Best of Oxford: Bands to look out for in Trinity 2019

Beyond the well documented dreamy sounds of Jazz and Symphonia, Oxford boasts a rich indie rock scene. Home to big names such as Radiohead and FOALS,  Oxford continues to be fertile ground for rock musicians creating vibrant and lively original music.

In the hopes of capturing just a snapshot of the musical climate of Oxford, we scoured the scene to find our favourite sounds of 2019. Here are the top 5 Oxford bands to look out for this term:


Image provided by Kanadia

Image provided by Kanadia

Kanadia are a band with enormous range. In the space of one song, you’ll be transported from a sparse, gentle sound to a vast and sweeping electronic soundscape. After relocating from Devon to Oxford, the band have drawn inspiration from other Oxford predecessors such as Radiohead and Foals, and though their influence is apparent, Kanadia boast a unique and interesting sound. Lyrically, the songs tackle difficult introspective issues of isolation, depression and confusion, yet musically the band emit a more positive and energetic vibe. After a successful launch of their new album at the O2 Academy in Oxford, the band are planning a UK tour to support the album, as well as working on some new releases for 2019. 

For fans of: Foals, Kings of Leon, Muse, Pixies

Catch their brand new self-titled album on Spotify


Image provided by Mother

Image provided by Mother

Get a healthy dose of laid back, lo-fi indie rock with Mother. Initially formed as an escape from their jobs working behind bars, Mother have achieved great things, having headlined Cellar and played alongside the likes of Willie J Healey, Peace and Black Honey.  Their music has an uplifting playfulness to it and the often-intricate guitar lines interweave with the lyrics and other musical elements to create a complex, yet somehow laid-back texture. 

Armed with a new drummer, the band hope to play more BBC intro stages, as well as returning to Truck festival in the summer. They plan on spreading their music to the psych grunge scene currently blossoming in the North, hopefully on a tour. In addition to their live music plans, they hope to have another album out by the end of the year. To top it off, the band are planning a huge back-to-back headline show on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th June with Knobblehead and TMA supporting at Port Mahon.

For fans of: Peace, Swim Deep, Yak

Catch their new single ‘School Days’ on Spotify

Self Help

Image provided by Self Help

Image provided by Self Help

Formed in 2016, Self Help combine the downbeat reality of life and garage rock with the energy and rambunctiousness of punk and DIY. The band candidly tackle the subject of the every-day with a tongue in cheek approach, reflected by their band name, which was originally a bad joke about how self-help books and masturbation are similar; you get very enthusiastic and pumped up, but then immediately feel guilty and ashamed afterwards. The band are looking forward to the festival season and you can find them opening Truck festival supporting Slavs and Ladybird. Additionally, keep an eye out for new music which will be coming out in the next few months. 

For fans of: The Front Bottoms, Libertines, The Regrettes

Catch their newest album ‘Organic Noise Kitchen’ on Spotify

Lake Acacia

Image provided by Lake Acacia

Image provided by Lake Acacia

If you’re a fan of a meaty riff, you’ll like Lake Acacia. Oxford’s very own alt-rock band formed in 2016 and have been touring the UK ever since. The band was created out of a passion for alternative rock. Their music combines this with some elements of prog rock, inspired by bands such as The Mars Volta and Dream Theatre. The band are expecting an EP out in June with music videos in the works, as well as playing gigs around Oxford and beyond!

For fans of: Royal Blood, Rage Against the Machine, Don Broco

Catch the single, ‘Any Day Now’ on Spotify

Chameleon Steel

Image provided by Chameleon Steel

Image provided by Chameleon Steel

Chameleon Steel are slightly different from the other bands on this list. One of Oxford University’s very own, the trio of girls create gorgeous three-part harmonies self-accompanied by a wonderful texture of violin, cello and guitar (and the occasional Cajon when they need a sick beat for gigs). The group fall under the more folky side of the broad ‘Americana’ genre, making them a rather unique sound on the Oxford scene. Though more acoustic than the bands above, the sheer energy which radiates from their performances is captivating, especially on more upbeat, ‘fun’ songs such as “Fly Song”.

Though the trio have finals coming up, if you’re lucky you can catch them playing at Sandy’s Piano Bar at open mic nights on Sundays, or at their gig at Common Ground on the 17th June. After graduating, they hope to move to London to continue playing with the ultimate goal of playing the Pyramid Stage at Glasto. Whatever the future may bring them, it would be wise to keep them on your radar. 

For fans of: Dixie Chicks, Hozier, Bjork, First Aid Kit, Lily & Madeline

Catch their music on Youtube