Next in '19
Along with wrapping up the previous year with a list of singles, a big part of our January is checking out the current music scene and making a list of artists who we think are going to go big in the new year. We've got the list of 2019.
SWMRS is a band that's been around for a while now, but we think that 2019 might be their year. The band's latest single "April in Houston" has hit written all over it and the other song on their double single has a flair all it's own too. With a headlining tour already coming in 2019 and a new album out in February, this could be a huge year for SWMRS.
half•alive is a crazy trio from Long Beach that is as artistic as they are diverse. Whether they’re playing something to twenty one pilots (“The Fall”) or they’re doing a crazy disco-infused 70’s pop style track complete with an insane music video (“still feel.”), half*alive makes awesome music. Led by Josh Taylor, half•alive should definitely be on your radar this year.
What do you do if you have a once-in-a-lifetime song that doesn’t reach it’s full potential? That’s easy, get a little from your friends. That’s what morgxn did with his track “home.” The soul-influenced alt-pop artist release the thumping “home” to the tune of 8,000,000 streams on Spotify, but it still didn’t reach the masses. So, morgxn has a new version of the song featuring WALK THE MOON and so far it’s paying off in a big way. Look for morgxn to continue his momentum well into 2019.
You’ve got to love music in 2019, anything can be anything. The latest is Oliver Tree, a Los Angeles-based musician + sketch comedian. His music is weird and his imaging and marketing is just as weird. Dude looks like the villain in an upcoming Despicable Me sequel. All of this just adds to the musical magic of Oliver Tree.
Irish singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy combines folk and soul to make something powerful. Kennedy has been writing since he was a teenager and he’s been on lots of music fans’ radar since 2013 when he released his debut EP. Kennedy’s newer music has a lot of pop sensibility to it. Songs like “Power Over Me” will launch Kennedy to new heights in 2019.
Toronto-based Cherry Pools bring forth bright and vibrant synths like its still 1987. Led by Martin Broda, who has ironically spent a lot of time in metal-core bands touring Canada, Cherry Pools released their debut EP in the fall and sent out on tour with PVRIS. Next up for the band in 2019 is what we can assume is more touring along with possibly another EP. Either way, Cherry Pools makes some great stuff and what they have out now is outstanding.
Oakland artist Sven Gamsky makes his unique blend of math-rock synth-infused pop rock in his garage. With the exception of using a session drummer a couple of times, he plays all his own instruments, writes his own music, records and engineers his own stuff and mixes and masters it too. He’s got millions of plays on Spotify and his stuff is perfect for a mid afternoon chill session or a late night gathering. Give Sved’s project a listen, you’ll find something that he’s released over the years that you’ll like.
Layto is Boston artist that makes bass-heavy alt rock rap pop, Sorry, we couldn’t really decide on a genre. There’s a lot of elements of hip hop, rock, and old soul in Layto’s stuff but best of all there’s a style that’s overwhelmingly original. His music is personal and autobiographical and freakin’ weird in the best way. Listen to “Little Poor Me”, but do yourself a favor and listen to the rest of his stuff on Spotify too. It’s CRAZZZY!
22 year-old Dominic Fike writes chill pop songs that stick in your head. His stuff is like Post Malone’s, but with more guitar. His music isn’t overly produced or overly thought-out. It’s just straight from his heart and his brain to you. Most of the time it works great. Listen to “3 Nights” and “King of Everything” and lose yourself in some melody.
Dunbar openly embraces the awkwardness that we all feel and he uses his thoughts and feelings of growing up in the internet generation and poignantly crafts them into music. Is it relatable to everybody? Not on every level but in varying degrees. His music is interesting because he’s self-produced and he’s another artist that comes across as highly original.
Washington D.C. electro-pop act SHAED are equal parts melody and atmosphere. Chelsea Lee sings while Max and Spencer Ernst (twin brothers) produce. Their new EP is “MELT” and features the fun track “Trampoline” and Lee’s vocal clinic on “You Got Me Like”
Edinburgh trio Liimo are a lot like The 1975. That’s the easiest way to describe them but it doesn’t define them. They make pop music heavy on synths with odd but personal lyrics that are relatable. “Pineapple Radio” is destined to blow up in big ways, and the band showcases some serious potential on songs like “Body” and “No Brainer” - and then they do a hell of a job covering The 1975’s “Too Time” too.
Pennsylvania artist Kulick is another artist that uses his music as a personal outlet. His music is intensely personal and his passion for life and creativity come out on songs like “Colors” and “Hole In My Head.”
Maxwell Joseph and Connor Pledger are from Indianapolis and Atlanta but they’re based in L.A. They’re kind of like a strange version of Twenty-One Pilots. Their song “Yoko Ono” is one of the most weirdly fun songs that we’ve heard in some time - it’s about finding someone as weird as you are. “Oh My” is just as good but it showcases a more basic approach that suits the band just as well.
From Australia, SAFIA is heavy on the electronics but they’re just as good at melody. They really got on people’s radar in 2018 when they released “Freakin’ Out”, (it’s acoustic version is oddly haunting.) Now, the band has “Starlight” - a slick produced track that is sure to find an audience. Expect Safia to become even more of an international act in 2019.
Dallas pop rock band Recent Rumors won us over twice in 2018. First, their song "Wherever You Are" caught our attention. Then, "Almost Home" really made us pay attention. Great song writing leads to inspiring melodies and vocalist Josh Laboyteaux leads the group with an amazing vocal.
High Wycombe band Only Sun had a busy 2018, releasing a song every month throughout the year. Every song they released featured the band's distinct bouncy Brit vibe. The band has played around the club scene in London extensively and they've also played a number of UK festivals. Maybe in 2019 they solow down, but the base they built up in 2018 leads us to think they'll keep going strong.
It's hard to know what this project is going to be called just yet. One thing is for sure, Nick Box (Sleeperstar) and Adam Fischer (NIGHT TRAVELER) are onto something. Box's cinematic arangements and outstanding piano work along with the haunting vocal of Fischer's combine to make something special. If this doesn't go big in 2019, expect to hear Box and Fisher's music on multiple movie trailers and TV promos throughout the year.
Indie-Folk and pop colide with spacious production on Paul Johnson's Canyon City project. The singer-songwriter has earned millions of streams on Spotify. His cover of Coldplay's "Fix You" was featured on Spotify's Acoustic Covers playlist, and it's great - but his original stuff is even better. Be on the look out for a video performance of "Lost Sparks" that Johnson covered for AA very soon. In the meantime dig in and discover what this great artist has to offer.