Check out these five fascinating artists from around the world and vote for your favorite before next Friday at 11am EST!
On their spellbinding debut album, Dublin’s September Girls rarely let on that they house four separate singer-songwriters. The five-piece threads ’60s girl group vocals with goth-inspired jangle pop and each of the songs glides through every fuzzy bass note and Farfisa organ backdrop with steady ease. Their music videos match up visually too, in part because of the stylish black attire worn by Sarah Grimes (drums), Lauren Kerchner (vocals/keyboard), Jessie Ward (vocals/guitar), Caoimhe Derwin (vocals/guitar) and Paula Cullen (vocals/bass).
Suryakant Sawhney is a New Delhi-based electronic music artist who performs under the name Lifafa (Urdu for “envelope”). He’s a relative newcomer to beat production, having played the guitar or other non-laptop-based music in bands like PCRC (Peter Cat Recording Co.) until he became entranced by the twilight grooves of offbeat dubstep artist James Blake in his his travels to Europe and the United States. Lifafa’s music hovers in the zone of many other post-Blake artists, but strays to reaches as upbeat as lo-fi disco, as cerebral as IDM, and as reflective as ambient.
Tove Lo isn’t Ke$ha. Sure the songs of her debut EP Truth Serum are all about drugs, boys, and heartbreak. (Not necessarily in that order.) But reality hangs heavy around Lo’s glitter-encrusted, radio-ready tunes. What happens when a pop princess takes a tumble—and realizes that the hard fall is all her fault? For Lo the answer is getting high, going to sex clubs, and then throwing up, all in the name of numbing the pain.The good news is that while the lows are harrowing, the highs are euphoric. “I’m up with the kites in a dream so blue,” she croons against the slinky backbeat of “Paradise.”
Hailing from the Crow Nation, Native American champion dancer and MC SupaMan infuses the best of the ‘90s New York hip-hop style with auditory collages that reflect the rich heritage of the Apsaalooké people. Alongside samples of Biggie Smalls, SupaMan envelopes his verses in layers of sound, like drums, bells, and even bird calls. Spitting clever wordplays with a gritty delivery, he skips and jumps from quip to quip, inducing both laughter and thought-provoking reflections on issues like racism and drug abuse. But he’s not afraid to reveal his sensitive side, whether it’s by inviting a choir of children to sing on “LiL Love”, or by praising God, his wife and kids. He may bust some hard-hitting bars, but he’s as much a humble family man as he is SupaMan.
Let’s venture to Chile and step into the womb of Wrathprayer, where we’ll hear sounds fit for a Lovecraftian ritual. Their 2012 debut, The Son of Moloch, shows us that Chilean death metal is nothing to mess around with — unless, of course, we’re ready for its sinister and murky chaos. Wrathprayer execute flawlessly what many others fail to do, and that’s combine nausea-inducing production with defined instrumentation. Vocals take the back road here, but only in terms of prominence. The growls echo ominously over oppressive waves of distortion. Each instrument packs maximum punch in a dense mix. The result is a drapery of pulsing riffs — a total envelopment into the blackness from which all of this seems to emanate.