Here are four talented artists to watch out for in 2014, promising to deliver exciting new music in 2014.
London producer and singer Ofei released some of the most intriguing tracks of 2013, preaching a bruised urban gospel through a fragile but defiant take on nu-soul. What was most noticeable on tracks like London and Tomorrow was his command of space, the architecture of his sonic world clearly defined with addictive clipped piano phrases and MJ theatrics. And then there is his unique vocal – it is no slick r ‘n’ b falsetto, but a voice that crackles and stutters like old vinyl. It falters slightly, playfully, and then, in strange inflections finds strength and truth. As an artist, Ofei has managed to maintain a mystique but that may all end in 2014 with February seeing the vinyl release of the London EP via One Little Indian.
Aaron Powell’s glitchy bedroom melancholia is special. You can hear the click of his lips as words are formed and the sound of instruments being played rather than just the sounds of instruments – it all goes to create an intimate, haunting and beautiful listening experience. Over the course of his releases, the young Newfoundlander has grown into his own sound, one where brooding and delicately structured downer-pop songs merge with ambient passages. At its best, Fog Lake is reminiscent of Sparklehorse. Virgo Indigo released on Orchid Tapes on February 4th promises to be his finest work yet.
With their debut album due for release in 2014, London duo Elephant are destined for big things. They deliver melodies that get under your skin, trojan-horsed by a complex contemporary pop swell where shoegaze, r n b, and soul combine in a neat woozy package. Elephant recall the sultry swing of Beach House but are altogether brighter, with Amelia Rivas’ vocal talents igniting dreamy synth lines like tinder.
Toronto cosmo-soul rap duo bizZarh have been around for a while as part of the 88 Days of Fortune collective yet it is with the release of the seductive stoned trip-hop of Pangaea that the Canadian’s finally push out in a new promising direction. Taking influences from Erykah Badu, Salt-N-Pepa and now Tricky, these young rappers’ continued experiments in hip-hop, pop, r & b and future funk are consistently captivating. 2014 could just be their year.