Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:
Jón Björn Árnason and Leifur Kristinsson are the Icelandic pair behind tunes you’ve may already heard in Awkward, About a Boy and The Fosters. And, like a lot of the bands who first find greater exposure on the small screen, they’re the kind you’ll be desperately Googling once the credits roll. Their debut full-length, Den of Lions, features one emotive track after another. Somewhat dejected sentiments are made empathetic through bombastic crescendos, buildups so big you can’t help but feel your own feelings are validated.
This Danish artist is a musical chameleon. Nabiha Bensouda has both the powerful R&B-soul vocal range of a true diva, and, as an MC, a real OG’s linguistic dexterity. Apart from her vocal prowess, this soul pop songstress also has some dope dance moves that only add to her all-encompassing appeal. In fact, Nabiha is already a bonafide star in Europe, having received prestigious music awards like Female Artist of the Year at the 2013 Danish Grammys and winning the European Border Breakers Award.
Andy Stott has been making understated electronic compositions for over a decade. More interested in creating a chill moment than a dance floor anthem, it’s easy to see why the Manchester-based producer might have slipped past many listeners’ radars. His music creeps and crawls, his songs all united by a sense of unease that can take several spins to fully unpack. His upcoming album, Faith In Strangers is a dark and intricately crafted nine-track journey. Sure, there might be things going bump in the night, but in Stott’s world, they sound downright glorious.
Coming at you like Viking warlocks, Norwegian quintet Einar Stray Orchestra turns post-rock into a mystifying concoction of suspenseful strings and balletic piano riffs, moody percussions and spellbinding harmonies. With his captivating tenor, ringleader Einar Stray tells gloomy, real life stories about deceitful politics and penniless drifters seeking the afterlife. He started off as a solo artist, recording music in his bedroom and putting out tracks on MySpace. He’d often invite friends to join him onstage, who consequently became his official backing band.
Like high gloss indie pop with a spring in its step? HAERTS’s self-titled debut is one of the most big-hearted (big-haerted?), shamelessly emotional releases of the year. Sure, we could tell you that the band’s story starts with the traditional “boy-meets-girl, boy and girl discover they like each other both professionally and personally” narrative. But given the New York five-piece’s piercing electropop hooks and starry-eyed choruses, chances are you already guessed that there was a bit of romantic pixie dust sprinkled into the works.