Every month at HumanHuman tons of discoveries are added, but only a handful, are labelled 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.
This month we had no less than 35 Promising Discoveries spanning just about every genre from pop to hip-hop to electronic to singer-songwriter to indie-rock - it’s all in there for August. Of course, every month we have five finds that rise to the top as the agrees for their emerging notoriety pours in. This time around, our users just couldn’t get enough of self-producing soulful pop sensation Shells, striking songwriter Nilüfer Yanya, vibrant four-piece FOURS, transnational American synth duo Promises Ltd. and emerging Los Angeles electro-pop star Happy Sometimes. Read more about why these five Promising Artists are so good and be sure to listen along to all of August’s unearthed gems in our playlist.
This discovery of Shells by Jolyon Checketts serves as an example of how keeping tabs on HumanHuman really pays off, because although this London-via-Kent artist has been on our radar for ten months now, her current singles list only tracks back to three months ago. Before we even heard her stunning debut, our community of tastemakers knew something good was on it’s way. The anticipation clearly wasn’t for nothing as first release “GOLD” well and truly blew listeners away with a mesmeric mix of soaring violin and cello strings, a grandiose production and leading the way in full, burning passion is SHELLS’ rich voice. The track was apparently written on her first night after moving to London, using a £10 junk shop electric guitar, a limited knowledge of Logic and a natural aptitude for songwriting. While “GOLD” was about “love enabling us to overcome obstacles” (Pigeons & Planes), her sophomore single “Jagwar” took on the idea of “letting go of something you love, and being stronger for it” (The Line Of Best Fit). It’s only fitting that this promising talent builds the anthemic and bold “Jagwar” on another universally relatable ethos as her music hits you in broad strokes. From the outset, “Jagwar” sounds momentous, but not in the obvious pop song kind of way, SHELLS offers something alternative with slightly off-key piano chords, a tidal vocal hum, stand-alone lyrics, cinematic violins and clipped percussion. With only two cards on the table, we’re already convinced that this rising UK artist has a winning hand. - HT
In a world of electronic instruments and digital production, it’s often easy to undersell the singer-songwriter genre as it is forced to compete with the dizzying myriad of other hyphenated styles. Within this same world exists artists like Nilüfer Yanya, who uses the pure synchronicity of voice and acoustic guitar to remind us that singer-songwriters are more relevant than ever. Discovered by Hillydilly two years ago, Yanya began with a series of minimalist demos - “Cheap Flights”, “Waves” and “Monsters Under The Bed” - each providing a sonic and lyric honesty as a much needed tonic to the blogosphere. The London talent can also be heard paying homage to The Pixies with a cover of “Hey”, which also marks a subtle shift in Yanya’s overall sound to something slightly electrified, echoed, but nevertheless still stripped back. This new approach has also been carried over to her first official single “Small Crimes”, through which guitar frets trickle guided by Yanya’s underplayed soulful voice before meeting a surging wave of choral harmonies, layered strings and the singer’s half-confession, “I realise, maybe, they are small crimes, but some things I just wouldn’t do.” We’re excited to see where this songwriter’s instinct will lead her next. - HT
When Disco Naïveté discovered FOURS almost exactly a year ago, little was known about the band apart from the fact that they were from Shepherd’s Bush, London, and surprise surprise, there were four members (Edith Violet, Dan Smith, Jezza Wells and Luke Jefferies). Whilst most bands opt to test the waters by dipping their toes with just the one song, FOURS arrived all guns blazing and shared three songs (ultimately forming their delightful debut EP Everything I Never Said) at once. All three songs (“Leave Me”, “Stranger” and “Damage”) echo a refreshing and utterly captivating vibe, an indescribable something that just makes you want to dance. However, amongst the dazzling soundscapes, it’s that killer vocal of Edith Violet permeating through groovy guitar lines, pounding drums and throbbing bass, that seems to steal the show. With a voice as powerful as that, it comes as no surprise that Disco Naïveté made the comparison to Florence + the Machine’s Florence Welch. Most recently, FOURS made it four out of four with new single “Painful to Watch”, another indie pop gem which centres around the feeling of being in contradiction with yourself. A year in, it’s still relatively early days for FOURS, but from what we’ve heard - there’s no denying their promise! - DS
As their SoundCloud entails, Promises Ltd. is the union of Jeremy Malvin otherwise known as electronic musician Chrome Sparks and Charlie Brand of the band Miniature Tigers. We’re seeing more and more of these kinds of collaborative projects (Banks & Steelz and Soft Hair to name just a few), but it must be said, you never quite know what to expect from such pairings. With debut single “Days of Lavender”, which enchanted just about everyone who heard it,, any qualms were proven to be irrelevant. For the few who needed convincing that extra bit, the duo had “American Eyes” under their sleeves. HighClouds (who made the all important discovery two months ago) described the duo’s sophomore single “like the crossroads of underground dance music and modern day alternative” whilst HillyDilly’s Chad Hillard hailed it as “one of the best songs released this year”; and to be honest, we couldn’t agree more! That’s only half the story however, as their eponymous debut EP released via Majestic Casual at the end of July features two more songs in “Another Time” and “Crystal Showers” which also hit the mark. With over a million combined SoundCloud and Spotify streams, this is just the beginning for Malvin and Brand’s project, who’ve shown just how much promise they have. - DS
Cara Onofrio aka Happy Sometimes grew up in Laguna Beach California and has been putting pen to paper writing songs and producing bears in her bedroom ever since she was fourteen years old. The decision to trade the sandy beaches for valley by moving to LA last year proved to be a wise one as debut EP Video Tapes is a blast from start to finish. Perfect for the summer, each offering is a snapshot of Onofrio’s youth; a breath of fresh air in which swirling electronic beats drive the singer’s fragile but effortless and graceful voice. Debut single “Take Me Out” is a great example of Onofrio’s talents as both a singer and producer where she completely revitalises Franz Ferdinand’s instantly recognizable classic of the same name. Elsewhere on the EP, in particular “Be Mine” and “Lit”, we get to hear the strength in her songwriting as she explores the ups and downs of young love. Discovered by Deer du Bois just two months ago, It’s only a matter of time before Happy Sometimes’ epic electro pop will be on the charts, on the airwaves and in the hearts of listeners around the world. - DS