August 7, 2014
We've refreshed our Ones To Watch feature for the second half of 2014. As before, we use the above Zeitgeist data to pinpoint newly-emerging artists by applying two simple qualifiers: it's their first time on the most-blogged list, and they've yet to release a full-length LP.
Tracks below are in random order, and paired with words from the very blogs that posted them.
Swedish songwriter Alice Boman taps into an empty space and emotional grip... in effect: a near-whispered hum speaks much more loudly than boldly pronounced statements. On “What,” we hear her stirring in the background more often than blaring out at the forefront, crackles in Boman’s voice only enhance the track, taken from her II EP.
Yet another SOHN produced beauty from one of the voices of the year. Kwabs. has been tearing up the UK airwaves as of late... destined to cast a chilling silence amongst packed out venues across the country.
— Crack in the Road
Brighton, England, has been a hotbed of great music as of late, with the duo of Josh Christopher & Melis Soyaslanova (aka IYES) contributing to that notion. The electro-pop outfit has been dropping fantastic song after fantastic song. Their latest, "Toys" is a swooping, hypnotic song that hits all the right marks.
— My Old Kentucky Blog
It's taken only a few short weeks for this mysterious LA-based artist to take the blogs by storm. If you've had your head even slightly above water you're sure to have heard a couple of his captivating tracks already, "Superfriends" and "Faded", with its entrancingly-catchy hooks and deep, hypnotic depths.
— Caveman Sound
Since the release of “Sweet Ophelia” and its equally mesmerizing B-side “1965“, we have been not-so-patiently waiting for a new track from Los Angeles’ powerful pop princess, Zella Day. Her latest single, “East of Eden”, sets a beautiful tone for her upcoming self-titled EP, maintaining the sweeping, anthemic chorus, glossy production and dark, art pop base.
— The Wild Honey Pie
Cathedrals are a San Francisco-based duo that's been gradually establishing a name for themselves via a collection of dreamy and emotive singles such as "Unbound" and "Harlem." Their distinguishable sound mashes ambient electronica, melancholy and pop, with lead singer Brodie Jenkins' stunning vocals shining through.
— The Ripe
Gorgon City‘s recent successes is tantamount of the duo’s quality production and quite possibly influenced by a cultural shift in people’s taste in music. The London boys, Matt and Kye (who you may know as RackNRuin and Foamo), continue with their rich garage-influenced production on their latest effort “Here For You” featuring the sultry vocals of Laura Welsh.
Fickle Friends is a five-piece 'Brighton Pop Outift' that has been playing a gig or two in support of hot up-and-comers IYES recently. Their cowbell-accented single "Swim" is a beautifully upbeat 80s pop groove with an ultra-catchy rhythm. Clearly this crew knows how to bring a good time.
— Turntable Kitchen
On debut single "Younger", Seinaboy Sey sounds like a classic soul chanteuse but also very much like a 21st century pop singer. Coming from the team behind Naomi Pilgrim, and produced by Magnus Lidenhall (the brains behind Mapei's infectious "Don't Wait"), Sey combines the best of both to create under-the-skin pop that screams to be performed in an arena--maybe even backed by an orchestra.
— disco naïveté
Last year, mysterious Manchester producer Oceaan took the blogosphere by storm with the gorgeously-cloudy bloom of soul-pop of debut track "Need U." His new material is more complex. The luxurious male falsetto at the heart of "Need U" is still present but the underlying grooves creep around with a bit more angularity, off-kilter beat snatches adding a haunting, techno-psychedelic ambiance that could be described as James Blake finding his way through one of Timbaland's stranger Y4K-soul concoctions.
— Mixtape Maestro
Tinashe's late-2013 mixtape, Black Water, set up the LA singer for a big 2014. Now she's making that so, teaming up with Schoolboy Q and DJ Mustard for "2 On", and early tease for her forthcoming RCA debut album. The beat is a little more lasers at the club and less of the laptop glow of Black Water but Tinashe still brings her charge and easy confidence
— The Fader
Marika is a British solo musician who writes intelligent, haunting and captivating songs with ethereal vocals and instrumentation that has been pigeonholed as folk but often offers much more.
— The Devil Has The Best Tuna
Perhaps one of our most hotly anticipated acts, Tove Lo’s brand of candid alternative pop perfectly encapsulates why we absolutely adore every act that’s coming out of Scandinavia at the moment.
— When The Gramophone Rings
UK musician Bipolar Sunshine has been captivating us with some great tunes for awhile now. His latest is a lustrous, balmy, and resplendent pop song. As a sign of things to come, Zane Lowe even chose this song for his hottest record in the world right now on BBC Radio.
— I Heart Moosiq
With the ability to clasp your innermost feelings with the tightest of grips, not letting go 'til every last breath of emotion is fleeced, Brighton-based quintet Phoria showcase a refined art of minimalist endearment. With sliced vocal samples sending a chilling reprise through its backbone, latest single "Undone" sends rippling waves of fervour throughout while its glacial tones break off into an ocean of sound.
— Scientists of Sound
When a band seemingly populates out of nowhere and captures the attention of the entire (blog) world, it’s easy to wonder why it ‘happens’ for some and not others. In the case of New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma it isn’t difficult to understand why, not even in the slightest. On first single, “The Brae,” the band’s sound is immediately polished to an 80′s nostalgic shimmery sheen, their dream pop emerging effortlessly mature.
We're continually impressed with anything that Florida duo SALES throw at us. From last year with the very first track "Renne", to brand new single "vow", their chic, minimalistic tones are nothing short of wonderful. As the SALES blueprint now goes, Lauren Morgan's vocals are ever captivating, working in and around the space provided by writing partner Jordan Shih.
— One For The People
French Express is a name that has become synonymous with elegant underground dance music. Helping lead the charge, Moon Boots has proven one of the label’s strongest assets. Now the talented nu-disco/deep house producer gives us “Whatever You Need,” a soulful house flip of Andrea Martin’s R&B single “Let Me Return the Favor.” With plenty of clanking chords to supplement to complement his effortless groove, the song is delightful to say the least.
— Dancing Astronaut
Broods' once-personal music is currently reaping plaudits from all across the globe. The New Zealand-based brother-sister duo's trademark sound--all huge pop choruses and bittersweet melodic moping--is catching fire and setting hearts alight.
— The Line Of Best Fit
Being hailed as the new Jai Paul, the elusive, somewhat mysterious London-based producer Ben Khan has released the follow up to 2013's "Eden" with a new track that once again epitomizes the fuzzy blend of electronics with R&B that combines here for a sultry yet funky piece that's like a dark, mouth-watering chocolate.
— Little Indie Blogs
Once a week, Stack delivers a mix of the most interesting new music on the web, handpicked by the Hype Machine team. Here's a recent mix.