Sunday, January 5, 2014

10 Artists to Watch in 2014

It is a new year and with that comes new music. Here is a list of 10 artists to keep an eye out for in the months to come. Some already made a few ripples in the music world last year, but I am predicting that 2014 may be their true time to shine.

1) Unlocking the Truth
The Brooklyn indie metal scene came to light in recent weeks after New York’s First Daughter Chiara de Blasio admitted she enjoyed heavy metal music. Well, Chiara, here is a band for you – Unlocking the Truth. This band is hard, heavy, fast, and under age! The members of Unlocking the Truth are a trio of seventh graders from Flatbush, whose instruments are larger than they are but play with a power that would have the members of Slayer stop and take note.

2) Radkey
When punk rock comes to mind, places like London, New York, LA, Berlin, even Washington, D.C., all jump out, not a place like St. Joseph, Missouri. Yet, in St. Joseph is where you will find one of America's best new punk bands -- Radkey. Formed by three brothers, Radkey combine Bad Brains hardcore riffs with Danzig-style vocals and bring their own flair and fury that make them stand out from any new band emerging today.

3) Until the Ribbon Breaks
From Cardiff, Wales, comes one of R&B’s leading new voices. For fans of the tape loops and synth vibes of James Blake, take a listen to the voice Pete Lawrie Winfield aka Until the Ribbon Breaks. After releasing an EP last year and working with Run The Jewels, Until The Ribbon Breaks is poised for a breakout year with the anticipation of his debut album.

4) Schoolboy Q
Rapper Schoolboy Q has made a name for himself over the last few years after appearing on mixtapes and being a member of Kendrick Lamar’s Black Hippy crew. Yet, with the release of his third solo album, Oxymoron, in February, it will see Schoolboy Q really emerge as a figure all his own.

5) Little Green Cars
After forming in 2008 and releasing their debut album last year, Galway, Ireland’s Little Green Cars have been selling out clubs all around the world, however, this year, they can expect larger stages. After capturing audiences attention at SXSW, Coachella, Lollapalooza, and gaining support from Jake Bugg, Little Green Cars are in the fast lane to become your next favorite band.

6) Saints of Valory
The only thing that matters in 2014 is the World Cup in Brazil. Of course I would say this, I am a massive soccer fan, so, it is fitting that a band with Brazilian roots is one of this years artists to watch. Forming in Rio in 2008 with members from France, Canada, and Texas, the band uprooted themselves to Austin, which is their home base now and have been taking the radio by storm thanks to their single, “Neon Eyes,” but with their debut arriving in April, they will take your attention with their stadium-ready songs and catchy pop-rock hooks.

7) London Grammar
English universities must have something in the water that seems to produce great bands. Radiohead, Coldplay, Queen, Pulp, Pink Floyd, and so many more got their start at English institutions for higher learning, but another name to add to that list is London Grammar. The band formed in 2009 while attending University of Nottingham and craft a pop sound unlike anyone else. A trio that features guitars, keyboards and vocals, London Grammar find a way to craft so much by using so little. The band, who released their debut, If You Wait, last year are turning heads and 2014 is the year they will make their mark.

8) John Wizards
The late, great Nelson Mandela fought and dreamed of his country to become a rainbow nation and fought and dreamed for all Africans to come together and unite as one. John Wizards takes Madiba's dream and makes it a reality. The band, who are based in Cape Town, South Africa, combine African drums, hip-hop, trippy electronica, ambient, shoe gaze, rock, new wave, and so much and manage to filter it through in a way that doesn’t sound over produced, over saturated, and most importantly overdone. This band is the brain child of Cape Town’s John Withers who linked up with Rwandan singer Emmanuel Nzaramba to craft this unique and very creative sound and vision.

9) James Bay
At first look, James Bay could be another singer-songwriter from some small town in middle America. Long hair, top hat, beat up denim jeans, he has the looks of an American, but looks can be deceiving and proves a book should never be judge by his cover. Bay, an British singer, has been cutting his teeth in the UK for years and thanks to a successful tour last summer in America, it looks like Mr. Bay is going to stand out while managing to blend in.

10) The Staves
Haim may have been 2013’s “it” sisters of music, but 2014 will belong to The Staves. England's The Staves are a trio of sisters that have taken their own spin on traditional folk rock. The band have been touring the US and Europe to critical acclaim as they have opened for Bon Iver, Ben Howard and even sang back-up to Tom Jones, and Mumford & Sons at their headlining Glastonbury slot last year.