After a short hiatus of about 15 days we are ready to get back to business. In particular, we are restarting what we want to be a regular thing here at WtMM – focusing on ten artists we feel excited the most for 2020. So, in no particular order, these are our Ten to Follow of 2020, together with their latest singles.
Born in London, and now half L.A. based, FARR is comprised of Romeo and Linden Jay and is a product of London loneliness. Making songs about heartbreak and healing with strong lyrics and even stronger instrumentals, they are a product of modern music, and represent what is great about new commercial acts.
Heal Me was released yesterday but culminates perfectly what FARR were all about in the previous 2019 three singles (plus a marvelous cover of La Roux’ Bulletproof) – indie rock meets pop, with a marvelous and powerful male vocalist and bags and bags of drum meets guitars. Sounding modern with an extra edge, feeling like many other acts but still keeping themselves unique, the potential is surreal. Heal Me supports itself on a very catchy and instrumentally empowered chorus that sticks into our minds like glue. But is also a track that never feels less than truly powerful. Expecting a record soon, it should be a bomb.
Incorporating Caribou’s drummer Brad Weber, BisonBison are a Toronto-based organic electronic quintet that released their first two tracks in the end of 2019 and soon something new was unleashed to the world. Describing themselves as a collage of acoustic and electronic elements, they are apparently downtempo but at the same time creators of a sonority that speeds everything up quite a bit. BisonBison sound as a soundscape and experimental but they incorporate some of the gorgeous vocals we’ve seen in a long time.
Expanding is the track that showcases their phenomenon best. And like Alt-J did some good years ago, this is a track that clearly shows the indie world how fresh, engaging and powerful a new type of sound can be. Press play and prepare to be transported to a completely unexpected place.
Coming from Malaysia, queer singer alextbh is a new representative of modern pop representing above everything how gorgeous, melodic and filled with naturality new pop music should and can sound. His second 2019 single superstore, released about 3 months ago, should already be a pop phenomenon due to its vocal nuances and how this interpreter can sound rocky as Lenny Kravitz, smooth as Prince, but still out-of-the-ordinary sexy melodic.
This Malaysian hero (he is openly gay in a country that is officially opposed to the LGBTQIA+ community) makes his music a way of inciting to change and accepting each one’s differences. With a style that spans from r&b to pop already opened for acts such as Khalid, Clean Bandit, Sevdaliza and Yuna. Counting already millions of Spotify streams, he is still very unknown. Shouldn’t be for long.
Hardly unknown, The Lone Bellow are turning steadily into an Indie reference that incorporates folk with rock and pop. Gathering plays from almost every corner of the indie community, they are an act that everyone should already be listening to. If so, their turn on pop sonority could be responsible for a turnaround in the commercial music and radio plays. We dream of the day songs like the gorgeous and inspiring Wonder (their latest single) get all the attention they deserve. Mainly because this is as melodic as it gets. Rich vocally, filled with familiar instrumental melodies that never cease to grow and with small but clever variations. Intense and meaningful. Let’s wish for the entire world to breathe with them.
“From desert roadhouses to boutique festivals” – the spot on presentation is truth to the nature of Hannah Ashcroft. At first delicate and soft, her songs evolve with intensity to a modern rock that makes us swing and want to be like her.
With an EP released in 2016 the sonority that Hannah presented in the 2019 single Landfire is genuinely different and supported by a steady evolution of their tracks. What at first sounds like a tender folk-like voice and story-telling melodic melodies, evidently turns, in Landfire, into a folk-rock monster that consumes our ears and feet. If she is able to keep this pace it’s just a matter of time until she is the queen of the desert. And we all know the huge amount of genius songs that wonder that scenery. All together, Hannah has the guns to also change the world with a perfect demonstration of how much a sensible and fragile looking girl can rock every single one of us so naturally with her songs.
For the first time ever we feature two consecutive posts that incorporate the same artist. The reason is simple. LUME featured what was perhaps the most incredible piece of music we’ve heard last year. Live With It is a pop masterpiece that is supported with legendary vocals and an indietronica intensity that makes us chill every time we play it. Described as a “melting pot of ideas, sounds and places” LUME is perhaps our favourite act for taking the world in her hands. With a second beyond gorgeous EP released last year, and other amazing pop tracks like Something Sweeter, or Edge of My Seat we advise you to listen each and every track without moderation. Just live with it. Like we do since we first listened to her.
Lour is a 18 year old singer-songwriter that describes himself as a young kid with old thoughts. Those who hear him, and the delicacy and intensity in his vocals, understand that immediately. His old thoughts are the purest too. Almost ever about love, in its more diverse forms, Lour builds gorgeous indie songs infused with soft electronics, surprising hooks, beautiful lyrics and delicate melodies that easily turn into intense intimate songs when played live.
Home the latest single of 2019 (and the second single of his debut EP Change), starts slowly and magically grows through an indietronica atmosphere that serves to light up this love song. The huge drop around the 40 seconds perfectly showcases Lour’s capacity to incorporate beautiful singing with electronic beats. Home is an honest love proclamation, both catchy and ever evolving and surprising. One that you will sing along briefly after you hear the chorus for the first time.
Pop and electronics in equal basis, Moglii is, for us, the next German-based superstar. At least he should be. He got on our radars with the release of Go about 6 months ago which was the first advance of the marvelous record entitled ii. Counting with the participation of other very new and fasciante vocalists (Novaa, Mulay and Island Fox) in the album, it’s the genius capacity of Moglii to build great modern songs that flow unexpectedly but righteous what fascinates us the most.
Trained in piano and jazz he found his space on defying the barriers of pop and indie and even incorporates violins, saxophones and trombones in the midst of a majorly synth world. Go is for us the major deal maker.
Nothing To Lose was the song that introduced Zola Courtney to the world in September 2019. Filled with bags of vocal melodies and a 90s like swing feeling in both lyrics and instrumentals, the song felt like an immediate hugger. The 20 year-old English released two other singles until the end of the year: the soul-ish Air In B Major that mixes bits of Adele resemblance with a distinctly gorgeous pop approach; and Searching a wonderful track where the vocal melodies (and layers) knock everything out of the park. All three songs were solid marks of a singer that feels very matured for her age and sounding like a natural breath of fresh air. Zola Courtney sings honesty in their songs, and in honesty finds all kinds of beautiful melodies. Most of the time so simple. Too gorgeous to be so simple.
French own AURUS is ringing all the bells in his home country and from there to the rest of the world should be a few couple of steps. The reason is simple: the build up on his songs, how everything sounds powerful but relatable, electronic but pop enough, unusual but still so relatable and strangely right and emanating good feelings all over the place. With only two songs out, he already played the well known L’Olympia with a consequent conquering of the audience. Momentum, the first ever single, is a pop no-brainer and probably the most difficult thing to do is to give it a tag.
Bastien Picot aka AURUS reminds us of gorgeous composers like Peter Gabriel or Woodkid, but above everything is like no one else. And if that isn’t everything we want for a new artist, I don’t know what else we want.