I’ve already talked about what a great year 2018 has already been for music, but specifically it’s been an incredible year for new artists. In the first two and half months we’ve seen debut releases from a handful of artists who are clearly on the verge of exploding, with newcomer anaïs at the top of that list. Earlier this year she shared her debut effort, “nina”, an absolutely gorgeous mission statement of a track, combining downtempo R&B and pop to make something thoroughly unique and enjoyable. My expectations for anaïs were, understandably, very high going into her debut EP, before zero, released yesterday, and unsurprisingly she’s exceeded them. Expect several tracks from the work to pop up on the blog in the next week or so but today I want to feature the second song, set in stone. While “nina” is an exercise in restraint, with “set in stone”, anaïs lets herself go a little with great success. It’s a more straightforward pop song and displays how wide her appeal is. anaïs has quickly become one of my top artists to watch and I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve. Be sure to check out “set in stone” below or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify.
My number 1 Artist to Watch for 2018, Morgan Saint, is continuing to show why she’s in that position with everything she does. This past Thursday she appeared on Conan, hopefully expanding her audience even more and showing the world why we should be paying attention to her with her rendition of “Just Friends”. If you haven’t heard it, check out the performance HERE and my post on the studio version HERE. Not to be caught resting on her laurels, the next day she shared a stripped down version of Glass House, one of my favorite songs of last year. The simple piano and string accompaniment totally transforms the song, elegantly exposing Saint’s gorgeous vocals. It’s one thing for a singer nowadays to sound good with lots of electronics and production, but Morgan sounds even better without them here. Morgan Saint is having an incredible year so far and I can’t wait to see what she does next. Be sure to check out her new stripped back version of “Glass House” below or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify.
I’ve been a big fan of three piece Wet since 2015 when I heard their track “Weak”. Their brand of subdued indie pop is instantly attractive and manages to stand out by stripping everything back. Another of their tracks, “It’s All in Vain” went on to be one of my favorite tracks of 2015 and put them high on my list of artists to watch going into 2016. Of course that was before Symbiosis existed so the list was never published, but they quickly exceeded my expectations for them with their excellent debut album, Don’t You, released in January of that year. Throughout the album, they did a great job of varying things enough to keep it interesting while still maintaining a signature sound. Now after an extended period of silence, excluding a double single released back at the end of 2016, they are back with a brand new track and a definite update to their sound in the form of There’s a Reason. I don’t think any Wet track has had as defined a beat as this track, but still present are their incredible songwriting and penchant for catchy yet interesting melodies. “There’s a Reason” serves as the first track from their upcoming sophomore album, and I’m so excited to hear what direction they go in. They’ve proved they’re adept at a variety of sounds so I can’t wait to see what they do. In meantime, be sure to check out “There’s a Reason” below and be on the lookout for more hopefully soon! Click HERE if you don’t have Spotify.
Liv Dawson has been churning out hit after hit since her debut track, “Tapestry”, almost two years ago. After appearing on my list of Artists to Watch 2017, the young UK-based artist has continually impressed with both her pop sensibilities and her seemingly effortless ability to jump between genres. From subdued piano ballads, to garage-style dance music, to tropical-influenced jams, Dawson can seemingly do it all. Her previous track, “Hush”, was one of my personal favorites and shows Liv at her best with a fusion of pop, R&B, and dance music to make something extremely enjoyable. Check it out HERE if you haven’t heard it. Now she’s back with another bop but with a totally different sound. Talk utilizes Caribbean-inspired production and instrumentation to highlight Dawson’s beautiful vocals and smart songwriting. It seems the stars continue to align for Liv Dawson and I’m extremely confident it’s only a matter of time before she’s topping the charts. Check out “Talk” below and get on board with Liv if you’re not already.
I’ve been following Canadian artist Ralph since she released her track, “Cold to the Touch”, back in 2016. It quickly became one of my favorite pop songs of the year, with its carefree take on 80s-indebted synthpop. Since then, she has shared a string of irresistible singles and her self-titled debut EP released last March. In case you want more of a taste of her work, check out “Tease” HERE. Now she’s back with a new track, September Fades, and the announcement that it’s the first sampling of her debut album. Picking up where her previous work left off, “September Fades” is a super catchy pop/R&B hybrid that will get you singing along right away. Everything that Ralph releases is worth your attention and “September Fades” is certainly no exception. Check it out below and stay tuned for more from Ralph soon.
Years & Years certainly don’t need attention from a small blog like Symbiosis, but I’ve been a fan for so long I feel like I have to share when they’re up to something new. I first came across them when they were long-listed for the BBC Sound of 2015 which they went on to win. 2014 was really the year I started actively seeking out new music, so I always associate Years & Years with that new era and they were instrumental in developing my music taste. Since their debut album, Communion, was released in 2015 and went on to be a number 1 in the UK, they’ve stayed pretty quiet with the exception of one off single “Meteorite”. That changed, however, a few weeks ago when they started a very enigmatic release campaign, complete with sci-fi themed videos, interactive Facebook messages, and clues in a made up language of symbols pointing towards March 7th. Now that’s come and past and we’re left with the Sanctify, the first single from their upcoming sophomore album, set for release sometime this summer. In an interview with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1, lead singer Olly Alexander named his inspiration for the track as “I’m a Slave 4 U” by Britney Spears, and the comparison is definitely an apt one. “Sanctify” has that same kind of classic vibe while still being forward thinking. It’s definitely different from what we’ve heard from the trio before, but it makes me even more excited to see what they’re going to come up with next. Check out “Sanctify” below and be on the lookout for more soon.
alayna is the reason I came across, Forest Fire, the debut track from producer YOG$. After a stellar breakout year, alayna popped up on my Artists to Watch 2018 list, so obviously I’m very excited whenever her name pops up anywhere. It’s always a great feeling when artists you follow collaborate with people you might not otherwise come across but end up truly enjoying. That’s definitely the case for me today. Because alayna features here, now I have two new acts to be following with YOG$ and Healy. “Forest Fire” is a gorgeous low key track with pulsating synths and a simple beat, putting alayna’s and Healy’s vocals on full display. The track clearly brings out the best in each of the artists which is exactly what you want from a collaboration. Be sure check out “Forest Fire” below and be on the lookout for more from these three.