If you're looking for a counter-argument to the idea that guitar music has stopped being exciting or relevant, Dirty Hit's roster provides the perfect rebuttal: Wolf Alice and The 1975 are easily two of the biggest bands in the UK right now. Formed in 2009, the London-based label's mission is seek out and nurture innovative music on both sides of the Atlantic. And with a roster that has previously included indie-darling Marika Hackman, and currently has The Japanese House, Ben Khan and more, Dirty Hit's finger is very much on the pulse.
Having slimmed down from a four-piece to a duo, Superfood - AKA Dom Ganderton and Ryan Malcolm - are back with album number two, and it's full of glittery, glitchy indie-pop tunes. It's certainly sugary at times - especially compared to their first record, Don't Say That - but with elements of ska, and a deliciously funky undercurrent, Bambino is every bit as playful and fun as its name suggests.
With music that veers everywhere between abrasively scuzzy and viciously feral to docile, sweet and melancholic (sometimes in the space of one song, à la 'You're a Germ'), Wolf Alice are easily one of the UK's most exciting bands. Their debut album My Love Is Cool was full of soaring, infinite guitars, and their hotly-anticipated second record looks set to continue in the same glorious vein.
The Japanese House
For an artist who has yet to release a debut album, it's fair to say there's already a lot of buzz and respect surrounding Amber Bain (AKA The Japanese House). It's all deserved, thanks to her strikingly light and polished sounds, that are given an especially lush airiness through her vocoder-laden singing. With two beautifully immersive EPs to her name, dream-pop has a new star.
It feels telling of the perfectly Marmite-style love/hate appeal and trajectory of The 1975 that in 2014 they won "Worst Band" at the NME awards and in 2017 they won "Best Live Band" at the same ceremony. 'A Change of Heart', if you will. As the years have gone by, The 1975 have evolved into a gorgeous pop band, with a smooth, propulsive 80s sound that's made them one of Britain's biggest musical exports.