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Top 10 Modern British Bands to Crack the US

WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco
Written by George Pacheco Get ready for another British Invasion. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Modern British Bands to Crack the U.S.  For this list, we'll be ranking a more recent crop of English groups who have seen crossover success amongst American audiences. We'll be focusing on recent bands only, specifically 1990s-onward, making this list one with eyes set firmly on the here and now. Special thanks to our user Dan Paradis for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Modern British Bands to Crack the U.S.


Get ready for another British Invasion. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Modern British Bands to Crack the U.S. 

For this list, we'll be ranking a more recent crop of English groups who have seen crossover success amongst American audiences. We'll be focusing on recent bands only, specifically 1990s-onward, making this list one with eyes set firmly on the here and now.

 

#10: alt-J


Maybe there's something in the Leeds water that makes the quirky art-pop of alt-J resonate so much with an international audience, or maybe it's just this young British band's determination to release honest, unique music to their fan base. Whatever the reason, there's no denying that three full length albums and a number of T.V. and film soundtrack appearances have done alt-J wonders in breaking through to an American crowd, and it doesn't seem as if this trio are going to be resting on their creative laurels anytime soon.

#9: The 1975


Don't go expecting any classic rock bombast or psychedelic grooves with this Manchester-based act. Instead, The 1975 create a grooving and highly danceable combination of pop, dance, and rock sounds which has managed to earn them huge accolades both at home and abroad. There's a strong sense of songwriting knowledge when it comes the music of The 1975, which often hits home with huge, stadium-ready hooks with a super-clean production style. Both modern and somewhat retro tone, The 1975 won a Brit Award in 2017 for Best British Group, so it looks like their story of success has just begun.


#8: Florence + the Machine


There's an indescribable amount of beauty permeating the music of Florence and the Machine. Perhaps this is why the London-based group has managed to connect so strongly with fans from both the UK and U.S. Frontwoman Florence Welch’s magnetic presence is evident on both the stage and in the studio. Musically, The Machine combines sounds and imagery like few others, from classical to modern indie, pop and rock styles. Indeed, there's no categorizing Florence and the Machine, and that's probably exactly how they like it.

#7: Mumford and Sons


Folky, rootsy Americana music performed by a group of born 'n bred Londoners? It's more likely than you think. There's a beautiful element to the music of Mumford and Sons, as well as a certain nostalgia which seems to connect with music fans from all walks of life. The spirits of songwriters past seem to live and breathe within the old-school arrangements and melodies within the band's songwriting. While they’ve changed up their look and sound recently, it's their original combination of past and present which likely led to Mumford and Sons being one of Britain's most popular rock exports.

#6: Muse


Devon's Muse have managed to achieve the nearly impossible: they've managed to upgrade progressive rock to sound sleek, sexy and oh so cool. Of course, it wasn't all smooth sailing for this group since first forming back in the mid-90s, but albums such as 2003's "Absolution" and particularly "Black Holes and Revelations" from 2006 succeeded in giving Muse some big-time hits across the pond. Of course, it helps that guitarist and vocalist Matt Bellamy also happens to be one of the most passionate and dynamic frontmen around, pushing Muse ever forward as a leader in Britain's dynamic rock scene.

#5: Gorillaz


If the world of holograms and virtual reality is the next big thing for the music industry, then we can thank this one-of-a-kind group for being an early pioneer in the medium. Gorillaz broke the mold of traditional artists when they were created as a "virtual band" back in 1998 by Blur frontman Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. The band members are entirely fictional, with a fascinating back story and imaginary universe to their credit. Meanwhile, the trippy, infectious music of Gorillaz is created in the studio by Albarn and has featured many high-profile contributors in the past, including famed MC Del the Funky Homosapien.

#4: Oasis


The crux of Oasis is the Gallagher brothers, Noel and Liam, particularly their highly combustible working relationship. Oasis thrived despite their inter-personal struggles, however, thanks to a series of ridiculously popular singles. "Wonderwall", "Don't Look Back in Anger" and "Champagne Supernova" were all radio megahits, hinging upon Noel's jangling, layered guitar work and Liam's nasal, yet undeniably captivating vocals. Oasis may have worn their influences on their sleeves, but that didn't stop them from becoming an international success story in the process.

#3: Arctic Monkeys


Sheffield makes an appearance on our list, thanks to the cross-country appeal of one of the area's most popular groups, Arctic Monkeys. The band's sound is a call back to stripped down garage rock, while at the same time possessing a smooth production style and a hefty dose of indie cool. Somehow, Arctic Monkeys seem to effortlessly switch between pop and rock underground hooks. Perhaps it's this delicate balancing act which keeps fans in the UK and U.S. coming back again and again for another shot of the band's intriguing sound.

#2: Coldplay


Referring to Coldplay as England's answer to U2 simply isn't giving this London-born band their proper due when it comes to their level of success. Sure, we may hear the music of Coldplay nearly everywhere we go, on television or in radio adverts, but taking a step back, it's easy to see why Chris Martin and Co. have connected with so many people. There's honesty to the band's songwriting and a passionate believability to Martin's vocals, which has made Coldplay one of the most successful British bands in years. And that's no accident.

Before we announce our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions!
 
The xx

Bring Me The Horizon

Blur


#1: Radiohead


We mentioned earlier how the spirit of progressive rock lived on within the music of Muse, and so too does that forward-thinking heart beat within the musical body of Oxfordshire's Radiohead. The band have been massively influential over the years, and have rarely delivered the same album twice, instead choosing to continually challenge their audience at every turn. Not only has Radiohead consistently delighted critics, but fans have also flocked to the band's mixture of rock and ambient electronica, making the band simultaneously one of Britain's most unpredictable, and beloved musical mavericks.
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