We may have been quiet on new releases but we surely have been pay attention to new music out there.
Taking full advantage of being London-based, rummaging Bandcamp and occasionally checking some reference blogs, we came up with a little list of artists you should DEFINITELY pay attention to this year:
It may not sound like that on record, but you will not watch anything like these guys live. The raw energy of punk, the hard-hitting beats, the manic vocals...one of those groups who give it everything they got on stage (and out of it, via stage dives). They caused a literal ruckus on this year’s SXSW, as documented here.
It’s easy to fall in love with Princess Nokia if you see bits of her interviews or live footage and seen her stage presence, which is essentially not performing at you but with you.
She applies the ‘girls to the front’ ethos and lights up the room not just with the fire of empowering songs but also in-between song speeches and her personality, which is fiercely feminist.
Her debut EP '1992' came out last September but I'm still vibing to it this year, thanks to songs like Tomboy, which completely dismantles any notion that women are to fit in some bizzare beauty norms and please the male gaze. Her music blends multi-dimensional self-discovery, celebrates individuality, authenticity and her Afro-Latina identity. She's probably the most DIY hip-hop artist out there today.
Metallic hardcore with a solid NY identity and most of all with lyrics that make you think about what surrounds you. If you’re a fan of that oldschool metalcore with the right amount of groove and social/political awareness (Most Precious Blood comes to mind) this is for you. Brand new record just came out, already available in our Distro.
London’s self-proclaimed “DIY punk witches” have the catchiest songs and have been putting in the work non-stop ever since their DIY EP came out last year (in a really cool fanzine format). Just off tour with Cherry Glazerr, making sure their wave is already being felt in Europe and beyond. An unstoppable force of female empowerment capable of making you want to pogo-mosh and dance on the same gig.
Zeal And Ardor
First reaction when I discovered this guy: “I gotta sign him!” Reflections Records got there first with an LP that sold out instantly, and there seems to be a repress on going around already, which only states the true talent of this project. Gospel, blues, metal, doom...it's a very original mix, one who doesn't leave you indifferent.
Glaswegians delivering a very gut-wrenching type of noise punk - whatever that genre means. The band’s name is discomfortingly accurate and they take no hostages in terms of songwriting and live performances.
Inadvertently watched them live late last year in what became a direct entry to my top 10 gigs of 2016. Their blend of jazz and funk is absolutely hypnotic and the way they make it sound so current and observant of the sounds of London is really captivating. Their first album Black Focus pleased both the experimental nerds and the jazz purists, and the vinyl is already on second or even third press.
They may have been banned from the US but I’m happy to catch them live on this side of the pond anytime I can.
She was #27 onBandcamp’s 2016 top 40, which was how I found her. Comparisons to the also emerging female rapper Noname are inevitable, especially on her 2016 debut “Eden”, but Ivy Sole has a style of her own, more evident on her new release, East, released this February. I actually see her more of a female version of Oddissee. Soulful, positive and clever music.
When I first heard Dylan's debut album 'All I Ever Wanted' for the first time, back in 2015 on a random Soundcloud venture, I wrote him an email asking if he wanted to put it out via us. That's how much faith I had in his talent. Sadly he never replied, but he hasn't stopped ever since.
I'd describe his music as an early The Weeknd on LSD. If auto-tune, vocoder and moody trap beats (some of them reminiscent of Shlohmo) aren't your thing, you may want to stay away, but if you have a go at it it will be hard to pull away from the enchantment spell it casts on you. He's also part of this St. Louis collective called Hella which has a lot of cool experimental stuff going on.