Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Continuing the four part series this week, in no particular order, in which various artists, media and music fans I trust answer the question: “What are your five best new musical discoveries of the year?” Their answers were then rummaged through by me and I picked a cross-section list of 40 of the most interesting, diverse new artists from their choices.

Thanks to Muiris Dunworth for creating a Spotify playlist of 34 of the artists. A Deezer version is here.

21. Angel Olsen

From: Chicago.
Chosen by: Alan Reilly (Bitzl R).

Heightened earthly accents, expressive range, subtle textures and wonky horn tones, make for one character-packed vibrato – with a vocal so rare it’s almost cartoonish, Angel Olsen needs little else when expressing her blues. She sings folk with a fragile ferocity and the hardness of a broken woman. Her debut Half Way Home is a record of psychedelic lyricism rooted in everyday language, ’60s pop swagger and country music expressions courting life’s tribulations: loneliness, deceit, and longing. She’s a member of Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s touring band so it’s not surprising that she sings heavy songs about the finality of death, questions of existence and aching lust. It’s also not surprising she does so with such acute humour and a hand-on-hip strut. (Alan Reilly)