Recommending new music for fans of Radiohead is always a daunting task. Just a quick scan of the Oxford experimental rock legends' back catalogue could throw you in all manner of musical directions. So, rather than try and find bands that actually sound like Radiohead, it’s much more appropriate to try and find those artists who think in similar terms to Thom Yorke and Co., looking for the unorthodox, unconventional and eccentric as opposed to a certain sonic formula that connects them.
So, here, five new artists who share that boundless, borderless attitude, and who we suspect will hold maximum appeal to fans of one of the 21st century's most beloved and ground-breaking bands.
Black Country, New Road
A name that may well be familiar to many readers, the Cambridgeshire collective are one of the most critically-lauded guitar bands of the last few years. Their debut album For The First Time was Mercury Prize nominated and stacked with inventive, challenging art rock that became more and more impressive with each listen. They followed it up with the even better Ants From Up There in 2022, further stretching the boundaries of their sound in the process. Fans of Radiohead’s more unsettlingly oblique material will surely adore them.
Much like Radiohead themselves, this London trio seem to take a kernel of inspiration from the quiet-quiet-even-quieter dynamics of Talk Talk’s Spirit Of Eden album. The guitar tone on a song like F.O.B. from their recent third album Tracy Denim could be either Mark Hollis or possibly Johnny Greenwood, shimmering, glistening chords ringing out around laid back post-punk rhythms. It’s a fantastic cocktail, both threatening and yet brilliantly slacker and laid back, sitting somewhere between early PJ Harvey and post-Kid A Radiohead. It’s really no stretch to imagine fans of the Oxford legends would be seduced by the band.
Jeremy Nutzman, AKA Velvet Negroni, was brought up in a strict evangelical Christian family who denied him access to “secular” music as a child, and as such, his music is a distinctly unusual collection of sounds. The Minneapolis-raised artist has warped modern hip-hop, broken beats, huge slabs of noise rock, lo-fi R&B and stabbing electronica and melded it all together. His recent second album Bulli is a thrillingly free-form listen, and while it sounds utterly singular, in approach Nutzman is something of a kindred spirit with Radiohead.
Something of a wildcard pick, New York native Pinderhughes is a composer, film maker, visual artist and pianist, who has worked with everyone from Common to Herbie Hancock. He’s only released a pair of solo albums in his career, the second being 2022’s spectacular effort Grief. Fans of Radiohead would unquestionably be dragged into the world of the album, the deep, soulful piano and jazz rhythms accentuating the exploration into loss, survival and vulnerability. If you love Radiohead at their most open and their most experimental, Grief is an essential listen.
Another name that may well be known by music fans, Solberg has spent the past two decades fronting and playing keyboards in progressive metal band Leprous, but is about to release his debut solo album 16. Released on June 2 2023, the album features plenty that Leprous fans will recognise – Solberg’s Thom Yorke-esque soaring falsetto being one key element – but the spacious, melodic and fragile collaborations with members of Bent Knee and Agent Fresco will appeal to those fans who have no interest in his heavier material, but want to hear him really stretch himself beyond the confines of that scene.