Never one to miss the opportunity to combine reading the future and espousing passionate music recommendations here is The Playback’s Sound of 2018.
Featuring a wide variety of artists, some of which will already be on your radar, we give you eight acts to keep an eye on in the months ahead…
Not3s – My Lover
East-Londoner Not3s has been winning over critics and celebrities such as Louis Theroux, Raheem Sterling and Stormzy with his cheeky rhymes and party ready rhythms. After the viral hit of “Addison Lee” Not3s has kept up the strong output of bangers. “My Lover” bobs up and down on the powerful kick drum and funky guitar licks. Not3s’ slick delivery is both confident and laid back and the young man’s charm shines through clearly.
Rex Orange County – Untitled
We tipped you off to Rex’s talents way back in April and since then he has released his album “Apricot Princess” to overwhelmingly positive reviews. A lot has been written about young Rex (Alex O’Connor) since then, with the majority of it rather unfairly focussing on his star studded and glamorous collaborations with the likes of Tyler the Creator instead of the work he has created on his own. It’s all here on tracks like “Untitled” with the uniquely soft crooning vocal that will surely get even better with age. You can catch Rex when he embarks on his UK and European tour in the New Year.
Nabihah Iqbal – Something More
Having previously worked under the moniker “Throwing Shade”, this year Nabihah Iqbal released her debut album “Weighing of the Heart” under her own name. On the track “Something More” you can feel her dance music oriented past blending smoothly with post punk guitars à la New Order and The Chameleons. Warm pads and sharp synth strings glide over a pounding robotic beat and her breathy vocals will have fans of The XX salivating throughout this retro sounding single.
Easy Life – Pockets
“Pockets” is the first taste of Easy Life’s soon to be released debut EP on Chess Club Records and it has rightly so whipped up plenty of interest in what the Leicester based 5-piece also have up their collective sleeve. Relevant tastemakers also deemed the track worthy of the New Music Friday UK Spotify playlist which would have introduced the boys to over half a million subscribers. The group are already selling out local venues as well as their first ever London show so if you want to catch them live there is no time to stall.
Alma – Chasing Highs
With a Top Twenty hit already to her name at just twenty one years of age, Finnish singer-songwriter Alma has made an exciting start to her career. “Chasing Highs” is pure pop brilliance with its staccato keys, massive house beat (with accompanying hand claps) and at its centre a tough and assertive vocal performance. There is surely much more to come from the young and bold singer who has seriously progressed from her days on the Finnish singing competition “Idols” back in 2013.
Benny Mails – Aware, The Mixtape
Benny Mails is a hot new MC from South London with an elegantly rhythmic flow naturally developed during his formative years break dancing and listening to Hip Hop, Funk and Jazz records. “Aware, The Mixtape” is made up of eight wildly different tracks that excellently demonstrates the young talents abilities. Benny vocally spars with the listener delivering fast and phonetically fatal jabs yet with “Aware” he shows he can slow things down and come up with Connan Mockasin style make out music.
Dama Scout – Sugar
The Playback has been flying the flag for Dama Scout ever since we saw them supporting one of our other favourite bands Our Girl at the Shacklewell Arms in Dalston. Their kinetic energy combined with a discernible ear for a melody results in something very interesting indeed. Much like bands such as experimental rockers Deerhoof, Dama Scout effortlessly combine harsh and dissonant moments with sublime and sweet ones.
Pink Kink – Munchie Magic
Liverpudlian band Pink Kink make us think “why can’t more acts be this wild and fun?” With “Munchie Magic” it sounds like Pink Kink are the stars of a Tarantino film about Punk surfers from the 1980’s that have time travelled back to the Wild West… in the best way possible. Anarchic, sharp and rude the track and the band are accessible without playing down their politics and intellect.
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