Two years ago, I ran a series of guest posts from people involved in Irish music featuring their top 5 Irish acts at that moment. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to international and ask a similar question – “Who are your top 5 new artists of 2011?”. In this series, musicians, bloggers, record shop owners, journalists, bookers and radio presenters will be answering that question.
Disco Naïveté is one of the best new music blogs to appear in the last couple of years as well as being one of the few who really has a very unique and strong design identity. The site is run by Jarri and here’s his top 5 new artists of 2011 (in no specific order).
1. The Weeknd
No need to introduce The Weeknd – Abel Tesfaye and the rest of his XO-crew basically blew up the internet a couple of times in 2011. Two excellent r&b-infused mixtapes – with one more to come – are responsible for their deserved hype.
2. Youth Lagoon
Trevor Powers is the genius behind the lo-fi bedroom project Youth Lagoon and he writes fragile, emotional songs about his life which grabs you and doesn’t let you go, not even for a second.
Clare Maguire is responsible for one of my favorite pop-albums of 2011, yet heavily overlooked by the rest of the world. Her big, loud voice sings these huge-but-not-cheesy pop anthems you love the moment you hear them.
Katie Stelmanis has the voice of an opera-singer yet fronts Austra. Their debut album Feel It Break is a full-length that explores the darker side of pop. It never leans towards the heavy sound of witch house but has this sinister vibe to it without losing the charm of pop music.
5. Lana Del Rey
No one gained so much love and hate in 2011 as Lana Del Rey. Her lips created quite the buzz on the internet, but what’s more important here is her music. ‘Video Games’ is loved by all, despite the backlash she’s been getting.
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.