By Ben Massey | 12/08/22
Living and studying in Leeds with a passion for live music inevitably led me to get involved with the local music scene, photographer or not. But from photographing local bands to moshing in the pit several times a week, I have explored a beautiful spectrum of creativity in this city. I can even confidently say that Leeds has one of the best music scenes in the UK. Now, some of these bands are more established, whilst some are only just starting their careers in music, but nevertheless, they all deserve a listen and a lot of love. Welcome to the noise of Leeds!
Anybody who knows me would have heard all about Static Dress. They are the best band in the world, as simple as that. They are at the forefront of a new wave of bands revitalising alternative music, specifically post-hardcore. Not only creating a modern sound, Static Dress have an eye for their visuals, courtesy of creative powerhouse and frontman Olli Appleyard. Alongside this, they have created an incredibly in-depth storyline across their whole discography. Despite having only released their first single in mid-2019, they have a rich catalogue of music including their debut album Rouge Carpet Disaster and my favourite release of theirs – Prologue… (Comic Book Soundtrack) which was designed alongside a comic book they wrote and published.
I discovered Artio courtesy of Roxann here at white noise. They take inspiration from all walks of alternative music, ranging from Enter Shikari to Nova Twins, and therefore deliver a sound unparallel to any other alternative band. Having released two EPs already, they are set to become one of the top acts to break into the heavy music scene from Leeds. Some of my favourite tracks of theirs include hard-hitting singles I Can’t Sleep and Queen Cobra. From these singles, you’ll be able to hear the quality of their production, all done by the band themselves – specifically their drummer Ieuan. Having signed to Slam Dunk Records this year, they will have plenty more to come, the first of which is a single called Pyrokid; a track that will certainly become another alternative anthem you need in your playlist.
One of the most promising alternative project to come out of Leeds, Beauty School follow as the second band recently signed to Slam Dunk Records on this list. Despite having an underlying pop-punk sound, Beauty School draw on a wide variety of influences, including emo, post-hardcore and alternative rock. From listening to their most recent single Oak, they bring back that early nostalgic 2000’s emo sound we are all raging over at the moment, especially with the comeback of emo legends My Chemical Romance. Having supported bands such as Trash Boat and Tigers Jaw, alongside performing on the main stage of Slam Dunk festival this year, Beauty School function to impress. Their debut album Happiness releases on the 9th of September alongside a release show at Hyde Park Book Club on the 10th. So, get a ticket, you won’t regret it.
A band that I caught at the most recent Riff Fest earlier this year was Dim Imagery. A post-punk outfit that mixes a refined guitar tone with lyrically heavy vocals and an energetic stage presence, Dim Imagery are one to watch. Having only released two singles, they are very early in their career. Nonetheless, they have already toured the UK and are performing at the next Live at Leeds In The City. A festival uplifting all of the best local acts – go check them out there!
A friend of mine Case Open, aka Liam Casey, is the artist to listen to when you want something completely different to the list above. With highly electronic motifs, something that's influenced many alternative bands, Case Open develops on this sound to create bedroom-pop/indie like no other. Case Open prides himself on his desire to create meaningful music with creative lyricism. With lyrics like “I’m not famous, I just write songs for your playlist”, I think Liam would describe his tunes as sad-boy anthems deserving of a spot on your playlist, so, I don’t think I have to tell you what to do!
Introduced to me by Case Open, Mollie Coddled comes as the only artist I am yet to see live on this list. I couldn’t help but add Mollie to a summer playlist the moment I listened to her latest single Guilt Trip. This song reminds me of a more upbeat version of EDEN, an artist that I have been a massive fan of for years, with a great production quality overlaying snippets of vocals and adding lots of interesting sound effects to create a thoroughly unique sound. In spite of only debuting in 2020, Mollie Coddled has already sent soundwaves through the music industry, having toured the UK and played lots of festivals over the past two years. Have a listen to some of her songs if you need some music-to-drink-iced-coffee-to this summer. Why do I choose coffee? Because soundtracking the coffee part of your day demands the best.
Edited by: Roxann Yus
Cover image and in-article images by: Ben Massey