It’s our cut-out-and-keep guide to the best new acts on the come up.
This month we spotlight woozy RnB, head-spinning techno from Copenhagen, dream pop jams and dizzy-in-a-good-way experimentalism. What are you waiting for? Your new favourite band awaits…
Few artists capture the smoke-filled haze of adolescence quite like Biig Piig does – her woozy tunes sound like the winding down of a house party, or the sleepy ride home on a night bus after being out all night. The 20-year-old London-via-Ireland rapper, singer and producer is making lo-fi, jazz-tinted RnB straight out of her bedroom above her family’s Irish pub, delivered with the kind of deadpan vocal inflections that keep her simple-yet-poignant lyrics about friendship, heartbreak and the joyful mundanities of relationships completely in balance. With three forthcoming EPs, it’s safe to say that Biig Piig is making big moves, but taking her time with it – just like her music does.
Erykah Badu / Smerz
Sometimes, when talking about music, the phrase ‘genre-bending’ will do. But London six-piece ALASKALASKA takes experimentation to a whole new, accessible level. Here you won’t find outlandish samples or otherworldly textures; rather, you’ll see a host of popular genres – jazz, electronic, indie, straight-up pop – at play. What makes their music so special, however, is its wonkiness – no note is ever the same, and tuned-down synth effects make for a dizzy-in-a-good-way listen. With one self-titled EP under their belt and a newly released single, we can’t imagine ever getting sick of it.
Wild Beasts / Blood Orange
In our era of sleep entrepreneurs and mindfulness apps, it’s easy to forget the therapeutic potential of searing, uncompromising techno. The stuff that hovers around 140BPM, making your eyeballs shake and hitting a hard refresh on your central nervous system. Repro hasn’t forgotten. A central figure in Copenhagen’s techno scene, he runs the Euromantic label and forges super butch, piston-powered warehouse snarlers (his 2017 EP was called Leather, Still & Fist, just FYI). Repro’s latest release, the Ectotherm-signed Feel Extraordinary EP, tempers the screeching BPMs with melancholic pads and a downtempo track, but really, it’s all about the sweaty-palmed catharsis. Feel better yet?
Regis / Paula Temple
We did it – we finally found the perfect song to soundtrack your lazy summer days in the park, thanks to Brooklyn newcomers Barrie. Warm and glowing, their debut single Canyons twists and swirls into a dream pop gem, carrying a psychedelic jazz undercurrent that feels both part of the present musical wave and completely unique in equal measure. In the song, vocalist Barrie Lindsay’s hushed, reverb-laden croons describe a surreal visit to the cinema, and the subsequent night-to-day shock of stepping outside. Something tells us their visceral jams are going to be sticking around for a while.
Elder Island / Men I Trust
Kadhja Bonet is a bit of a musical anomaly. While she wears her 70s soul, psych and jazz influences on her sleeve, her tunes sound entirely individual and otherworldly. Since releasing her debut record The Visitor in 2016, Bonet has carved out a unique space in music, recruiting velvet-smooth vocals, stop-and-go bass lines and chiming keys to create a genre-warping saga with each song. Her newest single Mother Maybe takes on this format, with an added flair of avant-gardism in the form of distorted falsettos. This is music to sway to from another planet.
Peluche / TOPS