2023 was a great year for Real Gone. Over the course of the twelve months, we covered a record number of new bands, and our inbox of submissions was never less than full. Naturally, we found a lot of new music to enjoy, but a few acts really stood out. In this feature, we’ve earmarked a few emerging talents that we feel will go on to even better things in 2024. If you’ve been paying attention, chances are, a couple of these names are familiar to you already, but if not, it’s time to get on board (semi) early. Here are Real Gone’s top picks to become even bigger successes this year!
In the last quarter of 2023, British alt-rockers The Bedside Morale released their debut single ‘Safeword’. On first hearing, it was clear this band had great potential. The track might’ve taken the guts of a couple of Queens of The Stone Age numbers and tempered the familiar riffs with a bigger hook or two, but the use of clean, soaring vocals on the track’s chorus introduced an unexpected nod to more of a classic rock style. Their follow up, ‘Bitter Things’, armed with a bigger melody and almost post-goth sounding guitar lines was even better. With two of 2023’s best singles under their belt, Bedside Morale seem set to storm into 2024. [Watch the video for ‘Safeword’ below. Warning: includes injury detail and is potentially NSFW.]
Goat Major’s debut EP ‘Evil Eye’ didn’t break new ground for stoner and doom metal, but it didn’t need to. The 2023 three tracker showed off a natural gift for Sabbath infused riffs, resulting in classic occult metal as strong as any of the scene’s big name bands could deliver. With the heaviness contrasted by a few almost space rock influenced filters, Goat Major’s sound also shared a strange melodic heart that could well give their tried and tested doomy interests a little more scope. With a full album supposedly in the can and ready for release during the first half of the year, these Welsh lads could be set to become one of your new favourite bands. [Check out the title track of the EP below.]
Following the release of a couple of very enjoyable EP’s, Irish band Keeley – fronted by the multi-talented Keeley Moss – released their debut album ‘Floating Above Everything Else’. The long playing format allowed for some of their best indie and dream pop sounds to be vastly expanded upon, but with tracks like the poppy ‘The Glitter & The Glue’ leading the charge, the record combined an arty quality with a very accessible, semi-commercial core. It’s unclear as to whether there will be new studio material from the Keeley camp in ’24, but this will definitely be a good year for the Irish act, with more people being switched on to the record, but also getting to see Keeley in the live setting. [Check out ‘The Glitter & The Glue’ below.]
With its shamelessly pop influenced core and wordless hook, Shannon Smith’s debut single ‘Dance The Night Away’ was a feel good treat. The greatest single of 2023, it introduced audiences outside of Australia to a singer songwriter blessed with a gift for a classic melody, and its follow up, ‘I’m Gonna Change’ showed off a writer who wasn’t afraid of sharing some very personal lyrics. With both singles acting as polar opposites, it suggested Smith could turn his creative hand to a wide range of styles, and with more material slated for 2024, audiences are certainly going to get a bigger insight into his emerging talent. With a new album also due from his partner Helen Townsend – the co-star and inspiration behind ‘Dance The Night Away’ – there’s a lot to look forward to. [Watch the video for ‘Dance The Night Away’ below.]
Way back near the beginning of 2023, dream pop/retro pop band Redbud released their debut EP. Its best tracks fused a light indie sound from the 90s with some timeless Laurel Canyon inspired pop, but whatever the mood, a clear and enthused vocal was able to lift the band’s poppier intents. It was the kind of release that reminded the world that although musical fashions change, great melodies never go out of style. With the band still promoting the EP nine months on with a new video for ‘Kin’, there’s a likelihood you’ll hear more from them in ’24. [Check out the ‘Kin’ promo clip below.]
They’ve only released one single to date, but Welsh band The Black Vultures sound like an act with years of recording experience behind them. Armed with a chunky sound, the guitars on their debut track ‘Treat Me Like An Animal’ breathe new life into a blues rock tone, taking the once-bloated style and making it positively swagger. There’s also a very positive vibe coming through the vocal melodies on the pre-chorus where the band choose to inject a little more of a melodic rock/AOR influence giving everything a massive lift. With a huge drum sound breaking through the wall of sound midway, a few strong harmonies and a massive crunch underscoring a great, bluesy solo to finish, this is the perfect calling card for a band set to break through in 2024. [Watch the video below.]