It is already a few months into 2014. Where has the time gone? What has felt like the blink of an eye has been enough time to rattle the music industry with a plethora of new artists and hit singles. For those who are retired or are blessed with not having to work, this might be a great opportunity to listen through hundreds of new albums and hone their taste in new music. However, the majority of people don’t have time to shuffle through the hundreds of new albums dropping every week. No need to fear! Here are six artists to watch in 2014 and keep an eye out for at this year's SXSW music festival. Every artist on the list will be performing at SXSW with the exception of Metronomy.
Genre: Synth Pop / R&B
Forming in 2013, singer Zoe Silverman and producer Adam Pallin put their heads together to create ASTR and effectively create some of the coolest and most soulful R&B inspired pop music you might hear in the near future. Zoe’s sweet and sultry female vocals paint a beautiful and sexy portrait over the heavy (and funky) electronic production. This interesting mix makes 'Operate' and 'Razor' two of the best singles of 2014.
Most might recognize Sam Smith from his accompaniment to the Grammys this year with Disclosure. The brothers ‘Disclosure’ and Mr. Smith teamed up this past year to create the huge hit single “Latch,” which is without a doubt one of the best singles to come out of the House genre in years. Needless to say, Sam Smith is an amazing vocalist! Smith’s newest upbeat single 'Money On My Mind' has served as a brilliant teaser for his full-length album coming in May, In the Lonely Hour.
Key names to associate with Lo-Fang: James Blake and Lorde, two names that should be recognizable to anyone who watches the Grammy's. Why James Blake? It’s impossible to listen to Lo-Fang and dismiss James Blake’s obvious influence. What makes him different is his willingness to expand on Blake’s vocal heavy minimalism into grand full-spectrum pop, which is particularly evident in the second half of his new album Blue Film. Why mention Lorde? Well, the teen superstar invited Lo-Fang to join her on her world tour. Opening for thousands of young and impressionable fans should be great exposure for this up and comer.
Scandinavian Pop has become an industry staple over the years. NONONO serves to further the brand by cranking out some of the best indie pop singles of the past few years. Most notable is their EP’s title track 'Pumpin Blood.' The electro-pop trio has already gathered the attention of some of the music industry’s biggest publications, despite their lack of a full-length release. They are currently touring heavily and will likely be releasing an LP sometime in 2014, although a date has yet to be confirmed.
Metromony are not a new act, but their act is quite new. Their past releases have been great, don’t get me wrong, but the new single 'I’m Aquarius' has shown fans a side of the band that hasn’t been seen before. It’s more melodic, more polished, more… awesome! Their new album Love Letters drops March 10. When it drops, expect waves and not ripples from this rock solid release.
Genre: Electro Pop
Despite being brand new on the scene, MØ blew away crowds at SXSW last year. She then went on to impress fans old and new alike with her 2013 Bikini Daze EP, which features EDM heavy hitter Diplo. She is now set to release a full-length album No Mythologies To Follow on March 10 following her many performances at this year's SXSW. This past year she has been touring internationally and was one of the most highly sought after names for SXSW showcases this year. It wouldn't be far fetched to think MØ could become an over-night Top 40 success story once her album drops. Only time will tell.