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10 New Artists You Need to Know: February 2015

Catfish and the Bottlemen, Natalie Prass, Seinabo Sey and more

Leo "Bud" Welch and Catfish and the Bottlemen

Aubrey Edwards; John Stone

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, we talk to an 82-year-old Mississippian releasing his first blues album and a 16-year-old X-Factor veteran — not to mention the Nineties-centric rap of Vic Spencer, the chart-storming deep house of Robin Schulz, the critically acclaimed art-folk of Natalie Prass and more. 


Hollie Fernando


Sounds Like: A languorous summer day spent sun-dappled in bed with a first love, a joint and the knowledge that the moment will end, as all good things do.

For Fans of: Jeff Buckley, Foals, Buffalo Springfield

Why You Should Pay Attention: Since these four British lads' debut single, 2014's "Veins," racked up nearly 50,000 plays on Soundcloud in just two weeks, the U.K. music press has been all over them like they were the world's last jar of marmite. Rowdy rocker Jamie T handpicked Palace to open for him at his first live shows in four years, which raised the band's profile in its homeland to yet another level. Amazingly, even the Internet commentariat have had mostly positive comments for the group's new EP, Lost in the Night. "Someone on Soundcloud said it's like Morrissey and Buckley had a baby, which I guess is kind of cool," says drummer Matt Hodges. "Another guy said we're like Foals on Xanax, which was quite interesting. We've had a few comments about our music being good baby-making music too, so that's nice. Sex music, basically."

They Say: Palace write and rehearse in a unique North London space that Hodges describes as "a musical commune/squat." "It's had a big influence on us as a band, as there are so many different people working on many different genres of music," he says. "It's also a bit of an instrument graveyard — sitars, organs, endless guitars and percussion stuff lying around, which makes for a lot of fun in our downtime when we're recording. It's a pretty craggy place with a lot of crap everywhere. It's gets down to arctic temperatures in the winter, and in the summer we have to pretty much play in our boxers it's so hot, but it's been amazing for Palace."

Hear for Yourself: Languid and shimmery, "Bitter" finds the sweet-sad spot between indie emo and Sixties blues. By Brandon Geist

Bea Miller


Bea Miller

Sounds Like: All the best Nineties teen movies compressed into three minute pop jams.

For Fans of: Demi Lovato, Boyce Avenue, the Warped Tour

Why You Should Pay Attention: Before she even turned 16 this month, Miller had competed on the X-Factor, nabbed a deal with Hollywood Records, opened for Demi Lovato and released her dark and angsty single "Young Blood," which has already racked up millions of YouTube views. This year, she has an untitled debut album slated for late spring and a new single on the radio, "Fire N Gold."

"I really gravitate towards music that's fun to listen to, but when you listen to it and dig deeper you find the true meaning of the song," says Miller, a huge fan of classic and alternative rock bands like the Beatles and Nirvana, who inspire much of her sound and style. "A lot of kids my age don't listen to those bands and don't appreciate those artists as much as I would want them to," she notes with a laugh.

They Say: "I'm really honest. I think that's important because I'm the same age and gender as the majority of my fans, and I understand what they're going through. I'm not going to tell them that everything is going to be fantastic and wonderful all the time. I'm going to be real and say, 'You're going to fall down, and you're going to go through bad times. It's really going to suck, but we all go through bad things.' Not a lot of pop artists talk about the negative sides of life, which is fine. I've just always wanted to say the things that I wish pop artists when I was 8, 9, ten would've said to me. "

 Hear for Yourself: The ebullient and angsty new single "Fire N Gold" fits right into Miller's brand of upbeat pop accompanied by melancholy lyrics.

Youth Man

Youth Man

Sounds Like: U.K. kids tinkering with the ill-angled tantrums of of L.A., D.C. and San Diego punk. 

For Fans of: Future of the Left, Dead Kennedys, 400 Blows

Why You Should Pay Attention: Boldly dubbing themselves "the loudest live band in the U.K.," gnashing trio Youth Man stand in sharp contrast to the croony "B-Town" indie rock bands like Peace and Swim Deep. Their brand of punk leans heavily towards the weirdos (not the Weirdos) of early California hardcore, in which bands like Fear weren't too afraid (or too unskilled) to throw in an odd time signature. Since dropping their first music in 2012, Youth Man have opened for Pissed Jeans and Sleaford Mods.

They Say: Youth Man have been releasing a steady stream of singles and EPs — second extended play, the five-track Hill of Knives, is due in August — but have yet to commit to a full-length album. "Everybody these days has a short attention span. We do too," says singer Kaila Whyte. "Plus nobody has offered us enough money yet." Lead single "Skin" is only 77 seconds long, but for bassist Miles Cocker, it will last a lifetime — for the video, he gave himself a tattoo. "It was like watching someone poke themselves with an inky needle. Over, and over, and over, and over," says drummer Marcus Perks. Adds Whyte, "We were all pretty drunk by then so it's a slightly hazy memory."

Hear for Yourself: The jittery "Skin" yowls, churns, and explodes with feedback — but its irregular pulse includes tricky bars of 5/4. By Christopher R. Weingarten

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