As we enter a new year of new music, Getintothis’ contributors select their tips for 2016 from the UK and beyond of artists you should be keeping an eye on in the next 12 months.
It’s gotten to that time of year again where music publications start to tell you who you should be listening to in the twelve months ahead. Gone are the weeks of being told what albums you should’ve listened to in the past year. Sights are well and truly on the future.
The frustrating thing about this though is everyone always seems to be telling you the same thing. The BBC Sound Of winner, the BRITS Critics choice and so many other lists and future star predictions often all focus on the same couple of artists. They’re usually right about their success, but we can’t say we’ve been a fan of many of them over the past few years.
Jack Garratt is this year’s hat wearing (we’re assuming he wears a hat. They usually do), angsty pop star who the nation have been told they have to like this year, following the likes of James Bay and Years and Years. Unfortunately, like those that have gone before him, we’re going to be seeing a lot of Garratt on our TV screens and radios in 2016. But don’t worry, there is lots of great new music out there which we think will be worth keeping an ear out for this year. So to help, our contributors have selected their tips for 2016 from the UK and beyond. Enjoy.
Peter Guy – Getintothis editor
Palace Winter – Filling the void between motorik Autumnal late night drives with the headlights on dim and the eyes set to blood red and that moment between dream and awakening are Palace Winter. Part Copenhagen, part Melbourne, their krautrock-infused Americana should find suitable bedfellows with War On Drugs acolytes and experimental heads alike – take the six minute plus radio-friendly hummer Menton; all sashaying guitars and Klaus Dinger rat-a-tat-tats. It’s impossibly infectious. So much so we named it in our top 10 tracks of 2015. Elsewhere they specialise in warm, enveloping rock & roll which is underpinned with a stark, Scandinavian touch – the effect is hugely moreish.
Billie Eilish – At a staggering 13-years-old Billie Eilish is making pop music which is a world away from the likes of MJ, Stevie Wonder or Aaliyah – this is a child star in the making who’s music is more aligned to that of Lana Del Rey but with the production nous of James Blake – or even closer to home, say Lapsley. Bruised vocals collide with aching electronica and lullaby melodies which unravel in small swelling ripples. Her latest track Ocean Eyes has garnered an impressive 187k plays on SoundCloud, clearly there’s a future for this talented youngster. We certainly think so.
Patrick Clarke – Getintothis new music editor
Pixx – In the time since I first came across Pixx, the breadth of what seems possible for the singer-songwriter has done nothing but bloom. After infatuating debut single A Way To Say Goodbye dropped in 2014, Hannah Rodgers has since added an extra ‘x’ to her moniker, seen props from the likes of Grimes for her luxuriantly textured left-of-centre pop, and swiftly found her feet on the live circuit with some truly stand out shows. If 2015 was the year Pixx solidified her enormous potential, 2016 will be the year she realises it.
Vicky Pea – Getintothis social media editor, photographer and writer
PALMAS – Signed to NYC based label Lost Colony Music, Philadelphia indie rockers PALMAS invite you to hitch a ride with them down to the beach, grab a board and a beer and reminisce about all the loves of your life gone by. Known as Locals in their earlier days Adam, Eric, Kurt, Pat and Matt still retain that throwback to surf gang mentality. Imagine Beach Boys but with switchblades.
Their 50s influence is heavy with reverb laden guitar and sunny melodies, but unlike the idealistic days gone by something much moodier dwells beneath it all. Tracks like Better Guy take you on a ride down a dusty road, heat blazing down before stopping off at a smoky bar where the chances of something more sinister and dangerous lurk.
File next to Best Coast, Temples, Growlers.
Adam Lowerson – Getintothis deputy editor
Jagaara – There’s not a whole lot to listen to from London trio Jagaara as of yet, but what’s out there so far has certainly piqued my interest. Really tight pop tunes with great melodies and a mysterious, haunting quality. If you’re reading this Jagaara, give us new tunes, fast.
Tom Konstantynowicz – Getintothis writer and sub-editor
PARTYBABY – Bludgeoning guitars, chilling minimalism and huge anthem-like hooks, California outfit PARTYBABY‘s two offerings to date have been like throwing three songs into a blender and seeing what comes out. Luckily, it’s an entirely exhilarating concoction that will take 2016 by storm.
Ste Knight – Getintothis dance columnist
Bjarki – Icelandic producer Bjarki hit the ground running when his track I Wanna Go Bang battered dance floors around the world. Released on Nina Kraviz‘ трип imprint, the track’s abrasive, industrial sound was perfect punishment for dancefloor dwellers waiting to be devastated.
Big-name DJs have been giving I Wanna Go Bang some serious deck time and it is obvious to hear why. The track is pure peak time fodder. Bjarki has just dropped a new release, again on Kraviz‘ label, PC Muscles. Look out for his future releases over 2016 as he’s bound to go bang again.
Craig MacDonald – Getintothis writer
Oscar – effortless homemade lo-fi with enough hooks to fill an ocean.
Formation – soulful electro grooves that command you to dance till you can dance no more.
Will Neville – Getintothis writer
The Goon Sax – The Goon Sax are a teenage Aussie three-piece from Brisbane, whose first single Sometimes Accidentally was released on Chapter Music in September.
Another track, Boyfriend, was released last month and continues the perfect indie pop jangle that calls to mind the heyday of Sarah Records and the 80s shambling scene, with the less-than-polished air of The Pastels or BMX Bandits, and the Mo Tucker-esque drumming of Riley Jones. It was therefore no surprise to learn that she joined the band after just a month’s worth of lessons.
They also sound a fair bit like the early Able label era The Go-Betweens, which is perhaps to be expected as bassist Louis Forster is the son of that band’s Robert. The other member is guitarist James Harrison, with all three contributing vocals and songwriting.
I can’t wait for their debut album Up To Anything which is due next year
Jake Marley – Getintothis writer
Pixx – Glossy, smooth pop straight from the clouds. Glowing, velvety warm vocals sit pleasantly alongside drifting, expansive dream-pop rhythms melodies; this is dreamy, very dreamy.
Cupids – Fresh, Manc, noise-laden and with amplified hooks, Cupids mix 60s beat with 00s glam rock to create an unstoppable cocktail of filthy riff-wielding magic.
Cloves – Majestic Aussie songstress with the perfect blend of knockout melodies and subtlety that is sure to captivate every waking bone in your body.
Hidden Charms – Mersey mavericks Deltasonic had their ears pricked by this lot and it’s easy to see why. Their weighty 60s beat-led rock ‘n roll escapade is gathering pace and hits like Love You Cause You’re There are certain to propell them to new heights.
James Sullivan – Getintothis writer
LL Burns – Just a couple of tunes on Soundcloud and a handful of low-key gigs so far from London-based Michael and Paraic Morrissey. But there’s bound to be more in 2016, and Getintothis is plenty intrigued. There’s lots to remind you of their former band Filthy Boy, notably that gloriously louche vocal – a couple of octaves down from Nick Cave.
The music manages to be cinematic in feel and somehow both anthemic and intimate. There’s also a healthy amount of arch silliness in Not Now, a sleepy, twinkly song with the most unlikely of hype man lyrics: “Put your left leg in/Put your left leg out/I wanna see those hands waving round”.
The Soul is even better, featuring r’n’b hooks, a breathless spoken word vocal and the paranoid claustrophobia of a late night walk under railway arches of south London.
Lauren Jones – Getintothis writer
Shah Jahan – Chicago quartet, Shah Jahan are my tip for 2016. With an EP set for release early January, we’ll be hearing a lot more from the foursome with perhaps some shows on British soil.
Fully embracing the Summer of Love, Shah Jahan create an incredible fused psychedelic, brit-pop instrumental, nabbing the best bits from the likes of The Who and Supergrass. Tracks such as Sunset Moon give great indication to the hypnotic pandemonium that seeps from bottomless groovy riffs.
The heavily bass-led tracklisting certainly appeals to the trippy kaleidoscopic instrumental which undeniably marries to influences such as The Stone Roses and Temples.
Thing – Recently formed Stockport quartet Thing dropped debut track Carousel back in late December after recording in Eve Studios, Manchester. Likening their sound to Mac DeMarco and TOY, the hypnotic foursome have a lot more to offer in 2016 with their mellow psychedelic sound.
Sophie and the Bom Boms – Los Angeles based Sophie Stern, better known as Sophie and The Bom Boms is going back to the 80s for a sleek electro-pop track-listing. With a forthcoming EP and hit track, Big Girls, her uplifting sound is ideal to beat those new year blues.
Paul Higham – Getintothis writer
I’m going to plump for two artists that I’ve had the good fortune to wax lyrical about previously in these pages.
Trudy made a big impression on me when supporting Hooton Tennis Club in December in an emotional last hurrah (for many) at the Kazimier. Their unblemished youthful looks belie a keen and studied eye for real old fashioned indie. Yet these are far from copyists. Live they are nothing short of an exuberant thrill while on record their invention and sense of adventure shines through without ever detracting from the purity of melody. We can expect a big 2016 from this supremely talented trio.
Finally Nap Eyes. They’re not new. Not really. But they just deserve to be better known outside their native Nova Scotia. They make wryly articulate yet artful pop that would surely tempt a bigger audience. They’ve got a new album, Thought Fish Rock Scale, out soon which I can’t wait for. I’d love them to tour the UK but it probably won’t happen. We can but hope.