8 Female Musicians And Bands Who Are Going To Top Your Playlists in 2016
The Debrief: The year of the Taylor is over. Here's your new grrrl musicians
Last year was a good year for lady rockers and polished pop property alike. We've had internet-breaking albums from the likes of Adele and Sia, and in the rock world Sleater bleedin’ Kinney only went and made a comeback. Garage rock-inspired acts like Waxahatchee and Hinds continued to gain ground, and there were unpredictable new turns for the likes of Bat For Lashes singer Natasha Khan, now performing as one half of Sexwitch, and Beth Jeans Houghton, recently re-christened Du Blonde.
Oh, and some of the biggest names in pop and R&B, from FKA twigs and Grimes to Rihanna and Janelle Monae got bigger and better. But which sonic sisters should be on your playlist in 2016? Here are some names to note...
The half-Iranian Londoner has a talent for fusing East and West, cutting and pasting Arab beats and electropop hooks. She released not one but two EPs in 2014, followed by a third in 2015, which saw her collaborate with a veritable United Nations of artists, including Egyptian rappers Sadat & Alaa Fifty and Korean girl group WA$$UP.
Oh, and BANKS, of course (no biggie, right?).
Expect some very big things from this recent Columbia signing’s upcoming debut album, and keep your eyes peeled for her Channel 4 Future Sounds session recorded at Abbey Road, set to air in early January.
For fans of: M.I.A, Grimes, BANKS
You’ve probably already bawled at the haunting cover of Oasis’ Half The World Away from the John Lewis Christmas ad. What you may not know, however, is that the girl behind those festive feels is a 19-year-old newcomer from Norway. Aurora is pretty damn cool. When The Debrief caught up with her last year, she filled us in on everything from her love of Leonard Cohen to her favourite Instagram filters. She drops her debut album in March, and is likely to reprise the delicate yet edgy pop balladry of her first EP, released back in May.
For fans of: (Fellow John Lewis alumni) Birdy, Gabrielle Aplin, Nina Nesbitt
3. Black Honey
Fronted by vintage-voiced Izzy B Philips, Brighton quartet Black Honey make noisy Nineties-inspired shoegaze with a side of post-war Americana. With a sound that’s somewhere between the off-kilter rock of Echobelly and Lana Del Rey’s faux-Fifties pop, they’re currently the indie world’s worst kept secret.
Although they were communicating with fans via Whatsapp (yes, really) and keeping their identities under wraps until about a year ago, they slowly moved out of the shadows in 2015 and have plans to release their debut album in the new year.
For fans of: Major league girl-led rock, from Speedy Ortiz to Wolf Alice
4. Eryn Allen Kane
This Chicago-based singer worked with some colossal artists in 2015, featuring on Prince’s peace anthem Baltimore earlier this year, and collaborating with Chance The Rapper’s side-project The Social Experiment.
Her voice is something of a paradox, dripping with wisened, gospel-inspired soul, but also youthful enough to convey a certain poppy energy. Think Aretha for generation Beyonce and you’re probably halfway there. And it looks as though her time in the spotlight is imminent, with the release of her debut EP, Aviary, this coming January.
For fans of: Socially-conscious R&B. And Prince, obvs.
Along with TALA, 19-year-old Londoner Hannah Rodgers is the second hotly tipped BRIT School grad in our list, effortlessly blending acoustic and electronic elements to create rousing, experimental folk pop. Like her heroes Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Nick Cave, she’s cultivated an ethereal sound that’s as poignant as it is beautiful, and she’s managed to make it sound pretty fresh to boot.
She released her debut EP, Fall In, via estimable indie imprint 4AD back in August, and here’s hoping she’s got plenty more for us in the new year.
For fans of: The new breed of experimental young artists – SOAK, The Japanese House, Marika Hackman, Shura, Låpsley...
As the daughter of Buffalo Stancing pop deity Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey, 19-year-old Mabel is, to nick a term coined by Louis Walsh, a ready-made popstar. She’s already caught the attention of outlets including Nylon and i-D with her R&B-inspired debut Know Me Better, and latest groove My Boy My Town is as consciously Nineties as her trademark bomber jackets.
We’re keen to see what the new year brings for this teenage talent, who’s been in the studio of late and recently made it on to the BBC Sound of 2016 longlist.
For fans of: Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill, The Weeknd
Female-led trio Wyldest make grade A indie pop that’s hypnotic and hazy. They gained serious ground last year, with praise from the likes of DIY, The Line of Best Fit and Spotify, who hailed their new single Dark Matter a ‘tastemaker gem’.
Produced by Guy Massey, who’s worked with the likes of Palma Violets and The Libertines, it meshes Eighties-esque synth, lulling vocals and sparkly riffs with shoegaze vibes. It'’ the title track from the north London group’s debut EP, due for release soon. Bring it on!
For fans of: Poliça, Warpaint, Beach House
8. Louise Golbey
She’s been around for a while, but this singer/songwriter with the banging voice is hopefully going to have a big old year. Check out single The Outsider (below) to get a taste of her big voice and soulful pop tunes. Her album Novel is out now.
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