs Yesterday. (Zoe Waggitt)

Coach Party

The Isle of Wight quartet brought their searing energy to 2020, delivering a dose of charge and adrenaline that helped us power through the otherwise monotonous routine in lockdown. Think pummelling drums, electrifying guitars, and raucous vocals – you’re guaranteed all of that in the most hooking way, as the band shares an indie sound you won’t be able to get enough of. The release of their debut EP Party Food paved the way for more hype around the growing musicians, and leaves us excited for everything to come this year. (Athena Kam)


If you’re an indie-pop fan and you’re not listening to Valley yet, you’re going to be kicking yourself when they dominate this year. In 2020, the band released their EP sucks to see you doing better. Chocked full of playful lyricism and pop-culture references, the Canadians’ musicality shines through in songs like hiccup and nevermind. Alongside the delightful contrast between their singers, Valley have also mastered catchy hooks for relatable topics resulting in fun, sing-a-long tracks. (Courtney Rogers)

Alex Amor

Newcomer Alex Amor hails from Glasgow and has quickly familiarised herself with listeners through poignant tales and introspective reflections. Providing an emotional commonality across which we can share ourselves and connect with others, her music resonates resoundingly in a laid-back and dreamy manner that will lift you from the constraints of everyday life into an ethereal soundscape. She is gearing up for the release of her debut EP Love Language, a collection of personal tracks that invites us to delve into her lived experiences, and we have little doubt that it will propel Alex into the mainstream. (Athena Kam)