After kicking off our own contribution to the end of year listing season yesterday, it is time to keep that ball rolling with part two of our countdown of artists to listen out for in 2016. Here then are three more acts we are excited to hear more from next year.
#12 – Hollywood Principle
San Diego’s Hollywood Principle are masters of the deceptive pop banger. They are wonderful at blending the smokey and languid with the high energy and vibrant, soft glistening tunes that suddenly explode with rocket fueled ferocity.
Speaking of rockets, this year the trio supplied a track for the soundtrack of the bonkers sounding Rocket League computer game (online tournament of rocket powered cars playing football or something we think – sounds crazy but attracts hundreds of thousands of players at any one time). Suitably they used “Firework”, a high octane frenzy of electro pop, it’s frantic, frenetic and chaotic, all in a good way. Kaleidoscopic colours flash before your eyes like lasers of digital noodling and razor sharp beats.
They know just how to build a tune and how best to get your feet tapping and head nodding. Coupled with intoxicating and seductively wispy vocals, Hollywood Principle make a heady concoction of dancefloor friendly pop.
#11 – Bea1991
After the grand blog love-in that accompanied Bea1991’s debut track, “Breadwinner”, in spring last year, things have felt quiet around the Netherlands based artist. Though this is probably more to do with her slightly unconventional approach to releasing her music. Specifically, she puts it up on her website with no announcement and often it is free to download. There is no press, no excited tweeting or shouting. Just music.
This may have caused an apparent drying up of blog support for her (because they don’t know she is still releasing anything) but the quality has not dropped off. Her most recent EP, Songs of 2k11, is seven tracks of engaging and enigmatic pop. Her soft, rich vocal melts like a marshmallow over the crackling flame of melody and rhythm.
Hopefully 2016 will see another EP at the least and more of the recognition she should be getting and very much deserves.
#10 – Lilla Vargen
We’ve not heard much at all from Belfast based singer Lilla Vargen since her stunningly beautiful debut back in January. So exquisite was the simple piano ballad, so delicate and heartfelt, that it stayed with us for the whole year. While there was only one more track to follow, we’re hopeful that is because she’s been snapped up by a label and squirrelled away somewhere secret to get ready to release more evocative melodies on the world.
It would be a crying shame if that wasn’t the case as a voice this beautiful needs to be singing out to us all.