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.
Here we go, that familiar feeling of time racing away at an unprecedented pace. Wasn’t it Christmas a few weeks ago? Apparently March comes earlier every year, along with some inexplicably warm London weather. Maybe it’s the flash of Spring or my increasingly sunny Spotify playlists, but it seems like 2019 is going to be a stellar year for new music. This month’s most promising artists traverse genres, with the likes of Hak Baker and Maxmillian taking top spots. Without further ado, let’s run through a few of the most exciting talents we uncovered in February.
Two years ago HighClouds discovered a promising, emerging talent in Hak Baker - a British folk singer who was breaking all the perceived conventions of the genre. Something of a misfit, Baker was tantalisingly unique, poised to be an enigmatic breath of fresh air. His origins in the music industry came through MC’ing at Youth Clubs and local spots; it was during this time that a love of UK garage and grime collided with a fervent appreciation for indie rock. This foray into artistry was scuppered by run-ins with the law, that led to Baker spending some time in jail. It was here that he taught himself guitar and re-discovered his want to create. His music became solemn, introspective and searingly melodic and in turn he became a hotly tipped artist to watch. In December of last year the Isle of Dogs native release ‘Dopehead’, a single that saw support from the likes of Complex and Clash. The track sees Baker reflect on the trials and tribulations of life in London, singing with audible emotion about the effects of drug addiction. It present shadows of transcendent storytellers from Buckley to Ocean - with a gorgeously metallic foundation of acoustic guitars. Keep your ears peeled for new releases as the year progresses, you won’t want to miss them.
Scandinavian singer-songwriter Maximillian takes this month’s second spot, having been added to the site two years ago by Niels Bruwier. At the time, he had just released ‘Higher’ an expansive pop single with shades of Sam Smith. The vocal performance was indubitable, this was a seriously talented 18 year old. What followed was a string of stormingly melodious singles, millions of Spotify streams and support from tastemakers including The Line of Best Fit and Hillydilly. It was his most recent offering that finally tipped him over into this list; ‘Beautiful Scars’, released at the tail-end of last month, saw Maximillian open up his sound - plucked guitars, deep subs and a brash beat provided the perfect sound-bed for his crisp melodies. This is pop in its most energizing raw form; gloriously crafted hooks and head turning production.
February’s third spot goes to Swedish songwriter Simon On The Moon, whose discovery on the site comes courtesy of Blubb Blubb. His debut single ‘Hooked’ had the blogosphere buzzing, with a groove-laden combination of organic instrumentation and bold electronic production. Numerous publications saw the obvious potential, with Hillydilly noting - “The pealing vocal samples and electric-guitar like riffs are not unlike the production of NAO and A.K. Paul, but Simon On The Moon brings a fresh attitude to the scene here.” 1,500,000 Spotify streams later he released his follow up offering ‘Milk’, another effervescent slice of alt-pop with an R&B bend. Last month gave us ‘Lied 2 U’, which he described as a track that ‘will make you want to drive fast in an old Volvo through a rainy night.’ It certainly evokes a sense of nostalgic melancholy via a pulsating bass line, stacked harmonies and stuttered hi-hats. This is all topped off with a healthy dose of smooth falsetto that glides like water on glass. I’m excited for what’s to come from the Scandinavian star in the making.
Almost four years ago Oblivious Pop added Brussels based indie-pop pair RIVE to HumanHuman. There was clear potential for the duo to rise through the ranks of the indie scene, and this was crystalised in 2017 through their debut EP ‘Vermillion’ - as HighClouds noted, “Just like this red pigment, that is particularly toxic, the EP deals with love and its most painful struggles.” RIVE’s ability to craft rich soundscapes that ooze emotion is exceptional; providing the perfect framework for their poetic songwriting style, stuffed full with symbolism and significance. This particular pick is about as fresh as they come, with their debut album ‘Narcose’ dropping on the day of writing - it features singles ‘Fauve’, ‘Filles’, 3 tracks from ‘Vermillion’ and 5 brand new offerings. RIVE have always cared deeply about gender-equality and feminism has been a constant element in their narrative - ‘Narcose’ is no exception to this. Lead single ‘Filles’ features allusions to the writing of significant French women’s liberation writers, an impassioned call to action. It is this blend of social consciousness and lush, modern indie-pop production that sets them apart.
Sydney surf-rock four piece Body Type close out this month’s list of most promising artists. They were added to the site by Blubb Blubb three years ago on the heels of their debut single ‘Ludlow’, which ended up becoming a blog staple at the time. Influential curators such as i-D and The Fader lent their support with the former noting, “Self taught and free flowing, their signature scuzzy lo-fi pop sound comes courtesy of cheap and borrowed gear and an attic recording studio.” They exude a DIY vibrancy that draws the listener in, undoubtable energy is formed through sun-soaked guitar lines, bouncy bass and dizzyingly dynamic drums. Their self-titled debut EP was released in October and saw a flurry of positive critical response, the NME wrote a glowing track-by track review and some editorial support from Spotify followed. Harmonious hooks abound, with new tracks ‘Teeth’ and ‘Dry Glass’ showing a new side to the quartet’s carefree sound.