Slingshot: 20 Artists To Watch In 2019

Slingshot: 20 Artists To Watch In 2019


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Courtesy of the artists

A newly year calls for modern discoveries, and 2019 is no unlike. As part of NPR Slingshot, penis stations have chosen a blue-ribbon group of artists who are making this a promise year in music. Packed with discoveries, our 2019 Artists To Watch number is more than fair an irregular shuffle of jazz montages, complex dirt solo and consolidative anthems. It ‘s a diverse celebration of artists who ‘ve been here all along, but are only immediately getting to be heard.

Anjimile

Anjimile
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Leah Eve Corbett/Courtesy of the artist
Anjimile

Leah Eve Corbett/Courtesy of the artist

Anjimile ‘s spiritual and melodious indie-pop sound is characterized by a smooth, highly expressive croon backed by guitar and synthesist. When it comes to songwriting, the Boston-based gay and trans artist draws on their experiences with racism and homophobia while growing up in a suburb outside Dallas. But they ‘re besides drawing on mental-health battles to focus on the grace of life. “ I sing about my love for survive and my appreciation for the beauty of existing, ” they have told WGBH about their music. “ I sing about the pain of being a person, and the pain of personal growth and emotional development. ”

With an abundance of raw endowment and years of performing under their belt, Anjimile is about to make a serious rise. —Stacy Buchanan, WGBH

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Anna St. Louis

Anna St. Louis
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Chantal Anderson/Grandstand Media
Anna St. Louis

Chantal Anderson/Grandstand Media

Anna St. Louis began her life as an artist with punk rocker music and paint. Leaving her native Kansas City for a least sandpiper at art school in Philadelphia, St. Louis finally settled in Los Angeles. The new songs that emerged from her home recordings were more brooding of tribe and nation music. Encouraged by singer-songwriter Kevin Morby — a ally of hers from back dwelling — she released an EP on cassette, titled First Songs. Honest writing and spare production gave the music a haunt and nonnatural quality that feels wholly master. A full-length album, If only There Was a river, followed. Recorded in L.A. with producers Kevin Thomas ( King Tuff ) and Morby, it stylistically straddles Laurel Canyon pop and dirt-floor nation. Anna St. Louis is touring Europe this spring in support of her album and a much-deserved vinyl reissue of First Songs, slated for release later this class. —Jon Hart, KTBG

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Arnetta Johnson

Arnetta Johnson
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Maximillian Shelton/Courtesy of the artist
Arnetta Johnson

Maximillian Shelton/Courtesy of the artist

Trumpeter Arnetta Johnson was the quintessential “ band eccentric ” at the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Camden, N.J., where she was steeped ( but not trapped ) in the sleep together tradition. The Berklee College of Music alumnus exhibits enormous predict with music that already defies classification. Johnson has been mentored by Jill Scott and saxophonist Tia Fuller ; toured with Terri Lyne Carrington, Solange, Beyoncé and Jay-Z ; and packed several creative lifetimes into her first 25 years on ground. Her singles “ Meet Me There, ” “ Who Are You ” and “ I ‘m just Sayin ‘ ” have only heightened exhilaration about her forthcoming album, If You Hear a Trumpet, It ‘s Me. —J. Michael Harrison, WRTI

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Benji.

Benji. ‘s debut album, death class ‘s Smile, You ‘re alert !, about did n’t happen after his studio equipment and laptop ( containing all of his recordings, including his completed album ) were stolen from a local studio apartment. A few weeks late, he found a flash drive in a backpack with his finished album on it, and it turned his 2018 around. It was a interfering class for Benji., as he played shows around the city and released a newly track each week in October. One of those, “ tamale, ” mixes a tropical vibration with soulful hip-hop beats, and has been on all my new-music playlists ever since. In November, I caught Benji. at a pack local showcase called Glow Up. As the audience danced and sang along, it was clear that big things were in store for Benji., whose new album is scheduled for a May release. —Kyle Smith, WYEP

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CAAMP

CAAMP
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David Salafia/Courtesy of the artist
CAAMP

David Salafia/Courtesy of the artist

Taylor Meier and Evan Westfall met as high-school freshmen and formed a dance band with a couple of classmates for a project. After that group came to an conclusion, the duet stayed together as CAAMP and moved to Athens, Ohio, to attend school. The charm of CAAMP ‘s acoustic songs can be heard in the dear simplicity of the music, the sentiments in its lyrics about syndicate and relationships, and the genuine comfort and saturation of the band ‘s live performances. With a new album on the horizon, CAAMP will hit the festival circuit throughout the spring and summer. The band ‘s songs might be ideally suited for moments of solitude and late nights, but their dreamy mix of easy guitars, banjo and bass besides reflects a warm and welcome embrace of community and hope. —Bruce Warren, WXPN

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Duncan Fellows

Duncan Fellows
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Adam Kingman/Courtesy of the artist
Duncan Fellows

Adam Kingman/Courtesy of the artist

With its pristine studio recordings and wholesome live performances, Duncan Fellows is an Austin indie-rock band that ‘s sweetly in a earnest room but by no means “ cute. ” duncan Fellows refined its chops with two EPs and a national go before diving into a full-length 2017 album, Both Sides of the Ceiling. The criminal record navigates a wide spectrum of shoegaze and rock ‘n’ roll sounds, complete with crisp vocals, witty lyrics and intricate arrangements across 10 divers songs that do n’t sprawl sol much as enjoy the groove. duncan Fellows promises newly material and tour dates in 2019, so be on the lookout for more from this grin-inducing power station. —Jack Anderson, KUTX

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Fontaines D.C.

Fontaines DC
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Richard Dumas/Courtesy of the artist
Fontaines DC

Richard Dumas/Courtesy of the artist

“ Chequeless Reckless, ” Fontaines D.C. ‘s 2018 debut single, announced the band as a perfective cocktail of Joyce and Jameson — the musical equivalent of a Sally Rooney novel and a shot field glass. The group ‘s loose-yet-kinetic ferocity is capped by singer Grian Chatten ‘s long-winded, charismatic croon, which forms a blend of punk and poetry that ‘s peer parts chatty swing and romanticist faint. Along with patronize tourmates Shame and IDLES, the Dublin quintet is leading a new wave of rock bands who dispense introspective prose with slash-and-burn guitars. “ Too Real, ” the leave one from their extroverted debut album, finds the band in greatest form across four shouted, chaotic minutes. It ‘s a birdcall just vitamin a probably to grab you by the collar as it is to offer you a seat at the bar, fix to tell you a history so absorbing that its truthfulness is irrelevant. —Jacob Webb, KEXP

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Hurry Up

Hurry Up
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Ephriam Nagler/Courtesy of the artist
Hurry Up

Ephriam Nagler/Courtesy of the artist

Hurry Up plays extremely forte, fast and brash rock music. The appropriately named band started out as a side project about a decade ago in Portland, Ore. There, Westin Glass and Kathy Foster, then members of The Thermals, joined up with early Bangs bassist Maggie Vail in an campaign to scratch their weirdest lo-fi kindling itches. That early collaboration culminated in a criminally underheard self-titled album rooted in the DIY sounds of the D.C. hard-core and carouse grrrl scenes of the ’80s and ’90s. With the holocene separation of The Thermals, Hurry Up is now the trio ‘s elementary focus and seems poised to reach a wide audience. And, while the ring has embraced a far more modern sound on the modern Dismal Nitch ( out later in 2019 ), their songs inactive brim with a nasty strut that lends a common sense of importance to every note, parole and growl. — Jerad Walker, opbmusic.org

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IDER

IDER
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Lottie Turner/Courtesy of the artist
IDER

Lottie Turner/Courtesy of the artist

The marriage of depth and temper via song can be crafty, but when the chemistry and songcraft are actual and the elements fall into target, art happens. together, Londoners Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville comprise the curious voice of IDER, whose first full-length album arrives this year. With transcendent harmonies and laid-bare lyricism offering a front at the populace of twentysomething angst and uncertainty, IDER ‘s U.S. break track “ Mirror ” brings to life the sunken-hearted, second-guess phase in the aftermath of a separation. finally, the sung sings the praises of settling comfortably back into oneself — and ultimately, finding authorization through solitude. — Gini Mascorro, KXT

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Jean Deaux

Jean Deaux
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Hailey Losselyong/Courtesy of the artist
Jean Deaux

Hailey Losselyong/Courtesy of the artist

At 23, Jean Deaux is a Chicago renaissance woman. She sings, she writes, she raps, she [ satiate in the blank with reasonably a lot anything ], and she does it all while keenly in tune with her sight and craft. She carries her infinite energy into her latest EP, Krash, a journey of beats and rhythms that carry her voice and lyricality like arrant waves. One of its best sock is “ Energy, ” which features another Chicago favorite, Ravyn Lenae, and is produced by Phoelix, Smino and ROMderful. The chase is a call to action, reminding those who might want to get in her manner that they ‘ll have to keep her pace. — Fyodor Sakhnovski, Vocalo

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Júníus Meyvant

Júníus Meyvant
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Júníus Meyvant

Sigríður Unnur/Courtesy of the artist

Growing up on one of Iceland ‘s remote control Westman Islands, Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson spent his youth as a restless ( old ) person who passed his time by skateboarding and painting. It was n’t until he stumbled on a battered guitar in his early 20s that he started channeling that fidget into music, which he finally released under the name of his change self, Júníus Meyvant. His deceptively elusive introduction single, “ Color Decay, ” was my favorite song of 2014 — an out-of-nowhere smasher punch that channeled Bon Iver through a Lee Hazlewood haze with a device of Van Morrison. He followed that up with his 2016 debut, the fantastic soul-folk album Floating Harmonies. On his latest free, Across the Borders, Júníus Meyvant takes the deed to heart, evolving as an artist and a person while working musically and emotionally to transcend the barriers that hold us back. He makes it all seem thus casual, but his laid-back vibration and low-key demeanor hide that this is a thousand endeavor. There ‘s such sophistication to the arrangements : the stirring strings, the orchestration, the beautifully placed guitar flourishes, the Hammond B-3 textures. Listening to Júníus Meyvant, no matter what issues you ‘ve got going on in your life, is adequate to make you feel like everything ‘s gon na be all right — at least for the length of an album. —Kevin Cole, KEXP

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Katie Pruitt

Katie Pruitt
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Katie Pruitt

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Nashville has farseeing held a mythic station in musicians ‘ minds as a community in which to ply one ‘s craft and possibly fulfill lifelong dreams. It ‘s amazing that it inactive occupies that quad. Like generations of aesthetic pilgrims before her, Katie Pruitt is a recent transplant from outside Athens, Georgia. Taking the leap from the nongregarious distance of writing in her bedroom to jumping in with Music City creatives constantly takes grit, which Pruitt has in spades. She besides possesses a soar, nuanced and expressive voice, and writes with devastating honesty. We met Pruitt when we were about to launch the Americana format at WMOT, and she ‘s been our station voice since we signed on in September 2016. It ‘s been great watching her trajectory over the last few years, and we ca n’t wait to see where her talent takes her. —Jessie Scott, WMOT

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Kelsey Lu

Kelsey Lu
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Vincent Haycock/Courtesy of the artist
Kelsey Lu

Vincent Haycock/Courtesy of the artist

classically trained multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Kelsey Lu defies genres and boundaries with a mashup of soul, rap and authoritative music. She ‘s come a retentive way since creating music in North Carolina on her iPhone while squatting in an abandon factory, where her music was curative as she worked through depression during a benighted clock time in her biography. Fast fore to working with Solange, Sampha, Blood Orange and more — and recording in her own studio apartment in NYC. In “ ascribable West, ” Lu crafts an celestial history of her move to L.A. With looping pedals, she ‘s create layers of cello, adding a smell of spirituality and soul to her reasoned. Lu writes that the song is “ a good continuation of the development of self. A continuous doubting of the romanticism of ‘home ‘ and what we leave behind in ordering to gain hope in what ‘s ahead. ” — Willobee Carlan, NV89

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Koffee

Koffee
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Koffee

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For an retiring adolescent from Jamaica with just three songs available on Spotify, Koffee — the stagecoach name of Mikayla Simpson — has made a huge stir in the reggae universe. She calls herself a “ sing-jay-guitarist, ” blending her talents of sing, DJing and playing guitar to create music with a dateless and arresting message and vibration. Koffee has found a way to capture the depth and feel of her reggae idols — Cocoa Tea and Protoje, among others — while her youthful enthusiasm, catchy riddims and uplifting lyrics place her squarely in the contemporaneous populace. She already has plans to incorporate other influences, including rap, as she sees no limits to her artistic inspirations. — Todd Hulslander, Houston Public Media

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Mvstermind

Mvstermind
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Mvstermind

Paul Midzy/Courtesy of the artist

When Mvstermind released his introduction album Cusp in 2016, he was named an artist to watch by Complex and Hype Magazine. nowadays, as that record ‘s title suggests, the St. Louis native is on the brink of breaking into the mainstream awareness. Mvstermind makes what he calls “ ex post facto futurism rap, ” a distinctive blend of socially conscious rap, vintage jazz samples and spaced-out, skittering beats. While he often employs a politic, buttery flow, he besides draws on his experiences as a black Muslim in the american english heartland to deliver incisive lyrics on the state of the culture. The artist uses his television to represent his city with the same subtlety and complexity. Rocking long dreadlocks and mala beads, he takes viewers on a tour of the highs and lows — the abandon buildings, patronize centers and art installations — of his worldly concern. The vision is beautiful, even amid devastation and decay, and critical for the country to witness. — KE Luther, KDHX

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Orion Sun

Orion Sun
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Orion Sun

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The bright melodies, authoritative beats and life-affirming lyrics that Philadelphia ‘s Orion Sun are hard not to love. A singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, she honed her craft through home recording, and her creative vision is fueled by happy touchpoints : Stevie Wonder ‘s classic soul, Lauryn Hill ‘s self-assured rap and R & B fusion, Frank Ocean ‘s genre-defying fearlessness. Orion Sun inaugural emerged with the mixtape A collection of Fleeting Moments and Daydreams and spend 2018 releasing loosie singles like the wonderfully dreamscape “ Stretch. ” in the first place a solo-with-laptop pursuit, Orion Sun gained grip after landing on the lineup of Jay-Z ‘s Made In America Festival, turning the undertaking into a seven-piece live band with keys, drums, several guitars and backing vocals. Her Instagram has shown her popping up in illusion locales from Brooklyn to Paris of late, and a 2019 dismissal is on the horizon. —John Vettese, WXPN

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Radiant Children

Radiant Children
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Chris Burnett/Courtesy of the artist
Radiant Children

Chris Burnett/Courtesy of the artist

Like most new american fans of Radiant Children, I first heard the transcontinental trio on Issa Rae ‘s HBO appearance Insecure. I ‘d surely clocked rumblings about the U.K. trio around DJ campfires months anterior, but my concern was stoked upon hearing the provocative, politically charged “ Go Left. ” Since then, Radiant Children has been in big rotation, inspiring the kind of deep-rooted promise that keeps us public radio receiver jocks going. The trio takes risks, creating its music organically and allowing hearts to lead the way. There ‘s a cardinal rage and care to emotion feel on the group ‘s Tryin ‘ EP that emits palpable, bang-up warmth. — Garth Trinidad, KCRW

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Tayla Parx

Tayla Parx
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Tayla Parx

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Tayla Parx introduces herself as a “ distinctive female child ” in “ Slow Dancing, ” her latest individual. Considering her past year — in which she ‘s contributed to so much of the best music coming out mighty now — the instruction itself is a morsel stunning. here ‘s a promptly summation : Parx co-wrote “ thank u, next ” with Ariana Grande. Anderson .Paak and Kendrick Lamar were n’t the only ones responsible for Song of the Year rival “ Tints. ” Check the credits : Tayla Parx was riding shotgun. possibly your No. 1 album of 2018 was Janelle Monaé ‘s Dirty Computer. Parx co-wrote four of the songs. She ‘s not limited to pop and hip-hop, either : panic ! At the Disco ‘s “ High Hopes ” hit the lead 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 concluding class. Who co-wrote it ? Tayla Parx. now that she ‘s stepping into her own spotlight in 2019 with her second gear album We Need to Talk, she ‘s aureate. — Justin Barney, Radio Milwaukee

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Westerman

Westerman
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Jamie Sinclair/Courtesy of the artist
Westerman

Jamie Sinclair/Courtesy of the artist

The beginning thing that stands out about Westerman is his voice : It has a celestial choice that sounds nonnatural, while at the same time emitting an aura of affair that gives the hearer the impression of a shared sonic space. To the uninitiate, the London-based cosmic-folk folk singer could be better described as a sonic descendant of Arthur Russell and Nick Drake, with a twist of Robert Smith. After a brilliant run of singles in 2018, Westerman capped off the class with his Ark EP, a secrete headlined by the sublime gloomy synth-pop of “ Albatross. ” Rumors of possible full-length this class give me all the argue I need to feel aspirant about the state of music in 2019. — Travis Holcombe, KCRW

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Yola

yola carter
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Alysse Gafkjen/Courtesy of the artist
yola carter

Alysse Gafkjen/Courtesy of the artist

London, Tennessee ? Memphis, England ? If such a position existed, Yola would call it home — a place where state and soul music are such close neighbors, you ca n’t find the fences. With a voice that can belt, faint and sing the blues, she cursorily makes clear that you ‘re in rare company. Yola ‘s songs are the kind that can entirely come from a noteworthy life : Her youth took her from life dispossessed in London to joining massive Attack to opening for James Brown. She not entirely grew up in poverty, but was besides banned from making music as a kyd, and get the best experiences ranging from stress-induced voice loss to her home plate burning down. This all brought her to Walk Through Fire, her collaboration with Dan Auerbach. He brought in his crowd of top Nashville school term players, who know all about dateless, genre-free sounds : Fiddles and kettle come together in ways that recall Dusty Springfield, Tammy Wynette and Al Green. For a girl raised on the coast of Southwest England, where she did n’t fit in and life was hard, finding herself in the easy chumminess of Auerbach ‘s studio was the realization of a childhood dream. It all comes through in these songs. —Rita Houston, WFUV

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