9 new musicians to get you through early 2022
From the Ontario hardcore scene's DoFlame to British-Japanese artist Miso Extra and Phoebe Bridgers' new chaotic good fave, Underscores.
A new year deserves a new soundtrack. Sure, you can reflect on the 100 best songs of 2021 and maybe listen back to Shygirl’s epic NYE playlist every now and then, but as we reluctantly venture further into 2022, it’s time to move on. That’s where this list of young artists making nostalgic rap, club tunes for introverted party people and Gen Z nu-metal (it’s good, we promise) comes in.
While serotonin might be lacking right now, good music certainly isn’t. Read on to discover some of the best new artists to get you through early 2022.
Bone Soda know good music. Whether they’re throwing the ultimate fashion week event, making alien bongs endorsed by Beabadoobee or hosting that PinkPantheress after party, they can be relied on to show you a seriously good time. It’ll come as no surprise then, to hear that the London label’s latest release — an EP by Shutesbury, Massachusetts-born musician and painter Bekah CC called Summer’s Over – is awesome. The highlight? “Take Me To The Roof”, on which her soft laidback flow contrasts with Brodinsky’s dark production. The video sees Bekah channel Christina Ricci in Buffalo 66 with what she describes as feeling like “a sequence of memories” that also references a self-portrait by her favourite photographer, Francesca Woodman.
North London rapper AntsLive just levelled up with the release of his new single “TWEAKIN” and it's very aesthetic video, shot by one of i-D’s favourite young photographers, Tom Emmerson. In it, we join the 22-year-old as he drives down the westway, performs on London rooftops and rides his bike through the park with his mates. It’s a cinematic love letter to his city and a brilliant re-introduction to Ants, who has put out a handful of tracks in recent years (earning love from NTS and NoSignal) but nothing quite like this.
Who doesn’t like Midwestern emo? Are we not collectively basking in the pop-punk revival? And surely we’ve all, at some point in the past year, indulged in hyperpop? If you, too, sit at the centre of that glorious venn diagram you’ll love Underscores. The innovative young San Francisco artist also known as Devon Karpf really can do it all. In 2021, they released two albums, fishmonger and boneyard aka fearmonger, both chaotic adventures (with bonus Travis Barker drums) that dance through genres in a style befitting of their “new wave of the future” tagline. With their nostalgic, playful sound and a whole lot of talent, Underscores has built up a cult following of fans — including Phoebe Bridgers and 100 gecs — since their early days with soundcloud collective six impala. New Yorkers can catch them live at Baby’s All Right next week.
This is one for people who still worship at the altar of the early Tony Hawk Pro Skater soundtracks. 18-year-old Mateo Naranjo from Canada makes nu-metal-adjacent music as DoFlame. Coming up through the Brampton, Ontario hardcore scene and inspired by the likes of Suicidal Tendencies as well as old school hip-hop, Mateo started releasing music just last year. He and the rest of the OFFLEASH crew — including DEAR-GOD, who features on his debut single “Bat House” — appear to be the raging young heart of the city. With his lyrics (“think big, go hard” as the aforementioned single demands), DoFlame hopes to inspire other kids his age to speak up, get motivated and chase what excites them.
Canadian musician Nemahsis is not your token hijabi girl. And that’s exactly what she told a major beauty brand she was shooting a campaign for when they commented that while they weren’t going to pay her, it would be “a good look” for her community. They went ahead and used the images without her permission. It’s what prompted the Toronto-based artist — and modest fashion icon on TikTok, where she has over half-a-million followers — to write her debut single, “what if i took it off for you?” last year. Her follow up, “paper thin”, hits just as deep. Diaristic and drenched in emotion, Nemah’s compositions reveal the insecurities she felt growing up and has since overcome. And if this teaser of her forthcoming single “dollar signs” is anything to go by, there’s a lot more greatness where that came from.
It is always a good time for experimental, bilingual music. British-Japanese artist Miso Extra agrees. The Londoner, who pulls from her cultural melting pot of an upbringing — she cites anime, Bend It Like Beckham and old school hip-hop as key influences — makes what she calls “umami for the ears”. The video for her latest single “Deep Fried” sees Miss Miso take over a Japanese restaurant as she sing-raps about food as a love language, but it’s the summer hit “1013” that made it onto our best songs of 2021 list. Taken from her forthcoming Great Taste EP, over an addictive accordion-flecked hip-hop beat, she shares her frustrations with societal injustice in an increasingly digital-obsessed world. Deliciously relatable.
Joyce Cisse aka Flowerovlove has star quality. At just 16 years old, she’s already walked for XULY.Bët at PFW, appeared in campaigns for Gucci and Pangaia, and got the music industry excited. Inspired by artists including Solange and Tame Impala, she makes mellow, nostalgic tunes about self-love and gratitude with her older brother Wilfred. Her debut EP Think Flower is super cute but it’s the 2021 single “Malibu” that really got us hooked.
18-year-old producer, singer and Londoner Yunè Pinku makes music for her fellow introverted party people. The Malaysian-Irish artist only has two releases so far — one is a collaboration with Australian producer Logic1000 called “What You Like”, the other, “Laylo”, is very much her own. The latter, she told The FADER, “is essentially about being an anxious introvert trying to pull off a tough bravado. Kind of being around the trouble but being too scared to actually cause any”. Like what you hear? Check out her guest mix for Joy Orbison and keep an eye out for her next move.
Did you know that sometimes brain surgery is done without a general anaesthetic? It’s called awake craniotomy and patients are left conscious and alert in order to monitor functional areas of the brain related to movement and speech. There have even been cases of people playing instruments through their surgery, which is perhaps what inspired the video for Montreal-based French musician Ouri’s beautiful single “Grip”. Taken from her 2021 debut solo album Frame of a Fauna, the song’s visual sees Ouri deliver soft, comforting vocals as she plays bass while a couple of doctors cut into the back of her head. Incredibly intimate, the percussion mimics a steady monitored heartbeat across the stripped-back track. Ouri also plays the harp, cello, guitar and recently headlined Boiler Room’s Montreal DJ Showcase — is there anything she can’t do?
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