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.
October has come to end and we’ve entered the dark depths of Q4. Within weeks there will be an onslaught of Christmas songs, from Mariah to Slade - there will be no respite. Before we crash mercilessly into unrelenting holiday cheer, let’s take a look back at October. There were some seriously impressive discoveries this month, with a tight race for the top five most promising spots. As everybody rushed to fit their final releases of 2018, a few notable picks rose to the top of the pile. Your Smith, Dominic Fike, lemin., Dama Scout and Arima Ederra are October’s most promising and make up one of my favourite HumanHuman graduating classes so far this year.
October’s most promising pick, Your Smith, was added to the site four months ago by Ground Decibels. The Los Angeles based songwriter and artist has risen to prominence in the last year thanks to her infectious alt-pop sound; built upon warm organic sounds, the West Coast talent has developed a uniquely affecting aural identity. It’s Sheryl Crow meets Haim meets Carly Rae Jepsen - all the glorious catchiness with none of the kitsch. ‘Bad Habit’ stands out as a particular highlight from her debut EP of the same name; as Atwood Magazine wrote, “The EP tackles love, friendship, and Smith’s own vulnerabilities which is innovative, exciting, and extremely cool. She wears her heart on her sleeve just as easily as she invites you to a party, and as soon as the four songs are over you’re immediately inclined to listen to the whole thing again.” Her new single ‘Closer Than This’ (a cover of the St. Lucia classic) takes a slightly more restrained approach to her earlier work, with a foundation of jangly guitars, smooth harmonies and melodic counterpoints. It’s a winning formula that has seen Your Smith amass over a million streams on Spotify; filled with emotion and tender narrative-led writing, we are sure that she is here to stay.
Ten months ago MusicalHeARTBeat discovered an emerging Floridian artist by the name of Dominic Fike. There was chatter amongst blogger and A&R’s, everything was in place for a massively successful first release. The eventual drop did not disappoint with a flurry of positive reviews for ‘Don’t Forget About Me, Demos’, Fike’s debut EP. The writing is personal, almost like you’re listening to Fike’s diary entries - a style that drags you in and won’t let you go. The production is nonchalant and brash in equal measure; reminiscent of Ocean’s ‘Nostalgia, Ultra’ tape - filled with lo-fi percussion, analogue instrumentation and swirling vocal melodies. As Hypebeast wrote, “Comprised of six moody tracks, the project serves as a brief introduction to the Naples, Florida artist who reportedly inked a $3-4 million USD deal with Sandy Boys and Columbia Records, despite not having any singles released.” The very fact that a major was willing to put their wallet on the line for a relatively alternative sound confirms what listeners discover immediately - Fike is unbelievably talented.
Toronto has produced a glut of creative talent in recent years, lemin. is no exception. Formerly known as Lemon, the Canadian upstart rose through the HumanHuman ranks over the last year. Discovered by Parisian tastemaker Sodwee, here initial offering ‘Hold A: act 1’ got the blogosphere chatting but it was the subsequent follow-up single ‘My Body’ which really kick-started her ascent. Noisey described the track as follows, “The weightless ballad has the kind of strong melody and emotive chord progressions that Diane Warren would've killed for in 1997, and lemin.'s textured vocal performance brings the percussion-bereft arrangement to life.” Her songs are expressive, allowing enough room in the production for lemin.’s sumptuous vocal to glide effortlessly, unencumbered. September saw the release of her second EP, ‘Hold A: act 2’, a continuation of her earlier work. It premiered exclusively on Billboard with lemin. noting, “I called the project hold A because in Mario Kart you ‘hold A to accelerate,’ and that’s what making this project felt like for me: accelerating into who I am, into loving myself, and into all that I am capable of.” Her capabilities aren’t in doubt, with two EP’s stuffed full of amazing songs I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from the Toronto based songwriter over the next twelve months.
Dama Scout was discovered two years ago by Matthew Kent (the fourth member of LANY). The Glasgow-based indie trio came together in 2016, consisting of vocalist Eva Liu and childhood friends Luciano Rossi and Danny Grant. Their debut single ‘Forget It’s Good’ saw a number of positive blog posts, with Highclouds writing, “Forget It’s Good is dreamy and airy, driven by the timeless vocals of a female singer that sounds half-present. Maybe a part of her is still in the 90s…”. Over the subsequent few years, Dama Scout released a flurry of well received records including ‘Suzie Wong’, which is currently approaching 200,000 streams on Spotify. Their most recent offering ‘Milky Milk’ is built on glassy guitars, a frenetic beat and a plucked bass-line that punctures everything in its way. Liu’s vocal adds soft texture, gliding charismatically over the distorted instrumental. If you want more context on the subject matter Dama Scout described the single thusly, “This song is milky in the sense that it was squeezed from a cow's teat into a bucket. We then gave a pinky of milk to each of our friends who proclaimed it to be 'good'. We churned the remainder into butter and added salt. We sold the butter as merch to pay for recording the drums.”. Obviously.
This month’s final pick comes in the form of Atlanta-based alt-R&B force Arima Ederra. Her debut EP ‘Temporary Fixes’ was an instant hit, becoming a favourite of the blogosphere that year. It was followed up by a feature on Noname’s stunning album ‘Room 25’, a collaboration seemingly made in heaven. Ederra’s soulful vocals are often layered, providing harmonic interest and delicate melodic punctuation - a pattern apparent on her most recent offering ‘Free Again.’ It is characteristically playful, with Ederra’s hazy vocals drifting gorgeously around effervescent percussion and subdued synths. As The Fader wrote, “the song moves like skipping through a forest on a sunny day... If you've been in a funk lately, maybe triggered by the state of the world or the end of summer, “Free Again” might lift you right up.” It is a charming expression of open wings, it will make you feel instantly energised on the first listen. There’s a unique sense of melancholy present in her writing, a positive one, a nostalgia-tinged sense of wonder. As Ederra herself noted, “‘Free Again’ is an ode to imagination, growing up and harnessing the childlike energy we all carry with us. It felt like an imaginary friend shaking up adult me, reminding me what freedom feels like. Or to at least reinvent what it means to me now.”