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.
So, we know it’s no longer December but our yearly overview took precedence; however, we didn’t want December’s most promising artists to go unsung. It was an impressive finish to the year with Belgian Indie-poppers ‘Pale Grey’ taking the gold medal. Canadian songstress Helena Deland came second, coming short by only 1 agree. Third place was tied by three HumanHuman discoveries this month, with Glabs, Jinka and Loma rounding the month out with 19 agrees each.
December’s most promising discovery is the Brussels-based three piece ‘Pale Grey’. The band defies genres by creating expansive soundscapes that combine organic textures and electronic elements. There are echoes of SOHN and James Blake, with flecks of glitchy percussion darting in and out of warm pads and restrained guitar licks. However, they are firmly rooted in Indie, with subtle melodic work taking centre stage, not too dissimilar to MGMT’s eclectic blend of elements. They were discovered by Sien Azou five years ago, so it’s been a long journey for Pale Grey. It was the official video for their single ‘Seasons’ that finally saw them labeled as promising by our community; the track is characterised by a beautiful soaring vocal that drifts over a bed of glassy guitars and a thumping bass line - it’s quintessential Pale Grey listening. I’m sure, given their ability to write gorgeously emotive records, that we’ll see a lot more of the Belgian band in 2018.
BlubbBlubb is becoming something of a regular in these monthly overviews, the noteworthy HumanHuman user was responsible for discovering Montreal’s Helena Deland over a year ago. The Canadian songwriter was announced as the first signing to Gorilla vs. Bear’s new label ‘Luminelle Recordings’ on the back of her beautifully melancholy debut EP ‘Drawing Room’. It consisted of two singles, ‘Aix’ and ‘Baby’, both of which lit up the blogosphere with Deland’s signature sumptuous combination of analog warmth and stirring vocal writing; a blend that evokes memories of Fleetwood Mac and nostalgic notions of summers past. As HH user Hillydilly wrote: “It goes without saying that Deland's on to something special here, and, really, when you dig into the lyrical composition of “Aix” (and also her first release, “Baby”), there are some exquisite sections to be found.” Keep an eye on Deland, this is poised to be a big year for her.
Two years ago Parisian tastemaker Sodwee added fellow Frenchman ‘Glabs’ to HumanHuman. Not much was known about the emerging producer, songwriter and vocalist at the time; just that his music was emotive and minimal with shades of a Woodkid-esque melodic sensibility. Five songs later Glabs is still flying somewhat under the radar, having garnered looks from a handful of press outlets; the HH community is confident that he will take off this year, with the beatsmith earning an impressive 19 agrees. His own brand of subdued indie-electro is infectiously earnest, drifting into Jamie Woon territory then pivoting into a Bon Iver-like harmonic zone. Glabs’ vocal rides softly on his synth laden soundscapes, occasionally creating a satisfying dissonance that makes the music feel connected and tactile. We look forward to hearing what Glabs has been working on since his last EP, we’re sure it will be worth the wait.
Berlin’s Jinka was discovered five months ago by Melissa from MusicalHeARTBeat, after releasing her debut single ‘Trash From The Past’. Having been debuted on the pulse-making publication The Line Of Best Fit, the track quickly found its feet; obtaining a flurry of quality press clippings from the likes of Highclouds, Going Solo, Kick Kick Snare and Indie Shuffle. As Jinka herself explained, “Trash From The Past might make you feel like you’re attending a Formula 1 race, while there’s seagulls fighting over a piece of hot dog right next to you, but if your ears are sonically hardened and you get past this initial phase of irritation, I hope that the listener becomes intrigued by the power of its binary stop-and-go structure.” Her assessment of the song speaks to its unique sonic fingerprint, fizzing with disjointed distorted synths and throttled percussion that darts in and out, steadied only by Jinka’s enigmatic vocal performance. It’s a winning sound that she carried forward into consequent releases ‘Flesh To White To Black To Flesh’ and her most successful track to date ‘Shock Mounted’ - the track which saw her tip over to ‘promising’.
Loma closes out the final Most Promising list of 2017, with a more than respectable 19 agrees. Added to the site by perennial winning picker Niels Bruwier of Dansende Beren, the collaborative project is made up of the enigmatic shoegaze duo Cross Record and Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater. Amazingly, Loma managed to collect their feature in less than two months, having released the video their incredibly impressive debut single ‘Black Willow’ in November. It becomes less of a surprise when you consider the support it garnered, getting pickups from Gorilla Vs Bear, DIY, CLASH and Stereogum who described it as, “a sinewy and chilly track that feels expansive as Emily Cross and Meiburg’s vocals intertwine.” The music is hauntingly effervescent, throbbing with character and charisma; perfectly positioned harmonies tangle themselves amongst furtive percussive synths and a steady drum-beat. Fans were treated to an early Christmas present when the second single ‘Relay Runner’ was announced in December; both tracks are to released via Sub Pop in February 2018.