In 2017, independent artists from across the globe came together in Dublin and Los Angeles for a weekend of master classes, collaboration, and performance. Youbloom artists have been hard at work pumping out fresh sounds all year long. To wrap up this 2017 we thought we'd share some of our favorites. Tune in everyday for a new featured artist.
Music Box is one of three singles released by the solo artist Shivan in the last year and it was a tough choice picking which one to feature. In Music Box, Shivan meshes silky smooth vocal harmonies with sparse synth tones of bells and plucked strings culminating in an airy atmosphere. This spacious intro gives way to a head-bobbing interlude powered forward by Shivan's hocketing voice put through a vocoder. Shivan's sound in general is clean, at times funny (take a listen to Manta Ray), and never lacking in innovative catchiness. You can check out more of his music on Spotify and SoundCloud.
9. We Bless This Mess
In their new single, Ocean, We Bless This Mess brings their soulful, raw fervor to a new level as Nelson Graf Reis leaves off the bass and drums to create a more stripped-back level of intimacy. The track starts with the sound of waves, barely audible and gently lapping. The waves quickly give way to Graf Reis' soulful solo voice waxing sweetly against the brittle strumming of his guitar. Occasionally his own voice is subtly layered by vocal harmonies while at other times, it all falls away completely and were are left alone with Graf Reis' beautiful, wailing words reminding us: "Step by step, you breathe the same air as eye." If you want to see the music video that accompanies Ocean you can find it here on youtube. And to see what else We Bless This Mess has cooked up, find them on Spotify or follow them on Twitter to see when they're playing near you.
8. The Magnettes
Ugly Youth, the newest album by the Suisse duo The Magnettes, is full of catchy songs that quickly hook listeners. The captivating and distinct sound of the Magnettes is fun and similar to that of Madonna. Their June release can be found on sites such as Soundcloud, and iTunes. Killers in a Ghost Town, the leading song on the album incorporates a wide variety of instruments in coherence with a more modern techno style.
OSIYM has been making a lot of noise this 2017, dropping 3 new singles and with music videos to match. Youbloom is excited to name one of these singles, the party anthem FLEX, as #8 on our countdown of 2017 releases. With its infectious beat and slick bravado, FLEX is a hot addition to your party playlist. The rap duo Nova and Charlie Black have become synonymous with the boom bap and trap scene in their hometown of Toronto and thanks to their witty word-smithing and on-stage charisma, OSIYM's music has spread the continent. While there's a lot of exceptional talent spilling out of Toronto right now, OSIYM is in no danger of being drowned out. Take a listen on Spotify or Soundcloud, and see what we mean.
6. Royal Prospect
Royal Prospect started 2017 off strong with the March release of Hearts. Hearts beautifully displays the group’s lyrical ability as well as the amazing vocal capacity of lead singer Oscar Reingsdahl. The song begins with a slow taste of the chord progression that later speeds and evolves as the mood of the song changes. The overall lyrical message is both relatable as well as captivating to the listener. Hearts can be found on iTunes and Soundcloud and check out their music video on Youtube. The group followed up Hearts with the September release of I Feel Alright. Unlike Hearts, which is a very vocally heavy song, I Feel Alright places great emphasis on the instrumental abilities of Gustav Reingsdahl (Guitar), Hannes Tingfors (Bass) Oscar Reingsdahl (Guitar) and Hannes Pennsäter (Drums). See what you’re missing and check out Royal Prospect!
In her new EP, Blossom, Hannah swishes together a cocktail of jazzy piano accompaniment, chill-step hip-hop beats, and her soulful voice to create a mesmerizing piece of poetry. Originally from Chicago, and now making noise in Los Angeles, Hannah's sound is unique and colored by the iconic cities she's lived in. Blossom, on the surface, is a mellow set of Rap and R&B charts to chill out to. Listen a little closer, and it's a story of Hannah's life, her experiences, and finding her identity in a world off-kilter. Take a listen to Blossom on SoundCloud or Bandcamp.
4. Ivy Nations
Ivy Nations has undoubtedly had a successful 2017 with the release of two new singles and accompanying music videos. In early April, the group released the soothing track Live By Design. The steady and notable rhythm of this single immediately pulls in the listener as it sets the tone for the song’s entirely. The music video, which can be found on Youtube, beautifully captures the mood of this unique and unforgettable song. Check it out on Soundcloud and iTunes. Following Live By Design, Ivy Nations released the single Sentimental Hearts. This song has a happy and upbeat tone portrayed by the swift major chord progressions and catchy lyrics. You can catch Sentimental Hearts on Soundcloud and iTunes. Also, don’t forget to check out the new music video on Youtube!
3. The Fontaines
Choosing to feature The Fontaines on our Top 10 was easy. Deciding what to feature was the hard part. With 5 singles and 2 EPs out this year, the LA-based band has been pumping out breezy indie-pop ballads and New-Wave rock charts like you wouldn't believe. In the end, we settled on Evaporate. We know what you're thinking! Choosing the single that garnered the group 100,000 streams on Spotify and hundreds of new fans isn't exactly bold but if you go ahead and press play, you'll see why we just can't stop listening.Comprised of funky guitar riffs, retro synths, and eerily sweet vocals, Evaporate gives off an air of old-school cool that's hard to come by. You can hear more of what The Fontaines have been cooking up on Bandcamp or SoundCloud but of course nothing beats a live show and you're in luck, they're playing at the Troubador in West Hollywood on January 11th.
2. Cider Wasps
Cider Wasps' 2017 featured the release of their EP Ethereal. This album was a compilation of five tracks, some of which had been previously made into music videos in 2016 such as their hit Hummingbird. Thirty seconds into this song and you'll be dancing along. Hummingbird displays Cider Wasps' ability to simultaneously rock-out while maintaining steady control over their sound and producing quality music that's as catchy as it is artful. The band's unique style is also portrayed through the vocal layering in Magic Beans. Check out Magic Beans, Hummingbird and the rest of the EP as well as upcoming tour dates on Cider Wasps' Website.
To anyone who loves early 2000s rock, your year is about to get a whole lot better: check out Cider Wasps on iTunes, and Soundcloud!
The bi-coastal band Faulkner is back with their sanguine new single, Hot Streak. In style with the bouncy alt-rock ballads and sleek production present in their previous EP, Revanchist, Hot Streak manages to hook and groove, while still delivering in substance. Between lead singer Lucas Asher's visceral imagery sung in punchy verse, and the soaring synths that sound unmistakably of The Killers, Hot Streak has a flavor you won't want to put down. It's no surprise since the group collaborated with Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and worked with producers like JP Bowersock (The Strokes) and Mark Needham (The Killers). Bash into the new year with this New Wave cut on Spotify and see why it was youbloom's #1 in our Countdown to the New Year! Faulkner will be gracing the Peppermint Club in LA on February 8th, 2018.