New year, new music. Although we’re as excited as you are about the return from some of our most loved artists, it’s also the unpredictability that makes such a year special. There are numerous releases that will be in our ‘end of the year’-lists for 2017 which aren’t on our radar yet. Usually that’s the time when we should focus on new artists that deserve the spotlight. The BBC usually got its infamous ‘Sound of’-list for that but their selection has gotten quite boring over the past years as they often focus on already quite big newcomers with a major label background. Out of our dissatisfaction grew NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION‘s very own ‘Sound of 2017’ list, packed with eight new and fresh artists that deserve your attention. It’s an international and a bit edgier selection of talent we’ll keep our eyes on in the following months.
01. Shame (UK)
Where they come from: South London, of course
Why believe the hype: Ever since frontman Charlie Steen spit on us at last year’s Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg we are true believes, baptised by the charismatic madman and his gang. They got the energy, the playfulness, the non-conformance and the rare talent to mix raw anger with good melodies. They are a new generation of British rascals, one that could play the same level like the big historic characters we just mentioned, even though the days of the ‘big band hype’ might be gone for good. But Steen and the other lads show that the ugly beauty that once was labled ‘punk rock’ can still be a thing 40 years after the SEX PISTOLS first showed up. SHAME just released their first double single The Lick/ Gold Hole via Fnord and this year will see their fanbase multiply, trust us.
02. Fishbach (FR)
Where she comes from: Well, France obviously.
What she sounds like: The 2017 update of 80s infected wave pop in the tradition of DESIRELESS (you all remember Voyage, Voyage, right?), FRANCE GALL and MYLÈNE FARMER. Contemporary chanson sounds that are deeply rooted in the stylish sector of traditional new wave, delivered with a sensual but also sinister undertone which might make FISHBACH the dark equivalent to her French colleague CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS.
Why believe the hype: Flora Fishbach hasn’t released much more than one EP and a few demos so far but 2017 will be the year of a her big breakthrough. Her debut album À ta merci is set for a major release in her home country on January 27th and will arrive internationally later in the course of this year. The international debut EP called Y crois-tu (‘Do you Believe?’) is likely to be released outside of France this May, already presenting us haunting retro pop that is deepy driven by an undeniable romantic note. It’s a bit corny but FISHBACH manages to deliver this magic with dignity and a lot of personality; one that doesn’t call for fluent French, if you ask us. If you can’t stream the new track below find her debut EP over at Spotify.
03. Elohim (US)
Where does she come from: California. And as ELOHIM is someone who still hasn’t revealed her face or name two years into her career, and gave her early interviews using a voice distorter, that’s about all you’re getting in terms of info.
What does she sound like: Elite-quality electro-pop, from the sugar-rush hypermelodies of Sensations and Bridge And The Wall to the hushed haze of Xanax.
Why believe the hype: First of all, ELOHIM is an extremely talented songwriter and producer. You don’t write songs as razor sharp as her singles Bridge And The Wall and Hallucinating without knowing what you’re doing. But that talent isn’t what makes her special. What makes her music stand out is the ability to capture moments, feelings and the edge of experiences in her work, be it having your delicately balanced mood knocked off balance by a blowhard at a party on She Talks Too Much to living in anxiety’s world on Xanax. 2016 saw her embark on a US tour and release a debut EP, and there’s bound to be more to come in 2017.
04. Rome Is Not A Town (SWE)
Where they come from: Gothenburg (not Rome).
What they sound like: Sweden’s answer to SONIC YOUTH, an all female garage rock tornado formed by Kajsa Poidnak, Susanna Brandin, Caroline Kabat and Emma Wättring. They are young, reckless and destined to become your favourite new indie rock crush.
Why believe the hype: First of it, Thurston Moore himself is already a fan and second: They just returned from a colossal tour with our favourite Swedish indie rock darlings TIGER LOU where we had the pleasure of experiencing their furious live energy. The girls just released a new EP called Careful Like You Cared via Startracks which combines the raw energy of today’s SAVAGES with the old DIY spirit of early 90s grunge. ROME IS NOT A TOWN is a refreshing and honest attempt to re-excite a new generation of listeners (as well as the old ones as well) to the purity of this sort-of sound and we definitely support them with their plan.
05. Fake Laugh (UK/GER)
Where they come from: The head of FAKE LAUGH, Kamran Khan is from Berlin via London, his three band mates Joe Davies (Drums), Hassan Anderson (Guitar) and Nason Neill (Bass) are from London.
What they sound like: FAKE LAUGH stands for ace pop that remind us of MAC DeMARCO meets BEACH BOYS. And with the two in 2016 released EPs Great Ideas and Ice both released last year out there, Kamran presents a highly varied musical repertoire. While the track Ice might sound a bit rockier and darker, I Made A Sound is a sweet dream pop anthem dedicated to your secret crush.
Why believe the hype: First of all, Fake Laugh may be the best name ever for a (music) project. See this GIF for further proof. While FAKE LAUGH might not be real newcomers (they’ve been around since 2013), 2016 was the most productive year of the project: There’s been the single Mind Tricks/ Birdsong Lullaby released plus the already mentioned two EPs released in July and in October. Let’s hope that there will be a debut album soon to end our dragging winter blues.Plus a fun fact on top: The track Birdsong Lullaby was featured on our favourite West London soap opera Made In Chelsea. For all of you that don’t know: It’s a TV show full of FAKE LAUGH. Lol.
06. Lea Porcelain (GER)
Where they come from: Although they have been living in London for a while, Julien Bracht and Markus Nikolaus originally hail from Offenbach, a city near Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
What they sound like: Dark yet not without a strong sense for harmony and beauty. LEA PORCELAIN perfectly fit the latest post-punk revival while putting a big emphasis on the wave-parts and no fear of drifting off into kraut-rock territory.
Why believe the hype: This duo has been on our and many other’s (most prominently: Zane Lowe’s) radar for quite a while now. After some strong EPs, relentless touring and hard work on their sound and songs, they finally will put out their debut LP in 2017, probably during summer. The time they took and the take-things-slowly, let-our-music-grow-organically approach they decided to embrace are reason enough to believe that their debut will create quite a buzz for LEA PORCELAIN.
07. Mono Mono (DK)
Where they come from: Danish duo comprised of Karoline Elsig on vocals and saxophone and Jakob Franck on beats.
What they sound like: Neo-experimental electro soul that draws from a wide sonic palette, stitching together samples, synths and saxophones into a slick, smooth sound.
Why believe the hype: Starting off life under the name Andre Tonelege, the duo switched to the name MONO MONO in summer 2016 and quickly stepped up a musical gear. They’re only two singles into their career at present, but those two singles, CityLights and Helium Baloon have laid down a marker. MONO MONO specialise in a kind of organic electronica, smooth soft songs that crackle and bubble into life. They’re signed up to Copenhagen label Back To Future, and a debut EP is due in spring 2017.
08. Thalab (UK/ES)
Where they come from: Based in London, but born in Barcelona
What they sound like: Balearic, laid-back vibes that intertwine warm synthesizers, shimmering guitars, acoustic and electronic beats, and hushed singing. Hopping between disco-pop, folk, downbeat, and deep house, they are musical chameleons, and convincing at that.
Why believe the hype: The two natives of Barcelona, who relocated to London in 2016, first caught our attention with their excellent 2 Sails. Sticking out with a polished, well-ordered sound that still features a quirk or two, THALAB effortlessly segue from BOB MOSES-esque slow dance to a FLUME-infused drop and sell it like the most natural thing to do, adding a sprinkle of funky guitar licks on the way. At a time where many producers concentrate on chopping up vocal samples, the two cousins front a movement of artists who blend analogue and electronic instrumentation to create disco-pop without fanfare, but with plenty of subtle nuances, not without a touch of melancholy, but ultimately easy on the ear. THALAB’s new EP A Good Swim is due to come out in early 2017 via Juicebox Recordings and we expect it to carry us through an exciting spring and summer.