Next, I explore the UK up-and-comer in the alt pop scene, BANNERS.
Well, that's an easy one. BANNERS is a solo act with the real name of Michael Nelson (although he prefers that you just call him BANNERS). A native of Liverpool, England, it's only natural that he would be influenced by The Beatles & The Arctic Monkeys, among others, in his music. Performing in the Liverpool Cathedral Choir helped BANNERS launch his own solo project, first under the alias Raines, before switching to his current moniker.
BANNERS is still new to the party, only releasing his first single, "Ghosts," in early 2015 and signing with Island Records around the same time. His second single, "Shine A Light," was released in October 2015, and was included on the FIFA 16 soundtrack. The only thing slightly resembling an album is his self-titled EP, released January 15th of 2016, featuring five tracks, including "Shine A Light" and "Ghosts" as well as three new tracks. "Start A Riot" and "Half Light," the single that introduced me to BANNERS, were released as singles later this year. Just on November 18th, he released a brand new, slow and soulful single entitled "Holy Ground." Although there's a considerable change in his normal tempo, the track stays true to the power and emotion that has carried BANNERS this far in his career.
With powerful choruses and a soaring British voice that rivals that of Sam Smith and Bastille's frontman Dan Smith, BANNERS is soon to be an alternative pop superpower. Catchy lyrics and driving drum beats make foot tapping and humming along inevitable. The BANNERS EP has been a resounding success as a first release for this solo artist, putting him on Spotify and Billboard charts just inside a year of, well, existing. If you're looking for feel-good, driving pop, look no further than BANNERS.
The Final Word
Don't be surprised if you hear the name BANNERS on the radio within the next couple months. This young British pop up-and-comer is gearing up for one whirlwind of a career with his first few recordings, and I expect even greater things from a debut album and subsequent singles, whenever those may come. In the midst of another British invasion of pop, BANNERS may be the one leading the charge.
You can find BANNERS on his Spotify or his website, listentobanners.com. He's also on social media as @bannersmusic.