2016 has been a low-point for some of the great lyricists of the 20th century. Bowie, Prince, Phife Dawg, Prince Buster and many more icons were last week joined on the bill of the great gig in the sky by the poet of pessimism, Leonard Cohen. But after a moment to reflect on the contributions of the departed, whose names are etched on pop music history’s walls of fame, we can start looking to a brighter 2017 and to those whose wordplay and lyrical dexterity could elevate them to similar echelons of achievement. A pair of examples are Car Seat Headrest and The Hotelier – critically acclaimed and with fanbases to match – both of whom are destined for Manchester’s shores early in 2017.

Even as the music world was crumbling around them, The Hotelier (23 Jan, 2017) seized their chance to chalk up a rarely awarded 8.0 from Pitchfork for their third album, Goodness, released via the East coast imprint, Tiny Engines. Fusing ponderings on philosophy, nature and individualism, the Massachusetts rockers have nestled somewhere between their college emo rock roots and the bigger venues they could soon be treading. Catch them on the way up at Gorilla.

Similarly verbose while relentless in carving out sonic emotions, Car Seat Headrest (24 Mar, 2017) is also due to tear Gorilla a new pair of ears as part of a springtime tour. This year saw original indie rock material Teens Of Denial, frontman Will Toldeo’s first proper release via Matador after the label cherry-picked from his umpteen DIY bandcamp releases for the Teens Of Style compilation, and it could well be his breakthrough, notching an even more impressive 8.5 on Pitchfork and emblazoning his moniker firmly on ‘ones to see asap’ lists worldwide.


The Hotelier play at Gorilla on Monday 23 January, 2017. Tickets are available here.

Car Seat Headrest plays at Gorilla on Friday 24 March, 2017. Tickets are available here.

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