19-year-old electropop singer Sky Ferreira has been in the public eye for nearly three years—an eternity in the world of pop music—but you’ve most likely never heard of her.
At the age of 14, Ferreira caught the attention of Swedish producers Bloodshy and Avant with a few self-produced demos on her MySpace page. She was signed to Parlophone records a year later.
Subsequently released singles “17” (a high energy dark-pop tune with a low-budget yet visually stunning video that reads like a party scene from Skins) and “Obsession” quickly gained her an online following, while her first extended play, “As If”, cemented Ferreira’s role as a major musical up-and-comer.
It’s been a long rise to international recognition for Ferreira, and her various career setbacks would have discouraged a less-determined artist.
In 2010, Ferreira was featured in Interview, Jalouse, and Vs. magazines as part of a press campaign leading up to an album release that, after being pushed back several times, seemed as if it would never happen. Critics have even called Ferreira a “flop”, citing her status as 2010’s alternative it-girl as evidence that no one would care about her by 2012.
However, Ferreira, who has used her time on the sidelines to increase her fanbase over her Soundcloud, Facebook, and Twitter channels, is ready to prove everyone wrong with the arrival of her much-anticipated debut album, Wild At Heart, due to be released this summer.
Listen to the first demo leaked from Wild At Heart, “Lost in My Bedroom”, here.
Not very much is known about how exactly dub/jazz/soul/melancholia producer and singer-songwriter King Krule got his start.
Krule, like a growing number of other young artists in an age where you don’t need a record label to gain an international reputation, seems to have emerged fully-formed from the recesses of SoundCloud and BandCamp, with lulling, gorgeous tracks and unexpected lyrical maturity.
The musical innovator behind the King Krule moniker is 18-year-old Londoner Archy Marshall, who first began recording tracks when he was eight.
His debut EP, King Krule, released by True Panther records in November 2011, contains tracks brimming with gloomy beauty, accompanied by low-saturation videos that drive home Marshall’s theme of general disillusionment.
But don’t be put off—Marshall is a definitive talent with a rapidly-growing fanbase who deserves a listen.
Watch the video for The Noose of Jah City, the headliner track from the King Krule EP, here.
Charlotte Aitchison, stage name Charli XCX, is growing from a British niche artist into a full-blown crossover hit.
In 2007, the then-14-year-old Hertfordshire native recorded her first two singles, “Emelline/Art Bitch” and “!Franchesckaar!”, hoping to attract the attention of a major label.
After getting signed to Atlantic Records in 2008, Charli began regularly performing at illegal raves in London’s Warehouse District, gathering a growing following among a new generation of UK-based partygoers.
Three years later, Charli’s heavily blogged-about singles “Nuclear Seasons” and “Stay Away” were selected as two of Pitchfork Media’s “Best New Tracks of 2011”.
Both tracks spring from a species of pop music that Charli calls “dark pop” or “goth pop”—haunting, synth-heavy verses, always in a minor key, that open up into power-ballad choruses with Charli’s pleasingly-hoarse voice floating over the electronic symphony.
The effect is definitely “goth” (thanks to Charli’s love for dark clothes and black lipstick) yet undeniably pop-y and distinctly British (Charli’s breathy mid-song spoken-word breaks showcase her Cockney accent).
Charli’s debut EP, which includes a brand-new and already critically acclaimed single, “You’re the One”, will be released today under the I Am Sound label.
Charli recently finished up a tour across the American Southwest supporting Santigold, and she’ll be opening for Coldplay in late summer 2012.
You can listen to “Nuclear Seasons” “Stay Away” “You’re the One” and various other songs on Charli’s soundcloud.