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Ten New Artists To Watch at Reading and Leeds 2018

The annual Reading and Leeds Festival is revving up for another year of diversely selected sonic mayhem, and with that comes a rake of artists who cover both the emerging and established ends of the spectrum.

There are plenty of names on there you’ll definitely recognise. You’ve got acts such as Fall Out BoyKendrick Lamar, and Kings of Leon headlining, so that gives you an idea of the scale of artists you can expect to see. However, there will also be artists and bands who you may not know so much about…

Reading And Leeds Festival 2018 Lineup | Fall Out Boy, Kendrick Lamar, Kings Of Leon

But don’t panic at the disco (so, so, sorry about that one), your friendly neighbourhood NextFest is here to help you out with some of the more emerging acts on the scene. Here (in no particular order) are our top ten new artists to watch at Reading and Leeds 2018.

Tiana Major9

On a jazzy, bluesy tip, is South London’s silken-voiced songstress, Tiana Major9. There is a definite hip-hop influence in Tiana‘s music, but the soul in her beautiful vocal execution draws her sound far nearer to the jazz sound that is making her one of the hottest young artists to come from the capital. Her heartfelt, intelligent, and emotionally-led lyrics place her head and shoulders above her peers, and she is definitely one to watch out for even if you don’t catch her performing at R&L.


Australian band, DMA’s, recently played at Liverpool’s Sound City festival which, this year, concentrated on a more underground vibe. That isn’t to underestimate the popularity of the band, and the furore they play in a live setting. With a rake of tracks made just for festival stages, catch a load of the antipodean rockers at Reading and Leeds this year.


Pizzagirl is one Liam Brown, who hails from Liverpool (do they ever STOP putting out great music in that city?!). His music is a heady concoction that seems to draw influence from a number of sources, like if fellow Liverpudlians Echo and the Bunnymen, along with Russian Futurists, Beck, and Tobacco, all somehow got Ariel Pink pregnant thanks to a divine intervention from Tycho, and out popped Pizzagirl. Expected electronica, harmonies, and catchy hooks from the young artist.

Sleep Token

The enigmantic metal band, Sleep Token, definitely deserve a bit of your time at Reading and Leeds 2018. The band, borne of a cult, the origins of which are centuries past, combine a tumultuous mix of emotion into their sound, weaving dreamlike aural tapestries before their supplicative audience. Check out their latest track, Jaws, below.

Black Futures

Black Futures make some lovely racket, as they merge their punk influences with Einstürzende Neubauten style industrial noise, Rage Against The Machine vitriol, The Prodigy‘s dance edge, and a touch of the electronic side of N.I.N. The band are all about high energy, so prepare to throw your fists, feet, and elbows into the moshpit as the band take to 2018’s Reading and Leeds fezzie.

Wyvern Lingo

I’m not sure why, but the first time I heard the opening bars of Wyvern Lingo‘s Maybe It’s My Nature, I was immediately reminded of Fugees Killing Me Softly. I suspect it has something to do with the sleek harmony that the track opens with, as the trio weave their vocals together as though they were tendrils of smoke, jazzy guitar licks lounging lazily in the background. Forget the Spice Girls mate, this is girl power. Go and watch them.

Lisa Mercedez

Jamaica heads to the UK via South London’s very own Lisa Mercedez, who brings with her a dancehall explosion with a modern twist. Dub sirens, dancehall breaks and of course, Lisa‘s own inimitable delivery, make this into some tommy gun dancehall that’ll have the whole of R&L twerkin’ before you know it. Dutty wine!

Mason Maynard

Young Mancunian producer, Mason Maynard, planned his trajectory the second his debut dropped back in 2016. Since then, he has enjoyed releases on some of the most prominent labels on the electronic music scene, most notably Green Velvet‘s Cajual imprint.

His take on the Chicago House sound has rendered quite the reputation for Maynard, and we definitely think you’d be a fool to miss out. Funky, chunky, and brimming with the Chicago sound, we have no doubt that Mason‘s set will go down nicely at this year’s Reading and Leeds festival.


Seattle’s most ferocious female four-piece, Thunderpussy, are a band who, in their own words, ‘do the most rock ‘n’ roll thing possible and quite literally fuck up every rock ‘n’ roll stereotype you know to be true, piercing the halls of Valhalla in the process.’ Get a load of their raucus riot at R&L this year, just be prepared to sweat, because if Thunderpussy doesn’t get your rocks off, then nothing will.

Jimothy Lacoste

“Hey, girl, I can speak Spanish, Bet you didn’t know that I know a different language…” go the opening lines to Jimothy Lacoste‘s track I Can Speak Spanish. The London artist is making waves as something totally different to what you’ve got coming out of the likes of the grime scene right now. His amusing lyrical documentation of his life and observations will raise a laugh and perhaps the odd eyebrow, but honestly, he really needs to be seen to be believed. Hang out for the track DRUGS. You won’t get what you expect…



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