While it may have been a shocker in the land of current affairs, 2016 was a mammoth 12 months for new music. If you needed any confirmation of this, just check out last year’s blog post.
As we now usher in 2017, it’s time to look ahead to a banner year of breakthrough music. For your convenience, we’ve cherry-picked the five acts we’re tipping to dominate the airwaves.
In brief: Raucous, riff-heavy anthems dressed up in leather jackets and skinny jeans.
For fans of: Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines and Kings of Leon.
This young rabble from Reading are proud purveyors of no frills indie rock. Spearheaded by the powerful vocals of Matt Thomson, the four-piece are on a mission to bring back the art of the humble guitar riff. Having spent the past couple of years on the road honing their raucous live show, The Amazons look all set to sweep the festival circuit this summer. But first, the band embark on their biggest headline UK tour to date. Expect infectious, sing-along choruses and moshpits galore from Britain’s newest noise-makers.
In brief: Chart-bothering bangers from pop’s hottest property.
For fans of: Jess Glynne, Zayn and Foxes.
Born in London but raised in Kosovo, this talented songstress returned to the English capital as a teenager to follow her dreams of world stardom. Now 21-years-old, she’s already well on course to achieving those aspirations – having garnered masses of attention last year with radio-conquering hits like Blow Your Mind and Hotter Than Hell. If this meteoric ascent continues, global domination will be nothing but a formality.
In brief: The potential voice of a generation. Need we say more?
For fans of: Gregory Porter, Sam Smith and Paolo Nutini.
Somewhat of a late bloomer at the age of 31, Rory Graham is now intent on making up for lost time. The burly crooner shot into the public conscience at the tail end of last year with his inimitable, blues-drenched vocals. Latest single Human has now cranked the hype machine into overdrive, perfectly flaunting the singer’s penchant for raw, stripped back soul music. With a debut album on the way in February, Rag’n’Bone Man has the perfect opportunity to cement his status as the voice of a nation.
In brief: Introspective and melancholic rap with brains.
For fans of: A Tribe Called Quest, Jurassic 5 and DJ Shadow.
As a rap artist, Loyle Carner is happy to go against the grain. The youngster’s refreshingly confessional take on the genre sees him pondering themes like family, community and mortality in favour of clichéd tales about fast cars and blingy jewellery. And while counterparts opt for the zeitgeist sound of lairy grime music, he draws influence from 90s boom-bap hip-hop beats and melancholic jazz chords. Not only is it a breath of fresh air, but the lyricist pulls it off perfectly. Away from music, Carner has used his blossoming success to start a cookery course for teenagers who suffer – as he does – from ADHD. That’s what you call a role model.
In brief: Urban rhymes from a multi-faceted talent.
For fans of: Disclosure, Wretch 32 and Missy Elliott.
Introducing the newly crowned BBC Sound of 2017 winner: RAY BLK. And it’s not hard to see why! Put simply, she has all the trappings of a superstar. Not only does she rap and sing like a veteran performer, but the 23-year-old from south London also composes all of her own music. Recent hit Chill Out encapsulates this skill-set to a flooring effect. Remember the name, folks.