I'm obsessed with finding new and upcoming bands, artists
and producers who deserve to become/look likely to to become wildly popular
and spectacularly overplayed on the airwaves, although it secretly breaks my
heart a little bit when that happens. Nonetheless, it's that time of year when
everybody decides to share their opinions as to who will be big in 2014, who
should have been big in 2013, and what you ought to be listening to right now,
whether you want to hear those opinions or not.
So with that said, I may as well weigh in with my hopes and
guesses for the ten artists who are going to absolutely kill it next year.
Brooklyn-based three piece Wet only released their debut
four track EP in October of this year, but after rave reviews throughout New
York's CMJ Music Marathon, the band were written up everywhere from The New
York Times to Fader. Producing the most charming pop music I’ve heard all year,
this band deserve to be everywhere in 2014. Hard to Google.
There has been a wonderful resurgence of soul/R&B in the
UK this year, and this girl is no exception. London’s Moko first came to our
attention when she featured on a collaboration with UK production duo Chase n
Status, before putting out "Hand on Heart," a super '90s sounding slice of soul
3. Shy Girls
I'm obsessed with this band. The project, led by Dan Vidmar,
makes the most shameless bedroom R&B ever, reintroducing the minute-long sax
solo we all never knew we missed until now. The debut EP Timeshare is out now. This is the sexiest song
from it. It will be awkward if you listen to this in the office.
4. Leon T. Pearl
I find the UK Garage scene from the '90s/early '00s hard to explain
to non-natives, but it was basically
an underground scene that broke through to the main stream with artists
like The Streets and So Solid Crew, coming from somewhere between drum 'n' nass
and hip hop. Anyway, I loved it, and it is coming BACK in a poppier form thanks
to the likes of this guy.
5. Nimmo & The Gauntlett
My go-to epithet for this band is 'a female-fronted Two Door
Cinema Club,' although perhaps that's a lazy comparison. This five piece
alt-pop outfit deserve to stand out in their own right, having gone from
strength to strength this year with a promise of big things to come in 2014. I
recently made it back to London to see them play the most sold-out, packed out
show I have been to in a long time. Plenty of well-deserved buzz.
6. Dream Koala
I don't know how it happens, but Paris just keeps churning out insanely
talented young electronic producers who go on to take the world by storm. A
couple of years back we had Madeon, and now we have 19 year old Dream Koala,
a.k.a the charming and delightful Yndi Ferreira, who is not only a self-taught
producer, but self-taught guitar player and multi-instrumentalist, and was
something of a one man band at this year's CMJ. He has recently remixed the
wonderful Banks- see below.
Probably my most played tracks of the year, Banks "Warm
Water," produced by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, was a perfectly
glorious debut for Banks' sultry vocal. She has since blown up after being
signed up to The Weeknd's ‘Dreamland’ tour, and subsequently having her single
used on the Victoria's Secret holiday advert. If you haven't heard her debut EP London yet, then get it now. Already almost everywhere.
8. Dive In
Another most-played on my iTunes this year, British four-piece Dive In are
basically, and I don't know how else to put this, a really cool boy band making
genius pop. I've just realized that 'Genius Pop' is the definition of my
favorite type of music. This is what it sounds like:
Brooklyn duo XNY make more noise for two people than The White Stripes
could have ever hoped for. The
insanely talented pair fit somewhere within the indie rock genre, but they are
absolutely carving out their own space within in. Their debut album Orange encompasses
the Savages' perfect emotional intensity along with a Cold War Kids-esque
intelligence that makes every track
a brilliant journey. This band will blow you away live, try to catch a
show in 2014.
A late addition to this list (someone got axed so I could fit Javeon in
but I won't tell you who), I only discovered Javeon last week after being sent
this track which is the most obvious straight-to-radio-everywhere single I have
heard in a long time. Bristol's Javeon comes from the increasingly packed scene
of emerging British pop/R&B/disco/synth artists who have benefitted from
the massive success of artists like Jessie Ware and Disclosure. It is becoming
a scene that is difficult to stand out in, but Javeon does just that with "Give Up."
Nicki Minaj posted this regal photo to announce she's not just performing at but also hosting this year's MTV European Music Awards (Europe's version of the VMA's). The big show goes down November 9 in Glasgow, Scottland, and celebrates the EMA's 20th anniversary. Something tells us Nicki will be aflawless host!