SMT’s 13 Artists to Watch in 2013
Don’t let the name throw you; Snakadaktal are dead serious about pop music, like a Snake-Pterodactyl hybrid coming for 2013 sort of serious. Winner’s of Triple J’s Unearthed High in 2011, Snakadaktal display a maturity that far exceeds their age with a sound that fits somewhere in the realm of The xx, Metronomy or Foals. You’ve been warned.
Listen to: Skin, Air, Dance Bear.
King Krule (formerly Zoo Kid)
It’s easy to hear how 18 year-old Archy Marshall (aka. King Krule) evokes comparisons to Morrissey with his deep coarse vocals. But it’s clear his influences run deeper displaying an appreciation of new wave, hip-hop, house, and dubstep elements in his music.
Listen to: Ocean Bed, Broke, Out Getting Ribs, Rock Bottom.
In the space of a few years Ryan Hemsworth has gone from journalism student/part-time music blogger to the topic of much blog discussion. Branching out from bedroom remixes to craft his own musical style which ranges from atmospheric Clams Casino-esque beats to beats of the glitchy Girl Talk variety.
Listen to: Colour & Movement, Charly Wingate.
After a show stealing performance on half of SBTRKT’s 2011 debut album Sampha has hit 2013 running with the Short Stories EP a collaboration between himself and producer Koreless. Let’s hope there’s more to come from this soulful singer/producer.
Listen to: Indecision, Hold On, Living Like I Do.
Yep Churches with a ‘V’ that’s no misspelling. ‘V’ for voluptuous synths, vivacious melodies or vintage 80’s sound. Whatever you take it for, this electro-pop outfit from Glasgow, Scotland is one you’ll be hearing very frequently in 2013.
Listen to: Lies, Recover.
Perth, Australia, it’s known for mining natural resources not record digging. Aussie hip-hop producer Ta-ku is doing his part to change that. He’s a student of his craft, displaying his knowledge and work ethic throughout his ever-expanding catalogue which includes dedication series to J Dilla and more recently Nujabes.
Listen to: 50 Days for Dilla, 25 Nights for Nujabes, LATENYC.
By his own admission Oncue may only produce around 20 great songs per year, continuing the lost art of quality over quantity in today’s oversaturated hip-hop landscape. You may not of heard of him yet, but he’s certainly no slouch having already worked with the likes of Just Blaze and Party Supplies, his upcoming release Angry Young Man is one to look out for.
Listen to: New Religion, All The Way, Let Loose.
An ironically ominous name for a duo whose pop stylings range from folk and piano driven ballads to the occasional hazy garage rock riff. Their sound has certainly been difficult to pin down across the series of EP’s and debut album they’ve released to date, but that’s nothing to fear.
Watch: Teaser for upcoming album - No Art.
Listen to: Gladiator, Leaving Home, Autumn.
Ratking are emcees Wiki and Hak and producer Sporting Life. Their 2012 XL Recordings debut EP Wiki93 is a rerelease of a 2011 free online release - reimagined due to sample clearance issues. The result is a far more experimental, grime influenced soundscape juxtaposed against the New York rhyme styles of Wiki and Hak. It’s a direction that surprisingly few US hip-hop acts have been game to take, but one that has been long overdue.
Listen to: Retired Sports, Pretty Picture, Piece of Shit.
90’s era Jay, Nas or Biggie, not bad comparisons for 18 year-old New York emcee Joey Bada$$. The leader of the Pro Era crew is championing a return to the lyricism unlike many of his counterparts “worried bout the trendin fashions rather than ascendin’ passion.”
Listen to: Waves, Survival Tactics, School High.
Phil Beaudreau caused a reasonable stir online recently with the release of the singles ‘Take It High’, ‘Buried Alive’ and ‘This Is Why’. Titles such as the ‘saviour of soul’ may be a tiny bit premature for this purveyor of blue-eyed soul given his limited catalogue, but he’s definitely a wildcard to keep an eye on this year.
Listen to: Take It High, Buried Alive, This Is Why.
Things are on the up and up for Chet Faker. Breaking through in 2012 with Thinking in Textures, Chet’s star continues to rise with his inspired reworking of the 90’s Blackstreet hit No Diggity recently featured in a Superbowl commercial for Becks.
Listen to: I’m Into You, Terms & Conditions, Jeans and Wallet.
Stylistically self-described as heartfelt computer music, Oliver Tank’s ambient dreamwave sound has developed a strong following online. For fans eagerly awaiting new material, dream no longer, Tank is poised to release the follow-up to his debut EP this year.
Listen to: Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion, Up All Night.