The Listening Party

Artists to Watch – 2015

[ By Grace Loh ]

Last year was indeed “The Year of Swift”, breaking record after record, reminding us why she remains the queen. While Taylor has celebrated her reigning days back in 2014 (and still is), let’s shift gears and check out these fresh faces, deemed to be the game-changers of 2015. So keep your ears peeled for these artists, who are about to make musical headlines!

James Bay

A string of high-praises comes together with this young emerging artist, who has just recently nabbed the prestigious BRITs Critics’ Choice award this year. Blending together rock and soul, this 24-year-old singer-songwriter switches from rootsy-acoustic sets to the bluesy riffs of his electric guitar. Not just another guy with a guitar, his strong ability to translate every emotion of love and heartbreak through his honest lyrics, while blending it together with his deep rasp, will send goose bumps through his audience. With his debut album Chaos and the Calm out this spring, you can bet we will be hearing a lot of Bay while he continues to tug all of our heartstrings.

For fans of Ed Sheeran, George Ezra & Hozier.

MisterWives

At first listen, this New York City-based band screams the Roaring 20s with loud horns, groovy riffs and funky beats that may seem fitting for a modern The Great Gatsby soundtrack, but upon listening further, you’ll also find a blend of soul, dance, funk, indie rock and pop—bringing a new sound to the forefront. Front-woman Mandy Lee’s vocals pack a punch with piercing staccato notes tossed in to her haunting voice, lifting each song with high-spirits. Check out their groove-worthy full-length album Our Own House debuting this February: they are truly the cat’s meow.

For fans of Cults, The Cranberries & The Royal Concept

Years & Years

This British electro-pop band draws influences from 90s house, synth-pop and R&B, producing upbeat and infectious sounds. Lead vocalist and keyboardist of the group, Olly Alexander, while displaying his dulcet tones and wispy falsettos in each track, is cleverly backed up by his band mates in producing mood-lifting dance-pop melodies that will leave listeners ecstatic on the dance floor. The band even got the approval of Sam Smith as they just got off the European leg of his tour as the supporting act. No date has been set for their pending debut album, so for now just settle for their EPs Real and Traps that have been well-celebrated in the U.K.

For fans of Clean Bandit, Disclosure & Rudimental

Ryn Weaver

Teaming up with an all-star hit-making team that includes Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat, Charli XCX and Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos, Weaver could do no wrong introducing herself to the music world with her debut single “OctaHate” that oozes pop-perfection. Her otherworldly sound, paired with powerful vocals and thoughtful lyrics, has gained the many likes of other artists, receiving Twitter compliments from Paramore’s Hayley William and Jessie Ware. The mesh of a well-produced, uniquely sounding debut EP Promises further proves Weaver to be a frontrunner for redefining pop music in 2015. Now step aside, Lady Gaga.

For fans of Tori Amos, Tove Lo & Sia

Raury

2015 sees a prominent trend of blending contrasting genres to create an eccentric new sound, something this hip-hop artist has been raved about recently. The rapper/singer-songwriter produces music that has hints of hip-hop, soul and yes, folk. A self-thought guitarist, he drops slick lyrics over a rustic-sounding chord progression that could be seen as a trademark of his. Just fresh out of high school, Raury has been on the path to making a name for himself, opening up for OutKast, contributing to the Hunger Games: Mockingjay soundtrack and finally securing a deal with Columbia Records, even receiving props from the self-proclaimed hip-hop god, Kanye West, who Raury most recently had the privilege to share his creations with. Let’s hope that Mr. West is on board for his upcoming major-label debut album.

For fans of Childish Gambino, Kid Cudi and Andre 3000

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