Our Favourite Records from the Steel CityPosted by: Claudia Downs
For all your social distancing needs, here's some of our favourite albums created by Sheffielders.
Feeling a bit down in the dumps? If you're a music lover, it's tough when concerts keep getting cancelled. So we've compiled some of our favourite albums and EPs created in Sheffield, or by Sheffielders, to keep your playlists exciting. (We've left out the obvious ones - no slight intended to the Arctic Monkeys!)
VOX POP, Sheafs (EP, 2020)
The modern punk revival has seen bands like Fontaines DC and IDLES shoot to stardom for voicing the anxieties and anger of the younger generation. Sheafs are Sheffield's fantastic contribution to the genre (named after the River Sheaf that runs through the city!) Expect thrashing guitars, big shouty choruses and sardonic, topical lyrics. Lead single 'Total Vanity' is a scathing examination of individualistic, social-media driven culture, whilst 'Care Less' addresses the anxiety of how we fit in with it all. One line in the song WIFA - "the world is falling apart by the day" - seems particularly fitting right now. Well suited for a head-bang around the house.
Open Ears, Before Breakfast (EP, 2019)
Gina Walters and Lucy Revis are the dynamic folk-pop duo behind Before Breakfast. They describe themselves as "singing songs mainly about being a woman", anchored in strong melodies with dreamlike harmonies. Reflective, introspective lyrics on the female experience are explored through both lilting, ethereal passages and bold crescendos of emotion. Cello plays a big role in their music, adding a dramatic, classical dimension to their sound. Perfect for fans of First Aid Kit or Bat For Lashes.
Sleep Now Suburbia, I Set the Sea on Fire (2016)
You might not know you like alternative funk-rock, but you will soon. I Set the Sea on Fire utilise four-part harmonies, a trumpet, trombone and flute alongside the traditional indie band. Curious yet? Lead single 'Tastes Like Funk' received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and 2, and for good reason - it's a stomping, joyful track that celebrates "raising a glass to the end of days." Pretty fitting right now. Sleep Now Suburbia is a colourful, fun record that will most likely get you dancing.
A Heartbreaker's Guide to the Galaxy, Bang Bang Romeo (2019)
Okay, these guys are from Doncaster, but we think that's close enough! NME described them as "searing and soulful blues tinged Rock n' Roll." Fronted by the powerful vocals of Anastasia Walker, who is also a proud voice of the LGBT community, Bang Bang Romeo have also supported Pink on tour. We'd best describe them as somewhere between Alabama Shakes and Lady Gaga - but you really should listen to them for yourselves to find out.
Rap Poetics, Otis Mensah (EP, 2019)
You may not know, but rapper and poet Otis Mensah is the first Poet Laureate of Sheffield. Mensah has described his work as a means of challenging dominant models of masculinity, and his debut EP, Rap Poetics, is a continuation of his poetry book that "explores rap as an intellectual art form." Mensah marries nostalgia with a distinctly contemporary take on hip-hop; expect flow reminiscent of 90's rappers like Nas, but with intelligent examinations of modern existence and anxieties at the forefront. It's equal parts cerebral, witty, and emotional - so however you're feeling, we bet there's something you'll connect with.
No Reunions, Dead Slow Hoot (2019)
Dead Slow Hoot's alt-rock has a distinctly bittersweet, macabre edge that sets it apart: they've been described by Backdoor Mafia as what music might sound like directed by Tim Burton. Tracks on their debut album build from melancholic musings to explosions of sound, driven by gritty basslines. Their lyrics are wistful, capturing the sadness and confusion of modern existence - 'An Island Keen to Float' addresses Brexit in a reflective, unique way. If you need a rousing soundtrack to your angst, these are the guys to listen to.
Please consider supporting these local artists and bands by buying music and merchandise from their online shops. Click the name of each artist to visit their website/shop.