From R&B up-and-comer, Marr Grey, to indie darling, dodie, we’ve rounded up the new artists you want to hear.
by Gabby Sgherri Illustrator: Alex Kidd
While we hold onto the last few sunny days of fall, it’s not quite time to break out your Mariah Carey Christmas playlist yet. Instead, we’ve rounded up seven rising artists that are sure to leave you impressed. Whether you’re into electronic, indie, punk, hip-hop or RnB, there’s something for everyone. So get out your streaming service of choice, hit play and get familiar with Jordan Fall, Kelland, Marr Grey, Jimi Somewhere, dodie, Like A Motorcycle and MOTTRON.
Genre: Hip-Hop/R&B For fans of: Gunna, Smiley, 88Glam Perfect for: A night in with your social bubble.
Jordan Fall made his intro to the music industry as a DJ, but quickly realized he was meant for more after embracing his inner songwriter at an artist camp in LA. He recorded a song one night in jest and to his surprise, received rave reviews from his peers. Fall remains part of the IXXI collective, alongside notable Toronto artists Daniel Caesar and Sean Leon, but brings his own unique sound to the group. He often chooses hard-hitting beats that perfectly intertwine with his cadence, creating a wavy sound reminiscent of Travis Scott. His recent single “Life Style” has all the right components of a hip-hop song with its catchy guitar-riff beat and a hook that’ll have you rapping along by the end. Fall has a project currently in the works with EESTBOUND, the platinum producer behind “Antidote”, set to release in 2021, so expect to hear a lot more from him in the new year.
Genre: R&B, Electronic For fans of: NXSTY, Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding, Zedd Perfect for: A sunny day spent on a patio.
Jonah Radu, who goes by the stage name of Kelland, is a multi-faceted Canadian artist to look out for. The songwriter, DJ and producer is coming off a collaborative EP with NXSTY and production contributions to BOSLEN’s debut EP. He has a unique and futuristic sound in the electronic genre, influenced by sonics from hip-hop and pop music. Kelland’s versatility in production and his ability to adapt beats with different artists’ vocals, while staying true to his own style, is what makes him stand out. His previous projects have already amassed over three million streams, and this is just the beginning for Kelland. Put in your airpods and let him take you on a sonic journey through different genres.
Genre: Hip-Hop/R&B For fans of: Bryson Tiller, 6LACK, Don Toliver Perfect for: Late night drives.
Marr Grey, is one of those R&B artists that gives you all the feels. His discography has a combination of slower-paced tracks with melodic vocals reminiscent of Bryson Tiller and hip-hop-esque tracks with lyrical wordplay similar to Drake. Grey’s 2017 song “Safe House” was mistaken as an unreleased Drake song when a video surfaced on Twitter. Similar enough, Bryson Tiller sampled Sango’s “Out My Way/Around You” featuring Grey for his new album, Anniversary. Grey’s music often touches upon the hardships he encountered growing up, and relationship struggles that many can relate to..
Genre: Alt Pop/Indie Pop For fans of: Boy Pablo, Boy Willows, Wallows Perfect for: Visiting your childhood home.
Jimi Somewhere, whose given name is Benjamin Schandy, is a young artist from Norway. Growing up in the small town of Hokksund, Jimi always knew there was more to discover around the world. He learned guitar and looked to North America for pop culture, discovering artists such as Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar and Kevin Abstract (all of which he credits as musical influences.) Jimi’s sound is versatile, bouncing between electro-pop, hip-hop and trippy-pop coupled with contemplative lyrics. The best way to describe his music is that it’s more of a feeling than anything—he perfectly emulates that teenage nostalgia for simpler times. Look out for his debut LP in 2021, titled “Nothing Gold Can Stay” with his third single off the album, “In My Car” being released shortly on November 13th.
Genre: indie/folk/singer-songwriter For fans of: Phoebe Bridgers, Clairo, mxmtoon Perfect for: A park picnic.
There’s something quaint and familiar about 25-year-old indie songwriter, dodie, that has captured the attention of audiences all over the world, in a very short period of time. The English singer-songwriter, author, dancer, and YouTuber will be releasing her debut album, Build A Problem, in March 2021. She’s already amassed more than two million monthly listeners on Spotify with her three previous EPs. The video for her most recent single, “Cool Girl,” features beautiful choreography from dodie and a group of dancers who exude empathic body language and a unique self-awareness that complements the softcore ballad. Young and empowered; take a deep breath before entering dodie’s otherworldly universe.
Like A Motorcycle
Genre: Punk/Rock For fans of: Pretty Girls Make Graves, The Pack AD, You Say Party Perfect for: Power cleaning your living room.
Like A Motorcycle are firing on all cylinders with the release of their exciting new sophomore album Dead Broke. Don’t let the name fool you because these punks are prime for a pay day. Guitars squeal with fervor alongside an air-tight rhythm section through 13 emotive tracks recorded by producer Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, Mother Mother.) There’s a revved up sense of urgency at the heart of everything LAM creates. While at times dark and melodic, this Halifax-based foursome also celebrates the brighter side of life while stickin’ it to the man with catchy choruses and sharp sonic sensibilities.
Genre: Electronic For fans of: Woodkid, Air, Patrick Watson Perfect for: Those introspective moments before bedtime.
Atmospheric dream-like compositions push and pull the listener through a hypnotic haze of electronic melodrama on Pierre Mottron’s new album, Giants. Standing on the shoulders of artists like Thom Yorke and Woodkid, MOTTRON channels delicate sounds with sophistication. Beautiful string arrangements, robust percussion, and haunting vocals make his unique brand of ethereal indie-pop extremely palatable. His most recent single, “Walk Away” summons the cold winter months with melancholic intoxication. Its accompanying video was directed by actress Charlotte Le Bon, who sums up the surreal fairytale that is MOTTRON best: “From the very first listening I imagined a non-binary, baroque creature with a threatening touch. A story gradually wove itself around the one we called the Queen Mother, composed of dreams, quests and mirrors.”