Our top musical discoveries of 2013
King Krule, London Grammar, Disclosure, Banks and more
The year 2013 has been big for music. New talents have emerged and soared, music lovers have witnessed incredible performances at ceremonies and festivals, surprising collaborations and pioneering music videos. Join us as we present the top 10 talents who have caught our attention this year, and who we expect great things for in 2014...
19-year-old Londoner Archie Marshall brilliantly justified the record breaking advances paid to him after his EP King Krule, with his new debut album: 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. The whole album is inspired by the immense frustration and anguish of growing up. The talented red head who goes by the name of King Krule sings with such raw emotion and honesty that he could easily become the next Tom Waits or Nick Cave.
The 16-year-old New Zealander Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor, better known as Lorde, is the princess of 2013. The young, almost fragile and truly talented singer, has already been nominated for a Grammy, appeared on major festival stages and astounded critics with her first EP. What's next, Lorde?
Disclosure – an English electronic music duo, consisting of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence – released their debut album Settle on June 3 this year. Fast-forward a few months and the band have close to 500k Facebook fans, have wowed critics with their musical talents at the tender age of 18 and are about to release a US-only remix album of Settle on December 17.
Jillian Banks, or simply 'Banks' to the music world, could easily be a model if she were not a rising singer songwriter. The 25-year-old Tarzana-bred beauty, all wide-eyed and pretty, has created waves in the music industry with her soulful vocals and catchy lyrics. Glamour, Interview and Billboard have all referred to Banks "mysteriousness", and as LA Weekly put it "in a room full of Miley-wannabes, Banks is the gorgeous girl in the corner of the room that no-one knows anything about". Her track Warm Water has over 700,000 plays on SoundCloud, and BBC Radio 1 play her songs – specifically a remix of Work by Lil Silva on rotation.
London Grammar are a British trip hop trio formed by Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman. Their debut EP Metal & Dust was released in February this year with their debut album If You Wait following on September 9. A homegrown band that The Guardian credited with putting "real music back in the charts", and a young trio who have outsold Kanye West's Yeezus, Miley Cyrus' Bangerz and Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines in the UK. Enjoying a sold-out tour, critical acclaim with extremely humble beginnings, London Grammar are amongst our favourite new rising stars of 2013.
Gabriel Winterfield, Jono Ma, and bass guitarist/vocalist Jack Freeman make up Jagwar Ma – n Australian psychedelic/dance band formed in Sydney in 2011. Noel Gallagher is a fan and listening to their debut LP, Howlin, it's easy to understand why. Featured on Pitchfork's 'Overlooked Records of 2013' list, something tells us that Jagwar Ma won't be so overlooked come 2014.
Another rather pleasant discovery of the year was the Danish singer Karen Marie Ørsted, otherwise known as MØ. Pilgrim, her first official single, was featured as P3s 'Uundgåelige', a label given to rising artists. The rising star and Diplo collaborator recently announced her debut LP, No Mythologies to Follow, which will be out February 24 next year through Chess Club/RCA Victor. Among its singles are the aforementioned and previously released Pilgrim as well as XXX 88, featuring Diplo. The record was recorded in Copenhagen with producer Ronni Vindhahl and follows this year's Bikini Daze EP, the start of 2014 could mean great things for MØ.
John Newman, the 23-year-old English singer and musician, is best known for the track Love Me Again which soared to number one on the UK Singles Chart in July this year. Newman's rise to fame began when the young artist featured on Rudimental's 2012 singles Feel the Love and Not Giving In, which peaked at number one and number 14 on the chart respectively. Always immaculately dressed, the singer brings to mind the legendary presence of both Sinatra and Lou Reed – a good starting off point for any rising star.
Portis Head and Massive Attack fans, meet your new favourite artist. Yet another British addition on the list, Tahliah Barnett is a musician and dancer of Jamaican and Spanish descent originally from Gloucestershire and currently based in London. Marshmallow vocals paired with whimsical beats makes FKA Twigs addictive listening. With an official website URL like wwwater.me and big, cartoon-like eyes, Barnett is an otherworldly talent set for big things in 2014.
Chance The Rapper
20-year-old Chanselor Bennett, a.k.a. 'Chance The Rapper' is definitely the most interesting newcomer from the world of rap in the past year. He is the artist of the new generation, who didn't grow up on Wu-Tang Clan but on Kanye West, stating in an interview that that fellow Chicago native West's 2004 debut album The College Dropout was the first hip-hop album that he ever purchased and listened to, previously preferring to listen to soul and jazz. Following a 10-day suspension in spring 2011 during his senior year, Bennett released his first mixtape entitled 10 Day, which has been downloaded over 100,000 times since its release in April 2012 via Datpiff. The mixtape caught the attention of Forbes magazine, which featured it in the publication's Cheap Tunes column. Fellow American rapper Childish Gambino then asked Bennett to join his 2012 tour of America as the opening act, and a chance to shine was granted to Chance The Rapper. Bennett is currently touring America as headliner for his Social Experiment Tour, he recently featured on Childish Gambino's album Because the Internet which was released on December 6 to critical acclaim.