Missouri singer SZA has been a firm favourite of mine since discovering her in the early half of 2014. She makes wavy, psychedelic R&B and neo-soul, similar to Kelela and Jhené Aiko, and she has a voice that will say with you for days.
California singer Gavin Turek may as well have stepped out of 1970s. She’s making new dance music with an obvious admiration for old-school disco and the electro of 70s and 80s.
As well as singing and songwriting, Turek has contributed to music by TokiMonsta and soul man Mayer Hawthorne’s group, Tuxedo. She’s also release tributes to Donna Summer and electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder.
Kicking off 2017 in operatic style is the return of London Grammar.
Guitarist Dan Rothman, multi-instrumentalist Dominic ‘Dot’ Major and vocalist Hannah Reid rocked the hearts of all who heard their melancholy music when they debuted four years ago. The trio’s album, If You Wait, contained deep pools of emotion capable of bringing tears to the eyes.
Closing out the bitter slog that was 2016 are a band who are bringing the sunshine grooves of the Caribbean to the urban metropolis. The Hempolics are a little-known ska band from London, who have steadily been crafting their sound for over a decade now. They have received attention from radio, not to mention the fellow musicians, such as La Roux, Eliza Doolittle and Paolo Nutini.
British folk singer Marika Hackman released her haunting debut album, We Slept at Last in 2015. That album was all original material, none of which appeared on her trio of EPs which preceded it.
Continuing her zeal for new music, Hackman has come up with spins on some Christmas favourites and a couple original songs for her first ever holiday EP.
French songstress, Laetitia Sadier, makes music that seems to be intrinsically anti-commercial. Here second solo album, Silencio, confronted politics and power, asking whether we are really better off under constant surveillance, and whether our leaders truly have our best interests in mind. Art-house philosophising of this kind is frequently shirked, but that doesn’t stop it being important – and it helps that Sadier delivers her oral treatise with melodic aplomb.