The Best New Music, Artists And Bands For 2018

2 January 2018, 15:04 | Updated: 4 March 2018, 16:56

Great X-Pectations 2018

Which brand new acts should you be downloading, streaming or buying tickets to see live? Here's Radio X's pick of the crop.

Radio X has the perfect playlist for 2018 with Great X-Pectations.

Each year, we pick a selection of the bands and artists that we think will be making a splash over the next 12 months.

In previous years, Radio X has tipped Royal Blood, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Wolf Alice, CHVRCHES, The 1975, Bastille, Blossoms, The Amazons and Rag ’N’ Bone Man.

Who are we tipping for great things in 2018? Here’s our list…

1. Brooke Bentham

Brooke Bentham

21-year-old singer-songwriter from South Shields, who is finishing her studies at Goldsmith’s in London. Her debut EP of soul-tinged folk, The Room Swayed, was released in June 2017 and was followed with appearances at Green Man, Latitude and Reading And Leeds festivals in the summer. Having issued a new track, Losing Baby, in October, Brooke is set to kick off 2018 with tour dates in late January and early February. More info here 

2. Lewis Capaldi

Lewis Capaldi

Hailing from West Lothian in Scotland, 21-year-old Capaldi was singing in pubs by the age of 9 and notched up over 25 million plays of his track Bruises in the summer of 2017. Bruises was included on his debut EP, Bloom, in October and the following month, Lewis supported Rag ’N’ Bone Man on his UK tour. More info here 

3. Sam Fender

Sam Fender

This 21—year-old singer-songwriter from Newcastle self-released his debut single, Play God, was released in March. The track was recorded in his garden shed and gigs at a local pub brought him to the attention of Ben Howard’s manager, which led to support slots with the likes of Catfish And The Bottlemen, Hozier and George Ezra. The latter part of the year saw a UK tour, plus a new single, Millennial, which Sam describes as “a tongue-in-cheek response to the media's negative portrayal of young people in the 21st century”. More info here 

4. Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps is multi-instrumentalist Jay Brook from Northampton. The first record, Paranoid, came out in May 2015, which was quickly followed by the witty Phat Kids in July. 2017 has seen Ginger Snaps release the quirky pop of Number Crunching in May, and the swaggering Anorak, featuring Vo Williams, in November. More info here

5. Isaac Gracie

Isaac Gracie

Ealing-based musician, who has cited Jeff Buckley as a major influence. His debut EP, the aptly-titled Songs From My Bedroom was released in May 2016 and 2017 has seen Isaac release a new EP, The Death Of You And I in September, and a new single, Terrified in November. He kicks off 2018 with some European dates. More info here

6. The Magic Gang

The Magic Gang

Angus, Jack, Kris and Paeris hail from Brighton’s busy music scene and have been drip-feeding tracks over the past couple of years and counting Johnny Marr and Felix White as fans. Their sound harks back to classic 60s rock, with a spoonful of Weezer’s power pop and they've spent the year touring with Sundara Karma and Wolf Alice. They head out on a UK tour in March 2018. More info here

7. Pale Waves

Pale Waves

Ethereal dreampop from this Manchester quartet, who released their debut single Heavenly in July 2015. Heather, Ciara, Hugo and Charlie spent much of the past year playing live, including a tour with The 1975 on the North American tour. Their debut single There's A Honey was produced by Matt Healy and George Daniel of the ’75 and their debut EP, New Year’s Eve, will be released in… January. More info here

8. Rex Orange County

Rex Orange County

21-year-old Alex O’Connor from Haslemere, Surrey is a product of the BRIT school of talent, getting his stage name from the OC of his surname. With a melodic mix of pop, soul and rap, he can count Tyler The Creator and Frank Ocean as fans. The debut collection bcos u will never be free was followed by the more rounded Apricot Princess in April 2017. More info here

9. Stereo Honey
 Stereo Honey

The London four-piece of Pete Restrick (vocals, guitar), Nicky Boiardi (guitars, keyboards), Ben Edwards (bass) and Jake Black (drums) trade melancholic indie rock and have just released an EP Monuments, which has spawned an epic single in The Bay. They’ve been lined up to play 2018’s Great Escape festival and the mammoth Neighbourhood Weekender in Warrington in May. More info here

10. Yonaka


Eclectic Brighton four piece, whose music takes in rock, hip=hop and pop, backed up with some energetic live shows. The band signed to Hometown Records in 2015, with their debut single being Ignorance. Their debut EP Heavy dropped in October 2017, after a year that saw them support Drenge and head out on their own UK headline tour. More info here