2016 has been an odd year. Shoving Trump aside, 2016 was the year when David Bowie, John Berry, Prince, George Michael, Sharon Jones and Leonard Cohen all tragically passed away. Yet, it will also be the year of Grime, Rihanna’s ANTI, Frank Ocean’s Blond, Adele headlining Glastonbury and The 1975 becoming cool (I think). So, not all doom and gloom.
Looking to 2017, there are a lot of exciting (some more than others) events happening in the world of music. Laura Marling, Eminem, Ed Sheeran and The XX are all rumoured to make returns to the airwaves. But also, like every year, fresh meat emerges. These are just some of the artists you want to keep an eye on.
Croydon musician Jamie Isaac released his debut album Couch Baby back in July, which combined sleepy jazz riffs and soulful lyrics. It’s his immersive style that has caused him to be compared to King Krule, who he happens to be friends with and is collaborating with him on the mixtape, Loose Grip. Though there are obvious similarities between Isaac’s and Krule’s music, Isaac’s music also holds alliance with UK bass and hip-hop. That is to say, you can’t really pigeonhole him and that’s what makes his music so thrilling.
Top Track: ‘Last Drip’
Similar Artists: King Krule, James Blake, Rejjie Snow
Next Gig: Royal Albert Hall, 23rd February 2017
“I can’t tell you much about H.E.R. Just yet but give it a listen,” the label said in the one-line press release that appeared with the new album Volume 1. Mystery circulates H.E.R and consequently adds another dimension to her seductive R&B beats – think FKA Twig’s voice with a Drake-like production. Apparently, H.E.R is an ironic acronym for ‘Having Everything Revealed’- some critics will roll their eyes, but I’m laughing with sly delight.
Top Track: ‘Waiting for it’
Similar Artists: FKA Twigs, Drake, The Internet
Next Gig: Unknown
Soul and Funk spills over the rims of London-based band, Seramic. I say band but I’m not quite sure if that’s right. In my defence, there’s not much information on the internet about them. I first heard about Seramic through listening to Beats radio. More recently, they rose to ignition when they supported Jack Garrett on his sold-out tour around the U.K. Seramic’s sound marries the old-school sound of Curtis Mayfield with the extraordinary groove of D’Angelo. The top track, ‘The Things You Do,’ is a churning, funk rock track with earthly cool vocals.
Essential Track: ‘The Things You Do’
Similar Artists: Prince, D’Angelo, Jack Garrett
Next Gig: Omeara, 1st March 2017
LISS are a Danish Band who have a modern, pop sound. Luckily, they do not write irritating melodies, but catchy, rousing ones, which is a rare talent these days. The lead singer Søren Holm has a unique voice that seeps through a cluster of volatile basslines, jangly guitars and snagging samples. Let’s hope for a debut album in 2017.
Top Track: ‘Try’
Similar Artists: The Weeknd, Jamie xx, Style Council
Next Gig: Unknown
After moving to London when she was only 17, Bonzai became a backing vocal for NAO, performed with Flume and released three EP’s, including Lunacy. It’s an exhaustingly rapid ascent into the spotlight. She’s now signed to Sony and is working on her debut album. So far, her sound has been full of recoiling bass and electronic bursts of white noise. It’s a sound field that I’ve never heard before. I’m praying that Sony don’t steer her away into the choppy waters of bubblegum, dance anthems.
Top Track: ‘Cruel’
Similar Artists: MIA, Björk, Lady Leshurr
Next Gig: Unknown