So, welcome to 2016. The year of the revolving doors, rotary speakers and shite pop music, yet again, especially on mainstream radio right now (bar a couple of wicked artists). Beneath the shit though, there are some diamonds in the rough – wonderful upcoming talent that deserve a higher pedestal and some more exposure.
Here’s my subjective (but true) opinion on what the next BBC Sound Of and any other year lists should look like:
This girl hit Hype Machine with a bang. With a Janis Joplin-esque vibe and a huge vocal, this is what Adele should have sounded like all along. Her debut release Keep Lying hit the Spotify Charts and shattered tympanic membranes across the blogosphere at the same time, and I’m pleased to say if you want to follow a real future pop-star, this girl is the one. (pictured above)
In another universe, this boy was the White Yeezy; producing bangers after bangers after the big bang brewed. Astronomyy, a songwriter/producer from Worcestershire, UK has set the Internet on fire since his musical meteor hit this planet back in 2013. His latest release The Secret feels like it would fit perfectly on the infamous Drive soundtrack, constructed of 80s space noises, and his signature surf guitar sound. Not only this, but he’s also just written his first international hit with Zara Larsson and MNEK in “Never Forget You”, and also hit the Spotify Global Viral Chart #1 spot… Keep your eyes on this one.
If Terence Trent d’Arby met Dev Hynes in the 90s and chose to get together, this would be the result: their lovechild. Please welcome Liss. Recently picked up by the big boss of XL Recordings under his management wing after a blistering performance at Eurosonic in January, Liss are set to explode onto the Indie scene, and turn things up once again. Listen to Try, their debut track – it’s amazing and feels like summer has finally arrived.
They’re calling him the European Tame Impala; a dreamwave breakthrough. I have to agree. Niklas Kramer aka Still Parade is Berlin’s most cherished and upcoming prospect. Having just played the Berlin show for Majestic Casual, and managing to score the latest Victoria’s Secret sync, this guy seems to be on the path for success this 2016, and I can see why. With songs such as Concrete Vision and 07:41 and an album in the making (released this spring), Still Parade is one to hit the repeat button on today.
With Grime’s resurgence in the UK and nobody showing signs of getting bored of Amerie’s ‘One Thing’, the young Elf Kid should have entered the BBC Sound Of 2016 without doubt. Golden Boy, the latest jam from Lewisham’s Golden Boy, is one smash that should be Top 5 and playing on every stereo across the land, and on every iPhone in every high school.
I once began to believe that Kurt Cobain had been reincarnated and was alive in the form of a Brighton based seven foot tall giant. I was wrong: but if you’re into your garage/psyche amazingness, then Brighton’s very own Tigercub are for you.
Sounding like they’ve been ripped out of your 90s pair of damaged (and original) Vans, Tigercub are the one band from Brighton that have done things properly since day one, and deserve a stage to shout and scream their views upon. I’m all about these guys and can see 2016 being a big one for them. Check out Antiseptic on the playlist above.
In the seventies, there were some really good records. I could list them all but this isn’t an album list. That said, their debut record “Thrill of the Arts” was one of this year’s most thought provoking releases.
Back Pocket for me was a stand out; an analogue vibe with sonic clarity, and one of the most mindblowing clarinet trio arrangements I’ve ever heard in a piece of music. They’re also an amazing live act, so go buy your tickets and book your plane ticket to the US – they’re the right band for you if you wanna boogie.
Northern lad Mattie Vant is one of this generation’s greatest songwriters. Politically driven, and brutally honest, VANT have been picked up by Parlophone and thrown in a tour van for the last 12 months – and in between, have written some amazing tracks including PARKING LOT which would have been a #1 back in 1997. This year should really help define the sound of 2016, and in a positive way for sure. These guys are pure talent. Also, watch some of the live videos on their page/YouTube. Great stuff.
Anne-Marie is most definitely a popstar in the making. Managed by Rocket (Elton John’s company), already hosting a publishing deal and having completed two years of touring with Rudimental as their backing singer, Anne-Marie is on track to being one of the big ones. Catchy RnB based Pop, really wispy vocals and contemporary productions amount for a promising road for the Essex-bred girl. Check out the latest, Do It Right. It’s a smash. Also, look out for her track with Astronomyy later this year (see above).
One of my favourite records I purchased on Vinyl this year was Fatima Yamaha’s release Imaginary Lines. Love Invaders is the standout track. An electronic/house producer based in Amsterdam, and now reaching our shores, Fatima is set to take on the Radio 1 playlists at any point now, especially if he can create gems as big, bouncy and full of energy as this Love Invaders jam… Pure fucking vibes. Take an E.