December 6, 2013

As visceral as a bag of spleens, the Brighton troupe tap into a spinning black hole of psychedelia not filled since The Horrors first lazily punched us in the eardrum with Strange House. The band’s raucous riffs have had us obsessed ever since the band played our YNTHT fresher’s tour, and we’re pretty sure it’s turning into a long-term addiction.

The Wytches

Echoing Remember the Time era MJ and signed to PMR – label home to Jessie Ware, Julio Bashmore and Disclosure – Dornik’s first two singles have got us lighting candles and getting ro-ro-romantic with an album slated for early 2014. Knocking out tunes that’d make R.Kelly feel inadequate, it’s time to get your sexy on and turn it up to 11…


Ea-zy R&B’s about to get a little more challenging if Kelela’s got anything to do with it. Her debut mixtape Cut 4 Me funneled the soul of Tracy Chapman into the grimy dance sensibility of Night Slugs’ Jam City and Bok Bok thanks to their expertise on production duties. Fizzes like warm lemonade in your ear.


The latter half of this year saw Lorde fire-ball into public consciousness, rapidly touted as New Zealand’s biggest musical export since Ladyhawke (or er, Flight of the Conchords). Ethereal bro-sis duo Broods continue NZ’s growing rep for exciting, epic pop that’s going to be all over your radio waves in the not-so-distant future.


Like The Weeknd in 2010, FKA Twigs (formerly known as Twigs aka Tahliah Barnett) takes a ‘less is more’ approach, not only in her minimalist, trip-hop sound but also in a distinct lack of a press trail. This year’s best kept secret is pretty much out the bag now, with a little help from the BBC’s Sound Poll of 2014 of course, but that sure don’t make her sparse tunes any less special.

FKA Twigs

A sense of Victorian doom smothers CM’s haunting lullabies that share a fistful of sonic similarities with Bat for Lashes. It’s no surprise to learn that she’s fresh out the studio with Natasha Khan’s producer David Koste then. Treat these gothic tinged sounds as an ideal mate to the onslaught of gloomy winter nights.

Cousin Marnie

Making their mark on The Great Escape back in May as the festival’s undisputed highlight, this alt-pop duo offer up a memorable live show, known for roping in pals from Slow Club, Chvrches, Kwes and MS MR to jam on stage as part of their effervescent set. Fingers crossed they can translate all that hyperreal energy into album Galore when it lands in February.


We’re still scratching our heads as to why world pop domination has evaded this 19-year-old London native. His refix of J.Lo’s Waiting for Tonight into SFA’s Flowers is life affirming stuff, while his nous for a solid tune has been proved on collabs with Rudimental, Duke Dumont and Gorgon City. The takeover is imminent.


Like a sleazy robot sinking Scotch with Nile Rodgers, the LA producer’s sound takes inspiration from sources as diverse as funky house to ’90s space shooter games. His laid back synths first showed up on the Untitled EP earlier this year, with the promise of plenty more to come. Watch this space.


An obvious choice sure, BANKS is about to cash in on her growing popularity and omnipresence on every 2014 list, with an album due for early next year. But those broody aching odes to her on/off boyf – and producer – TEED will sucker punch you in the gut every time. A string of bittersweet symphonies are no doubt ready and waiting.