Home Music Music Lists

10 New Artists You Need to Know: June 2014

Meet the rising stars of rock, R&B, EDM, pop and more acts shaping your tomorrow

beverly

Courtesy the artists

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: country-rap hybrid Big Smo, the major label debut from folk-rockers Matrimony, the nice-guy R&B of Adrian Marcel, the influential Portuguese rhythms of DJ Marfox and more.

Courtesy Kat Dahlia

Kat Dahlia

Sounds like: Sugary pop with a liberal helping of Miami bad-girl

For Fans Of: Iggy Azalea, Rihanna, "Leave (Get Out)"-era JoJo

Why You Should Pay Attention: The feisty Dahlia left her hometown of Miami after high school to search for a record deal in New York. Two shitty waitressing jobs and an even worse boyfriend helped her craft personal tracks with biting edges, but her songwriting still wasn't paying the bills. She was about to pack it all up when a chance encounter at a friend's studio changed everything. "I guess they were playing my music at the studio where I was chilling in a corner and I see this redheaded girl staring me down," says Dahlia. "I didn't know if she wanted to fight me or fuck me." Neither, as it turned out: The redhead was Amanda Berkowitz, head A&R rep for Vested in Culture Records, the label started by current Epic president Sylvia Rhone. The next day, the then-21 year-old Dahlia had a contract.

What She Says: The reason I make [music] is because it's my therapy. Like I literally will just get in the booth and then, you know, I'll feel better. Like "Gangsta," I got in a fight with my manager at the restaurant I was working at the day before, and I was so fed up with just like everything, everything, everything. I went to work the next day to do the morning shift and I sat at the bar and I wrote the record. And that's kind of how I want my music to be. I want it to be soulful, emotional, uh…eye-catching or ear-catching, I guess…Something that brings people together, united in a sense. 'Hey, you're not alone.'"

Hear For Yourself: Dahlia's debut, My Garden, is slated for a September release. In the meantime, hear the hip-hop-inflected first single, "Crazy." By Cady Drell

Courtesy Beverly

Beverly

Sounds Like: Kim Deal's Tammy Ampersand era, Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks theme run through the VSCO app, the 5th-Annual McCarren Park Intramural Kickball Tournament.

For Fans Of: Best Coast, the Clean, the Shangri-Las.

Why You Should Pay Attention: First conceived as a side project between Drew Citron and Vivian Girl Frankie Rose, Beverly took on a life of its own thanks to well-received singles "Honey Do" and "You Can't Get It Right" and famous fans like Fred Armisen. Their debut album, Careers, mixes hazy, lazy dream pop with the fuzzy crunch (and poor posture) of Nineties four-track indie rock, and throws in the odd Clueless reference for good measure. These days, Citron carries the Beverly mantle by herself – Rose has returned to her solo career – but with her hand-picked band in tow, she's got very specific goals for what comes next: "We're going to be a very Amps-inspired, Nineties, loud, post-punk band."

They Say: "We developed the whole thing around this trashy character, a teenaged brat who hangs out in a 7-Eleven parking lot, smokes cigarettes, and doesn't get along with the other kids," Citron laughs. "For a while, we couldn't decide if she should be named Beverly or Angela. I was going to pretend to be her in interviews, but I'm a bad actress."

Hear for Yourself: "Honey Do" is a perfect intro to Beverly's brand of breezy, beach-y rock. Guitars fizz, bass purrs and Rose and Citron's vocal harmonies melt like a Mr. Softee in the sun. by James Montgomery

Courtesy Lizzo

Lizzo

Sounds Like: Smoking spliffs in an all-girl gang at a sleepover; there is probably also wine

For Fans Of: Outkast, Janelle Monáe, Audra the Rapper

Why You Should Pay Attention: A classically trained flautist and back-up singer who once toured with Har Mar Superstar, Melissa Jefferson has rapped, sung and trilled her way through a cavalcade of projects in both Minneapolis and her hometown of Houston. But it was this very multiplicity from which her quirky Lizzo project was born: Exhausted from touring, she had a writer's block that wouldn't budge until she heard the album Lava Bangers, by Doomtree producer Lazerbeak. His creative juices got her own flowing, and before she knew it, they'd linked on Twitter and began collaborating on Lizzo Bangers, a collection of bubbly hip-hop tracks that went super viral after a placement on the HBO dramedy Girls, not to mention breakaway hit "Batches and Cookies," on which Lizzo raps, "Thrift store shopping like Anna Wintour You ain't gotta ask cause I been hurr." Lizzo Bangers is being re-released globally by Virgin/EMI.

She Says: "I feel like my persona, or who I am, is very much alive in my lyrics. Every song, every pop culture reference, every chorus you hear, are things that I've just said in conversation. On 'Paris,' I've never been to Paris. I was supposed to go to study flute there at Paris Conservatory but it never happened, so I started talking some crap and then I brought the chorus in, beasting on it." The chorus in question: "Have you ever been to Paris at night? Me, either."

 Hear for Yourself: "Batches and Cookies" remains a perfect summer earworm, plus the confluence of pride flags, donuts, and motorcycles in the video is fun to (attempt) to parse. by Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Pooneh Ghana

Future Death

Sounds Like: Friendly noise, spasmodic punk, sugary pop, and the occasional black metal blastbeat having a sweaty cagematch in an Austin garage

For Fans Of: Ponytail, Deerhoof, Melt-Banana

Why You Should Pay Attention: Future Death make real-deal noise-punk for anyone who misses the Aughties heyday of bands like Lightning Bolt and Hella. Their debut album, Special Victim, was recorded in four days and released on Bloodmoss, the indie responsible for buzzy garage-muckers Slavve. They've got all the gnarl and snarl you'd expect, but drummer Alton Jenkins ratchets up the intensity with progpunk bashing that evolved from teenage fandom of King Crimson and Mars Volta.

They Say: The song title "Post-Everything" pretty much says it all about an album that throws grindy splutter underneath pop songs and closes with a gorgeous, six-minute dronegaze piece. "We're just trying to incorporate all the things that we like," says Jenkins. "There's a mix of intention and just recklessness involved. When we write, me and Bill [Kenny, guitarist]…We just go in there and start making noise. We'll take the moments that sound good and try to work with that."

Hear for Yourself: Album opener "Riot Trains" is a giddy wrestling match between a bouncy hook and smoking-exhaust drumming. By Christopher R. Weingarten

Diogo Simoes

DJ Marfox

Sounds Like: DJ Rashad's hyper cousin, delivering a whiplash update on kuduro, the Portuguese music form that draws on Caribbean soca and zouk. But Marfox also has traces of Angolan house, batida, kizomba, tarraxinha and funaná in his kinetic grooves

For Fans Of: DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, RP Boo

Why You Should Pay Attention: With Radiohead digging on DJ Marfox's Principe Discos label mate DJ Nigga Fox, the insular Lisbon scene is garnering attention worldwide – and its greatest ambassador is Marfox. Just 25, the man born Marlon Silva (to Portuguese immigrants from the island of São Tomé e Príncipe) embodies the ebullient sound of the Afro-Portuguese barrios. He began making music when he was 15 and soon his Fruity Loops-rendered tracks became the soundtracks to raucous parties for Angolan and Cape Verdean African immigrants on the outskirts of the capital city. Marfox's influence in that community is such that the next generation of producers all use "-fox" in their names to pay tribute. Last month, he played his first show in New York City, slotted next to New Jersey club and Chicago footwork DJs, and he regularly plays in Europe alongside the likes of RP Boo and Kode9. His recent Lucky Punch EP on Lit City Trax furthers his sound, hinting at acid house, footwork and new sounds taken in from around the world.

He Says: "Even with getting a lot of international press coverage and exposure, the summer musical festival events and Portuguese media still don't recognize us. I'm an immigrant inside my own country. I feel one day we will get there. I now get an international audience that proves that what me and the other guys are doing is going in the right direction."

 Hear For Yourself: The skittering, tricky and giddy "Funk Em Kuduro." By Andy Beta

Show Comments