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 Kudu Blue selects ten emerging acts and tracks that are must-listens.
Firstly, let’s go over the ground for what makes this Brighton-based quintet a truly Promising Discovery. Individually known as Tom, Owen, Clementine, Dale and Creeda, we were introduced to Kudu Blue two years thanks to The Indie Curator who fell for their upbeat trip-hop in debut “Bones”. The track was the unexpected result of a studio session and upon its release, the band landed their first gig supporting long-standing Promising Artist Bipolar Sunshine at Brighton venue The Haunt. Since then, the band have been building on their uniquely chilled-yet-palpitating style, sonically soaked in a rich history of UK electronic music. Standouts have to be the synth-R&B “Call Out” and garage laced “NGFM”. There’s undoubtedly something special about lead singer Clementine’s soaring, rich vocals that are able to keep up with the band’s full-on electronics.
Their old-school influences have been rather well documented across the web, citing the likes of Nirvana, Michael Jackson, Radiohead, Massive Attack and more. It’s clear that a joined musical heritage from five members has contributed to their bountiful and at times overwhelming wave of sound. It’s one that’s kept in control with modern techniques, especially from Tom and Owen who previously worked together as a production duo. It’s been a pleasure to be an ear witness to Kudu Blue’s eclectic approach to and growing clarity of their music over the past two years, a successful rise confirmed by the fact that they’ve been our #1 Promising Discovery for the past two weeks.
We urge you to go check out their tracks, but first let’s see which HumanHuman discoveries Kudu Blue recommends.
“London based Nilüfer Yanya is a really interesting songwriter. Mixing intricate jazzy guitar lines and rhythmic melodies she makes a sound a lot bigger than you would expect. In this live track her guitar tones are sublime, and the saxophonist in accompanist weaves in and out of the arrangement adding a bluesy edge.”
“Another Londoner Tom Tripp’s songs have got something a bit different to them. Taking hints from the 80’s with a funky edge, there is almost something Caribou-esque about his production. This song got us bouncing in our seats, it’s got a kinda dancehall bounce to the chorus. The production is really immersive, it takes you on a real journey. Apparently all self produced as well, which is impressive.”
“A really interesting, skilled young producer from Turnbridge Wells, making beats that wouldn’t go amiss on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. This track is like a mix between Teebs and Tennyson, it completely switches up after a chilled intro into a heavy beat. Very exciting stuff, can’t get enough of it.”
“It’s crazy that this guy is just 17-years-old, as he’s making some really mature music. He’s got a really soulful, whiskey-soaked voice, following along the same lines as King Krule. His tracks vary from more straight up soul to more ambient trip-hop. Definitely one to watch.”
“18-year-old Rex Orange County’s got a bit of everything. Rapping, singing and producing himself really strong bluesy, jazzy tracks. This song is a particular stand out, with a real driving beat. He’s definitely making a statement, and there’s an element of dark humour in his lyrics, which works really well. Kinda like a cross between Zak Abel and Childish Gambino.”
“Canadian Daniel Caesar is making big waves with his dreamy brand of nostalgic soul. In “Paradise”, he works with fellow Canadians BADBADNOTGOOD who add a progressive element to the track, and Sean Leon who provides a hip-hop streak. It’s a match-up that works really well.”
“Ider have been blowing up recently, and this song demonstrates why. “Pulse” transitions from understated soft acoustic ballad to an epic electronic driven chorus. They blend the styles really well, and their harmonies are really on point. The whole song just feels very complete. Their track “Sorry” is also a stand out. It’s kinda hypnotic. Really beautiful.”
“We recently played with these guys in London, and they put on a really good show. They bring summery 80’s vibes layered over an indie-pop drive. This track bounces and pulses, as lead singer Edith lays down catchy melodies. Keep an eye on these guys.”
“A great Australian singer/producer, blending a mix of soul, blues and indie. Definitely hints of Badu and D’angelo, but with a modern twist. In the same vein as fellow Australians Hiatus Kaiyote and Jordan Rakei (who he’s produced tracks alongside). This track starts off, floating in with ambience and soft keys, then hits in with a really strong groove. We love it.”
“From Virginia originally and now L.A. based, REECE’s voice is sublime, a really strong falsetto. His blend of pop, soul and R&B has got a touch of Frank Ocean to it. I really like the space and clarity in the mix of “Lost In Translation”, it allows his vocals to soar.”