Editor’s note: This is the fourth post in a series covering the best talent at the fest. Listen to these artists-to-watch now, and get them on your festival schedule. This list comes from @atxconcert.
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Art pop/rock quartet The Ceremonies are composed of LA based brothers Matthew, Mark, and Michael Cook, along with cousin Kane Ritchotte. The Ceremonies’ sound has been described as ‘80s New Wave nostalgia meets cutting-edge alternative rock, though they express a move toward the stylings of what they regard as classic pop. Inspired by their favorite poems, novels, philosophies, and songs, they called themselves “The Ceremonies,” which they say are “communal gatherings where people come together to experience both the happiest and saddest of times— an event that ranges the entire spectrum of human emotion.” The group has released one self titled EP, who’s single release “Land of Gathering,” was paired with a music video directed, designed and edited by the band themselves.
Jahkoy terms his way of switching modes — from low-key contemporary R&B and rap to relatively energetic dance grooves — as “bipolar sound.” The singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer from Toronto, Ontario gained some notice in 2014 when he released the sparse slow jam “Poison.” The following year, he issued a club-oriented pair of tracks — “Still in Love” and “Hold Your Hand” — through his own Bipolar label. He signed with Def Jam Records in 2016 and dropped “Foreign Water”.
U.K. indie quartet Sundara Karma emerged in 2014 with a bright, shimmering sound and great expectations. Though their name may be based in Hindu/Buddhist origin, the band arrived emitting pure waves of pop. They soon earned themselves a deal with RCA imprint Chess Club Records, and after a pair of well-received 2015 EPs, they completed work on their debut album, Youth Is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect. The Larry Hibbitt-produced LP was released in January 2017.
With such a captivating voice, it seems quite clear that pop-soul singer Mullally is set to create waves in the music scene. He began his musical venture from the age of just 16. As a songwriter and performer, Mullally packs a soulful punch, utilizing range of modern production techniques and to underpin his sing-along pop vocal arrangements, painting vivid pictures in the minds of his listeners.
Fickle Friends are New Wave Indie Pop band from Brighton, UK. Their summery, youthful sound swiftly earned them a solid local fan base and soon launched them onto the summer festival circuit. With a series of demos and a quirky amateur music video under their belt, the team of Brits hit the studio to polish their recordings. There is a clear 80’s pop influence and definite similarities to acts like Panama and New Navy, but front woman Natassja Shiner’s spot-on pop vocals provide a uniqueness that is refreshing.
The Brooklyn artist formerly known as Carlos St. John has been working behind the scenes for the past few years, and returned with a new name, SAINt JHN, and a more polished, focused, and intense sound. He’s always had the ability to write a gripping song, but his new material feels heavier and more powerful than anything he’s put out yet. His first single, “Roses,” is a creeping, melodic track that is as dark as it is catchy. “I didn’t even write that song for myself,” SAINt JHN explains. “I was actually hoping someone else would fvck with it. When I went back and listened, I realized it was too good to not put out.”
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