Track of the week. Samuel Petra has marked himself as one of Spain’s most exciting indie prospects, and the release of his new single only confirms this further.
‘How Could I Miss You’ showcases a style of sound that perfectly blends together indie, rock and pop with subtle hints of electronica. The result is a piece of music that is not only melodically memorable, but also sonically captivating.
To date, Petra’s music has found its way onto editorials like Spotify’s Fresh Finds, as well as on prominent curator playlists like Before The Data and Fashionably Early.
Track of the week. LA-based talent Jae Luna has been on our radars for quite some time, and never fails to impress with his stunning style of lo-fi alternative music.
Inspired by ‘the complexities and challenges of family dynamics’, new single ‘cyanide’ was written as a form of therapy by the artist during lockdown. It’s undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous songs we’ve come across so far this month, thanks to its powerfully emotive production and raw lyricism.
Since releasing his 2018 debut EP ‘Projected Self’ (listen here), Luna has amassed over four million cumulative streams on Spotify alone, and impressively commands more than 45k monthly listeners on the platform.
Track of the week. We’ve had this song on repeat for a good while, and we think it’s one of the most impressive debuts of the month so far.
mlbacard¡ is the moniker of UK-based singer and songwriter Maria Luisa. Since her early childhood, this artist has used music as a way to process her experiences with life’s challenging moments.
“I think at a young age I really didn’t fit in, everybody was just a bit of a sheep and I didn’t understand how to be a sheep and that was very difficult. Now I realise that’s a great advantage; it was immensely difficult at the time, but now it’s a huge strength.”
As time has gone by, mlbacard¡ has developed a style of songwriting that is not only sonically impressive, but lyrically honest.
‘KETCHUP’ reminds us of Amy Winehouse’s iconic ‘Frank’ album, and showcases a perfected fusion of melancholic pop, indie and soul. Elaborating on the song’s lyrics, mlbacard¡ explains:
“I was a lost soul, swimming in a fish bowl; I’d trap myself in the inevitable cycles of depression. I felt misunderstood and didn’t accept the way society conventionally measures success, the world felt empty, therefore I felt empty.”
Track of the week. Australian artist FRIDAY* has to be one of the country’s hottest newcomers right now.
His summery new single ‘Beaming’ was released less than a month ago, and has already amassed more than 100k streams on Spotify alone. You’ll understand why we are so in love with this song from the moment you press play.
This is a sound that feels understated and mellow, but also treats listeners to a style of indie that is somehow both nostalgic and future-forward in equal measures.
To date, FRIDAY* has picked up support from the likes of Spotify (Fresh Finds Indie and New Music Friday AU & NZ) and iconic Australian tastemaker outlet triple j.
Track of the week. We are so excited to be sharing with you some of the finest Afrobeat-pop sounds to have recently come across our radars.
Hailing from London, Ebun Yelé is a British-Nigerian musician who is not only a singer, but also a songwriter. Yelé’s debut single, ‘Underwater’, is a luxuriously produced piece of music that pairs the artist’s sublime vocals with an infectiously memorable melody.
We’re sure that after just one play of this song, you’ll absolutely fall in love with this immensely promising newcomer.
Track of the week. Rising newcomer Jordeaux is rapidly marking his name as one of the UK’s most exciting hip hop prospects – and pressing play on new single ‘OK THEN’ will show you why.
This is a talent who creates a bold style of sound that is fresh, finessed and thoughtfully constructed. His work is distinct in character, but still maintains some mainstream appeal that makes it easy to listen to and form a connection with.
Born in Nuneaton and now based in London, we anticipate that Jordeaux will become a household name within the UK very soon. Keep this artist on your radars – he is most certainly one to watch.
Track of the week. REVII might be a new name to you, but this Minnesota-based rapper has already garnered attention over the last few years as Def Jam signee Nimic Revenue.
Now an independent artist, REVII has begun releasing some of the most impressive rap sounds that we have come across in quite some time.
‘Face Painted’ in particular, is a gorgeously dreamy, ethereal and emotive song that presents hip hop in a refreshingly future-forward and unique way.
“It has taken multiple different versions of myself to introduce the one I am most proud of… In this life you must learn to swim or you will drown. Not only have I learned to swim but amongst the waves throwing me back on to land, I learned to build myself a ship.. welcome to this adventure, I hope you all enjoy the next few years I have planned out.“
Track of the week. Rising UK-based singer and rapper Rio Rainz continues to impress with the release of his new single, ‘favourite girl’.
With it’s sleek yet understated blend of jazz and rap, the song offers listeners a melodic sound that is dreamy and mesmerising in character, while also presenting a future-forward approach to British hip hop.
Rio’s momentum has grown considerably over the past year. Currently commanding more than 20k monthly listeners on Spotify, this emerging talent has also received critical acclaim from the likes BBC Radio 1, Complex, Clash and The Line of Best Fit.
Rio performs at this year’s Great Escape in Brighton – more details can be found here.
Track of the week. One thing most recording artists dread is the prospect of being released from their label.
That very incident happened to acclaimed American singer-songwriter Donna Missal, who consequently spent the past year working on new music. Now she’s back with one of her most impressive releases to date.
Co-written with DAGR and Em Walcott, new single ‘Flicker’ finds Missal turning her pain into power, and serves listeners with a bold mix of alternative pop and dance music.
“This song means so much to me and is the start of such a special time in my life as an artist and I’m just so grateful for those who made this happen with me, and every last person that streams and dances and watches the video and for taking part in this reclamation of myself and my autonomy it is just a dream being realised.”
Track of the week. London-based singer, songwriter and producer Aidan boldly pushes the boundaries of R&B to the very limit, and does so with spectacular results.
Hypnotic new single ‘We Hug, We Sway’ is sonically future-forward and experimental, while maintaining a beautifully emotive essence that is utterly mesmerising to experience.
“’We Hug, We Sway’ as a title refers to the back and forth of a fortified love between two people. The fact that the woman is pregnant, but is seen to be, undeniably, the more powerful one in the video shows the true essence of what it means to be a powerful, human being, a powerful woman. The whole song is written from the point of view of a man who is deeply in love, but feels like he has to protect his loved one, when in reality, she can protect herself and, in many ways, can protect the relationship more than he can. Both the song and the video are an alternative way of showing the power of femininity, whilst also showing the vulnerability of man.”
With tastemaker support from heavyweights as noted as Mystic Sons, Fashionably Early and Clash Magazine, Aidan is one artist to watch for this year.
Track of the week. One of our favourite newcomers from the last twelve months has been Oakland-raised singer King Isis.
New single ‘taste of u’ is taken from much-anticipated upcoming EP ‘scales’ (out 29th March), and once again treats listeners to King Isis’s unmistakably unique style of indie. On the lyrical concept, the artist says:
“‘taste of u’ is about entering a void of a blurring intoxication with another. It’s knowing something is bad for you but despite warning signs and red flags still chasing an illusion to escape your own delusion.”
King Isis is rapidly marking her name as California’s next big indie export, and has received praise from Clash, Notion and DIY magazines, as well as The Sunday Times.
Track of the week. To call Franklin Jonas a newcomer would technically be incorrect, as this former child actor is no stranger to the limelight – in part to him being the fourth Jonas brother.
With an already immense fanbase all across social media, Jonas has now unveiled his debut single, entitled ‘Cocaine’.
Raw yet vulnerable, the song really does stand out as an exceptional piece of indie-pop. It showcases a bold and highly original style of sound that proves Jonas is unafraid of pushing boundaries with his songwriting.
“My musical journey began when I started experimenting with beat-making in college. I loved crafting samples directly from vinyl and I dove deep into the world of music production studying audio engineering under mixing mastermind John McBride—whose distinctive voice appears at the beginning of ‘Cocaine.’ I took a break from music, until my former roommate and fellow musician Clint Michigan encouraged me to pursue my creative streak and so I shared my demos with the guys behind Pizzaslime Records. Their belief in me led to more writing and producing my music with Charlie Brand. I’m excited to finally be able to share the first song with you.”
Track of the week. Running at under two minutes, Mya Mehmi’s ‘Parivaar (Interlude)’ might be one of the shortest-running recipients of this accolade in some time.
Distinct and captivating in tone, the track presents listeners with a luxurious style of alternative R&B that is sonically captivating. Elaborating on the powerfully moving lyricism featured within the song, Mehmi explains:
“I made this song in 2020 for my cousin and my dad, after the passing of my beloved Thaya (uncle). I was drowning in emotions, smoking a score of weed a day and feeling so helpless watching my family grieve a loss that we will without a doubt never truly recover from. This was my effort to console loved ones and immortalise someone that continues to be so influential in my life.”
Written, produced and performed by Mehmi, this talent is proving herself to be a musical powerhouse in the making, and has already received praise from the likes of BBC Radio 1 and 1xtra, BBC Asian Network, CLASH and The Line of Best Fit.
Mehmi also hosts a fantastic podcast called ‘Straight No Chaser’, which can be heard here.
Track of the week. The occasions when you press play on a song and get hooked within seconds are few and far between, but fortunately ggwendolyn has come up with a gem that has had us addicted all weekend.
While the lyrics touch on the emotional and mental struggles that we suffer internally, the production presents listeners with an eccentric indie-pop sound which results in a perfect sonic juxtaposition.
“I hope you love this chaotic mess of a song. I hold it very near and dear to my heart. Depression is an incredibly heavy weight to carry and sometimes getting out of bed is the biggest thing to accomplish. Here’s to climbing the mountain in your room or asking for help if you can’t see the top quite yet.”
If you’ve fallen in love with this artist as much as we have, then be sure to give her equally impressive debut single ‘orion’ a spin here.
Track of the week. As a genre, spoken word has struggled to maintain interest within the commerical music world. Maybe that is, until now…
Antony Szmierek is a hotly-tipped rising newcomer who seamlessly fuses thoughtful, observant and poetic lyricism with dance, hip hop and pop sounds. On new single ‘Rock and a Calm Place’, Szmierek simply states:
“I hope this goes some way to curing those January blues.”
Hailed by outlets as prominent as BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music, The Line of Best Fit and Notion Magazine, Szmierek is a name to watch for in 2023.
Track of the week. Emerging from New York is rap talent 4KPHIL., who has just unveiled one of our favourite releases of the year.
‘Truancy’ is lyrically inspired by the artist’s transition into becoming a father, and seamlessly fuses nostalgic soul with a modern hip hop sound.
“A song I wrote a week after finding out my girlfriend miscarried our future child. The lyrics came to me immediately and I had made this beat a year ago for someone else. I went through my computer trying to find it and once I did I knew its purpose.”
Having already seen his work featured on the wildly popular NBA2K22 in-game soundtrack, it looks like 2023 might well be 4KPHIL.’s biggest year yet. Keep an eye out on this kid!
Track of the week. With more than three million cumulative Spotify streams already under his belt, 22-year old singer and songwriter Bertie Newman might be the biggest artist you may not have heard of… yet.
‘I Will’ is a beautifully sincere and emotive piece of melodic indie-pop that was inspired by change, and the fleeting nature of feelings.
“‘I Will’ explores the shift of my past pre conceptions and associations with particular objects, places and people to how I feel now. I wanted to show the change in my mental state by making an ultimately happy and hopeful song, sound somber, just as I once felt.”
To date, this rising Hackney-born talent has received support from BBC Introducing, while also landing placements on playlists as noted as Apple Music’s Acoustic Chill and New in Singer-Songwriter.