Digging through the interns of the music world is a surprisingly rewarding task. While big names like The Black Keys and Lily Allen are delivering highly anticipated yet ultimately disappointing releases, there’s a wave of new artists bubbling under with impressive debuts. Below are five of the best covering everything from RnB to indie-pop and Dylan-inspired folk.
If you’re not already crushing on this London producer’s debut EP 1992 then you need to hop to it. Khan won’t talk about specific musical influences in interviews but he cites Salvador Dali and Middle-Eastern music as key inspirations. It shows on the EP too. He lays down warm guitar lines alongside chopped and screwed production. What will surely be his breakout track, Youth, has garnered 400,000 plays on Soundcloud in a month. It’s a track that highlights the very charm of Khan’s sound- warm and rhythmic but also haunting and hard to pin down.
Hearing only one syllable from Kyan will be enough to make you fall in love with his velvety, RnB voice. He’s just released an atmospheric and melancholic EP, The Purple Experiment, that gives nods to the songwriting of Frank Ocean and the intensity of a Prince ballad. He’s able to pull it back to miniscule production when need be and layer the vocals on when he requires an astute moment. Shuttle will most likely be the song you’ll latch onto immediately. It floats in a sea of brooding synths allowing his voice to induce all kinds of butterflies. If that’s not enough to convince, maybe this will: the kid has a fresh haircut and a MySpace.
Sydneysider, Marcus Gordon (aka. Spookyland), has a voice that is as divisive as Bob Dylan, but if it finds favour with you, it’s one that’s hard to forget. This Silly Fucking Thing is as attention grabbing as its explicit title suggests. It’s a largely acoustic-driven track that allows Gordon’s brash voice to stand atop. The silly fucking thing in question is his heart which just keeps getting broken. It may sound cliché on paper but the climaxing nature of the track, alongside his voice that teeters on the edge of breaking, is perfect. The EP Rock and Roll Weakling is out now.
Newcastle quartet, Mausi, are the band most-likely to make you long for Summer this weekend. Their latest single, My Friend Has A Swimming Pool, opens with the line “When the sun starts sinking we’ve already been drinking” and is delivered with girlish charm and a perky key-line. Their track Move was produced by Mark Ralph who’s previously worked with Hot Chip and Jagwar Ma so we can rest assure that they are in good hands. They’ve also just covered Kiesza’s Hideaway, mashing it with JLO’s Play, which is always a favourable move in our books.
When you think of the Gold Coast, you often don’t associate it with intricate bedroom producers, however, local San Mei is set to change that. She’s producing hazy, youthful, pop melodies that are harnessing international attention. It’s her latest track, Wars, that has our ears pricked. San Mei’s vocals seep into a wash of synths and washed-out guitars which culminate together to create the perfect oddball pop-song. This is electronic pop at its finest.