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10 New Artists You Need to Know: July 2015

Alessia Cara, Mø, Disasterpeace, Ultimate Painting and more

Andra Day and Feder

Andra Day and Feder

Myriam Santos; courtesy of Feder

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: The artist that Taylor Swift calls "amazing," the man behind the It Follows soundtrack, the voice of Major Lazer and DJ Snake's "Lean On" and more.


Nika Aila States


Sounds Like: Where melody meets atmosphere, whether as an an eerie horror soundtrack or some soothing video game bloops

For Fans of: Haxan Cloak, Emeralds, Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works II

Why You Should Pay Attention: The 29-year-old Staten Island musician born Richard Vreeland composes for games and movies, but he's garnered a following that rivals many rock bands. He's behind one of 2015's most celebrated scores, It Follows: a deeply tense creepscape of dissonant digital punctuation, swooning synth melodies, ambient fog and an electronic update of Bernard Hermann's Psycho stabs. Director David Robert Mitchell was using Vreeland's soundtrack to the acclaimed, cube-happy 2012 indie video game, Fez, as the temporary score, and it became Vreeland's job to top his own sounds. "I think having practically zero background or prior interest in horror made it a really exciting undertaking for me," he says. "I listened to Goblin as a budding guitar player and read Goosebumps as a kid, but I can count the horror movies I've seen on less than one hand." For those who have less tolerance for the creepy stuff, Vreeland has an extensive back catalog of game soundtracks that conjure the blips of the Nintendo era. "I think [8-bit] can be a really gratifying form because you have to work within a very confined set of limitations," he says. "Every decision you make, whether it be about rhythm, harmony, timbre, etc., carries a ton of weight."

He Says: "I thought some people would like [the It Follows soundtrack] for some of the more melodic stuff, and people seem to dig that, but what's been most surprising is how much people seem to enjoy the really screwed up dissonant stuff too. Somebody sent me a Vine of themselves listening to the soundtrack and looking over their shoulder periodically, which I thought was pretty funny. I've had people send me messages like, 'I listen to it when I walk home so I can purposely feel fear biting at my neck,' and at least one person who told me the music made them horny. Cool, I guess!"

Hear for Yourself: The It Follows theme slowly rolls in like a John Carpenter fog and booms like dark ambient thunder. Christopher R. Weingarten

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