Back at the end of last year, we listed three bands who we tipped for great successes in 2015. Canadian indie poppers Alvvays, indie-meets-grunge sensations Wolf Alice and the hard and heavy Marmozets all made our main list, with the Fat White Family, Sue the Night and Kassassin Street also receiving nods. As we’re now halfway through the year, we’ve decided to take a quick look at how all our tipped artists have progressed. Read on to find out how they fared.
Yorkshire quintet Marmozets have had a whirlwind year which has seen them almost double in size, going from playing early afternoon Vans Warped Tour sets for 30 people to European festival main stages for 30,000 (see Rock Werchter below). Their critically acclaimed debut, The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets, ticked all the right boxes in terms of heaviness and accessibility, encompassing an eclectic mix of mathcore, indie math and arena rock. The record did so well that it went on to win Album of the Year at the Kerrang! Awards a few weeks ago, beating off stiff competition from various world-beating metal bands. The Becca MacIntyre-fronted group even spent some time on the road with Muse during their intimate Psycho UK Tour, a string of gigs only announced a few days in advance. With all these accolades and achievements in their pocket, you could say that the Bingley five-piece have had an absolutely fantastic 2015. A second album is being written and recorded as we speak, meaning that the future is very exciting.
Canadian quintet Alvvays have had a significantly quieter year compared to both Marmozets and Wolf Alice, but that doesn’t mean it’s been any less effective. This summer will see the Molly Rankin-fronted group tour some of Europe’s biggest festivals, including Best Kept Secret and Primavera Sound. Last year, the band released a near-perfect debut album which had everyone from Foxygen to Pitchfork head over heels. Whether or not their second album will top the successes of their debut (and bear a song better than Archie, Marry Me) remains to be seen, yet for now we can be safe in the knowledge that Alvvays are going nowhere, even if all is quiet on the horizon.
Wolf Alice have undoubtedly had an absolutely massive year, with their hotly anticipated debut album My Love Is Cool charting at #2 last weekend. The band (fronted by fierce vocalist/guitarist Ellie Roswell) have been bubbling up for two years now, building a huge social media following which saw them named as the most blogged about band of 2013. Early singles Bros, Moaning Lisa Smile and Blush set the scene for a band who everyone knew would sell out arenas in the near future. They already have an almost sold out show at Brixton Academy lined up later this year, which is enough of a testament to their hard work and success. The first part of their year was spent honing their craft on the road with Alt J, and it eventually led up to and culminated in the release of their debut album, as well as two packed shows at Glastonbury. Where the band will go from here also remains to be seen, but you can be sure that it’s only going to be big.
So who had the best year, then? Alvvays had a considerably weaker year than their accomplices, yet it’s pretty clear that Wolf Alice are standing head and shoulders above them and Marmozets. Releasing your debut album and having it go straight in at #2 (a mere 500 copies behind chart topper Florence + the Machine) is no mean feat and definitely something worth recognizing.
Check back at the end of the year to see how Marmozets, Alvvays and Wolf Alice eventually ended up faring.