RADSOUND // SPOTLIGHT: TOP TEN TIPS FOR 2016

Originally published on Radsound

As we reach the close of the first month of 2016, the year has already thrown up some of the best emerging artists around, and in a midst of lists of who and what you should be listening to, here are our top 10 tips from Radsound HQ – each providing a soundtrack set to dominate the next 11 months….

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#1. JAGAARA

As music’s new favourite sister trio hailing from North London and making soulful pop – obvious Haim comparisons aside,  JAGAARA can only be set for good things in 2016. Having released one double A side single ‘Faultline/Heartbeats’ showcasing the sheer delights of the sisters’ luscious electro tinged sound, this year anticipates the release of their debut album and our expectations are starkly high. With the softly sweet vocals of Jane Edmondson hailing towards the likes of Fleetwood Macand Pat Benetar alongside soundscapes of sharp reverb soaked drum machines combined with swirling synths and subdued jangles of guitar, the outfit create a heartbreakingly melancholic atmosphere within every moment of their music, and one likely to capture the attention of all whose ears are graced by it in the new year.

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Listen to their Music

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#2. Agent blå

With a penchant for throwing up bands of alternative noir beauty (see MatkahaverskanThe Radio Dept, etc.),  Sweden strikes again in the form of Agent Blå – a young five piece hailing from Gothenburg. Having signed with Luxury to release their debut 7″ ‘Strand’, the outfit sit effortlessly amongst their label peers (WestkustHappy Hands ClubFarväl Till Ungdomen). With the intensity of the rhythm section relentlessly driving the track into darkness, hauntingly bleak bites of guitar laced with reverb and frontwoman Emelie Alatalo’s enchantingly icy vocals glide over the top to conjure up a sobering sense of melancholy and form a sound of grappling anxieties and harsh exhilaration. With this being merely the first taste of their music, Agent Blå already have an impressive amount to live up to, and we’re certain 2016 will see them do just that.

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Listen on their Bandcamp

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#3. Babeheaven

Toeing the line between spaced out 60s nodding indie pop and smoothly laidback electronica come Babeheaven – a newly emerged trio from West London. Luscious reverb laden vocals provided by front woman Nancy Andersen echoing Everything But The Girl dominate their tracks whilst dreamy hesitant guitars reminiscent of Mac DeMarcoKing Krule and the likes glide through the haze, and snaps of electronic beat alongside heavy sub bass drives their music into deeper, darker realms. While the lyrics dive into youthful aspirations and love, the resulting atmosphere is softly optimistic – likely to mirror the outfits’ year in 2016.

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Listen on their Soundcloud

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#4. Dios Mio

Providing a shroud of grey to proceedings come Dios Mio, a London based quartet intent on reclaiming a darkening allure for pop within their emotive post – punk noir edge. Having released a handful of singles prior, the end of 2015 saw the emergence of the band’s debut EP ‘Hinterland’, with an icy sound living up to its’ name brimming with an encapsulating mix of downcast sombre pop and snarling grunge afflictions. Whilst the delicate structures of every track are built on infectious shuffling rhythms, brusque basslines and restrained shimmers of guitar that build into waves of storming noise, the forefront of the outfit’s sound is the instantly enchanting tones of front woman Helena Coan, with delicate melodies and intertwining lyrics exploring ‘intimacy and enmity, religion and apathy‘, providing an enviable contrast between the musical scape behind. With further releases and shows planned for the year ahead and a sound so hauntingly unavoidable, Dios Mio are more than likely to be worth keeping a close eye on in the coming months

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Listen on their Bandcamp

 

 

 

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#6. shame

With little presence past their frantic live shows, shame are building a a raucous reputation as the year has turned and seem only set to continue. As purveyors of heavy erratic punk, the Brixton hailing  5 piece appear as an ode to abrasive youth complete with the energy of classic 70s attitudes whilst vocalist Charlie Steen summons the wild screams of Frank Black and those alike in his melodies as a wall of guitars, drums and bass explode and tear through the musical backing. Echoing the freneticism of more modern types of DrengeSlaves and neighbouring Fat White Family with an extra injected dose of carefree anarchism, the band leave a trail of musical destruction in their wake, and are another outfit to champion the line that modern rock is far from boring just yet, being likely to prove just so over the course of the year.

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#7. The Orielles

Having proved themselves with the ‘Hindering Waves‘ EP release in 2014, following up with the rattlingly infectious single ‘Space Doubt’  and ending the year on the release of the masterful ‘Joey Says We Got It’, alongside a handful of shows just about everywhere in the North, 2015 was a brilliant enough year for The Orielles as it was, but with the prospects of new music again on the horizon, 2016 is set to be even better for them – and everyone who gets to listen. With their music lying between the roots of classic shimmering 60s surf pop and the rough edged depths of lo fi garage backed with the incredible soft contrasting melodies of front woman Esme Hand-Halford, it’s all but impossible to not fall in love with The Orielles young, carefree yet effortlessly talented approach, and with every new addition they just keep getting better.

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Listen in on their Soundcloud

 

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#8. Cigarettes After Sex

Sliding understatedly into the ranks are Cigarettes After Sex, a project of Texan songwriter Greg Gonzalez now based in Brooklyn, and having been somewhat silently plotting since the release of their debut LP ‘I’ in 2012, they returned late last year with the beautifully sombre ‘Affection’ single, they are proving to be far from lost in the past already. Dubbed as ‘slowcore’ and drawing on a realm of distant burning guitars, softly retrospective – pop tinged vocals echoing lost loves and the likes, and lo fi crushes of drums, the wistful sounds of outfit are instantly encapsulating and trigger a wearily romantic air impossible not to charm – with their second album ‘II’ is due early in 2016 and a UK/European tour in March, great things can only emerge from the dark for Cigarettes After Sex.

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Listen via their Bandcamp

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