Most Promising Artists of January

Our monthly overview

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.

Familiarise yourself with these rising musicians and be sure to listen to the full playlist, showcasing all of January’s excellent finds.

There’s a special, undetectable magic in January. We return from a retreat into the holidays with renewed vigor and a thirst for the best music after the drought that is December. Looking back on this first month in 2016 and 2017, you can see why we’re holding so much hope out for the latest bunch of Promising Discoveries this year. Back in 2016, our top five were none other than Jorja Smith, Whitney, Quarterbacks, The Hour and Isaac Gracie - two years on and these finds are still going strong. Looking to just a year back, and January 2017 offered up a treasure trove of pop heroines with Bishat, Violet Skies, Meredith, Alexx Mack and Vagabon. So while some of the names below may be brand new to you, it won’t be long before they make a regular appearance among your go-to acts.

Still Woozy

35 agrees

Nine months ago, the ever-present discoverer Blubb Blubb (aka The Indie Curator) brought little known Oakland artist Still Woozy our way. A find that was followed with several tracks of warm textures, lo-fi textures, romantic imagery and a playful oddness that has quietly been pulling in agrees from our community. The turning point came with Still Woozy’s fourth release “Goodie Bag”, at which point Blubb Blubb has to question “who still sleeping?” and this is where many of us woke up to the unique talent of Sven Gamsky; the musician behind the wooziness. In a recent interview with Pigeons & Planes, explains that his moniker is not only a reflection of his music, but also of his personality too. “If you were to ask any of my friends, they'd say I'm always out of it and spacey. I have a tendency to go inside my head. Deep enough where I sometimes forget where I am. But this allows me to go to a really creative space, where my songs come from. In any situation, I'm able to slip into that other place. Even in a room full of people or loud sounds, I can space out for a bit.” In ways, tracks like “Goodie Bag” take your to that headspace with the gentle lull of hazy guitar lines, funk-leaning bass, syncopated drum (lifted from one of Gamsky’s vinyl records), plus the Californian’s easy-going croon. This project is all about connecting with the listener, and it’s safe to say that Still Woozy has made a home here at HumanHuman. - HT


23 agrees

The rural town of Matlock in the English country fo Derbyshire might seem like an unlikely location to find your new favourite party music makers, but that’s where Patawawa holds the element of surprise. With heavy doses of disco, soul, funk and French touch, the talented trio Rory Lovatt, Sam Wilmot and Beth Garrett have continued to climb the ranks since being discovered by Niels Bruwier (editor of Dansende Beren) two years ago. Now with 23 agrees and an ever-growing fan base, Patawawa have just released their Bedroom EP, hooking up producer Ted Cazey, digital artist Regards Coupables and French record imprint Splinter along the way. The standout track on the EP has to be “Patagonia”, a deceptively upbeat gem of chunky rhythms, hooky guitars and lead vocalist Garrett’s stunning vocal ascension. We say deceptively upbeat due to Wilmot’s honest explanation of the song’s origin, which “actually comes from a place of going out too much and trying to deal with the anxiety that comes with living that life. Which I guess sounds quite dark, but actually I think it has a great, uplifting groove and hopefully will help people get through the next few cold, wet winter months!” We can feel ourselves warming up already. - HT

Patagonia by Patawawa

The Howl & The Hum

23 agrees

Ten months ago, HumanHuman user AllSparks discovered York-based Indie rockers The Howl & The Hum. Their debut single “Godmanchester Chinese Bridge”, filled with nostalgic tinges of melancholy guitar, reverb-laden vocals and cascading drums, saw them gain a flurry of agrees. It was their new single “Portrait I” that saw the band tip over into promising territory; amassing a total of 23 agrees. As Clash Magazine wrote: “The Howl & The Hum aren't like other bands. After all, most bands aren't named after an Allen Ginsberg poem. Most bands don't play shows entirely in the dark. And most bands don't write their debut singles about their grandparents' golden wedding anniversary.” It’s true, their music is incredibly introspective, taking pieces of personal experience and twisting them into gorgeous odes to grander ideas - love, pain and joy. - LL

Lilly Ahlberg

23 agrees

Swedish songstress Lilly Ahlberg takes the fourth spot this month having been discovered by the undeniable force that is Hillydilly over three years ago. Amazingly, her official debut single “Bad Boys” was released only on January 5th this year via Universal. Ahlberg’s intimate vocal punctuates an otherwise restrained instrumental - a few carefully chosen synths lay the bed for “Bad Boys”, accompanied by a thumping beat that drives the listener through the chorus. Ahlberg clearly has a talent for writing hooks, with her melodies seeming almost effortless amongst the production. As Disco Naïveté wrote, “Lilly Ahlberg is next in the Swedish pop star line, coming a long long way since her Youtube covers and giving us a pretty perfect original debut with the breezy Bad Boys. This might not be edgy or cool or what-not, but it sure is a damn hit.” There’s a real charisma to Ahlberg’s performance, it oozes with that sense of scandinavian nonchalance; an almost instinctive charm. I look forward to hearing more from Ahlberg this year as she will undoubtedly be all over my fave spotify playlists. - LL

Lilly Ahlberg - Bad Boys (Lyric Video)

Emily Burns

23 agrees

A little bit of shameless self appreciation here; I discovered Emily Burns on the site over three years ago when she released her very first single “Control” way back in 2014. Since then, Emily has been on quite a journey, writing a bunch of new material whilst working on the reception at Abbey Road in preparation for a musical rebirth of sorts. Whatever direction the production takes, you can rest assured that the writing will always be considered, emotive and raw. There are flashes of Kate Nash, with playfully personal lyrics being unapologetically executed through Burns’ laid-back vocal. The new single “Bitch” saw an avalanche of new agrees and a number of blog posts on coveted publications. Released by 37 Adventures, the new record is an alt-pop masterclass; a thumping bass synth and rolling glitchy percussion underpin Burns’ disappointed musings on an ex-lover. The chorus rings out anthemically, “No, you don’t have to be a bitch about it.” Produced by fellow HH alum biLLLy, “Bitch” marks a new chapter for Emily Burns as an emerging pop force. - LL

Emily Burns - Bitch

This article is written by Lex Low and Hannah Thacker and was published 3 years ago.

Over the past few weeks, activity soared on Lynette Williams’ profile, and while the talented singer-songwriter has genuine fans within the community, we’re unwilling to include her in January’s top five discoveries due to the high percentage of fake accounts being used to boost the profile’s numbers. We know this thanks to our algorithms and careful monitoring of the community, one of music enthusiasts from across the globe who live for and love new sounds. With this in mind, we don’t believe that an artist who has reached 100% Promising through fake accounts should take precedence here. It’s something we don’t stand for and highly discourage the implementation of fraudulent users in the future. If your music is as good as you believe, have faith in our community, they’ll find you. - HT

Nothing playing