Now Hear This: Alex Baker on the best new rock, ambient and electro-punk

Kerrang! Radio host Alex Baker brings you the new bands you need to check out now, including The Velveteers, Cassyette and Harpy…

Now Hear This: Alex Baker on the best new rock, ambient and electro-punk
Alex Baker

Music, man – it’s the greatest, isn’t it? I know that’s obvious, but do you ever find yourself feeling utterly shit and then thinking, 'I’m going to listen to <insert your favourite band here>' and then you almost instantly feel a hundred-million-times better? Yeah, same. Music is one of the most powerful forms of expression there is, it nourishes the soul. So, here’s a bunch of bands and artists that may well end up being your new go-tos! Enjoy!

The Velveteers

From the mountains of Colorado come a band fronted up by the insanely enigmatic Demi Demitro, who spent nine hours a day, every single day of her childhood, playing guitar and honing her craft. And craft really is the word here, with her band The Velveteers. In a time where you can click a mouse and add huge swathes of reverb and effects to 100 tracks of audio, in a time where so many people think “we’ll make that sound sick when we produce it”, The Velveteers are taking a step right back, stripping rock'n'roll away to its constituent parts and rebuilding it in their own image. Look out for the debut album Nightmare Daydream when it lands on October 8.


A long while back I came across Harpy, and was instantly struck by her ability to create dreamlike, ambient sonic textures that sound floaty and atmospheric while still packing a seriously weighty punch. It sounds like an impossible juxtaposition, but she had the ability to do it right out of the gate.

Then Harpy went dark. She slipped behind the curtain, writing, perfecting, discovering, honing. Now she's reemerged with her debut single. Join her right at the start of what will be an incredible musical journey. Everyone in the music industry is looking for 'it', the unquantifiable superstar quality that has so many names. Whatever you call it, Harpy has it.

S.T. Manville

The theme today seems to be 'talented souls', as here’s another artist for whom simply saying “he’s great”, or “what a voice” or “God, this guy can write songs can’t he”, just doesn’t get close enough to the actual level of talent. S.T. Manville – real name Sam Manville – is a gift to music, a chap who over the course of his life has challenged people’s musical tastes and pushed boundaries, delivering band after band, project after project of impeccable sonic experiences. From West Midlands superheroes Blakfish well over a decade ago, to the electronic hip-hop project FTSE and everything in between, everything that Sam touches, everything he creates, is remarkable.

As S.T. Manville, though, Sam seems to have arrived home somehow. The music is tender and powerful, with an authenticity that can only be achieved through pure emotional honesty.


Potentially the coolest person on Earth, Cassyette is an artist who abolishes genre boundaries and pours her artistic energy into every one of her tunes. The songs contain progressive riffs that A Perfect Circle fans would love, electronic vibes that would prickle the hairs on the back of Nine Inch Nails fans' necks, but don’t be mistaken… there’s no imitation here, it’s just all in the pot, then Cassyette shakes it into a totally fresh new cocktail that you just want to down until you can’t stand up. Also, can we take a minute to appreciate her voice? Holy shit. Impeccable.

The Haunted Youth

Finally this time out, I’d love for you to check out The Haunted Youth. Evoking ’00s dreamy-indie-rock and sounding like MGMT – remember them? – have gone out for dinner with The Cure and had too many glasses of wine, The Haunted Youth create lush soundscapes that make the world feel just that little bit easier to navigate and I am 100 per cent here for it.

Listen to Alex Baker present the Fresh Blood Show on Kerrang! Radio, Wednesday nights from 9pm

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