As temperatures drop, it’s time to warm up your winter with new music from some of the most exciting emerging artists on the market. Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, and Ariana Grande might be driving the pop music conversation, but the following tracks from up-and-coming talents like Jack Romanov, Ivy Mode, and Flor deserve your attention all the same. Kick off 2017 with a fresh set of sounds below.
Jack Romanov, “No More Loose Ends (All Mine)”
Having one of your best songs mistakenly attributed to Lady Gaga is a hell of a way to burst onto the music scene, and indie band Jack Romanov learned things the hard way — after their dreamy rock tune “No More Loose Ends” was posted to YouTube last year by a user who claimed it was a demo from the pop superstar’s Joanne sessions. Unfortunately, the clip was played over 100,000 times under the wrong title. The good news? The track, officially released in December, is good enough to stand out on its own as part of the group’s blossoming discography.
“We didn’t think we’d get to release this song so soon and we didn’t expect such an enthusiastic response,” the band told EW in a statement. “We’re excited about a few projects we’re going to announce very soon.”
At a time when modern politics continue to wedge a divide between right and left, a stirring empowerment anthem like Ty.Ni’s “Fighter” has never felt more appropriate. “I am a fighter / freedom is my burning desire / come on baby let’s start the fire / with just this love to take us higher,” the British singer-songwriter coos over stark hand claps and burgeoning synths, teasing fearless lyricism and eclectic production sure to be found on her upcoming EP (on which she worked with Beyoncé/Cheryl Cole hitmaker Wayne Wilkins) when it drops later this year.
Wallowing in post-holiday blues has never felt as good as it does with the sounds of ACES on repeat. Lead singer Alexandra Stewart’s haunting vocals drift over dark, icy synths on “If I Could Be Your Girl,” a searing ballad about love, transformation, loss, and regret as frigid as mid-January at midnight.
The fin., “Heat” (Ten Fé remix)
At the tail end of 2016, Japanese group The fin. put a euphoric spin on their 2016 EP Through the Deep, releasing a groovy set of remixes to complement their brooding sound. Ethereal cut “Heat,” remixed by London-based duo Ten Fé, blends the foursome’s fantastical synth pop sound with the band’s indie rock flair; The result is a gorgeous, moody blend of shimmering electronic riffs and otherworldly vocals.
Flor, “Hold On”
If you took the lyrical bravado of MUNA, the fiery chutzpah of Kristin Kontrol, and smeared the mix with a handful of neon, you’d have Flor, one of the most dynamic acts currently on the roster of Fueled by Ramen, a label that once boasted artists like Gym Class Heroes and Cobra Starship. The sound of the four-piece act, originating from Oregon and California, beats with clearly rooted inspiration from the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and HAIM — especially on the breezy “Hold On,” an infectious pop-rock ditty that’ll worm its way into your ear after a single listen.
Gabriel Garzón-Montano, “Crawl“
Three years after dropping his debut EP Bishouné in 2014, Brooklyn native Gabriel Garzón-Montano has returned at the top of 2017 in full force, crooning through the smoky, throwback, horn-tinged single “Crawl,” a funky cut lifted from his upcoming album Jardín, which releases Jan. 27.
Ivy Mode, “Money Can’t Buy”
Twenty-one-year-old Filipino/Belgian singer Ivy Mode delivers big bass and sultry swag on her debut single “Money Can’t Buy” four years after appearing as a contestant on her home country’s edition of The Voice in 2013.
“It’s about putting your career first, sacrificing a serious relationship for it and then later regretting it,” she told Ultimate Music of the track in November. “Your regret comes too late, after you realize you blew your chance. Now you’re left with a feeling of emptiness because you’d rather share your success with the one you love.”
Valerie June, “Astral Plane”
Hailing from Tennessee, Valerie June has been actively making music since 2000, the labor of which laid a foundation for success in Europe, where her 2013 single “Workin’ Woman Blues” charted at No. 63 in Belgium.
“It’s been a long night if that’s what happened,” she writes on her Facebook page, referencing her status as an overnight star in the region. Since then, she’s appeared on major U.K. television shows (including Later… with Jools Holland) and high-profile awards ceremonies (she performed a duet with Eric Church at the ACM Awards) alike, though she’s yet to notch a song on a major chart in her home country.
Though the twangy guitars and soulful vocals of “Woman” might recall the work of Alabama Shakes, there’s really no classifying — or comparing — June’s fiercely original material, on display in full force across the spirited “Shakedown” and “Astral Plane,” both of which appear on her upcoming album The Order of Time, set for release on March 10.