Another Odd Future collaborator. An English singer-songwriter wunderkind. A Manhattan garage band turned professional duo, produced by Passion Pit’s Chris Zane. The internet’s bubbling and boiling again, and its talent is rising steadily to the top. After relentlessly mining Spotify, Soundcloud, and the weirder parts of the internet, Halftime has patched together some of the best upcoming indie artists of 2015. Of particular note are London duo “Oh Wonder”, Manhattan duo “Jack + Eliza”, Leicestershire native Leo Stannard, and Odd Future collaborator Kilo Kish.
“Lose It” by Oh Wonder
Sporting vocals synced as tight as a 1960s Crosby, Stills and Nash, this London duo has already tipped 10,000,000 plays on their Soundcloud. Oh Wonder has released one track per month since September 1st in preparation for their debut album in September of 2015. In “Lose It,” stripped down instrumentals layered over crisp beats showcase tremendous vocal talents while a jazzy backbeat makes the track perfect for both dancing and just kicking back. .
“Hold the Line” by Jack + Eliza
Suffused with grunge, doo-wop, and surf rock, NYC college students Jack Staffen and Eliza Callahan create a sun-drenched sound both nostalgic and totally fresh. Produced by Passion Pit’s Chris Zane, their debut EP “No Wonders” reveals a gift for wordplay (Eliza won the International John Lennon Songwriting Award when she was 15), while Jack’s free-flowing, reverb heavy guitar masks militant instrumental precision. “Hold the Line” is one of the EP’s most energetic tracks, showcasing Eliza’s haunting vocals and the group’s budding sound to best effect.
“Please Don’t” by Leo Stannard
19 year old Leicestershire native Leo Stannard played a sold-out European tour before signing to Sony earlier this month. His most popular track “Please Don’t” opens with an intricate guitar riff that bleeds into a catchy hook. Combining a warm yet raw voice and tremendous technical skill, Stannard is in firm competition with Oh Wonder to become the UK’s next breakout artist.
“Bloodsport” by Raleigh Ritchie
Jack-of-all-trades Jacob Anderson does it again. Working both as a serious actor (Grey Worm on HBO’s Game of Thrones) and moonlighting as R&B singer Raleigh Ritchie, he deploys a smooth voice, masterful control of beats, and spectacular range. His most popular track “Bloodsport” details the difficulties of a violent relationship.
“Cold” by Nick Hakim
Featuring thick harmonics spread over dreamy tones, Nick Hakim creates icy and ethereal soundscapes. His debut EP “Where Will We Go” is bluesy and Scandinavian – a unique sound that only bodes well for tracks to come.
“Closer” by JMR
JMR’s track is one of the most creatively arranged on the list. The song is compelling from the get-go, opening with a direct a cappella plea to the listener. The rest of “Closer” is mostly a cappella with a fuzzy snare beat that underscores the refrain for emphasis.
“Dazzle” by Oh Wonder
Oh Wonder present a more bladed sound in this equally enjoyable track. “Dazzle” is grungier and more club-ready than “Lose It”: fuzzing out its crisp tones for a distortion pedal. A different track from a multitalented band.
“Blush” by Wolf Alice
New bands rarely show versatility like Wolf Alice. Sometimes ethereal, sometimes snarling, they jump between genres as easily as . “Blush” shows that Wolf Alice keens and croons with the best of them.
“I Don’t Need Another Lover” by Billie Black
19 year old singer Billie Black strikes a mature tone well above her age. A rich voice and excellent sound mixing make her debut EP “000 100” one of the most exciting releases of last year. “I Don’t Need Another Lover” is a ballad couched in a electronic track that does both genres justice.
“Locket” by Kilo Kush
Kilo Kush is Odd Future’s next big thing. Her writing is evocative, her voice is on point, and her music is just the right amount of off-beat to avoid the standard industry tropes of female R&B singers. Combining dreamy vocals with references to life expectancy in Southern California ghettos, “Locket” is both soothing and discomforting.
What artists are you looking out for in 2015? Tweet @HalftimeGU with your predictions of who will make it big this year.