The need-to-know names coming out of West Yorkshire right now
Rishi Shah
12:44 28th November 2022

From indie royalty Kaiser Chiefs all the way to Mercury Prize nominees Yard Act, Leeds has always had a knack for producing cutting-edge emerging talent. The West Yorkshire music metropolis is rife with history and a compact, thriving musical community that certainly rivals - and arguably eclipses - its British counterparts.

Get ahead of the wave with nine of the most exciting acts coming from the city right now...


Already armed with a devout local following, Artio aren’t afraid to let the electronics dictate certain tracks over the classic heavier guitar tones. With an energy reminiscent of Vukovi and PVRIS, their explosive neon pink colour scheme perfectly matches lively new singles ‘Hush Money’ and ‘Pyrokid’, which are ready-made for a live setting. They’ve set the bar high from day one with arena-sized melodies and tenacious, modern production. 

Dim Imagery

They’ve grafted from venue to venue all year, their relentless spirit echoing the sheer power of their live show. Now, they’ve been rewarded with a monumental end of year headline at Hyde Park Book Club - a rite of passage in the Leeds ladder. Through the unpredictable journey that is their debut single ‘Three Degrees’, you get just a small flavour of the ambience and intensity that this post-punk quintet have in their locker. 


Eades from Leeds; it has quite a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Last year’s debut album Delusion Spree serves as an authentic amalgamation of the band’s journey from lockdown experimentation to this point - an honest, DIY record crafted in the remnants of a farmhouse dining room, no less. Cathartic, chaotic opener ‘Reno’ is a jagged fitting way to introduce the groovy, jagged nature of this band. Expect the warm fuzzy tones we know and love, yet they aren’t afraid to switch up the pace when necessary. With a Brudenell Social Club headline already ticked off the list, a progressive, exemplary rise is on the cards for Eades.


With over 75,000 students in Leeds, many bands take shape via the springboard of university - and punk rock quartet HELLE did exactly that. Claiming 31st October, or ‘Helle-oween’ as their own already with a raucous show at Oporto, debut single ‘SCARLETT FEVER’ has a riff that can shatter a glass ceiling, with some refined drum work that zaps you straight back to the ‘90s. Sometimes you just need to shout a little louder to make yourself heard, and you sure are going to be hearing plenty from HELLE in the near future. 


These four lads have basically completed it all before they’d even finished school. Signed to Chess Club Records, their brand of indie-rock with a glazing of post-punk has seen them become the talk of the town, resulting in humongous support slots with the likes of Jungle and best buddy Alfie Templeman. The fierce ‘Drive In Mind’ put them on the map, and latest single ‘The Dance You Sell’ is an indication that they have all the necessary songwriting tools for a generational anthem. Watch this space.

Mollie Coddled

The witty play on words that gave rise to Mollie Taylor’s stage name is scattered all throughout her catalogue, a self-proclaimed ‘sad chaos.’ The swaying melodies of ‘guilt trip’ and ‘lonely bitch’ are dreamlike, ready-made singalongs where you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry, but we’re here for every possibility. Her youthful and fresh sound explores the UK on her first headline tour next March, in support of her debut EP i wanna go home.


Stranger Things were four years late to the hype party, as Peakes’ 2018 spine-tingling collaborative cover of ‘Running Up That Hill’ with Mahogany is a cinematic introduction of intent to their sound. Their debut album Peripheral Figures could easily be the summery sister to PVA’s BLUSH; an underrated masterclass in modern synth sounds that capture a full spectrum of emotion. The electro-pop trio have promised new sounds are in the works, as they look to build on their luscious debut album.

Pulled Apart By Horses

Back with their first album in five years, the rapid-fire Reality Cheques has seen a new-look Pulled Apart By Horses return to the alt-rock live scene with a bang. ‘First World Problems’ and ‘Rinse and Repeat’ are a reminder of just why they’ve sustained a buzz for over a decade, bulldozing their way through every obstacle with hefty riffs and jagged rhythms. If you’re up for a mosh this Christmas, their timeless cover of ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ might just be the one for you.

Sunflower Thieves

This duo, comprised of childhood friends Amy and Lily, know how to do an atmospheric crescendo. The pin-drop silence in ‘Lichtenberg Figures’ and ‘Hide And Seek’ grows right in front of you, gradually whispering for a full band accompaniment - which they’ve recently started adding to their live shows. It’s a lush, silky-smooth sound that can calm you down in autumn and grab your attention for spring simultaneously, a testament to the pure talent of their songwriting.

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Photo: Press