The lowdown on Inner City Waves #20

Inner City Waves returns for its twentieth instalment on Saturday night, with a selection of fresh, under-the-radar acts taking to the Band on the Wall stage. As always, it’s completely free, so you’ve no excuse for not checking out these exciting acts in an intimate setting, with big sound and a creative, supportive vibe. 

Harriet Curry is a 21-year-old vocalist, who was raised in Leeds but is now based in Manchester. Studying at BIMM while making inroads in the city’s music scene — she recently released her single Girls, which speaks of restrictions in opportunity imposed on women and is described as ‘a voice for all women’. The track was played on 1Xtra by Jamz Supernova as well as receiving airplay on BBC Introducing Manchester. Her sultry RnB and neo-soul informed style is certain to appeal to fans of Jorja Smith and Olivia Nelson amongst others. Find out more about Curry on her NME emerging page.

Manchester-based duo SINDYSPLACE are MC and producer Cam Critchley, aka. Sindy’s Man, and vocalist China Lilly. The pair’s sound is informed by RnB, hip-hop and trap, with their subdued productions, China Lilly’s acrobatic vocals and Cam’s heavy enunciation calling to mind the work of XXYYXX, IAMDDB and Loyle Carner respectively. 

Élan Vital, whose track We got the jacks back was recently described as ‘a sampladelic sound collage with a killer funky hip hop break’ by Fresh on the Net, hit Band on the Wall for the first time. Their beat-making contains echoes of DJ Shadow’s work, with a variety of instrumental and vocal samples, general melancholic mood and subtle use of breakbeats within their arrangements. Check out their work on SoundCloud.

Returning to Band on the Wall for her second ICW appearance — RnB singer-songwriter Aaliyah Esprit has benefitted from participation in year 3 of the Future Bubblers program, dropping a spine-tingling short film and vibing single since the beginning of last year. Her Brownswood basement session has struck a chord with viewers and her three-piece backing band bring a beautiful dynamic to her material.