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 perfection.
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."
Georgie Okell was announced this week as the upcoming new host for Fuse News, replacing original series host Alexa Chung. Look out for Georgie starting in January on Fuse News.