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.
We’re slowly crawling towards the end of summer, as it cools down and festival season draws to a close we look back at August’s top five discoveries. HumanHuman’s impressive user-base of curators and tastemakers have settled on Upsahl, HOLY OYSTERS, Sara Diamond, Babygirl and Jack Watts. This month’s most promising picks cover a diverse base of genres, from emotive indie to jangly psych rock to upbeat electro-pop.
This month’s top pick Upsahl was added to the site over a year ago by Niels Bruwier. Her debut single ‘Can You Hear Me Now’ set the blogosphere ablaze, with The Line of Best Fit exclaiming, “Her rich, radio-ready vocal belies her 18 years of age, whilst her knack for a catchy, summery chorus is immediately evident.” The Phoenix based songwriter is beginning to carve out a signature sound, upbeat and playful with a focus on carefully crafted melodies. It is clearly a winning formula, with her freshman offering sitting on over 350,000 Spotify streams. Her newest single ‘Rough’ is a swirling combination of trap-like beat work, crunchy guitars and off-kilter vocals. The sound is relatively similar to Tove Styrke’s infectious contemporary pop, evoking shades of ‘Say My Name’. Despite its bubbly exterior, ‘Rough’ tackles some deeply personal subject matter; with Upsahl explaining “I feel like sometimes in relationships and in life in general, people take the person they’re with for granted. Sometimes, sh*t happens and people will find any reason to complain, but in reality, life is never that rough if you are able to breathe and laugh and be with the person you love.” Upsahl is sure to ascend the pop ranks over the next 12 months.
Three years ago, HH user Blubb Blubb discovered HOLY OYSTERS, a Parisian five piece who were gaining steam thanks to their sun-soaked electronic funk. If you were to take the psychedelic soundscapes of MGMT and the melodic writing of Hot Chip, you would approach the character of HOLY OYSTER’s jangly sophomore single ‘Take Me For A Ride’. The Burning Ear noted, “Holy Oysters have been taking me for a ride on their tripped out grooves full of magical guitars and now that I’m back I’m reluctantly letting you take the next turn. But I want another!” There’s certainly a re-listenable nature to the French band’s music, with anthemic choruses that will be ringing out in your mind for days after the first listen. The track ended up notching over a million streams on Spotify, with a number of glowing blog reviews. Their debut album Egonomy is a psych-pop masterpiece, with ‘Just So You Know’ standing out as particularly noteworthy. I look forward to hearing more from HOLY OYSTERS in the tail end of 2018.
Respected buzz blogger Stevie, over at Wonky Sensitive, saw promise in Canadian upstart Sara Diamond. She had just released ‘Just Give In’, a vocal led indie-pop record. Bloggers were starting to pick up on Diamond’s emotive writing sensibilities and once she grew into her sound there was no stopping the Montreal-based artist. Her singles ‘Back To You’ and ‘Stay A Little’ picked up a head of steam, amassing a total of over a million Spotify streams. Her consecutive offerings, ‘Fool’ and ‘Latter’ received similar love, with The Line of Best Fit exclaiming, “Diamond's laid-back lyrics of dead ends and motorcycle dreams are delivered with the nonchalence of someone who knows they'll make it with or without a plan.” Her newest track ‘Crash’ continues Diamond’s rich vein of form, opening with a beguiling pitch-shifted vocal sample and a driven, glitchy beat. On the track, she noted “It’s about whomever and wherever your journey leads you to. It led me to love...” Diamond’s intimate writing style shines through as always, providing a window straight into her deeply personal experiences.
The fourth pick in this month’s most promising list is Babygirl, an artist who was discovered two years ago by Italian tastemaker blog Going Solo. Their debut single ‘Overbored’ saw the duo receive a glowing reception from the blogging community, with positive articles from publications such as Ride The Tempo, glamgare and Conversations About Her. The momentum led to a number of editorial playlist positions which brought in over 300,000 streams for the guitar-laden alternative track. Nonchalant, laid-back vocals are delivered with a deadpan aural stare, as sparse production dances around drifting melodies. Their new EP ‘Lovers Fevers’ features infectiously melancholic single ‘Soft’, an enigmatic mid-tempo number. The glassy vocal tone is reminiscent of ‘Rumors’ era Fleetwood Mac, with a more contemporary indie bend. It’s a sound that would fit in an American coming-of-age movie set in the 80’s; the band note “Soft is about a love that lets your guard down. And even when life hardens you, and makes you want to put your guard back up, this person gives you a place to be vulnerable and feel the warmth of the world again.” Keep your ears out for more from this dream-pop pair.
The last selection in August’s roundup is Jack Watts, a Brighton born singer songwriter who straddles the line between singer/songwriter and indie-electro. Tender falsettos ring out above a buttery keyboard on his new single ‘Horrorscope’, eventually breaking out into an energetic breakbeat. It’s an eclectic sound which could easily find its way into the Radio 1 A-List. There’s elements of James Blake, with flecks of Tom Odell and the clear presence of Dylan’s influence on the young artist. WithGuitars wrote, “‘Horrorscope’ goes a long way to offering an insight into the wonderfully peculiar ideas this young songwriter has inside of him”. With over half a million Spotify streams to his name, the UK-based talent is clearly one to keep an eye on.