6 fresh guitar artists you need to hear in April

(Image credit: Samantha Falco)

We take Glorious Sons, Charlotte Carpenter, Rews, Eera, Sect and Island for a spin...

Glorious Sons

Ramble-rock onslaught from Ontario

They say no one fights like brothers, but perhaps that should be, ‘No one fights like brothers – in bands’. Jay Emmons knows the truth in this. The guitarist cut his teeth fronting garage bands and yard parties in Kingston, Ontario, before forming The Glorious Sons with his younger brother and band vocalist, Brett.

The Emmons’ brand of friction-generated ‘electricity’ powers the heart of the band

“I’ve been in bands for almost as long as I can remember,” explains Jay. “Brett would come up and sing songs with my band when he was really young and he always had that really electric personality. He always wanted to steal the show! I remember playing Highway To Hell at this backyard party and he was rolling around just going nuts.”

The Emmons’ brand of friction-generated ‘electricity’ powers the heart of the band, with Brett’s Bon Scott-ish hell-raising vocal, combatting Jay’s combination of Stonesesque ramble and reverbladen Southern Rock. Second album Young Beauties And Fools pounds this formula into punchy, three-minute hooks, simultaneously documenting the “imperfect humanity” of selected misdemeanours from Brett’s offstage life.

“We just try to create that sonic landscape around the lyrics and the feel of the song that Brett is describing,” says Jay. “We’ve all kind of lived the life that the songs are trying to depict. We like to go out and we get the hangovers and the comedowns; that’s kind of what the album is all about. We’ve been by Brett’s side while he was doing that stuff and it’s maybe come through the music.” So it’s one harmonious love-in then? “Well we’ve always been really close,” says Jay. “But now, when we do fight, it’s a lot more vicious!”

  • For fans of: Monster Truck, Kings Of Leon, The Sheepdogs
  • Gear: Gibson ES-335, Fender Hot Rod Deville, Marshall DSL100

Charlotte Carpenter

Evolving songwriter refusing the pigeonhole

Over the course of four EPs Northampton songwriter Charlotte Carpenter has explored a multi-faceted approach to the guitar, incorporating Cream-esque blues riffs, creeping tremolo atmospherics and cinematic scale.

“I always write with a distinct emotional intention and the guitar part is there to emulate that,” says Charlotte. “It’s important that I don’t restrict myself to a particular genre. It’s been a great time for me to stylistically evolve, playing with dynamics, different types of overdrive, amp sounds, anything that will heighten the atmosphere of the song.” 

An independent artist to the core, Charlotte’s star is rising, most recently with the powerful Fire landing TV sync spots. “More people are becoming more aware of these [opportunities],” says Charlotte. “But some [industry] people try and make you feel otherwise... Persistance is everything.”

  • For fans of: Marika Hackman 
  • Gear: Fender Telecaster, Vox AC15, Line 6 M9


Lightning strikes twice in London

Guitarist and 50 per cent of London rock duo Rews, Shauna Tohill, was raised in a musical family and describes playing the guitar as “predestined. The main things that link my favourite players are unique characteristics and a confidence in expressing themselves through their playing,” explains Shauna. “My two favourites at the moment are St Vincent and Jimmy Page.” 

Taking a page out of, er, Page’s book, Rews are all about harmony, dynamism and thunderous riffs that are custom made to rival the tube train-rumble of subterranean rock haunts. From opener Let It Roll through to We Explode, recent debut Pyro is chock full of the latter. 

“A riff should be a guitar’s way of saying, ‘Sing with me baby!’” says Shauna. “It’s something that will latch onto someone’s vocal chords and make them feel like they’re part of the band.”

  • For fans of: Royal Blood
  • Gear: Fender American Tele, Marshall DSL40C


Who: Norwegian, Anna Lena Bruland
Sounds like: Heavy-hearted, down-tuned jangle pop. Subversive but without being overly dressy
Gear: Guild Starfire 5, Vox AC15, EHX Memory Boy, MESA/Boogie Grid Slammer
For fans of: Deerhoof, Sharon Von Etten
Hear: I Wanna Dance


Who: James Chang (Catharsis) and Scott Crouse (Earth Crisis)
Sounds like: A essential reminder of the righteous power and searing vitriol of hardcore
Gear: James - LTD EC1000, Quilter Tone Blok 200. Scott - LTD EC1000, Matrix VB800 For fans of: Earth Crisis, Cursed
Hear: Open Grave


Who: Guitarists Rollo Doherty and Jack Raeder
Sounds like: Soft-shelled, ocean-warmed indie tones - the worthy result of approx. 10,000 hours spent twiddling delay settings
Gear: Rollo – Gretsch G6122T, Vox AC30. Jack – Fender Jazzmaster, Hot Rod Deluxe III For fans of: Palace, The Maccabees
Hear: Dreaming Of

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.

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