As many of you know, HumanHuman is all about discovery with new artists, bands, side projects and collectives popping up on the site every day. It’s handy to have a guide through this new music labyrinth, and who better to lead the way than one of our Promising Discoveries! Here Brandyn Burnette selects ten emerging acts and tracks that are must-listens.
Since Brandyn Burnette’s discovery three years ago by Beijing-via-Sydney pop expert Music That We Like, and his subsequent recognition as a Promising Artist eight months ago, we’ve got to know this multi-talent very well. Not only does he love to tweet about our Feedback Tool, but he’s also a HumanHuman user too!
To start with, let’s give you a little background information on an artist who has proved his longevity time and time again. Believe it or not, Brandyn’s journey began back in 2008 when he left a musical theatre course at NYU Tisch School of the Arts to pursue his own musical endeavour full time. The gamble clearly paid off as the following year he was signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and then in 2011, to Warner Bros Records. It wasn’t until 2014, that this artist who had moved from Missouri to New York to California into pursuit of a career in music was finally able to release his work indepently. Since then, Brandyn Burnette has strived to harness self-production, as well as to improve his songwriting skills, which has resulted in two excellent EPs, Made Of Dreams and State I’m In, both released through his very own Home Planet Records. Speaking directly to HumanHuman about this journey, Burnette reflects: “Looking back on a few major decisions in my life - I will never regret my decision to follow my heart & work hard to pave my own way.” It’s all very impressive and portrays this artist as a highly determined individual with a real passion for his craft. It’s really no wonder that he’s a Promising Discovery.
Currently, the 26-year-old artist is gearing up to release his third EP, titled Feature Films, and so far we’ve heard two tracks from the EP, “Manifest” and “Escape”, the latter of which has received high praise from our users. For example, Hillydilly refers to the song as “an ambient, dark stunner that hits hard as you listen,” while Wonky Sensitive notes how it “seamlessly blends together soulful dark vocals, deep beats and bright pysch rock guitar,” and Ohestee singles this track out as one to escape from your own dark thoughts. Up until this release, progressive soul was a singular description used best to understand Brandyn Burnette’s sound, but through “Escape” we’re starting to hear the soul and progression as two separate entities. There’s no doubt that Brandyn’s production has surpassed itself, with mirage-like effects floating underneath the shuffling percussion and rich guitar notes, while his voice has a slight touch of reverb and layering to complement the electronics. His inclusion of wider genres is also a mark of this artist’s progression from soul-pop to something much deeper; there’s R&B, there’s garage, there’s rock, and of course, there’s still plenty of soul and pop. It seems improbable that his earlier work was ever described by Music That We Like as “cheeky acoustic pop singles.” Soulful vibes has been a constant throughout all of his music, and while his voice is still a full of heartfelt passion, it’s also the lyrics that now contain the soul of a generation. As Brandyn explains, the point of “Escape” was “to create a track that expressed the turmoil, redemption, and passion that most of us felt building throughout 2016.”
This generational turmoil has also been captured in fresh new release “Manifest”, which further proves his third EP as a real turning point for this songwriter. However, before we get too carried away gushing over Brandyn Burnette’s talent, let’s turn to the reason why we’re all here - the recommendations.
“I love how Tom incorporates the 90s loop style, hip-hop productions while maintaining intricate chord choices & musical arrangements. I really respect an artist who appreciates the value of live musicians. On this track especially, he has a sound that feels as nostalgic as it does fresh. His vocals sound crisp & effortless, yet live & raw. His musicianship on this record in particular was what lead me to dive into the world of Tom Misch's blue eyed/jazz/hip-hop fusion.”
“I found Vorsa on the Spotify Viral Charts & I'm so glad I did. I reached out to him via email & we've been collaborating on a few things. First off, I respect people who are down to create music for the love of it. It obviously shows in this guy’s music. His instrumental “Losing Sleep” has half a million streams. I find that really impressive seeing as the song is so minimal & purely instrumental. Vorsa has a refreshing vibey take on electronic music. He incorporates a lot of dubstep elements on his tracks, which is his signature sonic style. I like when producers have something so unique about their sound that as soon as it comes on you know who it is. Vorsa is becoming one of those artists for me. Take a listen to “Ghosts”. So underrated.”
“I really, really like their song “Easier”. I admire bands that have a unique production style. The glitchy beats are perfect for late nights when you're going through feels. Great driving & smoking music. Their drop on “Easier” caught me so off guard the first time, and now I listen to this track just for it.”
“I've had the honor of playing a couple shows with Janelle Kroll & one thing is for sure, that girl can sing & she is an amazing writer. When I really tuned into her lyrics on “24 hrs”, I immediately went back to the first time I saw her at a party in Laguna Beach. Everyone was drunk & high & doing the usual party chatter. Janelle Kroll started singing about “there's too much real estate coke at this party...” I like her 80s flair. I think there's a lot for this artist to explore. I'm excited to see what kind of album she would put out. But based on the sound so far, I get an uptempo BANKS kind of vibe. BANKS is one of my favourite female artists, so as much as I hate giving comparisons, that's a huge compliment.”
“I'll never forget where I was the day of the election. We all got the results of the 2016 election... I was in Bardot for it's famous It's a School Night performance every Monday... Mondo Cozmo played their debut & everyone’s jaw dropped. We were witnessing the next great American rock band right at the turn of a new era. One of the best concerts I've seen from a band I never heard of.”
“I know they aren't a very new band, but when I heard this group I immediately listened to everything they've ever put out. They have a reminiscent feels of the Local Natives, who are another one of my favourite live bands. That drew me in initially, but as soon as I dug into the rest of their work & discovered layers upon layers of complexity & story that really made me a huge Half Moon Run fan. It takes a lot to wanna see a band live. Their spotify live session of “Call Me In The Afternoon” is even better than the recording. Tough feat.”
“At this point Sohn is a known legend. But I still feel late to the party. His new album completely changed my life. It's the first full record I've listened to in 2017 & so far it's my favourite cohesive body of work. It goes in my top 10 albums. Nearly every track is listenable & easily repeatable. I find it hard to create moody music & still get people into replay value. Sohn creates sonic textures that are meditative & therapeutic, but complex & dynamic. It's like watching a movie when you listen. Hands down one of the most creative artists of our time. He's one of the artists really inspired a lot of my production by the amount of risks he takes.”
“Jon is on the verge of being the biggest artist of our entire generation. I think between his message & his movement, every single person on the planet will know of a Jon Bellion song in some way or another. Jon was one of the first producers I ever got a chance to collaborate with. He produces, mixes & masters all of his own music. Watching his behind the scenes videos show how brilliant he is in creating the world for his songs. His live show is so good. All of his band went to college with him & they are sick musicians. You listen to the record & think, “how is this gonna sound live?” At his shows, the energy is so electric. There are interludes, there are beatboxing breaks, there are freestyles. It's the epitome of a cult movement. I recommend everyone go witness it before it gets to international stadium levels.”
“I don't know much about this artist, but his tracks are really cool for electronic instrumentals. I get a very soulful vibe emanating from his music. The song “Lies” has that perfect chilling & studying vibe. Flybear is also great for driving or working out! The sounds are all soft & chill, but also cool enough that you could pull up at a stoplight with the windows down & not be ashamed to pump it loud & proud.”
“I just found this artist recently. Her guitar work is incredible on this track. Not only does she have the musical skills, but her voice & her lyrics are incredibly honest, emotional & relatable. I dig chicks who can rock. I love her tone & how she phrases her words. She uses great dynamics & the hook on “Notions” is perfect for the end of a long hard day & you wanna reflect on your life. It's perfect sunset & sunrise music, wherever you happen to be caught up in your feels the most.”