Artists to Watch in 2016


Norwegian folk/Indie pop singer AURORA (via Flickr)


2015 brought us some amazing new musical talent, but 2016 is already looking like an exciting year for every genre under the sun. Combing through the archives of underground talent, press attention, the blogosphere and a variety of social media, we’ve come up with a list of talented, fresh, new artists to look forward to in 2016.  Many artists are finding themselves reverting back to older beats, rhythms or styles from decades past, finding gems in the history of our vintage soundscape. So, when you’re feeling some type of way, check out these new artists to either get you on your feet, help you relax or satisfy your craving for the contemporary.

If you’re in the mood to get out of the city…

Listen to Aurora (stylized as AURORA). At 19 years old, this Norwegian folk slash indie pop singer has captivated the hearts of many, who are heralding her art as the “next best thing” to the likes of Lorde and Halsey. With raw, tantalizing vocals softly spread out over rhythmic basslines and spacey melodies, listening to AURORA immediately transports you to a fantastical world – just like something straight out of a fairytale. Many agree that her voice has an air of innocence, with her tone sounding childlike in nature, yet mature in its skill. And if the sound isn’t enough to make you a fan, critics say that the lyrics definitely will. With thought-provoking words and themes so deep and dark for someone that began writing lyrics at the age of twelve, her ability to create a heartfelt, empathetic connection is astounding. To dip your toes in her silky sound, try listening to “Runaway” or “Running With the Wolves.” Her first album, All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend releases on March 11, 2016.

“Runaway” :

“Running With the Wolves” :


If you’re in the mood to wind down and vibe out…

Listen to Post Malone. This one’s pretty obvious. Hailing from Dallas,  Post Malone has rapidly been gaining popularity since the latter end of 2015 for his single, “White Iverson,” which he originally released on Soundcloud. With heavy bass beats, catchy choruses and a vibe that screams a chill day on the beach with your friends, his music has permeated the rap and hip-hop scene, enticing both connoisseurs of those genres and devoted pop junkies alike. He has grown to be a more highly-demanded artist and less of a hidden gem.With his rapid rise to fame the previous year, 2016 is the year to watch and see what Post Malone can really do. To get a taste of his style (besides “White Iverson”), listen to “Too Young” and “What’s Up.”

“Too Young” :

“What’s Up”: 


If you’re in the mood to sing in the shower or chill out at home all day…

Listen to Alessia Cara. This 19-year-old Canada native has rocked the top of the charts of today’s R&B hits since the end of 2015. With her hit single, “Here,” people all over the country were bumping to her slow jam vibes and hypnotically sultry vocals. Beginning her career as a YouTube content creator, it was only a matter of time before her unique style and sound would capture the attention of a record label. Her relatable lyrics and down-to-earth persona make her that much easier to listen to, whether you want to sit on the couch and chill out with friends, or scream-sing the words “I’ll be here” in the shower. Although her success is obvious, 2016 is the year that audiences all over the world will be looking at her to see what this talented girl can create. To get a feel for her rich sound, check out “Scars To Your Beautiful” or “Stars” (or her whole album, Know-It-All).

“Scars To Your Beautiful”: 



If you’re in the mood to be nostalgic or angsty…

You should definitely check out Bleached. Do you like garage rock? Are the ’90s your spirit era? Do girl bands rock your socks? Then this is definitely the band for you. This three-piece girl group has single-handedly encompassed all that is ’90s grungey yet beachy vibes, vintage garage band feels, girl power and the reincarnated love child of Joan Jett, Courtney Love and Karen O. The tone is incredibly consistent with early, OG garage rock – a heap of passion, a touch of whiny and a hint of soul – all which make for great, angsty tracks. With harsh and heavy guitar, raw and almost raspy vocals and simplistic chord progressions that help keep the focus on the lyrics of the classic “life problems” thematics, this band is truly a beloved blast from the past. To check out their rad vibes, listen to “Dead in Your Head” or “Love Spells.”

“Dead in Your Head”:

“Love Spells”: 


If you’re in the mood to dance, dance, dance…

Listen to Clairity. Another one to add to your throwback Thursday playlist. If you dig retro techno styles, lots of synth keyboard and feeling like you’re floating through hyperspace, you should definitely give Clairity a listen. With hypnotic synth beats, curious sound effects and a seriously heavy ’90s vibe, nostalgia runs free with her montage-worthy tracks. Discovered by none other than Ke$ha’s mom, she is quickly becoming 2016’s rising electronica queen (one of her songs was featured on the hit show, Teen Wolf!) Reverting back to the roots of her genre, she takes a spin in the right direction, a little farther away from the EDM anthems we hear on the radio and in the club. Critics find it as a refreshing twist to the electronic dance genre, and we couldn’t agree more. To get in the groove, check out “Velcro” and “DNA.”