FL Recommends January: Popstrangers, Drenge, MT WARNING, Rohypnotise

JESSE SETARO and SARAH SMITH round-up the best emerging bands – from a psychedelic New Zealand outfit to a couple of Arctic Monkeys-endorsed brothers from Sheffield.


A nasty attitude and a menacing riff is all it takes for brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless – aka Drenge – to hook you into their heavy rock sound. They’re potentially the biggest thing to come out of the UK’s Sheffield scene since the Arctic Monkeys, who recently gave them their personal tick of approval. Dredge have been casually playing together for over a decade now, and it shows – they’ve got a level of cohesion and experience to their songs that only brothers could really have. Check out their latest single, ‘Bloodsports’, below. – Jesse Setaro


A kind of Unknown Mortal Orchestra/Liam Finn/Tame Impala hybrid, it will come as no surprise that Popstrangers are New Zealand natives. The trio’s new single ‘Heaven’ is a tiny slice of deliriously wonky, psychedelia, which goes a long way in proving they are more than just another disposable “garage-pop” band. Clocking in at under three minutes, Joel Flyger’s stoned vocals and barely-there guitar make way for one of the best choruses you’ll hear this summer. Their debut album (fittingly titled) Antipodes will be released in March through Carpark Records (Beach House, Cloud Nothings) in the US and locally through Spunk. – Sarah Smith.


MT WARNING label their music as “soundtrack/storytelling” on Facebook, and it’s actually pretty easy to see why. Similar in style and structure to something by The National or Sigur Ros, their lead single ‘Burn Again’ grows and develops like a good novel that you just can’t stop reading. Though they’re still young and haven’t brought out a wealth of material, they say that there’s an album due out sometime this year. – Jesse Setaro


There’s been an abundance of dream pop music in recent years that it can be hard to discern between the artists who are the real deal, and those who should probably stay in their bedrooms. However, Lucola Bang, playing under the alias of Rohypnotise, encapsulates everything that makes the genre so ubiquitous. On his first single, ‘Fade to Grey’, Bang’s soothing vocals soar over a dreamy beat and the soft touch of a hi-hat. You can download the single for free here, or watch below. – Jesse Setaro