French artist Eloise came out of nowhere last September with the charmingly beautiful “You, Dear”, which was easily one of my favorite tracks of the year (check it out HERE if you missed it). There’s something haunting about the simplicity of the track, with Eloise’s gorgeous voice floating atop simple instrumentation. She followed up with the more emotional “TTCL” (listen HERE), solidifying herself as a major force and earning herself a spot on my Artists to Watch 2019 list. Now she’s given us our first taste of music this year with the excellent Left Side. The track is probably her most subdued to date, showing off her penchant for catchy songwriting and understated backing. “Left Side” serves as teaser for her debut EP, out on May 30th, and I can’t wait to have even more music from Eloise. Until then, I’ll keep “Left Side” on repeat. Make sure you check it out below and be on the lookout for more soon.
Norwegian octet Fieh is making music that doesn’t sound like anyone else at the moment. Their blend of pop, R&B, jazz, funk, and soul almost doesn’t seem like it should work on paper but it absolutely does; enough so for them to show up on my list of Artists to Watch 2019. After a reset going into this year, they re-released single “25” as an official debut, and have now followed it up with the double single Flower and Brain. “Flower” is probably the most straightforward release from the group so far, with a bass line that will get you grooving along and an earworm of a hook. It even has an incredibly stylish video to accompany the track that you can check out HERE. “Brain” on the other hand is much more subdued and experimental in nature. With a simple bass riff driving the track, it’ll keep you on your toes throughout in the best possible way. With a debut album somewhere on the horizon, I can’t wait to see how the band will continue to develop and expand their sound. While we wait to see what’s next, be sure to check out “Flower” and “Brain” below or click HERE and HERE if you don’t have Spotify.
It really feels like it’s just a matter of time before No Rome really blows up. He blasted onto the scene last year with a string of singles building to the release of his debut EP, RIP Indo Hisashi. My personal favorite is still “Seventeen” and you should check it out HERE if you’ve missed it. His releases have garnered lots of attention, including earning him a spot on my list of Artists to Watch 2019, and so far he’s showing why everyone should be keeping an eye on him. After lead single “Cashmoney” released in April, he has followed it up with his second EP, Crying In The Prettiest Places, which shows even more ambition and range than his debut. While the whole thing is absolutely worth your attention, I want to draw your attention to my personal favorite, Pink. While the EP sees him trying out new sounds, from punk to dance, I still think he’s at his best with the forward-thinking R&B vibe of “Pink”. With production that will keep you guessing while still laying the groundwork for No Rome’s excellent vocals, it really sounds like the kind of track that could crossover to mainstream audiences. No Rome is one of the most exciting pop/R&B artists at the moment and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store. Be sure to check out the whole EP and particularly “Pink” below (or click HERE to see the video), and get on board with No Rome now.
Over the last year or so, Northampton’s slowthai has continued to emerge as one of the hottest rappers to watch in the UK, earning himself a spot on the BBC Sound of 2019. Fast-forward to now and we’re just days away from the release of his debut album, Nothing Great About Britain. So far he’s given us several tastes of the LP, from last year’s punk-tinged “Door Man” (check it out HERE), to the more straightforward “Gorgeous”. A few weeks back he shared the title track, and although I’m late to the party, I figured I’d share it here to get you excited for the rest of the album. With a glitchy beat that doesn’t quite seem to line up, slowthai shows off his signature flow and cadence on the potentially controversial track, clearly showing why he’s continuing to turn heads. I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do on the full album, and luckily we only have a few days to wait. Be sure to check out “Nothing Great About Britain” below and be on the lookout for the album on Friday, May 17th.
It certainly seems like UK-based duo Jadu Heart are ramping up to something big. At the end of last year, they shared the double single, The Gloom That Looms, which included “Heroin Song” and my personal favorite “The Cure” (check them out HERE). They paired together beautifully, with “Heroin Song” being a more subdued and accessible track, while “The Cure” was more boundary pushing. Now, their latest track, Forgotten Ghosts, has a similar connection to their previous release “Purity” (listen HERE). Where “Purity” was one of their most upbeat tracks to date, “Forgotten Ghosts” is considerably more laid back and perhaps a little less experimental. Even without the ground-breaking production I’ve come to associate with the pair, “Forgotten Ghosts” shows how excellently Jadu Heart craft their music and how well they tackle both sides of the coin. Their forthcoming debut album (release date TBA) is now by far my most anticipated release and I really can’t wait to see what they do with it. In the meantime, be sure to check out “Forgotten Ghosts” below and get on board with what Jadu Heart are doing now.
Danish quartet Liss is finally back! After blasting into the music world in 2016 with an exceptional debut EP, First, they easily secured themselves a spot on my list of Artists to Watch 2017 (check out the post HERE), but sadly pretty much went silent after that. Every bit of social media activity had me wondering whether or not they were about to reemerge until I got to the point where I pretty much assumed we had heard the last of them. Thankfully, now they’ve shared their first new track in several years and it was absolutely worth the wait. Talk to Me is Liss at their finest, with production that will keep you guessing, but with a killer hook that will draw you in right away. That said, it’s definitely been a grower for me; I liked it on first listen, but after a few more it has become one of my favorites of the year for sure. I so hope new music from Liss means we won’t have to wait as long for more, but only time will tell. If this is any indication, you can expect big things from the Danes soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out “Talk to Me” below or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify and go back an revisit First if it’s been a while.
Bergen-native Iris has quickly become one of the new artists I’m the most excited about. She debuted earlier this year with the arresting “from inside a car” which I covered on the blog with “hanging around you / crackers” (listen HERE), and has since followed up with the equally excellent “romance is dead (HERE). Each track shows a different side to her sound, with “romance is dead” falling on the subdued end of the spectrum, “hanging around you / crackers” in the upbeat and danceable category, and “from inside a car” firmly in the middle. Now, a few weeks back, she gifted us with her debut EP, a sensitive being, and added in two more incredible tracks, repose and giving in, making her five for five. “repose”, with its hip-hop influenced beat and production, adds a few flavor to Iris’s palette, while “giving in” fills the role of anthemic pop belter with a twist. Across the entire EP, Iris keeps things fresh, with sounds that set her apart from the crowded pop field, while still holding on to that level of accessibility that makes her ripe for mainstream success. I’m so excited about Iris’s prospects at the moment and can’t wait to see where she’ll go. Be sure to check out “repose” and “giving in” below and get on board with one of my favorite new artists.