Each month we scour the internet for the best new artists around.
When it comes to new music, we live in an era of overabundance. The combination of music discovery software, streaming platforms and the rise of independent, internet radio means that hearing new DJs, MCs and producers isn’t a problem. It’s working out who you should be really listening to. Each month we zone in tight on four brand new acts that are worth taking some time over.
Scroll down to find out about Optimo Music’s signings The Golden Filter, ambitious bedroom metal project Eneferens, grime hybridisers Belly Squad and DJ Mustard protege Ella Mai. We’re excited about what they’re doing right now, and we think you should be too.
If you listen closely there are moments of sheer, sparkling beauty to be found amongst the swirling, cacophonous black metal abandon of Eneferens. Montana native Jori Apedaile only began his bedroom metal project in August of 2016 but with two huge, mesmerising albums to the project’s name he’s already beginning to show unmistakable signs of brilliance.
Piecing together reference points from black metal, post-rock and traditional folk he describes his own sound as “Beautiful metal from the North.” And it’s a very apt description. Layers of high-pitched tremolo picking fold into shimmering piano parts as Apedaile’s epic, thunderous riffs soar into the foreground. Eneferens like all great black metal projects, is sublime and evil in equal measures
Deathheaven / Oathbreaker
The Golden Filter
As Glasgow’s favourite party veterans, Optimo have an extremely wide gaze when it comes to selecting. But the unmistakable sound of unshackled, wigged out post-punk manages to slip into even in the most crowd-pleasing sets from the city’s finest tag-team. So it’s no surprise that their label, Optimo Music, has carved a similar direction, offering up a stream of seductive, dancefloor-ready post punk.
The latest offering from The Golden Filter, aka Penelope Trappes and Stephen Hindman, sees the New York nu-disco duo head in a new direction, executing with slick EBM / acid techno, icy vocals and oddball pop with style on their latest album Still // Alone. The gritty simplicity of this sound has universal appeal, so we expect it to reach far beyond Optimo Espacio’s travels.
Marie Davidson / Factory Floor
In not long at all, London trio Belly Squad have shown promise as radio-raiders of the future. Their profile rose considerably last year with Banana – a cheeky, gloriously unsubtle afropop-influenced single with a pretty shameless innuendo at its centre.
Since then they’ve jumped on remixes of 2016’s biggest singles, sounding best on Pick Up The Phone and Panda. On one listen you’d be forgiven for writing them off as a gimmick but after a while you’ll feel the formula stick. Punchy bars, effortlessly genre-blending melodies and hooks sharp enough to haunt you for a week. These hit-makers shouldn’t be underestimated.
J Hus / Wizkid
DJ Mustard is primarily famous for producing crossover rap hits, but ever since Tinashe’s 2013 breakthrough single 2 On he’s proved he’s just as comfortable working with sweet RnB melody as he is providing bangers for macho street rappers. At the beginning of 2016, Mustard introduced his then 21-year-old British protege Ella Mai with She Don’t – a sassy breakup anthem for which Mai washed her hands with an unfaithful boyfriend, played by dirt dog crooner Ty Dolla $ign. 2016 saw Mai release two solid EPs, Time and Changes, both of which featured premium quality Mustard production that proved the hitmaker is passionately committed to giving Mai the big push she deserves. With a strong-minded attitude and dates supporting former Crack cover star Kehlani in the US and Canada, we’re looking forward to Ella Mai’s confident stride into 2017.
Tinashe / Mabel