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10 New Artists You Need to Know: July 2014

Meet the rising stars of rock, hip-hop, country, R&B and more acts shaping your tomorrow

nikki lane tinashe

Glynis Carpenter; Gomillion & Leupold

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: Benjamin Booker's blues explosion, Mr. Probz's globe-dominating hip-hop croon, Ought's taut indie-rock, the debut of Stones Throw's newest signees and more.

Tinashe

Gomillion & Leupold

Tinashe

Sounds Like: Kicking it with the homies, and then journaling about it afterwards

For Fans Of: Ciara, Jhené Aiko, Solange

Why You Should Pay Attention: The 21-year-old Tinashe is part of an Internet-savvy generation whose creativity eludes classification. She trained as a dancer and a child actress, appearing in movies like The Polar Express and Akeelah and the Bee. She performed in the Stunners, a teen-pop quintet that toured with Justin Bieber. When the Stunners broke up, she built a production studio and garlanded mixtapes with gauzy production and lovelorn, introspective lyrics. This year she dropped her breakthrough single, "2 On," which cracked the Top 40 of the pop charts. Produced by DJ Mustard, "2 On" is redolent of mainstream R&B in 2014, with Mustard's signature West Coast beats and Tinashe's lyrics of getting faded with her clique "when the drink be way too strong." Tinashe plans to incorporate all her "colors," from the urban pop of "2 On" to her indie R&B projects, on her September debut Aquarius. Collaborators range from blog darlings Ryan Hemsworth, Clams Casino and Dev Hynes to rap heavyweights Future, Schoolboy Q and A$AP Rocky. "I never want to be stuck in a box," she says.

She Says: "When I was 18, I took it upon myself to create a home studio. I bought a bunch of equipment, a camera and microphones. That was when I started teaching myself how to record and mix my own stuff. I wrote and recorded it all there in my room. I used ProTools I started filming my own music videos and editing those as well, and then putting them online. I used Pro Tools. I edit my videos in Final Cut Pro. I produce beats with Logic." Who taught her to do all this stuff? "YouTube!" she answers.

Hear For Yourself: Watch the antics that ensue when Tinashe gets "2 On," including Beyoncé-worthy dance routines By Mosi Reeves

electric youth

Vanessa Heins

Electric Youth

Sounds Like: Aswooning, synthy, circa 1982 night drive between neon trees.

For Fans Of: Ultravox, Yaz, Chromatics

Why You Should Pay Attention: That's the duo anchoring College's "A Real Hero" from the Drive soundtrack – pretty much the greatest closing credits song in modern memory. A pair of synth-loving Eighties babies who've been IRL sweethearts since the eighth grade, Austin Garrick and Bronwyn Griffin make the type of euphoric, wistful pop that's more reverent than retro-schtick. For their upcoming debut, Innerworld, they actually worked with Yaz's Vince Clarke and play the iconic Yamaha CS80. "It's probably the most expressive synthesizer ever built," says Garrick. "People know it best as the synthesizer Vangelis used to create the Blade Runner soundtrack, but texture-wise it works wonders for modern productions." Sure, they understand the past, but they don't want to be doomed to repeat it. "Our interest in the pursuit of [the] timeless is not about nostalgia, it's about longevity," says Garrick. "The thought of recreating the past with music is not interesting to us, it's probably been the biggest misconception of our music and what we're about thus far. The reality is, we're much more interested in creating things for the future than things from the past. We are nostalgic people, not in the sense that we long for a different time, because we love the present, but how could we not be reminded of the past when every day, we see the person we had a crush on since 7th grade?"

They Say: "'A Real Hero' in Drive was the first time our music had been seen and heard in it's intended context, meaning that we're always film inspired and our music is very cinematically driven. That's been the intent since before Drive," says Garrick. "I think maybe the weirdest thing [since the song exploded], is some of the covers people do. Like there's hundreds of covers of 'A Real Hero' online, from people on YouTube to bands we know. Even last week I was buying something at a music store in Toronto and the guy that helped me at the counter told me he wanted to send us a video of a cover of 'A Real Hero' he just did with his live hip-hop band dressed as monks."

Hear For Yourself: Their latest single, "Innocence" is warm synth-pop that wonders about the titular state, "Where have you gone?"

Le Butcherettes

Courtesy Le Butcherettes

Le Butcherettes

Sounds Like: Heavy garage rock performed by people who look like they rehearse in a meat locker

For Fans Of: Bikini Kill, Thee Oh Sees, shows where the lead singer wears lace and kicks you in the face

Why You Should Pay Attention: Le Butcherettes first turned heads when then-teenage frontwoman Teri Gender Bender would cover herself in fake blood, but they got their break when they opened for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and recorded their debut LP with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of the Mars Volta. Though they're still best known for their anything-goes performances, the follow-up, Cry Is For the Flies (out September 16th), documents the band becoming increasingly comfortable in the studio, filling out tunes with fuller production and new songwriting tricks. It's loudest when Teri plays guitar but catchiest – almost playful – when she gets behind the keys.

They Say: "I incorporated the blood because I was angry and frustrated with the way I felt that women – such as myself – were being treated in Mexico. I just wanted to send out this message: 'I've got all this menstrual blood! We should be proud of it!' I stopped doing that, and now it's more about the music and the intensity of giving our all no matter what. We had a show in Portugal where there was a power malfunction during the first song and everything turned off, but I sang a cappella and Lia, the drummer, did a few amazing fills, and the crowd didn't even realize anything had gone wrong."

Hear for Yourself: Rather than combust, "Burn the Scab" slowly descends into flames, the bass growing sludgier and sludgier while Teri's frustrated refrain – "I find it hard to pronounce these words" – becomes more and more frantic.

Fred Jonny

Bernhoft

Sounds Like: Ray Lamontagne with access to running water, Robin Thicke after marriage counseling, Daryl Hall in Warby Parkers

For Fans Of: Allen Stone, Mayer Hawthorne, Willy Moon

Why You Should Pay Attention: Is there room in the retro-pop renaissance for a 38-year-old reformed rocker from Norway? That's what Jarle Bernhoft aims to find out with Islander, an album of stylish, slightly off-kilter soul that crackles in all the right ways (yet, tellingly, is also available as "the first true HD music app"). He's already done Glastonbury – and Ellen – and scored a YouTube hit with "C'mon Talk." Now, he's looking for more: "I'm setting my home country up as an island that accelerates away from the mainland," he says, "I'm trying to find myself in the world."

They Say: "My thing live is trying to be shamelessly entertaining for an hour or so, luring my audience into holding hands and singing together, whereby we can create an oasis in the desert of worry," Bernhoft says. "Being from Norway, I've found that my clout in making such maneuvers abroad is a bit thin, so I've written an album about that."

Hear It For Yourself: Islander's opening track, "Come Around," is a perfect primer, showcasing Bernhoft's lithe vocals (and up-with-everybody ethos) atop a liquid, "Love Train" groove. by James Montgomery

drenge

Courtesy of the Windish Agency

Drenge

Sounds Like: Vintage Nineties VHS tapes of 120 Minutes, chopped and screwed

For Fans Of: Arctic Monkeys, Weezer, White Stripes

Why You Should Pay Attention: Formed by 20-something brothers Eoin (vocals, guitar) and Rory Loveless (drums) in 2011, Drenge play melodic, overdriven alt-rock that continues the rock lineage of bands like Pulp and Arctic Monkeys, who also hail from Drenge's hometown of Sheffield. The duo, whose name is Danish for "boys," has toured with Deap Vally and has played England's Glastonbury festival twice. It was at the pair's first Glastonbury appearance where they first earned some notoriety in the U.K.: That's because Tom Watson, a Minister of Parliament for the U.K.'s Labour Party, caught their set and resigned from his post shortly thereafter, recommending people listen to Drenge in his resignation letter.

They Say: "Usually politicians have very safe, middle-of-the-road tastes when it comes to art, so popular bands would be Mumford and Sons or Ed Sheeran," Eoin says of Watson's affinity for Drenge. "We had obviously awoken his inner punk ideal. I was really bewildered when he quit and said, 'Listen to Drenge.' I thought it was pretty cool. It's kind of the most teenage way to resign from a job. I don't think he's seen us live since. He's still in a really prominent position in the Labour Party but he doesn't have the role he had before he quit. It's mind-boggling."

Hear for Yourself: The Loveless brothers may call this song a "Fuckabout," but Eoin's wild guitar solo and Rory's crashing cymbals say otherwise. By Kory Grow

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