Every month at HumanHuman tons of discoveries are added, but we only label a few as promising. These artists are agreed upon by our users as ones to watch and are well on their way to becoming the next big thing in music. What you see below are the top five promising artists, as decided by the HumanHuman community.
As with every month in music discovery, the variety of new-found artists never fails to disappoint as we can see from our top five finds. The Canadian singer Charlotte Cardin offers up a contemporary take on jazz, Donna Missal wows with her powerful voice, Margaret Glaspy shakes up the concept of a bluesy breakup song, Von Sell breaks new ground with bedroom production and Jadu Heart are quite simply an unexpected revelation. Of course, it’s not only about the jocks, we had a grand total of seventeen Promising Artists last month, so be sure to give our playlist a listen through.
Standing out as a clear favourite of the HumanHuman community with 36 agrees is Charlotte Cardin, the Montreal-based jazz singer who was discovered by Wonky Sensitive ten months ago. She made her debut with modern-jazz number “Big Boy” and later followed up with “Le Échardes”, a sweet piano-led song that features lyrics in Cardin’s native French and was accompanied by a behind-the-scenes-style video. Earlier this month the Canadian talent returned to up the contemporary levels in her woozy jazz sound through the singularly impressive “Like It Doesn’t Hurt”. Her vocals, which deftly switch from a fluttering vulnerability to a smokey strength, burn through a minimalist production of electronic snares and snaps. The track opens up for a verse from rapper Husser, who acts as a an objective commentator on the heartbreak in hand. “Like It Doesn’t Hurt” completely won over plenty of our discoverers, especially original fan Wonky Sensitive who gave the single this concise description: “Cast over a moody future-pop backdrop, Charlotte's disarming voice feels wounded and weathered as she contemplates a toxic romance.” (via wonkysensitive.blogspot.co.uk) The next release we’re expecting from this bi-lingual vocalist is her first EP, and that will be interesting to see how this balance between jazz, pop and a touch of singer-songwriter plays out.
The recognition of Donna Missal as a Promising Artist has been a long time coming. In fact we’ve had an eye on this New Jersey native since The Undscvrd found her two years ago. Back then, this artist was blasting her powerful voice fronting a band called Missal and the Mindreaders; an era from which a few clips still exist including an impressive live performance on a New York subway. It’s unclear when and why Missal began her solo project, but seven months ago we were treated to “Keep Lying”, a sensual plea for unrequited love no matter the consequences as translated by her impassioned vocals. As with so much modern music, Missal plays on the concept of genre dipping into blues and rock in that particular track, although her cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” suggests her influences are even more widespread. The moment that finally sparked the necessary agrees on HumanHuman was the release of latest single “Sick”, a smoldering pop-R&B track. The seriously enticing bass line will have a listener vibing along in no time while lines like “hypnotize me with your sick magic” will seep into your unconsciousness.
Cleaning the slate to start again with new material is a bold move, especially when you’ve already released a bunch of music including an album, as is the case with promising songwriter Margaret Glaspy. Four months ago, the Brooklyn-via-California musician released an EP consisting of “Somebody To Anybody” and “You & I”, a pair of tracks that portray Glaspy has a confident and self-assured individual, both creatively and personally. This new brand of music came as a pleasant surprise to discoverer Going Solo, who found the EP to be “Intimate yet electrified, reminiscent of Sharon Van Etten in a certain way, Margaret’s songs make us understand how we can feel better alone with no regrets than to be forced into a relationship just for the sake of being with someone.” (via wearegoingsolo.com) Her raw, bluesy style has not only attracted a digital audience, but there was also quite a crowd for her set at this year’s SXSW Festival, where HumanHuman’s founder Senne was fortunate enough to be in attendance from which he came away depicting Glaspy as “unbelievably promising.” You should be able to get a sense of what it’s like to stand in front of this natural performer, although if you can get to a real life show, you definitely should.
Leaving a notable chunk of time between songs is a well-used tactic to build excitement around an artist, just look at Jai Paul. However, there was more to Von Sell’s year long hiatus since debut “Ivan” than fan puppetry. As explained to The Fader, the process behind creating second single “I Insist” was far from easy - “I really wrestled with this one—for the longest time it just wouldn’t do what I wanted it to. It refused—until I understood I had to finish the song not on mine, but on it’s terms.” Listening to the superb production, the glitchy static and those quirks of 80s nostalgia in the synths and jangly keys, it’s clear that this artist has poured so much time and energy into this track. The repeated refrain, “c’mon and help me now” also implies that he’s still coaxing the song into submission. It perhaps makes sense then that Brooklyn-via-Berlin musicmaker David Von Sell opts for an at-home production to give himself and the songs all the time they need to progress, mature and reveal themselves. He might be a DIY musician, but his credentials aren’t that of an amatuer as he attended both the British Academy Of New Music and Berklee College of Music before setting up base in New York’s creative quarter. The comments on The Indie Curator’s discovery of this alternative pop up-and-comer show just how much anticipation surrounds Von Sell, like Camels & Lions said earlier this month “just a matter of time til this will explode”, and they weren’t wrong.
We already mentioned the promising electronic duo Jadu Heart last month in our article ‘What it means to be a producer right now’ since they’ve been welcomed into the fold of production master Mura Masa’s Anchor Point record label. Like so many of the Guernsey-born’s new proteges, the mysterious pair known only as Dina and Faro have kicked things off with an compelling six-track work, their Wanderflower EP. It’s not only the unexpected nature of this release that had bloggers feverishly scouring the internet for more information on these newcomers, but the EP itself is a stunning debut. They imaginatively blend elements of pop, dance, R&B and hip-hop while throwing plenty of surprises in there, such as the birdsong field recordings that are usually associated with the folky flourishes of artists like Laura Marling circa 2008. Jadu Heart seems to provide something for everyone, whether you want a lustful R&B hit like “Jadu Temple”, a catchy alt-pop tune like “The Love” or a daydreamer’s soundtrack like “Jewl”. All that’s left to do now is to credit discoverer Deep Shah for snapping up this electrifying act and tell you to go check out their enticing new demo “Sad Geisha”.