Danish Alex Vargas sought music and new opportunities and relocated to England at 17 years of age, and he “hasn’t looked back since”, except, when he’s home playing gigs of course. He also recently signed with CPH Records. His “Noise Soul” (using his own words), is made up of an outstanding falsetto to the proper singer-songwriter genre, united with an electronic ambiance, where Alex is known for his live performances with zero compromises. If you have seen or heard Jack Garratt, chances are you’re going to be familiar with Vargas. The EP ‘Giving Up The Ghost’ is out January 22nd.
| Listen To: ‘Giving Up The Ghost
’, ‘Shackled Up
The melancholic Scandinavian universe of the Norwegian AURORA is a mix of a strong yet brittle vocal, and earthly electronic songs, which she describes as ‘Dark pop’. With the EP Running With The Wolves released in early 2015, and with a couple of more songs in the bag, she exposed her music to a broader audience with several concerts in the UK and Europe, and across the pond. UK residents will know her cover of Oasis ‘Half The World Away’ from John Lewis Christmas advert. Her debut album All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend comes out in March.
| Listen to: ‘Running With The Wolves
’, ‘Half The World Away
Once you hear the young teenager’s music it’s easy to understand how she at age 16(!) has been going strong, gaining momentum with every youtube-cover she did. It was followed up by the Ribbons EP, proving she is a classic singer-songwriter, not confined by age or experience. In late 2015, with the EP As Long As, she introduced us to the beautiful song ‘Bird’. She is part of BBC’s sound of 2016 list and supported Lucy Rose on her autumn tour.
| Listen To: ‘Bird
Hailing from Stockport, Blossoms sounds a bit like Arctic Monkeys or The Stone Roses subjected to old school pop psychedelia. Perhaps more rock than pop. The band formed in 2013, pulling on several genres. With ‘Charlemagne’ they definitely proved they have earned their own sound. Blossoms are heading out on a UK headline tour in early 2016, with their EP At Most A Kiss released on February 19th.
| Listen to: ‘Charlemagne
’, ‘At Most A Kiss
Last year the buzz around Hinds began to take form, and the storm has grown ever since. The Spanish band has an analog sound with jagged guitars, one-take records, and an honest approach, but that doesn’t mean they’re not ambitious. While music industry cloaks’ verdicts do not make or break a band these days, Hinds debut album Leave Me Alone (which is out now) has taken many by storm with their quirky songs and “don’t give many fucks”-attitudes. These kick-ass girls could easily deliver the tunes of summer 2016.
| Listen to: ‘San Diego
’, ‘Chili Town
The pop electronica duo Andy and James, origins from Somerset Wiltshire. After two EPs in 2014, they released both Coastal and Over Lover EPs all on their own through Tatemae Recordings. The soulful vibes and soft tunes cradle the sharp lyrical universe. Radio 1’s Annie Mac is a big fan, and a quick listen to a couple of their songs proves just how creative freedom does not have to negate radio friendly tunes. Their new EP Gone Are The Days comes out at the end of January.
| Listen to: ‘Loves The Jobs you Hate
’, ‘Gone Are The Days
The Swedish/Australian band has steadily been building up a following since the single Northern Lights was first released back in 2012, where the internet opened up their arms towards it. However, it wasn’t until 2015 their debut album One saw the light of day. The time in between they have spent on the road (touring almost non-stop), releasing an EP and working towards what must be described as a solid album. The danceable electro-pop will without a doubt find its way to the clubs and radio.
| Listen To: ‘Northern Lights
‘, ‘Midnight Sun
This guy is from the Midwest of the US. If you fell in love with Tobias Jesso Jr. this year, a recommendation would definitely be Max Jury. There are blatant references to Gram Parsons and other American(a) singer-songwriters. Max Jury is a genuine classic storyteller that takes you on a different journey in each of his songs. ‘Black Metal’ from 2014’s EP All I want: The Sonic Factory Sessions, is one of them. He is touring the UK and Europe in the spring.
| Listen To: ‘Black Metal
Rat Boy aka Jordan Cardy turned himself into a one-man band after unsuccessful attempts at putting a band together. And we should be thankful for that. There are similarities to Jamie T, but that shouldn’t be a reason to dig into his music (or a reason to make you not want to) because Rat Boy is getting places and has slowly created his own sound. The catchy, dirty, comical lyrics are all a gold mine. The punk (funk? Pop?) vibe is strong with Jordan, and he’s a fresh breath of air. He went on tour for the first time in 2015 and ended the year with an NME nomination for best new artist.
| Listen to: ‘FAKE ID
’, ‘Sign On
The boys met in the popular surfer area of Hossegor France and have in the past few years gone from pub gigs to proper touring. You don’t need to be a surfer to appreciate what they have created. With an eclectic music taste amongst them, there have been references to Bruce Springsteen and Kings of Leon, but they have managed to pull their resources to the table and form their own sound. Sunset Sons was the opening Act on Imagine Dragon’s 2015 European stadium tour, and if the passionate fan base is anything to go by, Sunset Sons gained a massive amount of new followers through it. Their debut album Very Rarely Say Die was recorded in the music city of Nashville and is to be released in the start of 2016, accompanied by a large tour.
| Listen to: ‘On The Road
’, ‘She Wants