Music, Radio

Smoke Radio launches Spotlight

Music, Radio

Smoke Radio launches Spotlight

2 years ago
By Matthew Smith Avatar

Ahead of festival season, Smoke Radio are launching Spotlight. Here are the most exciting new bands and artists that we’ve been playing a lot over the past year and we’re anticipating big things from.

Whether it’s an emerging local artist like Lebeaux or someone like Maggie Rogers who’s on the verge of huge things, these are the artists you’ll be hearing a lot over the next year.

We’ve already been adding singles from all of these artists to our daytime playlists and, thanks to, across Westminster’s student bars.

Here is our first batch of spotlighted acts;


Angry, anthemic and all over the place. On their stunning debut, Songs of Praise, the South London band sound like Parquet Courts if they swapped Brooklyn art-schools for an English comprehensive.

Must listen: One Rizla

Camp Cope

Their 2016 debut album won praise in Australia but 2018 should be the year that the rest of the world catch up. Their second album may be called How to Socialise and Make Friends, but they definitely aren’t going to be polite about it.

Must listen: The Opener

Jorja Smith

Smith has been talked about a lot in recent years after a stream of independently released singles, but with a Brit Award nomination already, 2018 looks to be the year she becomes a star in her own right.

Must listen: On My Mind x Preditah

Matt Maltese

The South London crooner produces lavish, grand love songs with a splatter of irony and social commentary. Think if Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen really cared about Brexit, and that somehow worked.

Must listen: As the World Caves In

Pale Waves

Goth-pop that comes endorsed by the 1975’s Matt Healy. Pales Waves are the band you won’t be able to miss on festival main stages this summer.

Must listen: Television Romance


The band formed as collection of friends who met across music forums and shared ideas over the internet. Now living together in London, they could be this year’s biggest breakthrough.

Must listen: Something For Your M.I.N.D
Read: Smoke Mag speak to the band in issue 20

Bad Sounds

There’s not much hip-hop coming out of Bath, but Bad Sounds may be the closest you get. Brothers Callum and Ewan Merrett built a band around their ideas to incorporate samples into infectious indie pop.

Must listen: Living Alone
Listen: Ellie Rankin speaks to the band

Rex Orange County

After collaborating with Tyler, the Creator on Flower Boy last year, there’s a new spotlight on the Surrey songwriter. He has self-released albums in the past, but now major labels are falling over themselves for him.

Must listen: Loving is Easy

Maggie Rogers

One of the most established names on the list after her huge hit Alaska, but with a debut album on the horizon, she’s on the cusp of becoming one of pop’s biggest stars.

Must listen: Alaska


The winner of the BBC’s Sound of poll after a string of outstanding singles, 2018 should bring along a debut album and with it a new level of success.

Must listen: Strangers
Watch: Sofia Loporcaro sits down with Sigrid


The live shows of the Manchester-based post-punk band have gained notoriety as glam and angry spectacles. The records aren’t half bad, either.

Must listen: To The Door


The Brighton-based artist was picked out as an artist preparing for bigger things. Despite only having one studio single – Gold Man (I’m Chemical) – released at the moment, his funk inspired RnB is already winning fans in both London and Brighton scenes.

Must listen: Daybreak

The Hubbards

Tipped for big things and already selling out shows for this year, The Hubbards provide some huge indie rock tunes.

Must listen: Is It Me?

Billie Eilish

The 16-year-old Los Angeles songwriter has a knack for smart, dark pop songs. So much so that the BBC have already raised the possibility of her being “pop’s best new hope.”

Must listen: Bellyache

Maisie Peters

Peters began writing music at the age of nine, so at 18 it seems about time she got her break. Clash said that at her shows convey a “sweet, blissful naivety, conjuring some extraordinarily bittersweet moments.”

Must listen: Place We Were Made


Noah McBeth is a German record producer coming out of Los Angeles, he started releasing his debut album at the start of last year and says he won’t stop “until he runs out of love songs.” He’s still going.

Must listen: California Girls


This Irish-punk band describe themselves as “loud, messy, and chaotic” and they’ve gained reputation as one of the most exciting new live bands around. A debut album should be here before the end of the year, and if they can match the live show we’re in for a treat.

Must listen: Bubblegum


The London-born songwriter is “here to test the limits of pop”, and wants to move away from the usual singer-songwriter connotations.

Must listen: Dive In