Welcome back to New Music by Region. Every fortnight we will present the best new music in nine major cities across the UK (and Ireland). With the help of regional correspondents, we present our shortlist of new music in Brighton, Cardiff, Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle.



  • Location: Brighton
  • Name: Fools Empire
  • Website: Facebook
  • On paper there's nothing groundbreaking about the debut song from 5 piece band Fools Empire. That said their brand of female-fronted, piano-driven pop music is particularly noteworthy for its impeccable melodic sensibilities and engaging, lush instrumentation. 'Wish You Were' is bold, infectious and above all else, an impressive introduction to the band's world.



    • Location: Cardiff
    • Name: Hail! The Planes
    • Website: Facebook
    • Correspondent: Joe O'Connell

    With their recent EP Send a Signal to Me, Love (released towards the end of 2013 on Shape, whose label is a serious mark of quality) Hail! The Planes have placed a developmental milestone. Where before they felt like an experiment in post-everything, now the elements of folk, art and, well, post rock have coalesced into something genuinely unique. They're playing the excellent Wales Goes Pop festival at Cardiff's Gate Arts Centre Easter weekend - go.



    Just one of the new acts to emerge from Dublin's ever more influential BIMM Music College, Maria Somerville came to the capital from her native Connemara with a bag full of eye catching influences - Sister Rosetta Thorpe, Jon Hopkins, Etta James, Nina Simone and Brian Eno. Those disparate names make total sense when you hear her play, her music combining subtle beats with hushed vocals, soul and a giant red guitar.



    The Glaswegian folk singer-songwriter Scott McWatt has been gaining critical acclaim, fans and praise since the release of album A Ceist Ama late last year. His concept album, in which each song represents a month in a year of McWatt's life, covers things from personal struggles to sectarianism, while delighting in Summertime too. He paints intricate and captivating pictures of life as a young Glaswegian.



      If there's anything that Leeds musicians have mastered, it's the art of perfecting harmonies. And Hunting Bears is no exception. The folk band not only have a tight hold on producing a full vocal sound, but they also bring it with the variety of stringed instruments they bring to the table. Who doesn't love a good harp and upright bass mixed into their music? The band's latest single, 'Primrose Hill,' off their upcoming EP, 'Brother Sister,' out on 23 April, feels a little like a Ra Ra Riot meets Dirty Projects in melody. However, the strength in their vocals, especially when they all come together throughout parts of the song, proves that their sound is their own.



      Hello, my name is Simon and I’m a sucker for a chorus. I have a genuinely unhealthy obsession with them. I was diagnosed with this condition back in 1999 when 13 year old me first heard She’s So High by Tal Bachman & I had an epiphany of sorts. That’s why Wanna Be You by Collectors Club makes me aggressively happy & spurs me on to falsetto my way around the office with ideas above my station. This, ‘First To Know’ & recently unearthed track ‘Shoulder To Shoulder’ are proof if proof be needed that front man Joe Smithson has an ear for a radio friendly ditty & I for one am rather excited what’s to follow in the near future.




      London songstress Aria has managed to craft an effortless, timeless pop song that relies as much on simplicity as it does hooks. Despite having released just one track 'Eyes Wide Open', Arianna D’Amato impresses with her distinctive, restrained vocals and masterful melodic sensibility.



    • Location: Manchester
    • Name: Spring King
    • Website: Tumblr
    • Correspondent: Michelle Lloyd

    Starting life as a solo project, Tarek Musa has since been joined by four friends and together Spring King have concocted an infectious slice of garage-rock with more than a mutter of gamesome pop. ‘Mumma’ was released last month via ParadYse/Transgressive with scorching guitars and a palpable sense of energy. A bygone bathroom in Wilmslow provided the initial breeding ground for their cacophony and still remains their chosen hatchery whilst working on their debut record which is set to be a fierce introduction to their sonance .



    Featuring previous members of Newcastle metal bands Lavotchkin & End Reign, and local producers Joey Murphy, Worry Party & RoadToCairo, Fractions have been hidden away perfecting their synth-pop sound for this new project. Ethereal synths float around the electronic beats and bass that form the spine of their first offering ‘Breathe’, guitars and luscious female vocals fill the body of the song that explodes and fizzes with every breath. Fractions play the Star & Shadow Cinema at Evolution Emerging, Saturday 24th May.