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10 New Artists You Need to Know: August 2017

YFN Lucci, Declan McKenna, Jessie Reyez, Knox Fortune and more

10 artist you need to know august declan mckenna femina

Declan McKenna and Fémina are two artists to know this month.

Sophie Green, Eliseo Miciu

Once again, we talked to 10 of the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos. This month: “Everyday We Lit” hitmaker YFN Lucci, Chicago producer Knox Fortune, genre-blurring Argentinean trio Fémina and more.

10 artists you need to know femina

Sebastian Arpesella

Fémina

Sounds Like: A vibrant fandango in rural Latin America, doused with hip-hop swagger

For Fans of: Ana Tijoux, Ibeyi, nature and globetrotting

Why You Should Pay Attention: Fémina – whose plush poetic rhymes and ravishing harmonies glide over funk, boleros and chacarera rhythms ripe with rustic flair – grabbed Iggy Pop by the musical jugular, landing them on his radio show 6 Music twice this year. Sisters Sofia and Clara Trucco, along with childhood bestie Clara Miglioli, moved to Buenos Aires from the bucolic Andes of Patagonia. They unleashed their rap-folk enigma, which quickly became a name amongst the city’s colorful hip-hop milieu. The Argentine trio are currently working on their third album, due out later this year, which is being engineered by cumbia accordionist/producer Will Holland (Quantic, Ondatrópica) and will feature guest spots by Iggy Pop himself.

They Say: “Our home is magical,” says Clara Trucco. “There’s a lot of power in the environment, the landscape, the mountains, lakes, rivers, the animals. Being from [San Martín de los Andes] takes us to our center. It grounds us.” “We also feel inspired by the places we go to and the people we meet, the things that are going on in our country and in the world; in being human and how we exist; in dancing, movements and bodies,” says Sofia Trucco. “We don’t only think in terms of music, but we’re open to all these elements that feed our lyrics and melodies. That’s what’s rich about Fémina.”

Hear for Yourself: On the breezy, rootsy “Buen Viaje,” twinkling guitar arpeggios glimmer as the trio’s silken pipes shine against Afro-Latin percussion. Isabela Raygoza

10 artists you need to know nav

Gunner Stahl

Nav

Sounds Like: Warbled riffs about gaining clout and losing touch

For Fans of: The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Gucci Mane

Why You Should Pay Attention: Signed to the Weeknd’s XO imprint, the Toronto rapper’s music video for the Weeknd-featuring “Some Way” currently has more than 25 million views. Last month he released Perfect Timing, a project entirely produced by Metro Boomin, and two of its songs are currently in the SoundCloud Top 50. He’s headed out on tour this fall with the Weeknd and Gucci Mane.

He Says: “The first time I ever stepped on stage was the O2 Arena in London [on the Weeknd’s tour]. There were 20,000 people. Right when I got on stage, the first person I looked at in the crowd said to another person, ‘Who is that?’ I made eye contact with them. I got so nervous. I started looking at the sky.”

Hear for Yourself: In “Call Me” Nav battles his demons on record. Mustafa Abubaker

10 artists you need to know dave east

Meredith Truax

Dave East

Sounds Like: Riding with your friend through the streets of Harlem and listening to him spit truth

For Fans of: Nas, Jadakiss, Joe Budden’s Mood Muzik series

Why You Should Pay Attention: Rap fans are long familiar with this Harlem MC, thanks to his association with Nas – who signed Dave East to Mass Appeal Records in 2014 – and mixtapes such as 2016’s Kairi Chanel, which features cameos from 2 Chainz, Beanie Sigel and Cam’ron. The lyrical-minded street rapper has since signed to Def Jam and is releasing his first official EP, Paranoia. “It’s about a lot of different feelings as far as who I can trust, and what’s best for me, and my surroundings,” he says. It’s the culmination of a slow yet steady rise that began in 2010 when Dave Brewster shifted to music after a youth spent playing AAU and college ball with future NBA stars like Kevin Durant – and a six-month prison sentence for selling drugs after he dropped out of Towson University. His unusual life story and its mix of raw talent, star-crossed moments, street hustle and social consciousness animate his music.

He Says: With Dave East, Young M.A, French Montana, Cardi B, Joey Bada$$ and A$AP Mob making noise, it seems like New York’s vibrant rap scene is back in the conversation. “The scene has changed a little bit, but it’s still New York. I don’t think there’s a particular type of New York artist. You all bring what you bring to the table with whatever you grew up with,” says East. He doesn’t think the city needs a unifying sound like it had in the Nineties and early Aughts. “I think it’s healthy. I just think it’s bringing energy back to New York regardless of what it is. … Now, with these new artists with these big records, I feel like it’s bringing more attention. It’s shining more light back to New York City.”

Hear for Yourself: On “Slow Down” with Jazzy Amira, Dave East gives advice to young’uns on the block on how make a way out of the projects: “If that trap slow, get a job/Buy some nice shoes and hit them parties downtown where them wild niggas cannot get inside.” Mosi Reeves

10 artists you need to know lanark artefax

Daniel Neil

Lanark Artefax

Sounds Like: The arty younger brother of Rustie and Hudson Mohawke

For Fans of: Aphex Twin, Autechre, Pan Records

Why You Should Pay Attention: While 23-year-old Glaswegian Calum MacRae only has two 12-inches and an EP to his name, his tracks have gotten prominent placement in DJ sets from the likes of Björk and Aphex Twin. Not bad for a bedroom producer who turned down the chance to study composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and instead studied literature and made tracks on his own. His most recent single on the hotly tipped UK label Whities straddles the line between clanging beats and glitchy ambience. MacRae finds himself in demand of late: He’s working with London visual artist Dominic Hawgood on a new installation and this fall Lanark Artefax will debut his live set at the experimental Unsound Festival in Poland.

He Says: “I had my heart set on going to the Conservatoire since I was 14 as my music hadn’t progressed the way I had hoped. But I spoke to a family friend who said they’ll shoehorn you into a small box and train you to be less creative. I knew the A-side [“Touch Absence”] would be a big club tune and lots of different people from across the spectrum have played it. But the best feedback I’ve had is that it makes people get teary-eyed, which is what I was going for. I definitely come from the perspective of dealing with the more emotional aspects of it, the more expressive side of things. I’m not massively into clubbing and I don’t DJ or make club music. But I don’t see them as distinct.”

Hear for Yourself: “Touch
Absence” has a gnashing metallic yet melancholic melody. Andy Beta

10 artists you need to know dean hurley

Kyle Hurley

Dean Hurley

Sounds Like: Tangerine Dreaming about the Black Lodge

For Fans of: David Lynch, Lustmord, SunnO))), Tim Hecker

Why You Should Pay Attention: Hurley is responsible for much of the dark ambient drones, rumbles, noise and audio fogs that are currently soundtracking parts of David Lynch’s return to Twin Peaks. The 18-track Anthology Resource Vol. 1: △△ collects some shadowy music that assisted with the show’s Lynchian ambience (Hurley also worked on 2006’s Inland Empire). “I think the classical archetype of composing for film where someone sees a rough cut and then they dictate or delineate how the sonic elements or the music of that scene should go … like, that’s definitely not how things happen up here,” says Hurley. “This album of stuff, those would be things that [Lynch] would refer to as ‘firewood.’ He was like, ‘We need some good firewood for this type of thing.’ So it’s oftentimes generating a bunch of stuff, but letting him find places for it.”

He Says: “It was clear that, OK, we’re gonna need some very characteristic electricity elements,” says Hurley about the high-voltage noise blasts on the album titled “Electricity I” and “Electricity II. “When you go and you look through a sound effects library and you listen to things, ostensibly you’ll recognize a lot of stuff. There’s like a shitload of Jacob’s ladder/Dr. Frankenstein-type electricity and you’re like, ‘Yeah, that’s a little too on the nose.’ You might hear other things that just sound lackluster. Or this stuff just doesn’t have the power that I feel like the script is necessitating.

“If I totally broke it down for you and told you how it was done ­– and I will say it was done in a purely analog way – knowing what it is would be a little bit like seeing [a magic trick explained]. I will say part of the technique in working on a lot of this material – and David has taught me this, totally … I personally need to forget how a lot of this stuff was made. Because once I forget what I’m listening to, then I can appreciate it as purely sound.

Hear for Yourself: “Eastern European Symphonic Mood No. 1” is like a György Ligeti piece smeared into ambient tar. Christopher R. Weingarten

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