Standard Sounds

New Year, New Beats

Last year delivered a bevy of new musical talent — from the mysterious Minnesota teenager Spooky Black to the tropicalia-infused indie of Buscabulla to the moody chanteuse BANKS. This year, our ears are tuned to new sounds, artists who seem to be on the brink of something big, including an Englishman discovered in a London pub, twin sisters of French/Cuban descent, and 18-year-old Bridie Mond-Watson (a.k.a. Soak) with her wide-eyed/world weary voice.

Las Vegas-native Shamir caused a stir in 2014 with his catchy single ‘On The Regular’. This is dance-pop at its best.

2. Lapsley
18-year-old Holly Lapsley plays oboe, piano, and guitar. The classically-trained wünderkind simply radiates warmth through her vocals and lyricism.

3. Aurora
Norwegian artist Aurora began her career at the tender age of 17. Now she’s 18, and MTV named her one of the “13 artists that Norway needs to export immediately.”

4. Years & Years
This Australian trio has mastered the sound of ‘Americana’ and will win over your heart with its folk-y, dreamy guitars and vocals.

5. Little May
This Australian lady trio mastered the sound of 'Americana' and will win over your heart with their folky, dreamy guitars and vocals.

6. Seinabo Sey
“If you don’t like Beyoncé then it’s hard for me to trust you,” says the 23-year-old Swedish synth pop artist, whose deep, mature vocals remind us more of Sade than Bey.

7. James Bay
This Englishman was discovered in a London pub. With his uplifting folk songs and model looks, it didn’t take long to convince a wider audience, including The Rolling Stones, for whom he opened in 2013.

8. Ibeyi
French/Cuban twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz merge their multinational background into one contemporary global sound that speaks to all.

9. Soak
18-year-old Bridie Mond-Watson caught the attention of CHVRCHES when they heard her on BBC’s Radio 1. This led to a performance at Glastonbury in 2014 and tours with George Ezra and Tegan & Sara. Not a bad start.

10. Kwabs
Kwabena Adjepong a.k.a. Kwabs will smooth you over with his deep baritone vocals. He reminds us of Seal, but a younger and more contemporary version that manages to merge soul with synths.

11. Børns
California's Børns delivers an unlikely combination: sun-drenched, psychedelic synth pop. Uh-maze-ing.

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