We think hyped up lists that predict who will be big in the forthcoming calendar year are getting stale, and ultimately what is the point? Most of them get it wrong anyway. Instead, we have narrowed down a shortlist (lol) of 150 new-ish artists who we are looking forward to hearing new material from in 2015. Nothing more, nothing less.
We’re doing things a little differently than last year, purely because of the sheer (and frankly ridiculous) size of the list we have for you. So you’ll be getting your fix in specially released batches of 25 artists, with six instalments in total.
// Part 1 – Complete
// Part 2 – Complete
// Part 3 – Complete
// Part 4 – Complete
// Part 5 – Complete
// Part 6 – Pending
We hope you enjoy our hard work, and please feel free to voice your opinions or suggest anyone that we have missed in the comments section.
Regardless of the success of these artists next year, we also request that you join us in giving them your undying love and support. <3
// Part 1
Embody first caught our attention in 2014 with a number of fantastic remixes for some high-profile artist such as Lana Del Rey and Laura Welsh. Since then he’s gone on to release a number of original works like “Make A Stand”, “Bad News”, and a brand-new track called “With You”. We can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in 2015.
After a Drake co-sign earlier in the year on his rebranded track “Tuesday”, ILoveMakonnen has gone from strength to strength with a number of high-profile releases in 2014. His EP “I Love Makonnen” has been critically regarded by outlets such as Pitchfork, and we frankly cannot wait for his album to drop next year.
Sometimes there are bands who are just waiting to unleash their brilliance on the world out of nowhere. In 2013 it was London Grammar, but the 2015 version looks like it’s going to be Oh Wonder. They have only four songs down on SoundCloud thus far and have racked up nearly 2 million plays. Incredible stuff really.
The band are already set to drop their debut album next year, and no doubt there has already been a huge major label battle to secure the rights. We cannot wait to hear more.
Probably one of the most in-your-face single we heard in 2014 was courtesy of Swedish singer/songwriter Marlene, who smashed through our speakers with “I Do This For You” – a powerful and emotionally open insight into yet another gem from Scandanavia.
Her “Indian Summer” EP was very impressive, but now we want to hear how the album plays out.
There’s some bands out there who you take a real liking to that just disappear off the face of the earth after a couple of solid releases. Then there’s 14th who bounce back into our lives after a three year hiatus to remind us that they’re still alive and kicking.
This duo has now become a trio, and their comeback single single “Sweet Lies” has them sounding better than ever. The group has personally promised us more material next year, hence their inclusion on this exclusive list.
Lex Low is an artist who it’s still relatively fresh with a lot still to prove, but we have faith that he is going to deliver in 2015. His output definitely needs to ramp up but we have no doubt that is going to be of a very high-quality.
What do we have to say about Laura Doggett? Well let’s start with the voice shall we? It’s fucking incredible. She’s probably one of the strongest female voices to be coming out of the UK at the moment, and we are fully behind her.
So far in 2014 she has impressed with singles “Moonshine” and “Phoenix”, and they’re exactly the type of singles to be pushing her towards a big career next year.
Lanks is an Australian artist who came to us out of the blue in 2014 with a handful of amazing tracks. 2015 has massive potential for him thanks to some tasty support from Triple J, and we’re excited to see what he is going to deliver.
Sometimes we have to grind for our shine, and Layla is no stranger to this concept as she released her 4th(!!!) EP in the first half of 2014. It looks like this has totally honed her songwriting process though, as every single release she dropped in 2014 was simply stunning.
We’re obviously still waiting for the album, but we definitely feel that the time is edging ever closer.
Palmedo sucked us in with one of the sexiest basslines we heard all year on their debut single “Secret Lover” and we have been hooked ever since. Although they had only added another song to their SoundCloud account since then, we are confident enough in what we have heard so far to guarantee that they will be ones to listen out for in 2015.
// Part 1
ALX released probably two of the most sultry singles we heard last year, with “Beautiful Criminal” and “Allure” (Which were both produced by Girls Aloud frequent collaborators Xenomania).
Although we weren’t massive fans of his most recent single, if he can keep the initial quality up then we should be really excited about his forthcoming output.
We all know that Sweden is always going to churn out popstars, but we are always consistently impressed by the quality of those artists who don’t necessarily have huge major label backing. Suvi is most likely to fit in that category as we have been consistently impressed with her output during 2014.
“Bleeding For Your Love” was incredible, and “Find You” was one of the sneak attacks of the year. Maybe she’s not quite ready for a full blown album yet, but we could definitely do with sinking our teeth into a couple of juicy EPs.
We have been tracking Keljet for quite a while, since their remixes seem to hit the spot every single time. In 2014 they started to branch out with come original mixes and collaborations with the likes of AYER, and EVVY and the results have been exciting to say the least.
Let’s see how these Dutchmen can deliver in 2015.
Speelburg is Noah Sacré, a young American-Belgium producer who has already appeared on tracks with Bondax, and been championed by the likes of Zane Lowe.
Speelburg’s music sounds a million miles away from a lot of the stuff that has been passing by our ears lately, and we are digging his individuality.
Saint Pepsi followed up “Gin City” (one of our favourite EPs of the year), with one of our favourite singles of the year “Fiona Coyne”. We didn’t think he had that kind of songwriting potential in him, but we were so very wrong. After seeing him live we can tell you that this guy is just overflowing with funk.
We can only hope for more of the same from him in 2015.
We can safely say that we are in love with every aspect of TĀLĀ as a musician. After featuring as a vocalist on some early T Williams material, she has stepped out from the shadows in 2014 to truly put her stamp on the scene.
We are now two flawless EPs down, with “The Dutchess” and “Alchemy” making us crave for more. In early next year she will be performing her very first live show, and we sincerely hope that will be swiftly followed up by an album (which she is working on with Mike Elizondo amongst others…).
Unless you have had your head buried in the sand then you will already know that Australia has been going through a musical renaissance over the past few years. One of the duos we have been most excited about is Klo., who are creating some of the most sultry R&B that you will have heard recently.
Their “Cusp” EP was something really special for 2014, and we can only see them getting better from here.
We feel that Coasts are so close to the cup of becoming a huge name in the UK that they must literally be able to taste their continual success. We’ve heard a lot from this English five-piece that we are in no doubt that 2015 will be their breakthrough year.
Their “Rush of Blood” and “Paradise” EPs were both very impressive bodies of work, but what we are truly craving is an album.
Genuinely one of the only tracks of the year to give me goosebumps from a single listen was from Tei Shi – the Columbian singer/songwriter coming to us via New York.
Teaming up with Gianluca Buccellati was a masterstroke since its inception, and their magnum opus has been “Bassically”, which has definitely blown a few ears off including mine. We are hoping 2015 is the year of the album.
What can we say about Solomon Grey that we haven’t already exhaustively written about them already? Not a lot really. These guys create movie soundtracks, link brilliantly with other artists (such as Lane8), release mind blowing singles, and (reportedly) put on one hell of a live show.
We’re really excited to see what these guys have planned for 2015, as every one of their releases is genuinely exciting.
// Part 1
It’s pretty safe to say that Majid Jordan were pretty much an unknown entity before they hopped on Drake’s 2013 track of the year “Hold On (We’re Coming Home)”, since then they have proved their songwriting chops with their unstoppable EP “A Place Like This”, which was a fantastic slice of futuristic R&B.
According to Drake’s grammy nominated freestyle “0 to 100 / The Catch Up” we can expect some new Majid Jordan dropping Spring 2015. And supported by the weight of the OVO production team, it’s safe to say WE CANNOT WAIT.
Paul, Ryan, and Michelle have brought us some of our favourite R&B grooves in 2014 as the ever impressive Cannons. With every single release we are stunned as to how impressive their ever increasing back catalogue is.
Sultry, hypnotising, and downright sexy. These guys will finish their amazing 2014 in style, ready to kick more ass in 2015.
In late 2014 newcomer Nao (who has been touring with Little Dragon) suddenly unleashed one of the best R&B releases of the year with her “So Good” EP. Aptly titled, the EP contained some of the most original productions we have heard in some time, from the likes of: Abhi//Dijon, Anup Paul, and John Calvert.
The results were incredible, and at this point we can only dream of how good the album is going to be.
Three piece LANY really have made an electric start to 2014, with each of their six songs having an insatiable effect on us. Catchy, but just crazy enough for us to continually wonder what direction they are going to head in with their next release.
Expect these guys to blow up in popularity, just like The 1975 did.
It took us all of one listen to fall in love with Leo Stannard, triumphantly declaring that “definitely has a big future in the UK scene at least”. He seems to have gone onwards and upwards after our first post about him, with his “Notions” EP going down very well with fans and critics alike.
We’re hoping an album is on the cards next year.
// Part 2
Raised on as healthy disco diet of Michael Jackson, Prince, and Zapp, Megan Vice is a hot young upstart from New York hoping to tread in their footsteps. She has started pretty well too, absolutely smashing a cover of Breakbot’s “Baby I’m Yours”, before unleashing the amazingly catchy single “Ghost” later in the year.
She’s already released a debut EP, but it’s the sophomore release that we’re looking forward to hearing in 2015.
It’s pretty hard to put your finger in what direction Satchmode are taking, as every new upload on their SoundCloud account seems to be completely different to their last. The commonality is obviously quality, and their most recent release “Hall & Oates” had us singing and dancing all over the place.
2015 could be very interesting for these guys, as they will no doubt be in further pursuit of their sound.
After dropping some stunning mashup/covers in the vein of MNEK, Leo Kalyan started smashing out some incredible solo material in 2014 that had us pulling out our hair in amazement.
Backed by the likes of Karma Kid, Grades, the aforementioned MNEK, and Shift K3y, this smorgasbord of British talent will no doubt propel Leo into the public spotlight in 2015.
Brighton is definitely emerging as one of the great musical hotspots in the UK, and the latest band to come off the conveyor belt of talent is the five piece Fickle Friends. Effortlessly tapping into the indie pop scene, these three have been tearing up SoundCloud with some of the catchiest melodies we have heard all year.
If they keep their faultless songwriting efforts up then they are headed for glory in 2015.
Londoner Jones sprung a surprise on us in 2014 when she dropped two of the coolest tracks we heard all year on a double sided single called “Deep” / “You”. The former was produced by Rodaidh McDonald, and the latter was produced by A. K. Paul (so you just know she is keeping in the right circles).
It’s rare to see that much of an impact off just two songs, but we are absolutely buzzing for more. Let’s hope for an EP at least in 2015.
// Part 2
Hailing from ‘The Swamps, United States’, JMR’s sound is anything but that. Sexy, soulful, and packing some serious production skill, we have been wowed by everything we have heard from this guy so far.
If this is the second coming of Justin Timberlake then you god-damn heard it here first.
If we are looking for an artist on this year’s list who has been simply killing it with their covers, then it has to be the exceptionally talented Alice Jemima who gave a few people heart attacks last year with her superlative inducing take on Blackstreet’s seminal hit “No Diggity”.
We’re still waiting to hear more of her much anticipated solo material, but considering she recorded and produced all of her stuff so far, we are damn excited.
Great Good Fine Ok
These guys have been building their online presence for a while now, which culminated in the fantastically uplifting “Body Diamond” EP which they dropped in Summer 2014. Singles such as “You’re The One For Me” and “Not Going Home” have the undeniable catchiness that will propel these guys into the Billboard 100 with ease in the future.
We can only imagine how flawless their debut album will be, which we hope will arrive some time in 2015.
Whilst everyone seemed to be talking up Change The Rapper as the future of Chicago hip-hop, we were always pushing Vic Mensa as the next big thing. Undoubtedly he made a massive breakthrough in the UK in 2014 when his amazing single “Down On My Luck” managed to make some waves in the charts.
Since then we have heard banger after banger from an artist who has the chops to keep pace with his amazing ear for beats. More please.
When Shura’s debut single “Touch” landed in our inbox back in Q3 of 2014, we knew we had listened to something truly special. A gorgeous mix of an understated instrumental and some top-drawer songwriting had us slamming the repeat button for the rest of the year.
Since then we have two exceptional singles to complement it, “Just Once” and “Indecision”, but all we are thinking about now is the album <3
How do you back up your billing as one of the most exciting duos to come out of the states in 2014? Create “Classic”, arguably the most catchy tune of the Summer with fellow duo The Knocks. I only wish that they had attempted to push this over to radio in the UK as it would have made them a household name.
That’s all to come though I’m sure, as these guys are going to go from strength to strength next year.
If we talk some of the original sounds on this list then Mansionair are definitely up there in terms of the freshness of their material. They sprung their “Hold Me Down” EP on us only a couple of months ago, and it really didn’t take much for us to fall in love.
This Aussie trio obviously has the chops to cut it with the best of them, but what can they bring to the table in 2015?
Ever since we heard the demo version of Shivum Sharma’s debut track “Flicker” we have been in love with him. In 2014 he grew from strength to strength as he teamed up with world-class producer Liam Howe for his next single “All These Years” which doubled up as an impressive EP of new material.
We could see a new album next year, and it could be one of the most groundbreaking releases of 2015.
If you had told us last year that we would be featuring a rapper from Chelmsford, Essex on our Sound of 2015 list we seriously wouldn’t have believed you. I guess that’s the beautify of the music industry though, anything can happen.
RatBoy has really impressed us with his organic, gritty sounding material in 2014, and his ‘mixtape’ was one of our hip-hop highlights. We’ll let him convince you below as to why he is on the list though:
If you were to look at Emma Louise’s SoundCloud account, you would see a hastily made page put together with a couple of well written acoustic numbers on there. It’s therefore hard to imagine that Emma has behind two of the biggest dance tracks in recent years, firstly teaming up with Wankelmut for the incredible single “My Head Is A Jungle”, and then joining fellow Aussie natives Flight Facilities for their sexy single “Two Bodies”.
She dropped a very low key album last year, and we’re not quite sure what to expect from the blonde bombshell in 2015, but we do know that whatever she touches turns to gold.
// Part 2
There are a few artists on this list who are included purely because of a single track that we have listened to, and Stray Echo is one of them. “Ground” instantly evoked some of our favourite music memories from the 90s, with a Britpop style swagger that we associated with the likes of Oasis, and The Verve.
We’re very excited for the next few steps from this artist.
If you look at Rae Morris’s output over the past couple of years, you would be surprised as to why she hasn’t made the breakthrough before now. Who knows why it hasn’t all kicked off sooner, but in some cases you can’t rush these things.
“Closer”, “Cold”, and “Do You Even Know?” are all perfect examples of why the Ariel Rechtshaid produced 2015 album is one to keep looking out for.
It’s safe to say that XL are absolutely nailing their A&R work recently. With the rise of FKA Twigs we didn’t think we would see another artist so soon that we could label as the total package, but their scouts seem to have outdone themselves by snapping up twin-duo Ibeyi.
When we say these girls have it, we’re not joking. They ooze cohesiveness, with their original sound and overall creative output. What we have heard so far has been great, but the potential is there for the album to be a real mindblower.
We have to admit that we don’t know a massive amount about The Six, however we do know: they are signed to Black Butter Records, have written a #3 single for Clean Bandit/Jess Glynne, and have been working with the creme de la creme of UK talent (on what we can assume is an EP/LP).
One glance at their instagram feed and you can see they have recently linked with the likes of MNEK, Rudimental, Karma Kid, Gorgon City, and Jasmine Thompson. We can guarantee that if you don’t see any direct output from them next year, they will definitely be behind the scenes influencing a lot of the music that’s on the radio in 2015.
London based singer/songwriter Sakima has been bubbling under for a couple of years now, but with the help of the amazing talent scout Jakwob his proper breakthrough came in 2014 with the release of the beautiful single “Energy”.
Thanks to an error with his SoundCloud account, we actually got a sneak peak of some of his new material, and it sounds fantastic. 2015 could be a big one for Sakima.
If you’ve been in the UK over the past year or so then it’s been pretty impossible to ignore to name of Becky Hill. In fact it’s pretty unfair that she’s even included on this list as she already had a #1 single in the UK with her partner in crime Oliver Heldens.
We are ever so slowly stumbling towards her debut album though, with potential cuts from Two Inch Punch and MNEK surfacing earlier in the year. But as Todd Terje would say, it’s album time!
After impressing the whole world with a number of stellar remixes for some high profile clientele (Banks, Bondax, The Weeknd, Raury), Snakehips, the talented UK duo are back on the original mix trail, and have been working with some of the cream of vocal talent.
Their work with Sinead Harnett and George Maple has us very excited, but we guarantee there is more exciting work to come from these two in 2014.
This London based electropop trio RealLies has already had quite a bit of shine on Radio 1 thanks to Zane Lowe and Annie Mac, but we feel that’s just the tip of the iceberg for these these guys.
We’re big fans of the material they have put out so far that will no doubt evoke some comparisons to the likes of The Streets and The Twang, but I think they have already carved their own lane. We are definitely loving their sound right now.
Although we found Raj to be very active on SoundCloud in Q1 of 2014, we haven’t actually heard a lot more out of him since. We have consoled ourselves with the assumption that he has been snapped up by a major with the mission of creating a mindblowing album for Q1 2015, but then again we could just be clutching at straws.
He’ll probably give off that Thom Yorke/ Radiohead vibe, and that exactly the calibre of material we are expecting out of him soon.
If SZA doesn’t give you enough of that chill factor, then LA native Doja Cat might be the kind of listen you need right now. We fell in love with her single “So High”, and the video had up doing cartwheels with excitement. Teh she teamed up with 2014 Artists To Watch alumni Dream Koala and we were gone.
This girl is so relaxed she’s almost horizontal, but we hope that there’s a lot more to hear from her in 2015 as she has us hypnotised at the moment.
// Part 3
Tobias Jesso Jr.
Tobias Jesso Jr. has been attracting attention from all over the globe over the past year from all the kinds of media outlets that a new artist wants their name featured on. That’s because the boy has major songwriting chops that inspires the imagination.
He’s announced his debut album (due in 2015), it’s produced by Patrick Carney (The Black Keys), Tim Anderson, and Ariel Rechtshaid. Most likely to be a certified banger.
Aurora released her first single at the tender age of 17, and now 18 year old Norwegian artist has over a million listens of her work on Spotify. Thus far we have heard two full pieces of work from the precocious talent, and we absolutely love both of them.
She’s going to make big inroads into the pop world in 2014, but we wonder whether that will be in the shape of an album or not…
There’s no denying that we have some very catchy artists on our 2015 list, but we’re sure that Paperwhite would probably find themselves somewhere within the Top 20 if we were to whittle it down. This duo from Brooklyn works so well together, that the synergy they exude just makes me downright jealous.
Like a couple of other artists on our list, these guys are bringing back a sexy 80s vibe that we can’t get enough of.
We first came across Mandy Lee when she teamed up with The Knocks for a cover of M83‘s instant classic “Midnight City“, but since then she has gone from strength to strength with her four other bandmates in an indie pop project known as Misterwives. Their “Reflections” EP went down a storm in January 2014, and they managed to snag an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live off the back of it.
We definitely expect an album in 2015, so don’t be surprised if they blow up in the media as a result.
Lido caught a lot of people’s attention over the past year, and the talented Norwegian is amongst the most promising acts in the industry right now.
He’s already remixed for the likes of Flight Facilities, Alt-J, and The Weeknd, been given a full guest mix on Diplo & Friends, and has snagged a famous partner in the form of Halsey. He’s coming up with some of the most original electronic creations we have heard in some time, and we can’t wait to hear more of it.
If you have been listening to the radio at all this year then you will most definitely have heard the career catapulting Hippie Sabotage remix of (Artists To Watch in 2014 alumni) Tove Lo‘s breakout single “Habits“. The brothers have been around for quite a while, but when you get a popularity boost like that it’s often the perfect opportunity to rebrand yourself.
Since then they have gone on to remix a hell of a lot of high profile artists, but their SoundCloud has been wiped of all former traces, with a new experimental track called “Waiting Too Long” standing in its place. We think they have the potential to push forward and make a proper name for themselves with original work in 2015.
Anna of The North
2014 has been quite a year for Oslo’s Anna of the North, who only started making music in 2014. We were big fans of her debut smash “Sway” which was released back in the summer, and since then she’s dropped another fantastic single called “Oslo”.
Anna’s supported How To Dress Well on tour recently and has been in the studio cooking up some new material ready for us in 2015. We can’t wait.
If you’re looking for impact tracks on this list, then there’s no denying that Swedish band Kateboy absolutely dominated when they dropped the instantly catchy “Self Control”. And alright, you’re probably saying to yourself that these guys have been around for a while, but we think they are headed for a breakthrough year in 2015 if they continue on their current trajectory.
The songwriting doesn’t lie.
If we are talking about making an entrance in 2014, then Slinger was the music world equivalent of Stone Cold Steve Austin, when he delivered a stunning remix of Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover” which premiered on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show.
Since then he has gone on to remix the likes of Pharrell, Stromae, Jess Glynne, The Kooks, and Bastille, to great effect. His original stuff ain’t bad either, with “How Does It Feel” being one of our feel good disco tracks of the year.
If he can keep this pace up, 2015 should be a huge one for this mysterious artist.
There’s probably not much me we can say about Låpsley that hasn’t been said by the rest of the media in the UK. That’s fine though, as we can just appreciate her genius without having to provide an in-depth analysis of her sound.
One EP down, and signed to the home of exciting talent that is XL Recordings, we can only imagine that she will be nurtured in the same way as FKA Twigs was at this time last year.
// Part 3
Hot on the heels of the success of CHVRCHES, glaswegian synth-pop three-piece Prides came racing out of the blocks in 2014 with their fantastic debut EP “The Seeds You Sow“. However, the highlight of their year was when they got the opportunity to perform at the 2014 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony in Glasgow with their excellent single “Messiah“.
Since then they have further endeared themselves to the pop community by releasing a ‘mixtape‘ of covers that included the likes of Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Sam Smith, Ella Henderson, and Iggy Azalea. We have heard on a radio interview that the blokes are working hard on a forthcoming album that we can expect in early 2015, which is very exciting.
BØRNS (aka Garrett Borns) is an artist who originally hails from Michigan, but has since taken up residence in the Eastern hills of LA. We aren’t exaggerating when we say that you can tell where he currently resides from the sound of his music – it’s warm, bright, and full of life.
After releasing the mightily impressive “Candy” EP, he has been earmarked by some major institutions such as Spotify as an artist to watch in 2015, and we certainly don’t disagree.
If there’s an artist who probably doesn’t deserve to be on this list for the right reasons then it’s Kygo, who had one of the most impressive years out of any artist on the planet. The 23 year-old Norwegian exploded into our consciousness last year thanks to his immediately recognisable sound and his penchant for expertly remixing traditionally downtempo songs.
Sony won the huge battle to secure his name, and we heard his first original track “Firestone” at the tail end of 2014 (which was surprisingly underwhelming). Should he worry? Nope. The kid is putting up listener numbers on SoundCloud that would make Drake shake in his boots. It’s little to no time before he is an established household name.
We’ve practically only just met Kloë as she recently just uploaded “Grip” (produced by Lewis Gardiner of Prides), but even so we think the 18 year-old Glaswegian has some major talent. It’s always interesting to see what direction an artist will go when you get a limited base of music to judge from, so we look forward to hearing which producers she will be linking up with in the future.
Maintaining his 2x Jai Paul ratio of releasing two singles per year, Dornik has been teasing us with releasing a larger body of work for quite some time now. Hopefully he is working that quality over quantity approach, but even so we hope that we can hear a little more from this talented bloke in 2015.
What’s fairly rare these days? Girl/girl duos. We absolutely love hearing them, and that includes Nimmo (Prev Nimmo & the Gauntletts – who have been around for a while now). The girls came crashing into 2014 with their catchy single “Jaded“, and released another synth heavy single called “Others” via Kitsune Maison a couple of months ago.
2015 could be the year of the breakthrough.
5-piece Electronica & Soul group The Hics have piqued our attention with a number of high quality releases over the past few years, but we feel like things could be coming to a head in 2015. We’ve already heard the impressive “Tangle” EP back in Summer 2013, so the London based band are due to give us some new material soon.
We hope so anyway at least.
We already know that rising producer Jax Jones was heavily involved with the tropical production on Duke Dumont’s single “I Got U“, but since then he has dropped a number of rather impressive solo singles that have caught our ears.
Whether it’s from the tropical steel drum vibes on “Go Deep“, or the 90s rave anthem “Luv Like This“, we can tell that Jax will be an artist to watch in 2015.
Kacy Hill was a part time model and backup dancer on Kanye’s “Yeezus” tour prior to her focusing on her music career, and she’s currently coming off the release of her debut single, “Experience”. She has reportedly signed to GOOD Music since then, which could either signal the birth of her career or the death of it (depending on which angle you look at this from).
All we know is that would would like to hear more where this came from.
Selah Sue previously teamed up with J. Cole for a single, but in 2014 we saw her join forces with Childish Gambino for a new impressive release called “Together“. We are expecting a brand new album called “REASON” from the Belgian pop princess in 2015, and although she is well known on the European continent, it could be an ocean-crossing popularity boost for her if done right.
Let’s wait and see.
// Part 3
One of the better pop introductions of the year came from NYC native EVVY whose “Got Me Movin” had us up and moving more than once too. She followed up that instantly catchy single with her self-titled “EVVY” EP, which was also a joy to listen to.
We’re thinking that now she’s on a roll, a LP can’t be that far off?
It’s been an exciting 2014 for Emerson Jay who have managed to release their debut EP, as well as a handful of catchy singles too. The band who hail from Pittsburgh really do have us on the edge of our seat every time they upload something new to SoundCloud, as we genuinely have no idea what direction they are going to step in next.
It’s that kind of excitement that we hope they will continue to bring to us next year.
What happens when you put Rebecca Wilson and Rebekah Pennington together? Yeah you guessed it. Or did you? We were talking about a funky fresh duo from Birmingham, who have been impressing with their take on post-disco. “Last Chance To Dance” was a favourite of ours in 2014, and their debut EP of the same name was a refreshing sound for our ears.
Lets see what else they have in store.
We were stunned in 2014 when we listened to VOYAGEUR’s acoustic single “Pharoahs”, which highlighted some simply amazing songwriting ability. Inevitably there was more to come from the London-based artist, which completely backed our initial observations.
We’ve had an EP from him, it looks like we might get another, but would it be too much to ask for an album too?
Already chosen as the #1 pick by the Brit Awards Critics Choice panel and likely to place high on the BBC Sound of 2015 shortlist too, James Bay is undoubtedly going to make a big impact on the UK music scene in 2015. Is that thanks to the media self-fulfilling their prophecy? Maybe, but the kid does have some catchy stuff up his sleeve too.
Expect to see him and his hat more than you saw Pharrell with it in 2014.
// Part 4
His beat selection is unconventional and his lyricism is complex to say the least. Mick Jenkins is one of the shining stars to come out of the red hot Chicago hip-hop scene in the past few years.
With three really strong mixtapes behind him now, we only look forward to what he can continue to produce in the future.
Rising female R&B star SLK cooked up some magic with fellow Artists To Watch in 2015 producer Embody when she dropped her “Form” EP in early 2014. Since then all has been quiet on the music front, but we suspect she is mustering something special for us in 2015.
We can only shake our heads in the knowledge that she is still unsigned…
Even though we don’t have much to go off from boy/girl Australian duo Laurasia, there’s a simple guitar riff that drives their inclusion on this list. “Rainmaker” was their low key entrance into our lives, and we immediately saw potential there.
“Rainmaker” is catchy as hell, and we reckon there is more to come.
I think we probably have only one inclusion on the list where the material is written and sung in a language that isn’t English. Welcome then Swedish male 1987 who is so damn good at songwriting that we don’t care whether we can understand what he is saying or not.
Could he make the crossover and focus on a broader appeal to English markets? Yes. Does he have to do that to make his music enjoyable? Not at all.
Kero Kero Bonito
After a rise in appeal of ‘PC Music’ last year, it was inevitable that a group would come along to push the boundaries. Step forward Kero Kero Bonito, a London based trio who are unique in the fact that their lead singer Sarah is half-Japanese, and she delivers her vocals in crazy smooth mixture of Japanese and English.
It’s hard to describe their sound, but easy to label it as insanely catchy.
// Part 4
It’s crazy to think how easy it was for Ten Walls to walk straight into the UK public’s consciousness last year when he dropped the “Unfinished Sympathy” inspired “Walking With Elephants“. Incredible that a song with little to no promotion managed to peak at #6 in the charts, but this just goes to show that there’s a talented artist behind the boards.
We look forward to seeing what else Marijus Adomaitis can cook up under his Ten Walls moniker, and we think it could be special.
We previously heard the vocal talents of Zak Abel on Gorgon City‘s debut album and subsequent single release of “Unmissable“, but he also managed to drop one hell of a solo single in 2014 too. Crooning over a stunning instrumental from Bristol-based badman Joker, “These Are The Days” had us proclaiming that “Justified” era R&B was back with a 2015 twist.
Big talk. Let’s see if he can delivery on that for us.
Let’s all admit that there’s a gaping wide hole in our hearts that is longing to be filled until Adele returns with a steamtrain of a comeback album. And while Frances might not have the same powerhouse voice, she definitely exudes the same songwriting chops that Adele’s team manages to muster time and time again.
Prepare to get emotional.
Some of you may have heard of KStewart already as she has already released impressive tracks produced by the likes of TCTS and Karma Kid, and has had a Top 10 single in the UK with Oliver Heldens. Meanwhile she has been touring all over the place with UK duo Bondax, whilst locking herself in the studio from time to time with the likes of Shift K3y and MNEK.
The potential is all there and it could fully be realised in 2015.
Aquilo first caught our attention with their debut release “Calling Me“, which was released back in 2013. We didn’t hear much since then but in Q2 they orchestrated a re-emergence from the musical wilderness to deliver an amazing self-titled EP.
The duo have really impressed with their own brand of ethereal soul, and we suspect a debut album might be on the horizon (hopefully).
When we were first introduced to Zola Blood, we compared them to the likes of Delphic, Foals, and Alt-J, which isn’t exactly a bad list in itself. Since then the band have smashed out their “Meridian” EP, and heavily impressed with a couple of choice live shows in late 2014.
Guitar centric music will never die so long as we have talent like this coming through.
If there was an artist that was almost guaranteed to be appearing on “Sound of 2015” lists across the world then it had to be Kwabs, who put in some major work during 2015. Backed by some seriously impressive production by SOHN and Plan B, our boy from London was putting up some serious SoundCloud numbers in 2014, backed by the release of his critically acclaimed “Wrong or Right” EP.
He has the kind of voice that makes you stop in your tracks with his simply effortless talent. Soul is here to stay.
‘Newly’ formed in 2014, Osca really managed to impress us in H2 of 2014 with four stunningly crafted singles that were so good that we considered them a regular feature on Radio 1. With their exceptional songwriting ability, we can’t see why these guys won’t be household names in 2015.
When Talos has exploded out of nowhere in 2014 with his synth heavy debut single called “Tethered Bones“, we were very excited to say the least. Although we only have two original tracks to date (taken from his “Tethered Bones” EP), production is always right on point and his tracks really come to life when they need to.
So, so desperate to hear more from this talented Irishman.
Georgia Mason is expected to follow in the footsteps of artists such as Sia and Amy Winehouse after being discovered by Jimmy Hogarth, the Grammy Award-winning Scottish producer who worked on their critically acclaimed albums “Colour the Small One” and “Frank“. We were certainly inclined to agree when we first caught a listen of her surprise knockout single “Running Blind” in mid-2014.
We’ve seen her play live since then, where she dropped a stunning rendition of Flume‘s “Holding On” and were impressed to say the least.
// Part 4
Georgia, Chalin, and Cherish have had quite the time in 2014, attracting attention from music blogs and record labels alike, culminating with them signing a record deal with Island Records later in the year. The tropical pop trio have impressed us with their music videos videos and dance routines, but most of all with “Taste The JUCE!” – their debut EP which officially announced their arrival on the scene.
We think a debut album could be on the way in ’15.
We were delivered one hell of a surprise in early 2014 when we were struck by a heart-wrenchingly beautiful debut single called “I Couldn’t Want You Anyway“ by UK ‘newcomer’ Jack Garratt. Since then he has continued to pull at our heartstrings with a number of high profile releases that have always maintained that original quality.
He has since signed to Island Records and purged the original tracks which were responsible for his original popularity. We can’t help but feel that these are being hidden away for a repackaged release in 2015.
Southampton siren Laurel really came to prominence last year after releasing her impressive “To The Hills” EP in early 2014. Labelling herself as “London’s last sweetheart”, she continued to show artistic development after unleashing her heartfelt “To The Hills” EP, which started to garner her comparisons to the likes of Lana and Banks.
She’s definitely built her own lane though, and we can only hope her rich, husky vocals will be getting a workout on a 2015 debut album.
We may feel like we have have London based opposite sex electronic duos coming out of our ears sometimes, but one group we can’t forget about is RIVRS. Formerly known as Thief, the duo haven’t actually got that much music available on their SoundCloud account anymore, but thanks to some technical issues we have heard some of their forthcoming work, and it’s pretty special.
Their music is delicious on the ears, and their interpretation of En Vogue‘s “Don’t Let Go” was one of our favourite covers of the year.
If you want some music to distract yourself from the drudgery of everyday life, then look no further than four-piece Lisbon who seem to have completely forgotten that they originally hail from Newcastle, England. Be it their tropical sounding debut single “BLUELOVE“, or their South American inspired followup “Rio“, these guys are guaranteed to transport your mind to somewhere gorgeous and sunny.
Expect these guys to pick up a huge following in the UK next year.
Aussie solo artist from Melbourne not only attracted our attention in 2014, but also managed to gain a fan in the form of the one and only Prince (who we understand requested a meeting with the young superstar after a show of his). Why was he so impressed you ask? Probably because he can play the shit out of a guitar better than any artist on this year’s list. Not only that but he’s a multi-instrumentalist, who produces all of his own work from start to finish.
He may already be popular in the oceanics thanks to his debut album “Daydreamer“, but 2015 could be the year where he strikes worldwide.
During CMJ last year, New York native Vérité managed to wow crowds with her stunning take on electro-pop. Working closely with drummer and producer Ethan Jacobson she impressed further with her debut EP, “Echo“, which is a four-track strong platform from which she will now orchestrate her pop dominance in 2015.
Based on the strength of the EP, we have very high hopes for her.
Honne are a duo from Somerset/Wiltshire who unbelievably work as schoolteachers by day, but deliver soulful new age R&B by night. They recently released their EP “Warm On A Cold Night / Baby Please” to a rapturous welcome by music bloggers everywhere.
Thankfully the former track is still aptly named for the current season, but we are expecting a wave of new material from them in 2015.
Listening to Lincoln Jesser was like love at first sight as we discovered there is a new rising star from LA, who is armed with a shitload of synth laden instant classics. In September he dropped his impressive debut album “Modern Colour“, but we get the feeling that with his rate of musical output, there will be much more for us to hear in 2015.
We were very impressed when we clapped ears on Sonia Stein‘s first SoundCloud release “Friendly Ghost“, but she has since surpassed herself by dropping an incredible Liam Howe produced 4-track EP called “Closure“. Her r&b/pop hybrid sounds amazing to our ears, and we can only imagine what direction she will head in 2015.
// Part 5
In the wake of Lana Del Rey’s rise to mega stardom, we have seen countless amounts of artists who have come along in a similar vein, but without the same star like qualities to be able to pull the whole aurora off. CHLØË BLACK on the other hand seems to have arrived out of nowhere with the chops to pull of a potentially stunning pop career
Backed by the likes of Jim Elliot (who produced “27 Club“), Justin Parker (responsible for Lana’s “Video Games“) and Arcade (responsible for Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy“), we are very excited about the future output from this rising star.
You’ll most likely already be familiar with Raury’s already, but if not then the likes of Kanye West and SBTRKT have beaten you to the punch. The Atlanta rapper/singer/songwriter dropped his critically acclaimed debut project “Indigo Child” at the end of August 2014 (led by singles “God’s Whisper” and “Cigarette Song”), and has already been featured on the BBC’s Sound of 2015 list as one to watch for the coming year.
We can’t disagree either as his material thus far has been incredibly promising, with the likelihood that the best is yet to come
London-born, New Zealand-raised, 18-year-old Thomas Stoneman released his first EP “School Night” in February of 2014. Produced over the summer of 2013, the EP was intended only for an audience of family and friends, but after it went up on Soundcloud the hype train quickly caught up with him.
In July 2014, Thomston released his “Argonaut” EP which was received with widely received praise again. He is currently in the studio working on his debut album which we cannot wait to hear.
Until recently he went by the name of Spooky Black, but now that pseudonym is dead, we have Corbin to adore instead. The teen R&B sensation out of Minnesota has been impressing us for some time, and fortunately his sound doesn’t seem to have changed even though his name has.
His glitchy, sexually-tinged brand of R&B, has been capturing hearts all over the world thanks to assistance from producers: Shlohmo, D33J, Bobby Raps, and Psymun.
Halsey‘s life changed irrevocably in 2014. She had been playing acoustic shows as a matter of necessity, to pay her bills, and ended up in the studio one day with a friend of a friend to record one song, “Ghost.” That track has since been streamed over 420,000 times on Soundcloud since its release in August, with Halsey waking up the next day to talk meetings with five different record labels.
She has subsequently signed to Astralwerks and is in the process of dropping a very highly anticipated album. We are looking forward to hearing it.
One Bit are Joe Murphy and Jonty Howard who have recently risen to prominence on the BBC Introducing circuit thanks to the fact that they construct intricate pop/house crossover music. The duo also sing, play instruments and mix down their own recordings in a similar vein to another house duo who have taken over the world in the past few years.
We expect these buys to be making a big push for the Top 40 in 2015 as they definitely have the potential to do it with ease.
Years & Years
Synth pop trio Years & Years have been named the winners of the prestigious BBC Music Sound Of 2015. Last year, the same award helped launch the career of the million selling, Grammy award nominated Sam Smith. So that’s quite a platform for them to be standing on right now.
Taken on by boutique label Kitsune for a couple of their early releases, and bolstered by featuring on arguably the tune of the summer in The Magician‘s smash hit “Sunshine“, the trio have had a really impressive 2014. The pressure is now on for them to deliver in 2015, but we have no doubts that they can.
Armed with a guitar and a killer set of vocal chords, JP Cooper’s particular blend of gospel inspired, soulful-folk music is proved to be immensely popular with audiences across the UK in 2014.
Keeping the fire burning on guest spots with the likes of George The Poet, iLL BLU, and Nick Brewer, JP is working on a new album, to be released on Island Records, in the next few months.
Seinabo Sey is a 24-year old artist who sing with a brassy timbre and the kind of world-weary swagger that makes you sit up and take notice. Dropping her critically acclaimed “For Madeleine” EP in late 2014, she has found fans in the likes of James Blake and Frank Ocean.
Yet another artist under huge pressure to deliver, but gifted with the kind of talent to pull it off easily.
Wyles & Simpson
Abigail Wyles and Holly Simpson – together forming Wyles & Simpson – are a fully formed electronic pop duo who will impress you from the off. Having worked with the likes of Rihanna, Nile Rodgers, Chase & Status, Doc Daneeka, they are no strangers to the music industry, and that shines through in the first couple of SoundCloud releases.
We are begging to hear more from this girl girl duo whose talent bleeds through our speakers.
// Part 5
Panama Wedding make exuberant, synth-heavy pop music that is made to brighten and uplift. Tracking the course of their kindred predecessors Foster The People and Passion Pit, their debut EP “Parallel Play” has already launched them into a similar trajectory.
Huge things are on the cusp of the horizon for this band, and it’s frankly not hard to see why.
Aman is an LA native that still seems to be relatively unknown, which is a surprise to us since his songwriting pedigree is incredibly easy to discover. Seductively crooning over his small catalogue of laid-back instrumentals has left us zoning out into a state of karma that seems unimaginable at the moment.
If that isn’t a talent to be praised then we don’t know what is.
Sometimes you feel incredibly proud when a local from our hometown is on the come up, especially when they are bursting with talent and energy. Since the age of 10, she’s been writing her own music, and along the way has become confidently adept at various different instruments including: the cello, flute, guitar, and piano.
Put that all together and what do you get? An incredibly strong debut EP called “Welcome To The Winter” which managed to turn a lot of heads in 2014. Looking forward to seeing what else she has in store for 2015. CROYDON4LYFE
Abhi//Dijon are a singer/producer duo out of Maryland, arising from the R&B wasteland post-Jasmine era Jai Paul. The duo has been working on carving their own niche in the newly crowded indie R&B space, and have been doing it well, so well in fact that they are producing for other artists who have appeared on this very same list.
Expect more enticing material from these guys in 2015, as quantity and quality for them has never been an issue.
Imagine if Patrick Stump was fronting a brand new indie pop band that actually sounded like they were hungry to make fresh catchy music. That’s exactly what we hear whenever we listen to Jakil who are a five piece that contain members from Edinburgh and London (presumably responsible for the 2014 failed Scottish independence vote).
We are only two songs down with these guys, yet both show great promise for a poptastic 2015.
We pretty much knew that Jimmy Napes was eventually going to embark on a solo career at some point, but then there was another part of us who thought he might be happy to remain as a prominent background feature in the careers of Sam Smith and Disclosure. It seems as though the allure of fame was too much though as we received the first taste of “The Making of Me” EP (released March 9th through Method Records), just a few weeks ago.
It’s kinda hard to deny someone with such obvious songwriting talent.
George Maple adopted her pseudonym in late 2012, after appearing on Flume’s down-tempo electro track “Bring You Down”, which has since seen her popularity grow exponentially. During the 18-month process of recording her sophomore EP, “Vacant Space,” Maple began to describe her seductive blend of genres as “future pop”, collaborating with the likes of singer/songwriter Kilo Kish, Kwes, Russ Chimes, and Flume, to hone her sound to perfection.
2015 could be a big one if she has another huge release planned.
It’s no secret than London is constantly brimming with new music from a multitude of genres, so when you make a breakthrough over here then you must have some serious talent. Huntar, who has been compared to the likes of FTSE, James Blake, and Laurel, has exactly that. We previously described Huntar as “captivating” and “ethereal”, and we’re not about to back down with 2015 brimming with so much potential.
Originally intended as a one off collaboration, Racing Glaciers produced their debut EP over five days in a living room. The EP quickly gathered attention, which was quickly followed up by another impressive bit of work with their “Ahead of you Forever” EP.
We believe the 5-piece are currently putting the final touches to their album, and we are damn well looking forward to it.
Starting off 2014 by supporting London Grammar on their UK tour, and finishing 2014 with an appearance on Madeon‘s comeback single “You’re On” – it has been quite a ride for singer/songwriter Kyan who was steadily building up his impressive catalogue of music prior to that.
Currently cruising off the high of his amazing Madeon collaboration, we can certainly imagine there will be a conceited effort to push his solo career forward in 2015
// Part 5
David Rhodes is a moody and mysterious 24-year-old from Hitchin in Hertfordshire. Going only by his surname, Rhodes, we fell in love with his music during 2014, thanks to his moody songwriting persona.
His “Morning” EP was well received last year, and we are expecting that he has an album up his sleeve for 2015.
Initially believed to be some sort of group or duo, we were slightly surprised to find out that Island Fox is simply the solo work of Jess Bartlett alongside some choice producers. Compared to the likes of Corbin, FKA Twigs, and SOHN, you will find yourself sucked in to this project from the first listen.
We are craving for more of her in 2015.
A talented Australian duo has been taking music blogs by storm with their self-titled debut EP release “Vallis Alps”. If you’re wondering why then all will be revealed as soon as your clap your ears over the first track from the EP – “Young”. Drawing on elements from the likes of The xx and Flume, and with some thought provoking lyricism to boot, it’s quite easy to see why they are impressing anyone they come into contact with.
Yung Bae represents the ever increasing shift of the bedroom production scene to nu-disco revival, and we have been incredibly impressed with his output thus far. Whether it’s future funk as he calls it, or drunk funk as we like to call it – it’s damn good.
All we want is more.
Emerging midway through 2014, and impressing instantly, Londoner Billie Black (at just 19 years of age), has been delivering some sophisticated late night soul. We’ve already had a taste of her first release, EP “000100”, but now 2015 calls for a main course.