7 Niche music artists to freshen up your taste

BY Lauren John

16th Apr 2024 Music

4 min read

7 Niche music artists to freshen up your taste
If you’re looking for something new to listen to then these sub-genre or crossover music artists on the rise could be the answer
Looking for something new to listen to but don’t know where to start? Maybe it’s time to mix things up with seven sub-genre or crossover acts that are all making waves within their respective scenes, or starting to achieve mainstream recognition.  

At 1980—synth wave

Proof that long-distance relationships work when it comes to musical collaborations, the duo At 1980 gave wings to their third studio album Forget to Remember, flying the flag for synth wave and electronic music, in 2024.
Spaniard Adrian Quesada Michelena, and Brit-born, Nashville-based Josh Dally found each other on social media in 2019 and never looked back.
"Eighties nostalgia meets a soaring modern twist on classic synth wave instrumentation"
Think neon-lit graphics, Eighties nostalgia meets a soaring modern twist on classic synth wave instrumentation, and you’ll have an idea of what to expect from this album, but there are a few instrumental surprises too.
Slick and memorable singles “Still in Love” and “Pieces of Me” have been laying the groundwork for an “electronic” summer, and we can’t wait!
Forget to Remember is out now, and available on all streaming platforms, and other formats (via Bandcamp).

Kat Eaton—jazz and soul

Welsh-born, Yorkshire-based Kat Eaton has an impressive CV, and with her new album Honestly looks set to unleash an exciting chapter in the jazz-soul story. Kat’s credits include BBC Radio and European radio play, a support slot for Jools Holland, and co-writes with Caro Emerald.
Honestly is pitch perfect for production values, with a mix of chilled tracks, and toe-tapping sing-alongs that are sure to soar on her June UK tour.
Standouts include the gospel-tinged, a cappella clapping vibes of “Aint No Mardi Gras”, “Saturday Night at the NBT”, which has a Sixties feel, and the nostalgic “Frequency”. This album will draw you in and have you hitting the repeat button.
Honestly is out now and available on CD, vinyl and digital platforms.

The Jackson Line—modern country and Americana

Hailing from the birthplace of radio in Essex, The Jackson Line knows where it’s at when it comes to vocals. Whether it’s that Nashville-tinged lead, harmonies, or backing vocals, this trio are on point, and it shows. 
In recent years they’ve caught the attention of country music radio, editorial streaming playlists, and played some bucket-list venues and festivals, with more to come. Their storytelling and modern country twang cross the spectrum of tempo and style.
Previous release “Shade of the Pines” is an uptempo earworm you can’t help but respond to, while their forthcoming single is a less acoustic tune. Slow down and stream The Day That I Held You from April 12.
See The Jackson Line at Speedfest Country, Brands Hatch on June 8, 2024.

Friendly Fire Band—reggae and dancehall

What do you get when an international group of musicians meet in the reggae capital of the UK (Birmingham)? Friendly Fire Band. If you don't recognise the name, you may have heard their anthem “It’s a Brum Ting”, which played out over BBC coverage of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, sending them soaring into the mainstream.
This Brummie collective has built up a reputation as an original band, and backing outfit for the likes of Susan Cadogan and Tippa Irie.
"You may have heard their anthem “It’s a Brum Ting”, which played out over BBC coverage of the 2022 Commonwealth Games"
Whether they're collaborating with some of the best UK reggae artists, or releasing their original material, this band like to keep busy.
You’re never too far away from a veritable feast of dancehall, rhythmic vocal styles, and production surprises, so why not groove to the sounds of Jamaica this spring and summer?
Listen to 2023 album Black Cab Riddim on your favourite streaming platform.

Kira Mac Band—blues rock

From their grassroots beginnings, Kira Mac has been a band that makes an entrance, and an impact on the music scene. If you’re looking for power in each element of songwriting, production and performance, then the Kira Mac Band are ready to deliver.
A firm favourite of Planet Rock Radio, and with over 800K streams on their Spotify Wrapped stats at the end of last year, this quartet are certainly on the rise.
Their album Chaos is Calling from 2022, and last year's single release “Scorned” showcases the best of blues rock, with pulsating guitars and vocals. For acoustic treats or teasing of tour surprises, head over to Instagram before their spring gigs.
Catch Kira Mac, with support from Jayler, on tour from April 25. 

Eliza Rose—house and garage

To fully appreciate Eliza Rose as an artist, DJ and producer, we’d suggest taking a deep dive into her SoundCloud page. Achieving a No.1 hit (“B.O.T.A.”) and Brit and MOBO nominations is no mean feat, but there’s all sorts of surprises when you start to stream.
Eliza Rose shifts with ease between mixing for the likes of DJ Mag and Rinse FM, and putting out her own material.
Inspired by what she calls R&B innovators not afraid to embrace pop sensibilities, Eliza has grown from a rave-attending/crate-digging vinyl DJ to the heady heights of topping the charts.
With world tour dates and UK festivals planned in 2024, there is much more to come from this house and garage star.
Catch Eliza Rose at the Love Saves The Day Festival on May 26, 2024.

Tide Lines—folk and pop

If Gaelic pop isn’t a recognised genre, it certainly should be, as Scottish charm spills from every note, vocal and lyrical story that Tide Lines has produced.
This quartet produce catchy folk-pop songs to make you smile, with changes of pace and lyrical reflection, and they’ve even integrated traditional instruments into their modern mix.
Although they might hail from a remote area of the UK, they’re no longer the Scottish Highlands' best best-kept secret.
"If Gaelic pop isn’t a recognised genre, it certainly should be"
Since forming in 2016, they’ve made an impact across Europe, breaking the Top 15 in the Official UK Album Charts, and selling thousands of gig tickets in the process. These are ones to watch as they head out on the road in 2024.
An Ocean Full of Islands (2023) album is available now. 
Banner credit: Jamie Noise, courtesy of Tide Lines
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