Spotlight on Switzerland’s Emerging Artists

Guest article by Orange Peel

For anyone who is familiar with HumanHuman, you’ll know that our community is built on users from all around the globe. Throughout October, we’ll be getting to the heart of the promising music scenes in some our user’s home countries to find out what the rest of the world should be listening out for in the near future.

Switzerland, a tiny spot on the map but also a country with a pop music scene that has always been quite different from others. Switzerland doesn’t only have four different national languages but a lot of the music that is released often seems like it’s only produced for a Swiss audience. Over the last few years however, the Swiss independent music scene has slowly been evolving and has gotten international recognition as well. With promising artists like Sophie Hunger, Bonaparte or Silver Firs already having a fan base around the world, there are also some more emerging artists that are definitely worth keeping an eye on. Moreover, Switzerland is going to be the lead international partner for next years The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. Artists like Evelinn Trouble, Klaus Johann Grobe, OY and more have already had the chance to showcase their talents on this important international stage. That's why the team behind Orange Peel (Benedikt Geisseler, Simon Gwinner, Kilian Mutter & Sabrina Stallone), a diversified Swiss music blog that covers all kinds of contemporary pop music, have put together some of the most interesting emerging artists from Switzerland in this post.

Klaus Johann Grobe

We already mentioned that they played at The Great Escape Festival but by no means is this the last time that Klaus Johann Grobe will play abroad. Originally from Zurich and Basel, the duo have already toured across Europe since they released their debut record Im Sinne der Zeit (which loosely translates to “Sense of Time”) on a record label from the states and their fanbase is probably bigger abroad than in Switzerland. With a german name, german lyrics and german influences that may surprise some, Klaus Johann Grobe have a very energetic groove that everyone understands, no matter what language you speak. Strongly influenced by the Krautrock movement of the early ‘70s, the duo fuses synth pop with lush organs that wander into psychedelics driven by crisp drums. - SG

Nadine Carina

Earlier this year we proclaimed Nadine Carina’s album Fading Lights as one of the best Swiss contemporary pieces of music - a few months have passed by and we still couldn’t agree more with our verdict. Her latest full length Never Been To Heaven was released on Oh, Sister Records, the label that has grown to become a tastemaking institution for music lovers. Indeed, the collective sealed its reputation when signing the artist from Switzerland’s very own idyll, the Maggia valley. Nadine Carina’s bewitching music ties in with the wave of R&B infused dream pop that has been putting butterflies in our stomachs for the past year. After all, on one of the album’s peak tracks, she sings that “the sea is an ocean in my dreams.” Come on, what’s not to love about that?! - SST


It all has to start somewhere... For Cedric Streuli aka Buvette it was during the off-season months in the ski resort and hometown Vevey, where he recorded his first bunch of songs with a small Casio keyboard and a sample machine. A few years later with three records on his shoulders, he released his what might just be his strongest record yet via French label Pan European Recording. The dynamic DIY pop with a sensitivity for repeating Krautrock melodies and the rational vocals remind us of the late-80's. As a drummer for French producer Koudlam amongst others, Buvette also has a hand for catchy rhythms to stretch your legs too. A stretch you’ll most definitely need, while he takes you on an adventurous journey through his very own sonic spheres. - SG


The two artists behind this unpronounceable (it’s ‘alpha equals F over M’ incase you were wondering) band name have already played in renowned Swiss bands such as Dans La Tente, Silver Firs, Wavering Hands and Evje. Now, Belia Winnewisser and Rolf Laureijs combine all of their experience together to create their own take on dynamic synth pop. After a few singles last year, they released their debut EP Aporien at the start of the year. They captivate with splendid melodies, computer-generated percussions and vocal harmonies that melt your hearts. While tracks like “Still Your Thirst” dive into lynchian atmospheres, others such as “Body Collide” will keep you dancing under a sky full of stars. Without a shadow of a doubt (regardless of whether you can say their name or not) α=f/m are definitely one of Switzerland's greatest gems right now! - BG


While Hyperrealism is the movement that brings in the personal and emotional into visual realism, IOKOI tags her work as #hypercyberrealism, playing with the boundaries between the intimate, the material and the ungraspable. Her single “Body/Head” exemplifies this wonderfully. Whilst the artwork to her debut album Liquefy perfects it with the striking close-up of a grimace - the intimate - shown through clear plastic - the material. IOKOI is the alias of Mara Micciche, who has been a prolific musician in the Zurich scene for over a decade. For her current project she has joined forces with a handful of Swiss musicians to found the label OUS, which released Liquefy in all its spheric, ethereal electronic-soul beauty earlier this fall. - SST


The three brains behind TOUCH are all familiar faces in the small but very versatile music scene of Lucerne. While two of them have already played together in bands like Dans La Tente or Silver Firs, drummer Dominik Bienz has his background in darker territories. Their influences span from contemporary pop over to dark R&B whilst also incorporating repetitive guitars inspired by krautrock and something they call “post-digital folk”. Gently sweeping synthesizers melt together with moony guitars, cautious drums as the washed-out voice of Christoph Barmettler tops things off wonderfully. His lyrics shine in simple purism, while the dismantled instrumentation push the neatly arranged details even more into the focus of the listener. Their self titled debut record was released earlier this year, offering a glimpse of how contemporary pop music could sound like. - SG

Rio Wolta

Twenty-six-year-old Rio Wolta tries to relieve us from the suppression of our dreams. His songs represent the desires of a whole generation that is stuck with career goals, arm races in the gym and safety plans. Reminiscent of Matt Berninger and sometimes of James Mercer, Wolta’s vocals always feel like they’re speaking from his heart. It's the romantic anthems, melancholic melodies with a twist of rock'n'rol thrown in for good measure, not to mention the honest lyrics that hit us hard. Released last year and celebrated with dancing machines Swing For A Nation, Wolta’s debut record is an absolute must listen! - SG

One Sentence. Supervisor

One Sentence. Supervisor are band based in Baden who released their debut album This Heavy Sea two years ago. Since then, their fan base has been growing on an international level. Over the last year the outfit have periodically been sharing new tracks that together make up their upcoming record Temporär Musik 1-13, which will be released on October 28th through Oh, Sister Records. With a penchant for kraut-pop (again!) combined with their signature infectious indie-rock, the band beautifully combine the past and present in their new releases. With hypnotic vocals they try to impart a political expression which is mirrored by the repeating drums that feel like the heartbeat of the band’s sound. - BG


After having made his first steps in music within the hardcore and industrial scene of Switzerland, Samuel Savenberg created a moniker that stands for thunderously, noise-heavy yet sometimes rhythmical electronic music. SSSS is the grimmest act to be featured in this list, but at the same time, it’s also one of the most interesting. His recent releases on Milan-based experimental label Haunter Records, “Administration Of Fear” and “Just Dead Stars For Dead Eyes”, have gained nothing but praise from international critics and allowed him to play renowned venues and festivals such as Berghain, HeK Basel, Café Oto or Bad Bonn Kilbi. - KM


It was the LSD-loaded video to his track “Zuckersee” which made Switzerland aware of the musical talents of St. Gallen-based producer Wassily earlier this year. Even though his pseudonym is of greek origin and recalls Russian expressionist Wassily Kandinsky, his music doesn’t really have any eastern influences. Combining dreamy electronic soundscapes with elements of IDM and hip-hop, it’s the kind of music that throws you back to the short prosperity of chillwave without reminding you of how few good acts there really were back then. In addition to his solo endeavour Wassily is also part of an outfit called DACHS, a band that cleverly combines the Swiss German language with electronic indie pop. - KM

This article is written by Orange Peel and was published 3 years ago.

Orange Peel is a diversified Swiss music blog covering all kinds of contemporary pop music.

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