Sound City Festival

Ones to Watch at Sound City 2024

Sound City is taking place this weekend, Liverpool’s premier get-together for new music across the city’s wide range of charming venues.

A hub for discovering some of the very best emerging talent, it’s an A&R reps dream – and the place to be for any music lover looking to broaden their sonic horizons.

Yet with so much to choose from across the Saturday and Sunday (4 and 5 May), navigating who and what to see isn’t always easy. So here’s a pick of some acts – albeit a mere slither of the overall selection – that we recommend checking out.


Viji’s debut album So Vanilla arrived last year – and was anything but its namesake. Few things in music at present provide quite the rubberstamp of approval as being released via the esteemed label Speedy Wunderground, and the label clearly see something in this rising Vienna-born alt-pop star. We’d be wise, as is almost always the way with them, to take note.

Coal Mob

If you are a fan of the bands Shame and IDLES, you’ll love Coal Mob. The band inherits a punky sound in their verses which cohabits with more pop-based choruses. They might only have two songs to their name to date, but this does not shroud their prowess as songwriters or performers – it’s merely a promising beginning for a band with a big future. 


19-year-old Daniella Lubasu, aka DellaXOZ, is one of a number of artists who used lockdowns (remember them?) to take their creative endeavours to new heights. The maturity she’s accrued since then is there for all to hear on her latest EP, DELLAIRIUM; as indeed is her stage presence then and performative nous (which this music reporter can vouch for after seeing her support Isabel LaRosa at the turn of the year).


Balancing Act 

This new band is proving to be a must-see new act on the British indie-rock and alt scene. They started to make a name for themselves from their energetically charged live shows around the country, drawing inspiration from bands like Blossoms and Arctic Monkeys. There most certainly a band not to miss this weekend.

Seb Lowe

One of a few artists on this list to have been boosted by TikTok, Seb Lowe is becoming far more than just a flash-in-the-pan ‘TikTok star’. Breaking down the pitfalls of our present society with a wisdom that belies his 20 years of age, the young troubadour is on a fast-rising trajectory – and you can see just why for yourselves at this year’s Sound City.

Home Counties

After reinventing their image and style, Home Counties, formerly known as Haze, have successfully captured the attention of new fans whilst preserving their old ones. The band feels their sound has progressed into more sophisticated chord progressions rather than “just spamming all the chords and hoping for the best,” guitarist Conor Kearney once quipped. Moving away from punk music, their new sound is based more on 80s synth riffs similar to the Talking Heads with some raw punk energy thrown in for good measure. Their new single ‘you break it you bought it’ is a perfect example of this new era for this must-see band.

Antony Szmierek

We all remember that one cool teacher; the one we listened to not because they cracked the whip (metaphorically speaking that is, Ofsted) but because we respected them. Well one school in particular will be pretty use to that feeling given spoken word artist and producer Antony Szmierek teaches there. Blending indie, hip-hop and lo-fi beats with his John Cooper Clarke-esque vocals, Szmierek will teach us all a lesson in enjoying ourselves.

Antony Szmierek
Antony Szmierek

Brooke Combe

Listening to the depth of feeling and soulful swelling of sound on Brooke Combe’s Black Is The New Gold LP from last year, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Scottish Music Award-winning soul singer hadn’t been around for years. The truth is, we’re in the relatively early days for Brooke, with bags of even more potential yet to be filled.

Gen And The Degenerates

Fresh from the release of their recent debut album Anti-Fun Propaganda – which was steered by esteemed producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, Amyl and the Sniffers, Gang of Four) – Genevieve Glynn-Reeves is in the mood for a dance. Fun, fizzy and full of unbridled assaults on the quick-fix culture and social media-obsessed world we live in, if you wanted a good time, Gen and their degenerates have got you covered.

Georgia Johnson

An artist to look out for this weekend is Georgia Johnson. Her newest release, ‘ghost song’, is her most fast-paced to date, providing a punchy rock-influenced bassline paired with a catchy guitar riff. Her style might draw from a mixture of genres, but we have a very singular view that you should check her out.

Flat Party

Formed at Bath Spa University in 2019 by charmismatic frontman Jack Lawther and guitarist and vocalist Rory O’Rourke, Flat Party soon expanded their entourage into a must-see six-piece. With their debut, self-titled EP having dropped at the turn of the year, trust me: this is a party you well and truly don’t want to miss.

Flat Party
Flat Party. Photo: Jas Kisbee


Signed to Liverpool-based label Modern Sky, Manchester guitar band Delights has amassed millions of listeners with a sound reminiscent of The Neighbourhood. The release of their debut EP, Cool Sports, in 2022 heralded a band of sophistication. And in the city where their label proudly calls home, they’ll be sure to put on a show this weekend.

Find out more, including the full line-up and schedule, via the festival’s site here.

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