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 Iris Gold selects ten emerging acts and tracks that are must-listens.
Three years ago, long-term user Yne predicated that Iris Gold would become a Promising Discovery with the definitive statement that this find is sure to be a “rising star.” The moment that this London-via-Copenhagen artist really broke through was with her flashy single “Goldmine”, a homage to self-belief and the hunt for a “little piece of the old times.” Possibly those jangly, playful beat-backed words refer to her childhood, past opportunities or a golden era of music arguably lost to us in the digital age. While the juvenile chorus supports the first claim, and the narrative lyrics hints to the second, it’s the music that Iris Gold has released over the past year would imply it’s the latter. In fact Iris herself has stated that as a child, where she travelled to various hippy communities with her mother, she was exposed to the golden offerings of ‘70s staples such as Mammas & Pappas, Jefferson Aeroplane and Cat Stevens among others.
Another place you’ll hear (and see!) plenty of this retrospect is with the video for “Harlem”, a song which features on Gold’s much celebrated Marsha Hunt mixtape. As for the visuals, IG describes them as “a snapshot of a street corner in 60s/70s Harlem on an especially good day. Beehives, boogaloo, afroshine, The Supremes and Clyde Stubblefield.” Capturing those moments in life where everything just feels right is clearly close to heart for this Danish artist who most recently brought us all into her colourful, energised world with newest single “Good Vibes”.
While much of her sound does carry this flower-power, feelgood aura, there is also a discernable rap flow that can be put down to Iris Gold’s early introduction to ‘80s hip-hop, her particular favourites being Salt N Peppa and Beastie Boys. Two standout points where this old school style comes into play is with “Steve McQueen” and MNEK-produced “Freakaholic” – both tracks seem to have that instant head-bobbing beat and catchy refrains that listeners won’t be able to get enough of.
Of course, you should absolutely go listen to all the songs we’ve mentioned in our introduction, time spent that you certainly will not regret, but before that why not acquaint yourself with some fresh talent as recommended by the wonderful Promising Artist that is Iris Gold.
“This Brighton band bring together R&B, dance, trip-hop, sexy voclas and vibes for the grown and sexy. The electronic chilled-out vibe blends nicely with the retro R&B sound in “NGFM”, which stands for “not good for me.” The lyrics are easy to relate to and the verses feel like ‘90s Janet Jackson bedroom baby making music with a chorus that’s a power pop explosion. Beautiful hooks throughout that stay In your head all day in a good way.”
“”Aurelia” was recorded in Tom Tripp’s bedroom in north London, but sounds big! A funky guitar and psychedelic synths lace with his soulful voice. It’s pure slowjam R&b bliss and it’s so catchy. Apparently this is just a demo but it definitely doesn’t sound like it. Very dope indeed!”
“Garren Langford is from the Bay Area and his style is super soulful R&B. On “There She Go” the beat is crazy!! So much energy. Using cool synthesizers as guitars and some dope ass drums. It's a beautiful love song. He’s also produced for Chance the Rapper on “Smoke Break”. His album is out early 2017 and I'm gonna be listening to it all for sure.”
“King Deco is from New York and her track “One” produced by Felix Snow is super cool alternative pop. It's a love song so enchanting and sensual with floaty ambience, plus an angelic voice on top. This song makes you feel like you’re drifting like the leaves in the wind. Also the video is dope! “One” was part of her debut EP released in 2014.”
“They are a Swedish female duo and I’m loving these lush electro scandi-pop vibes. “Swayze” is a big synthpop based banger! It was produced by a close collaborator of Nanno Veen, who mixed the track. It features on their self-titled project, out just last year, you should check it out!”
““Emotions” is a great house track. Check this for some cool dreamy electronics before the hitting the club. It's laced with beautiful atmospheric vocal cuts. This London producer He has had big support from BBC Radio 1 and he is currently signed to Ministry Of Sound and Spinning Records.”
“I love the lyrics on the title track of Ravyn Lenae’s Moon Shoes EP in particular – such a dope sound! The genre blending and glitchy electronics with her stand-out R&b voice on top is so special. The rest of the album is a bit more pop-hip-hop I guess, but this track really stands out.”
“From Memphis, Jon Waltz’s “Riot” is beautiful and I’m loving his rap singing melodies, they’re so smooth. His warm voice and thoughtful profound lyrics gives us a track about generational values and internal conflict. He has had support from Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio show. Look out for his debut album.”
“GAIKA is another London based artist and signed to warped (Danny Brown, Aphex Twin, Darkstar). “3D” is in your face energy, like woah very interesting! Crazy dancehall tune alongside his hoarse voice. It's all about oppressive forces in the world and I dig it.”
“Love the sing/rap lyrics and artwork, I’m digging it! Noname raps about the bleakness in life, but at the same time her voice is so soothing and uplifting. She's a true wordsmith. A poet talking about both joy and devastation about an introvert's journey to adulthood. I just love it. She has also guested on Chance the Rapper’s track “Lost” from Acid Rap.”