Women have always been the more intriguing race when it comes to music (in our humble opinion), so it was very hard to narrow down our list to just five acts. Because of it being so hard we decided to make a small exception for this list and tip six acts instead of five. We present you our Sound of 2013: The Girls.
PS: Solange and Sky Ferreira are obviously going to be huge (HUGE) but we left them out this list because a) it would be stating the obvious b) they both released a lot of things already and we focus on acts that have barely anything out.
PPS: This was our last Sound of 2013 post - you can find all of them right here.
Cameroon-born R&B-singer Lorine Chia surprised us earlier this year with one hell of a mixtape titled Lorine which has been on repeat ever since we first heard it. It’s classic R&B mixtape with classic R&B influences - she doesn’t need any gimmick to shine, something we admire in this 19 year old girl. We really do hope more people recognise the talent of Lorine Chia; 2013 might just become her year.
As soon as we heard the first note of Laura Mvula’s debut single She, we were sold. A soothing voice, beautiful harmonies and touching lyrics - it was hard not to fell in love with this lady. Her four track EP was more of the same overwhelming beauty; a full-length will probably definitely break our hearts.
The second we heard Laura Welsh sing, we fell in love with her. It’s pretty obvious she has lots of potential (yes, we can tell that from yes a handful of songs) and is destined to become quite big in 2013. She reminds us of Florence + The Machine in a way, but her music is far more intimate and romantic. “It’s the sound of her hearts getting louder” sings the 20-something in Hollow Drum - we think that basically says it all.
D E N A
D E N A made us dance all throughout the year. When we first heard her ages ago she got us moving already thanks to Boyfriend and Games, but Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools made us climb on that bar for sure. Our personal summer hit of 2012, we’re eager to find out what she does to our body in 2013 (in a non-sexual way, of course).
MØ conquered the blogosphere in a rush with her infectious Pilgrim, which eventually led to a bidding war (and Sony winning it). This Copenhagen-born singer is being called “the Danish Grimes” but is far more rhythm-oriented and a lot less blips and bleeps than the latter. We’re eager to hear what MØ has up her sleeve but confident we’ll be dancing as soon as we hear it.
Lulu James is a London singer with tunes that dabble inbetween pop and dubstep without sounding too much like either of them - the result is an energetic, soulful sound. She sure has the voice to sing on such heavy tracks, plus the production is this well done it’s a great balance of, eh, everything.
Today we take a closer look at The Boys. We admit we’re more easily attracted to girls musically, but 2013 might become the Year of the Boys if you take a look at the five acts we’ve featured below.
Mikky Ekko is definitely most promising and exciting new singer-songwriter that crossed our path in 2012, his Pull Me Down might have something to do with that. This Louisina-born young man spent the last months recording his debut record with a handful of big producers (Paul Epworth, John Hill, Dave Sitek, Clams Casino, etc) and one of our favorite new songwriters Justin Parker (Lana Del Rey’s partner in crime, Laura by Bat For Lashes) - it would be a true shock if this album doesn’t fulfill our wishes.
Ofei is a “London Soul” singer that bathes in mystery; he’s got nothing but one track out, the stunning London, but that one song makes us gasp for breath. His voice reminds us of Ellery Roberts’ (WU LYF) over-the-top voice, as it almost sounds as if he’s singing his lungs out. London represents the true sound of the city of London: with it’s many layers and unexpected directions it represents the chaos and vibrant atmosphere of the city; on the other hand, London is a highly charismatic and soulful tune because after all, living in London is basically kind of living in a dream.
S O H N
Vienna-via-London producer S O H N is probably the most intriguing producers around right now, with a sound that’s so organically electronic you can hardly call him a producer. With his well-structured and highly original tunes, S O H N received worldwide praise - we are sure he is capable of a lot more.
Deptford Goth doesn’t mess around and goes straight for your heart - it’s very easy to love him though. Lyrically and musically, this London singer creates a safe harbour for all hopeless romantics and lonely hearts out there. Perfectly crafted indie-oriented pop; we just can’t wait to have his record soundtrack those quiet evenings.
Oh boy, we sure do love Mykki Blanco. His whole persona-game are what attracted us to him/her in the first place, but Ms. Blanco is one of the most exciting rappers out there in our humble opinion. Surrounding yourself with talented producers, directors and photographers sure has it benefits, but the idea of combining a certain macho aggressivity with a sexy female bitch-vibe was all her’s.
Boy and girl, girl and girl or boy and boy - no matter what sexes are in it, duos always seem such a balanced musical affair. We have selected three boy+girl and two same-sex duos for you below, duos you’re destined to hear more from in 2013.
Rhye conquered the scene by storm with their striking debut single Open - comparisons to Sade are inevitable, but this duo’s love-infused mix of funk-tingled, romantic pop is a very modern-day sound. Their second single The Fall is another slice of beauty, we just can’t wait to fall in love with the full-length.
We’ll never ever get enough of dream pop - especially if it’s as beautiful’s as GEMS’ take on said genre. GEMS are Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John from Washington, DC who record their music in an empty beach house (coincidence?) in Kitty Hawk, NC. The result is a truly enchanting, dreamy sound that makes you simply feel like you’re gazing upon stars.
Tumblr Glitch Pop, Soul Fuzz, Electroshock - however you call MS MR’s sultry pop, it’s hard to deny their music is pretty amazing. Aesthetically and musically, MS MR has got it all lined up. After the release of their Candy Bar Creep Show EP, the boy-girl duo will release a full-length Fantasy in the new year, an album we will inevitably put on repeat all through 2013.
AlunaGeorge, the singer/producer duo compromised of Aluna and George, make smart use of the secret formula that always seems to win us over: r&b infused pop. Rather than going for a strict sexy vibe like most r&b-hinted acts do, they keep it playful and rather cute. Pop gets turned into a new direction as well, with influences from two step and the likes.
Saint Lou Lou
Soon-to-be pop stars Saint Lou Lou are the newest “Swedish pop export product” - the kind of product that always promises a certain quality. Debut single Maybe You melted many hearts, but this sister-duo has only got started (just wait until you hear Side By Side!).
We kick off our annual “Sound of [insert next year]” lists with an announcement: this year we are doing things a bit differently.
Usually we just make a list of all acts we have big expectations of in the new year, write some bits about all of them and list them up in one big post. This year we have firstly made some categories in which the acts will be divided: The Bands, The Duo’s, The Boys and The Girls. These speak for themselves, obviously. Secondly, we decided to have tip only five acts in each category: we could have easily given a lot more in every category, but this forced us to narrow it down a bit and thus hopefully offer an even better quality.
If you’re a loyal reader of DN none of these bands will be new to you - we share our musical finds all throughout the year; this list is merely a way of looking back (to what acts we discovered) and looking forward (to what acts might become big.)
We would also like to nuance that “get big” thing - we are sure not of all of the acts listed up will break through and/or gain (commercial) success. It’s more of a list of acts we personally have big expectations of and which will hopefullyprobably definitely be making and releasing great music in 2013. If they do get big, well, hurrah!
In short: four categories, five acts in each, we love them and they will release amazing music in 2013, possibly break through to a wider crowd.
Today we kick off with The Bands (which requires at least having three people in the actual “band”).
No surprises here, as we are big fans of the Haim siblings. Their Forever EP was crowned as Best EP of 2012 here at DN, as we’re pretty sure we’ll simply never grow tired of it. Pop like it’s supposed to sound, or at least how we think it should sound like. They’ve been playing gigs since they were little girls with their parents - in 2013 their parents will see them depart on world tours to please the millions of fans they will certainly have.
Arthur Beatrice were in last year’s list as well, but we strongly believe in their future and proudly mention them again in this year’s list. After two self-released singles, this quartet is ready for a full-length - and so is the world. Established indie bands, you better make room for Arthur Beatrice among your circles.
Another heart-melter, but so powerful even the coldest heart will fall in love with them. Goodnight London, So Long (GODISDEAD),… Money have released some songs that brought us to tears more than once - we’re going to buy a load of tissues to make sure we’re prepared for more in 2013.
London Grammar conquered the blogosphere by storm with their fitting debut single Hey Now - a slick slice of slow but intriguing electronic pop. We’ve heard more tracks and can confirm this London trio are capable to make you dance and sing as well, like a proper pop band sometimes does.
Kate Boy hint towards The Knife from the Deep Cuts-era with their catchy synth pop but lean towards the more poppy side of said genre. Obviously there are Swedes involved in this project; three to be exact, plus one Australian. Destined to make synth pop more popular than ever in 2013.