All right, so we all know New Year’s resolutions are pretty lame. They usually involve weight loss or cutting out booze. And two weeks into the first month of 2015, there’s a pretty solid chance you’ve already failed miserably at some goal or another. So our biggest concern for the New Year: Checking out as much new music as possible. Plus, here at Ellenwood-ep, we like to eat and get sloshed from time to time anyway.
2015 is already gearing up to be a solid year music-wise, with several promising artists releasing EPs in late 2014 that have us eager for a bit more material. They might be chart toppers, they might never find their way to mainstream radio, but we’re pretty excited about these nine up and comers. And we think you might be too.
Ryn Weaver became an overnight sensation with the release of the “OctaHate” on SoundCloud this summer. In just two weeks, the pop gem produced by heavy hitters including Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos and Charli XCX received more than one million plays. This young songstress is no one hit wonder. “Octahate” has certainly gotten the most attention but “Promises” and “Sail On” are total sweetheart tunes that have helped secure Weaver a spot on Coachella’s 2015 Saturday lineup.
Listen to: “Octahate”
Great for: When you’re feeling sweet and a tad girly.
This Stockholm based trio has been slowly releasing tunes over the past couple of years, gearing up for a full length LP. Fronted by Aussie singer Kate Akhurst, each electronic triumph manages to remain anthemic and simultaneously quite strange. Their sound is similar to The Knife with pulsing other worldly resonances that make each tune feel tribal and hungry. Big pop hooks with strong lyrical melodies make them easy follow but they’re weird enough to hold onto a hefty chunk of indie street cred, so you still get to feel cool for liking them.
Listen to: “Northern Lights”
Great for: Impressing your friends with your super-cool taste in music.
Looking for your new favorite blues-rock group? Royal Blood has got you covered. The Brighton duo is often compared to the White Stripes and the Strokes. After dropping their self-titled debut LP, they’ve been selling out shows across the U.K. and Australia. They’re also playing both Coachella and the Governor’s Ball in NYC. And. They’re opening for the Foo Fighters for a handful of shows this summer.
Listen to: “Figure It Out”
Great for: When you want to rock, duh.
London four-piece alt-rock group Wolf Alice have a sound that ranges from moody pop to dark electronica. Fronted by Ellie Rowsell, she takes tunes from breathy and sweet to forceful and harsh. They’ve released a handful of EPs to date and no two songs sound the same. “Moaning Lisa Smile” is a heel-lifting hit chock full of warm swells and layered guitars, while “Heavenly Creatures” features static vocals against a simple piano melody and “White Leather” goes emotive against a somber guitar riff.
Listen to: “Fluffy”
Great for: When you don’t know what to listen to.
Enchanting twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz are set to drop their self-titled debut in February. Combining their French and Cuban heritage, much of their inspiration comes from the Yorùbá tradition— Cuban chants—and their percussionist father famous for his work with Buena Vista Social Club. Their sound is minimalist, incorporating chanting in simple harmony against sparse percussion and light piano lines.
Listen to: “Mama Says”
Great for: Relaxing on a rainy/snowy day. Or if you’re someplace sunny and you want to pretend it’s cold.
This U.K. chanteuse has gorgeous vocals to match her stunningly good looks. Originally signed to Columbia records as a folk act, Charlotte OC took a break after her debut was shelved, and rebranded herself as a somber, sultry, singer-songwriter. Her background in folk tunes give her tunes a soft edge rounded out with solid lyrics. Her four-song EP Strange proves OC’s wide range with energized tunes like “Colour My Heart” and more mellow distressed numbers like “Strange.” She’ll be performing at NYC’s coveted Governor’s Ball Music Festival in June.
Listen to: “Hangover”
Great for: When you’re feeling seductive or are attempting to appear so.
Jacob Dillan Summers, or Avid Dancer, released his debut EP I Want to See You Dance in October. Given the name of his solo project and release, you’d expect his tunes to be pretty dance-y. And while the title track is head-bopping disco-pop, this collection is far from the EDM tunes you might anticipate. “Stop Playing With My Heart” is relaxed with touches of psychedelia and a demo version of “All the Other Girls” features clap-like percussions in a raw indie-rock endeavor. Avid Dancer is taking on Monday night residency at L.A.’s the Echo for the month of February, where—hopefully—we can get a glimpse into what a full length LP might sound like.
Listen to: “All the Other Girls”
Great for: When you want to move, but not necessarily dance. So, when you want to shuffle.
Raw sex appeal, crushing emotional lyrics, and hypnotic dance moves—Meg Myers’ performances are ones for the books. Even if her vocals stray or crack, it’s from the sheer force behind her need to express raw lyrics that can be a bit scary at times. When she yells, it’s not a trick. It’s because she has to. Every lyric feels emotional and authentic. She blends violence and eroticism in way that might make her lovers want to sleep with one eye open. Myers has released two heart EPs so far, but recent performances hint at more tunes to be released in the near future.
Listen to: “Desire”
Great for: When you need to blow off some steam or have pretty radical sex.
This Los Angeles trio lead by slight singer Suzanne May caught our attention at last year’s Echo Park Culture Collide. May impressed us with her seamless switches from airy twinkles, to throaty rumbles, all the way to sky high trills backed by assertive industrial-edged instrumentals. With two EPs to their name, the group promises new tunes and world-wide tour this year.
Listen to: “French Love”
Great for: Being moody but feeling okay about.