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BRIT Awards 2016

9 British Artists You Need to Know Right Now

From rock 'n' rollers Wolf Alice and Foals to producer Naughty Boy and electro-pop queen Jess Glynne, here are the acts from across the pond that you just gotta know before the 2016 BRIT Awards

1 / 9

Wolf Alice

When the rest of the world seems to be neglecting the latest and greatest rock 'n' roll acts, England stays loyal to all things guitar. Their most recent export is Wolf Alice, a phenomenal female-fronted indie rock band that seems to recall the severity of ‘90s alternative, updating it ever so-slightly for a modern edge. “Moaning Lisa Smile” is a must-hear track, a killer video with a great reverb-soaked chorus. Oh, and did we mention that the group was up for a GRAMMY this year? Pretty impressive stuff. —Maria Sherman

2 / 9

Jess Glynne

Most people know Jess Glynne from her feature on Clean Bandit’s 2014 “Rather Be” single, which went on to be certified 2x Platinum in the U.S. and 3x Platinum in the U.K. Last year, the London singer branched out as a solo star, with her debut album I Cry When I Laugh featuring tinges of R&B and house with an overall soul-searching theme. All five singles (including “Hold My Hand” and “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”) swiftly entered the top ten on the UK singles charts, so it won’t come as a surprise if her latest one—“Ain’t Got Far To Go”—does the same! —Bianca Gracie

3 / 9

Philip George

Nottingham native Philip George is one of the U.K.'s breakout DJs this year with his deep-house sound, best repped in his Best British Single-nominated "Wish You Were Mine." The 25-year-old producer has seen both of his two singles land in the Top 5, and seems prime for crossover success with the slick electronic sound. —Jeff Benjamin

4 / 9

Catfish & The Bottlemen

Catfish and The Bottlemen hail from Llandudno, North Wales (we won't ask you to pronounce it if you don't ask us to). They're the kind of straightforward British band of dreams. Last year we championed them because they recall a certain rock 'n' roll energy that's been missing from pop world for a minute now. We still believe it, and you will too. —Maria Sherman

5 / 9

James Bay

In the midst of all the “get on your feet!” dance tunes dominating the airwaves, it’s nice to take a break froms the musical madness with more subdued tunes. In comes singer-songwriter James Bay, who differs from his male counterparts thanks to his charming blend of folk, soul and indie rock. Bay received three GRAMMY nominations (Best New Artist, Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song for “Hold Back The River”) this year, so his rise in the U.S. doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. —Bianca Gracie

6 / 9

Naughty Boy

While he made loads of headlines for feuding with Zayn Malik this past year, Naughty Boy brought the focus back to music with the gorgeous single "Lose It All" featuring Beyoncé and newcomer Arrow Benjamin, accompanied by a stunning music video. "Lose It All" is up for Best British Artist Video at the 2016 BRIT Awards, but you'd be remiss not to check out the rest of the English producer's past material that pushes the U.K. breakbeat sound, heard in past crossover hits like "La La" with Sam Smith—Jeff Benjamin

7 / 9


Okay, first things first: Foals are headlining Reading and Leeds this year. For you yanks, that’s one of the biggest festivals in the U.K., not to mention the world. So if you haven’t heard them before, well, what are you waiting for? They started as a humble indie band, eventually signing to Warner Brothers Records in 2013 and have slowly taken the rock world by storm. Novices should start with “Mountain At My Gates,” above. —Maria Sherman

8 / 9

Laura Marling

Laura Marling is the English folk star who has yet to make a huge impact on the mainstream, but she's a critically beloved singer-songwriter. She won Best British Female in 2011 at the BRITS, and is nominated again this year after releasing her fifth album, Short Movie, which sees Marling straying from her acoustic sound and embracing electric guitars. —Jeff Benjamin

9 / 9

Years & Years

If you have been trying to fulfill your ‘90s dance nostalgia itch, then look no further than Years & Years! The British trio first made waves in 2014 with the release of two EPs, but soon got everyone’s attention when they won the BBC Sound of 2015 award. The hype bubbled over into last summer, as Years & Years dropped their debut album, Communion, which is filled with feel-good electronic melodies that provide a foil for the emotionally raw lyrics. Aside from their music, frontman Olly Alexander has been noted for his outspoken efforts for the LGBT and mental health communities—Bianca Gracie

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