new smu best 2021The New Smu: The best new artists in my inbox this year

Welcome to my end of year round-up, highlighting some of my very favourite tracks by new, upcoming and unsigned artists from 2021.  It’s an eclectic pic and mix of treats including everything from spooky ambient to aggressive instrumental, neo-lounge to glam pop, soulful electro to old school rock ‘n’ roll. A festive Quality Street tin of aural joy for you to binge on whilst nursing your new year’s headache.

A playlist of the tracks below can be found here.


20. Em Glasser – All I Want
Featured in September
Follow Em Glasser on InstagramSpotify and YouTube.

19. The Dept. of Phantom Limbs – Adversity Makes For Odd Bedfellows
Featured in May
Follow The Dept. of Phantom Limbs on Bandcamp and Instagram.

18. Heavy Broken Machines – Disruption
Featured in August
Follow Heavy Broken Machines on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube

17. Brother – EZ
Featured in March
Follow Brother on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

16. Alex Gage’s Flagship – Again Someday
Featured in March
Follow Alex Gage’s Flagship on Bandcamp and Facebook.

15. Ewan MacFarlane: Underneath Your Spell
Featured in September
Follow Ewan MacFarlane on FacebookSpotify and YouTube.

14. Devora – Body Bag
Featured in June
Follow Devora on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

13. Lauren Moon – Edge of the Moon
Featured in January
Follow Lauren Moon on FacebookInstagram and Youtube

12. The Famous Daxx – Weatherman
Featured in April
Follow The Famous Daxx on Soundcloud and Facebook.

11. Micky James – Not Okay
Featured in September
Follow Micky James on FacebookInstagramSpotify and YouTube.

10. Unify Separate – Dying on the Vine
Featured in January
Follow Unify Separate on FacebookInstagram and Bandcamp.

9. Daysormay – Ego
Featured in June
Follow Daysormay on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

8. Mark Fernyhough – Soundtrack to Aquaria (Music for the Julia Obst Film)
Featured in June
Follow Mark Fernyhough on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and  Bandcamp

7. Winkie – Burn The Town Down
Featured in May
Follow WINKIE on Spotify and Instagram.

6. Kristian North – Halfway to Heaven
Featured in June
Follow Kristian North on InstagramFacebook and YouTube.

5. The Great Leslie – Out Of My Hands
Featured in March
Follow The Great Leslie on InstagramFacebook and their official site.

4. Dead Freights – Sufferin’ Safari
Featured in March
Follow The Dead Freights on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website here.

3. LAIKIPIA – The Hits Keep Coming
Featured in November
Follow LAIKIPIA on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

2. L.A. PEACH – Power Trip
Featured in November
Follow L.A. PEACH on Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Instagram

1. Cheridomingo – Swallow
Featured in April
Follow Cheridomingo on  FacebookSpotify and Instagram



If you would like to submit your music to be included in a future edition of The New Smu please email me at and include a link to your track. I don’t care if you have 25k followers or only your dog has heard it as long as it’s interesting, beautiful, weird or wonderful. A playlist of songs featured here and in previous months can be found on Spotify and YouTube.


All words by Susan Sloan. More of her work for Louder Than War is available on her archive. Find her on Instagram as @thesmureviews and view Susan’s website here.

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