Known for: “Latch (feat. Sam Smith)”
Listen to: “You & Me (feat. Eliza Doolittle)” and “Stimulation”
Formed by Guy and Howard Lawrence, Disclosure is a U.K. brother duo that exploded into the scene with, “Latch” featuring newcomer, Sam Smith. Prior to their debut album Settle, the brothers released singles like “Flow” and an EP Control. The album Settle gained recognition in the U.K. and the U.S. for its irresistible beats. Settle features a number of musical acts contributing their talents to the album. London Grammar creates a dreamlike atmosphere to “Help Me Lose My Mind,” while Eliza Doolittle puts soul into “You & Me” over spastic electro beats. “Stimulation” will not disappoint if you want to get your groove on. Disclosure proves with Settle that you must party on, and party on we will.
Known for: “Cool Kids”
Listen to: “March Into the Sun” and “Come Together”
Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Echosmith is comprised of siblings, Sydney, Jamie, Noah and Graham Sierota ranging from ages 15 to 21. Their debut album Talking Dreams, was released in October 2013. Talking Dreams sounds like a long lost John Hughes soundtrack filled with Fleetwood Mac harmonies and new wave. “Cool Kids” hit the Billboard charts and became this year’s back-to-school anthem. “Let’s Love” and “March Into the Sun” have catchy hooks while “Come Together” has contagious lyrics that are bound to get stuck in your head. For fans of Paramore, give Echosmith a listen.
Known for: “I Wanna Get Better”
Listen to: “Rollercoaster” and “Shadow”
Formed by Fun. and Steel Train’s Jack Antonoff, Bleachers debuted with a bang with “I Wanna Get Better.” “I Wanna Get Better” became this summer’s jam with its catchy eighties synth-rock beats and choral chants (which are fun to sing at the top of your lungs). The album Strange Desire has a Psychedelic Furs and Modern English vibe and features duets with Grimes and Yoko Ono. “You’re Still a Mystery” sounds like the ultimate eighties-inspired love song that Lloyd Dobler (“Say Anything,” anyone?) would blast, standing outside your front lawn. “Rollercoaster” describes a love that is…well, like a rollercoaster, while “Shadow” provides a hooky toe-tapping beat that will comfort you “if you’re feeling small.” If you’re looking for a fun album with eighties dance beats, pick up a copy of Strange Desire.
Known for: “Habits (Stay High)”
Listen to: “The Way That I Am” and “This Time Around”
Swedish songstress, Tove Lo (pronounced “Too-va Loo”) gained popularity with her single “Habits (Stay High).” California producers Hippie Sabotage, added their own sullen flair to the melodramatic track. Tove Lo released her EP Truth Serum, in March 2014 and recently dropped her first album, Queen of the Clouds. Queen of the Clouds sounds like a dark soundtrack for Alice in Wonderland. Tracks like “Moments” and “Not on Drugs” start off quiet and escalate into ethereal noise. “The Way That I Am” has a gloomy atmosphere with striking lyrics. Tove Lo is slated to open for Katy Perry’s Prismatic Tour in Australia.
Known for: “From Nowhere”
Listen to: “Wanna Know” and “Sweet Disarray”
If Simon & Garfunkel had a jam session with Prince, the result would sound like Dan Croll. This British singer-songwriter released his debut album Sweet Disarray, this past March. The album kicks off with “From Nowhere,” a track with funky guitar grooves. “Compliment Your Soul” has a Jimmy Buffett beach rock vibe. “Sweet Disarray” has mellow acoustic guitars with Simon & Garfunkel-like harmonies, while “Wanna Know” is all about that funky bass and psychedelic vocals. Dan Croll is someone worth keeping a lookout for.
Known for: “Gangsta”
Listen to: “Crazy”
Katriana Huguet, better known as Kat Dahlia, was raised in Miami, Florida. Dahlia explained in an interview with Vibe Media that a past “toxic relationship” inspired her to write songs and she struck “writers gold.” Dahlia’s lyrics are sharp and meaningful. Her first single, “Gangsta” was released in 2013 and tells the story of Dahlia’s struggles growing up as she raps, “And my mommy started working days at the church / Finding faith in God ‘cause the real world hurts / So much evil lurks, they just make us work / But we can’t find work.” The track, “Money Party” is a cocktail of reggae and Latin pop. Dahlia sings about being head over heels in love in “Crazy,” a track that is one of Dahlia’s best. Dahlia’s debut album is waiting to be released sometime this year.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones
Known for: “Call Me”
Listen to: “Sugar Dyed” and “Broken Bones & Pocket Change”
When you first hear St. Paul and the Broken Bones, you think you’re listening to your parents’ old Motown records when in reality, you’re not. St. Paul and the Broken Bones is a seven-piece band from Birmingham, Alabama with a whole lot of soul. Singer Paul Janeway sings his heart out in “Call Me,” a song off their debut album Half the City. “Like a Mighty River” has a blend of blues and soul and “Grass is Greener” emits powerful vocals and soulful instrumentals. “Sugar Dyed” has an upbeat rhythm that will make you get up and dance. The band performed on “”Jimmy Kimmel Live!” back in June. If you’re a fan of R&B greats like Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding, then St. Paul and the Broken Bones is just for you.
Known for: “Batches and Cookies”
Listen to: “Bus Passes and Happy Meals” and “W.E.R.K. pt. II”
Lizzo broke out into the scene with the energetic, “Batches and Cookies (feat. Sophia Eris).” Over the past decade, Lizzo bounced from groups like The Chalice and GRRRL PRTY until focusing on her solo career. Her debut album LIZZOBANGERS, was released in 2013. LIZZOBANGERS is creative, fun and fueled by Lizzo’s delivery and inventive wordplay. Her knowledge of pop culture and history differs her from the rest along with confidence that exudes nineties female rappers like Missy Elliott. For example, in “Batches and Cookies” she raps, “Thrift store shopping look like Anna Wintour / You ain’t gotta ask about it ‘cuz I been hurr / Ridin’ in them chariots like we in Ben-Hur.” The track “Faded,” begins with an eerie calm and 40 seconds later, blasts off with an OutKast inspired, raging beat (think “B.O.B.” or “GhettoMusick”). “W.E.R.K. pt. II” is the shining track off LIZZOBANGERS, emphasizing to “Werk like a boss.” Make way because Lizzo has arrived.
Known for: “Are You Satisfied?”
Listen to: “In the Dark” or “Lonely Sunday”
Jordan “Reignwolf” Cook has opened up for the Pixies and Black Sabbath and headed over to Dave Grohl’s 606 Studio to record his anticipated debut record. He’s taking the world by storm as a one-man band. Reignwolf’s sound contains heavy blues guitars, distortions and channels Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath’s mystique. “Are You Satisfied?” is driven by blues riffs and Cooks’ howls. “In the Dark” has stomping drums and eclectic blues guitars. “Lonely Sunday” is a beast with electric fury that cannot be tamed.
Known for: “Be Good”
Listen to: “Swan Dive” and “Peace and Quiet”
For fans of Liz Phair or Sleater-Kinney, give Waxahatchee a whirl. Kim Crutchfield formed Waxahatchee in 2011. Waxahatchee released their lo-fi debut American Weekend in 2012 and two years later released Cerulean Salt. Cerulean Salt is a step up from Waxahatchee’s freshman album with amped up production and maturity. The album has nineties alt-rock undertones in tunes like “Coast to Coast,” “Misery Over Dispute” and “Peace and Quiet.” “Waiting” has simple guitars, yet the track’s simplicity makes the tune pleasant, while “Lips and Limbs” has an upbeat acoustic melody that’s a bit of a toe-tapper. “Swan Dive” sticks out from the rest of the album for its mellow guitar and Crutchfield’s soothing vocals. Waxahatchee deserves more praise for their poetic lyrics and shadowy imagery.