January is all about renewal and looking forward so with that in mind here are 18 acts from around the globe who we reckon will be on your playlist rotation this year. Some you may know, but our criteria is based on picking acts you won’t see in other lists or new acts we already love and support.
Signed to Domino Records, Superorganism is made up of eight musicians from London, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, seven of which now calling London home in the same house. Their electro-pop sound is making waves around the world with the latest track ‘Everyone Wants to Be Famous’ already clocking up over three hundred thousand views on YouTube since it’s release three weeks ago. Their debut album is out on March 2nd and you can catch them at Forbidden Fruit festival this year.
Dublin-based band Tribal Dance is made up of Adam Smyth, Stephen Dowling and Leo Clarke, formed with the explicit desire to play live shows. Their first and only release so far, ‘Flongo’, sent out waves of excitement, relying on intricate guitar notes, garage-rock vocals and interlocked percussion. Math-rock has returned to the Irish music scene.
Californian born 16-year-old Billie Eilish’s debut track ‘Ocean Eyes’ was written and produced with her brother Finneas O’Connell when she was only 13. It was originally posted on Soundcloud with the intent to show it to her dance teacher and class, within two weeks the track hit 1 million views. Her debut EP don’t smile at me came out on Interscope Records last year and embodies her moody teenager aesthetic. Ruth Cronin called her style ‘petulant pop’.
Harmonic electro-pop duo
London-based duo Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville or IDER signed to Glassnote Records last year. With singles such as ‘Nevermind’ and ‘Learn To Let Go’ they have encapsulated a sweet electro-pop sound for themselves with majestic harmonies. They made their Irish gig debut at Electric Picnic last year. You can catch them at Rich Mix, London next month.
Australian five-piece synth-pop group Parcels were discovered by Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter at a gig in Paris, he then went on to co-produce their debut single ‘Overnight’ which has reached over 15 million streams on Spotify. They play an impressive 25 sold out shows around the world this year. They were due to play Body and Soul last but due to technical difficulties Ireland are still waiting on a gig.
Scottish band Golden Teacher have a Chk Chk Chk vibe going on with them and their just-released debut album No Luscious Life is a fun release of electronic funk and afrodisco vibes. This album opener sets out their ESG-esque punk funk stall. Give me more.
Bicep – Metro
From a new Glue EP, comes this mechanised weapon from the two Belfast boys who know how to cut through the noise like few other producers.
IDER – Body Love
The London-based duo of Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville have been becoming increasingly reliable for releasing sweet electronic-tinged harmonic pop and ‘Body Love’ is further proof.
Yaeji – Drink I’m Sippin On
New York City and Seoul-based producer Kathy Yaeji Lee just releasesd EP2, on the Godmode label, the same imprint run by Nick Sylvester that brought you Shamir (before he signed to XL or turned to drab indie). ‘Drink I’m Sippin On’ is a low-slung percussive trap-esque electronic song with ice-cold house and pop shades with Korean as the main language.
Avalon Emerson – One More Fluorescent Rush
Fresh from her appearance in Dublin over the weekend, Avalon Emerson released this evocative track on the Whities label. It’s a building slice of arpeggiated magic, a rush as the title suggests. I’ll definitely be playing it at Lumo on Friday.
The Juan Maclean – The Brighter The Light
A new track from DFA stalwart that stretches itself out brightly across eight minutes of piano house accompanied by three remixes by Australia’s Len Liese , DJ Tennis and Octo Octa. While The Juan Maclean is both John Maclean and Nancy Wang, the latter has been busy with a certain LCD so that explains the deeper club nature of this track. A new Juan Maclean album will be released in 2018.
YouandEwan – Stranger (Glad Eye mix)
YouandEwan’s There Is No Right Time was a sleeper album hit in 2016, marking Yorkshire’s Ewan Smith as a versatile producer. For this new release for Luna Via, the tracks are deeper house cuts and ‘Stranger (Glad Eye mix)’ is almost like his take on Luke Vibert’s ‘I Love Acid’ in its hypnotic construction.
Complete Walkthru – About to Get Laze
From a new release on Irish label, First Second, New Yorker Max McFerren’s Complete Walkthru project has a throwback breaks club feel on the lead track ‘About to Get Laze’.
The Cyclist – Inhale / Exhale feat. Tanaya Harper
Another track recommendation to follow up last week’s, from the new album Sapa Inca Delirium from The Cyclist. ‘Inhale / Exhale’ is a fast-paced nine-minute track with passages of jilting bass, percussion swerves and Harper’s calming influence on the latter half of the song.
Joe Goddard – Ordinary Madness (Jeremy Greenspan Big Big Loves remix)
From the Electric Lines Remix EP 1, also featuring reworks by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smyth, Rimbaudian (DJ Seinfeld) and Wajeed comes the Junior Boys take on the trck, which has suitably Junior Boys vibes.
An absolute electronic monster from Fort Romeau on Running Back. ‘Emu’ is the 6-minute lead off track from the release and it moves from propulsive mechanical synth dance to siren-building constructions. It sounds great in a club as I confirmed at Lumo this weekend.
‘Day I Die’ is a highlight among many on Sleep Well Beast, which may well be The National’s most interesting and rewarding album yet. It’s a song that echoes the rest of the album’s themes – the difficulties of being in a long-term relationship (somewhat complicated by the fact that Matt Berninger’s wife co-wrote the words).
Mount Kimbie’s new album Love What Survives finds them moving away from post-dubstep towards kraut and electronic textures. I love this instrumental that falls somewhere between the middle with cheap car horn sounds, noise rock and intertwining synth lines.
Every time I listen to this, It confirms my gut feeling that Dermot Kennedy is going to be absolutely huge.
LCD Soundsystem – ‘Other Voices’
My current favourite from James Murphy’s American Dream. Their 3-night residency in Dublin’s Olympia confirms the vitality of a reformed band that ironically make their reputation from being jaded. Murphy is the ultimate micromanager, changing bass amp settings, loosening the cymbal and memorably, scrubbing out a song with a black marker on every member of the band’s setlist.
The Northern Irish artist has since been developing her music with the support of Cork label Feel Good Lost. The just-released Hold On is the first public sign of that development, an emotionally resonant song written produced by Nick Raynor with a delicate chorus line.
New Jackson feat. Margie Lewis – There Will Always Be This Love