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.
This month, we’ve got a variety pack of pop candy: from Marna’s low-key experimental electro records to GIRLI’s energetic guitar laden productions, there’s something here for every ear. The top five changed right up to the day I submitted this article, eventually comprising of Marna, Boniface, Bien, BEFFROI and GIRLI. September’s picks are an ode to the long-game with three out of five artists being discovered over two years ago.
Marna was discovered by dearskye two years ago, amassing a whopping 23 agrees on her way to becoming this month’s table topper. Her debut single ‘Crossfire’ got the blogosphere chatting, combining James Blake-esque production with sumptuous pop vocal arrangements. Marna’s newest offering ‘Pure Gold’ vaulted her into even dizzier heights - coupling the sound she established on ‘Crossfire’ with a catchy hook that would usually sit atop a far more commercial instrumental. As Oblivious Pop writes, “The production builds itself until the ultimate finally where the track is locked in a glowing gold. Marna proves herself on this one as a true treasure in the current indie scene.”
The sky's the limit for Marna, who will surely look to build on her staggering momentum through the tail end of this year. There is a clear talent for crafting a song underneath the layers of production, suggesting that Marna has the foundational talent to continue her upwards trajectory and cement her place in the indie scene. As Parisian tastemaker Sodwee remarked, ‘Crossfire’ and ‘Pure Gold’ are ‘already instant classics’ - high praise indeed.
Coming in a close second is September’s very own Boniface. Having been discovered mere weeks ago by Daisy Digital, the Canadian indie-popper has already penned a deal with Transgressive Records. His debut single ‘I Will Not Return as a Tourist’ is bursting with expansive synths and rhythmic dynamism - it’s the kind of frenetic hybrid pop that would sit comfortably in an 80’s movie. Tinged with nostalgia and peppered with retro keys, it will leave you feeling deliciously melancholy.
Going Solo describes Boniface’s first offering as “a masterfully crafted piece of alt-pop, with majestic arrangements and a killing crescendo melody that reminds me of class acts such as Spoon or Tv On The Radio.” It will be interesting to see where he takes the sound on his second single, hopefully it’ll give listeners the same sense of slightly disjointed familiarity that peaked our users’ interest.
Yet another winning pick from Melissa over at MusicalHeARTBeat, who discovered electronic-pop pair ‘Bien’ over a year ago. Electric Dream, the title track taken from their debut EP, is a gorgeous combination of minimalist glitchy percussion, stacked vocals and glassy guitar fills. The writing evokes memories of 60’s harmonic pop, the record wouldn’t feel entirely out of place if it was placed in a playlist alongside the likes of Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles - however, the contemporary production style ensures it feels fresh.
“We wanted to write about those brief dreamlike magical moments in a relationship when everything seems perfect,” the duo explains. “The production goal was make make it feel as funky as possible with as few elements as possible.”
Highcloud notes, “With a slow beat, both singers Jessie Early and Angela Lauer vocals sync on perfect harmony.” Bien have fostered an almost choral vocal style, with each vocalist drifting in and out, intertwining and coalescing. It’s this ethereal interplay that sets them apart from their peers, giving them a unique sound to build upon.
Hillydilly tipped BEFFROI for success in 2015 when the Belgium-based band release their debut ‘Swim’. It bubbled away under the surface for a while, but eventually got picked up by the likes of Indie Shuffle who noted the pair’s potential. At the time of writing this article ‘Swim’ has amassed almost half a million streams on Spotify alone, whilst the follow up single ‘Faint’ sits at 200,000.
Their latest single ‘Jade’ finally tipped BEFFROI over the promising line, with Earmilk earmarking vocalist Rori’s “ethereal, highly emotional vocal performance”. Valentin’s production provides the perfect bed for this performance to lie on, with brooding synths and confident beat-work rolling steadily underneath the melody.
In their premiere for the standout record Crack in The Road wrote, “Jade manages to feel strikingly elegant whilst also being unnervingly honest.” The raw realness that BEFFROI capture in their songwriting is, by far, their most notable asset. You’ll feel every syllable and every note, fully immersed in the world they create.
GIRLI oozes energy, her music is creative manifestation of punk ideals in a pop world. Discovered by musicthatwelike two years ago, GIRLI’s balshy take on important issues saw the Londoner become a HumanHuman favourite straight away. Nowhere is this confident writing style more evident than on her new single ‘Hot Mess’.
“Hot Mess is about all the times I’ve been talked down to, patronised, told that I should change my songs, my look, my presentation… just because I’m a woman making music and not a guy,” says GIRLI. “Women are allowed to be loud, to speak their mind, to wear what they want and not be shamed for it, to be taken seriously whatever makeup they have on their faces or however much of their cleavage is showing. This song is my way of saying that!”
Guitars crash into brash drum beats, leading to an anthemic chorus that will have you singing ‘Hot Mess’ all day long. It’s pop music with guts, thoughtful subject matter doesn’t need to be sacrificed in the name of a catchy hook - you can have the best of both worlds, as GIRLI demonstrates.