Here at LSRadio we thought we’d give you a few of the bands we’ve found most exciting over the Summer. These guys have all, in one way or another, been picking up some serious recognition, so check them out!
Not exactly new, 212 was one of the biggest songs of last year and garnered a lot of attention for Azealia’s particular strand of recently popular, super swearing and excellently explicit rap music. However there is lots of material to be discovered, with myriad free mixtapes out there, Azealia deserves to have much more of her repertoire known. It’s just as brash and rude, but often darker, shorter and more intense. Top that all off with multiple internet firestorms, a penchant for brilliant outfits and ties to NY’s recently expanding queer rap scene then you have a rap star to believe in, the test comes when her album finally comes out.
Album to Get: Fantasea
Song: 212, although Liquorice is also well worth a listen.
See Also: Zebra Katz– Vogue influenced, heavy NY Rap from this Gay Icon and friend of Fashion man Rick Owens.
Starting out as a solo project, Dan Smith’s Bastille project has been gathering speed recently. Their DIY heritage is evident in the production of their synth based electro pop, as is a desire to darken the more upbeat parts of their favoured genre. For example their recent mixtape “Other People’s Heartbreak” contains 7 brilliant covers of pop hits, such as “What Would You Do?” or “Titanium”, cut and screwed into melancholic forms, Smith’s vocals effortlessly wrapping themselves around other people’s words. Their own work is just as impressive and definitely worth enjoying, “Flaws” being their most recent.
Album to Get: Other People’s Heartbreak
Songs: “What Would You Do” or “Bad Blood”
Chicago based Rap collective BBU (or Bin Laden Blowin’ Up) make conscious rap, rap concerned with issues of race, sexism, misogyny and politics. However this isn’t a lecture, it’s fast, hard and impassioned rap that calls out the situation in America and the world with astounding clarity, wit and fun. Indeed despite their harsh and often depressing subject matter, they manage to make it all danceable and enjoyable, which is probably the best way to spread the word.
Album to Get: bell hooks
Songs: “The Hood” or “Chi Don’t Dance”
See Also: Das Racist– BBU’s spiritual father’s and general icons of conscious rap/ absolute stoners. Expect some politics, some truly hilariously ill thought out songs and rhymes about Sanskrit, South American dictators and the pros and cons of various fast food outlets.
The project of Elena Tonra and Igor Haefeli (both of whom have unfairly excellent names) Daughter is an exercise in incredibly dark and tormented folk music. It is multi textured and layered around Tonra’s haunting voice, songs often building from the lyrics into an immersive sound in which, if Tonra’s melancholy is anything to go by, to drown yourself in. Yet it is beautiful in its dark way, and certainly will stay with you on dark nights.
Album to Get: The Wild Youth
Songs: The Woods, Youth
Current Queen of Canada’s excellent music scene, Grimes falls in with the electro songstress crowd; her set up is really just her, several important looking machines and a voice loop. It’s the last that is important. There has been a glut of DIY electro musicians recently, and it is Grimes’ willingness to use her voice as an instrument that helps to mark her out. It’s ghostly nature helps to combat the thumping and complicated drum beats she programs, making something that is joyous to listen to, a cut over the others, it possess a groove to it that makes it instantly danceable, but also lovely for its own sake. It’s not club music, but played loud enough it would still get everyone moving.
Album To Get: Visions
Songs: Genesis, Oblivion
See Also: Braids– delicate chillwavers par excellence. They’ve created an expansive, almost orchestral sound, with high and extended vocals that really can be truly beautiful. Combined with some quite poetic lyrics (if a bit nonsensical) they are an excellent prospect.
Elusive Montreal based duo, formed from half of Gobble Gobble, Purity ring are working hard to spearhead a new kind of electro. It is chopped and warped, beats are stopped and stretched, breaks pushed through spaces they never should have occupied, but are suddenly divine in. They call it “future pop” and it comes with its own language, Singer Megan James admits to simply cherry picking lyrics from old journals, giving an unbelievable amount of interpretations of each song, and the cut and paste nature falls into this ethereal maelstrom of sound perfectly. It’s deep and glitchy, and some people won’t get it, but it is definitely worth persisting with.
Album to Get: Shrines
Songs: Belispeak, Fineshrine, Obedear
Mmoths– An Irish 18yr old making warped out pop from his bedroom, it’s every bit as beautiful for it and his track “Summer” was one of the best of the year
– Young Magic– Samples from “You With Air” feature on Purity Ring’s “Grandloves” and they make some excellent electro, basing much of their work on west African drum rhythms and throwing in the noises of car keys, coins and phones. It’s eclecticism at its best.
One of East London’s finest prospects at the moment, their recent release of a free untitled album was a real statement of intent. They produce driving and intense guitar music, backed up keys. It is almost relentless in its energy and the husky, bored vocals just float above it, making it seem effortlessly cool, as if they all simply started playing together and produced this.
Album to Get: Untitled
Songs: AK, Sane 1, Extended Cut
Public Service Broadcasting-
More of a project than a band, PSB took it upon themselves to remix old service announcement movies from the second world war. None of the vocals are their own, all garnered from these movies, but the sound tracks they apply compliment them perfectly, each track has a tone to it that fits around its subject matter, the driving uncertainty of “If War Should Come” or the insistence of “London Can Take It”. It’s odd certainly, but well worth the listen.
Album to Get: The War Rooms
Songs: London Can Take It, Spitfire
/ by Louis van Kleeff