10 New Artists You Need to Know: November 2017 - Rolling Stone
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10 New Artists You Need to Know: November 2017

YBN Nahmir, Jaymes Young, Superorganism and more.

10 artists to watch november

Once a Tree and YBN Nahmir

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: Rising rapper YBN Nahmir, eight-member pop collective Superorganism, nostalgic house producer DJ Seinfeld and more.

10 artists to watch november poppy

Titanic Sinclair


Sounds Like: Off-kilter, high-intensity pop from a 21st-century microstar

For Fans of: Robyn, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, ASMR videos

Why You Should Pay Attention: The highly stylized, slightly creepy videos of That Poppy began appearing on YouTube in 2014, awash in millennial pink and featuring the super-kawaii personality engaging in compulsive, odd behaviors like eating cotton candy and uttering “I’m Poppy” repeatedly. In 2015, she released the breezy “Lowlife,” and followed it up with the intricately wrought Bubblebath EP and the intentionally soporific 3:36 (Music to Sleep To). Poppy.computer, her URL-advertising debut, came out in October; on it, the now-mononymic Poppy’s light-as-a-MacBook-Air voice darts through motorik rhythms and 8-bit bursts while trilling simple mantras about fame and the curiosities that come along with online life and hypertargeted fame. It’s one of the most surprising pop albums of the year, pushing against the written-by-committee blandness of Top-40’s offerings with effervescent hooks and deliberate weirdness – as evidenced by the billboard of her wide-eyed visage gracing Times Square, which garnered props from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

She Says: “I’ve always played music my entire life, so it’s just a part of me. … I like Michael Jackson a lot, and Elvis, and Madonna. I’m filling a void – probably the pop star void, because Lady Gaga isn’t doing it anymore. Pop music on the radio is boring, so I don’t want to be boring. It’s really slow, and everyone always whispers a lot instead of using their voice to sing. … I just want to make pop music great again.”

Hear for Yourself: “I’m Poppy,” the lead track from Poppy.computer, transforms Poppy’s most notorious YouTube clip into an electropop manifesto. Maura Johnston

10 artists to watch november saro

Stormi Henley


Sounds Like: An Eighties goth with an R&B falsetto atop broken electronics

For Fans of: Miguel, Rhye, Tri Angle Records

Why You Should Pay Attention: The 28-year-old native Angeleno recently opened for Miguel, got a co-sign from Perez Hilton and is playing at Houston’s Day for Night Festival next month. Though he remains secretive about his background, he lays bear his darkest, most lurid thoughts in his lyrics. “I am an empty slate … do not resuscitate/ ‘Cause I could use the sleep,” goes one line from his 2016 EP In Loving Memory. A self-admitted Smiths fan, Saro’s handle comes from the chorus of “Pretty Girls Make Graves” about “sorrow’s native son/He will not smile for anyone.” His newest EP Boy Afraid (out in December) finds the self-admitted recluse creeping a bit further out of his shell.

He Says: “Morrissey didn’t make me want to be a singer per se, but I identify with his lyrical style, how he’s so direct but then hides these things in his language that can be so dark and hopeless,” Saro said of how he grew from just singing in the shower to recording his own music. There’s a bit of dark humor behind such hopelessness though. In shooting a video to accompany his forthcoming single “Sky Doesn’t Blue,” Saro wound up being buried alive. Twice. “The first time we did it in Topanga State Park without permits, guerilla shooting and using a drone to shoot the whole project. Right as I’m getting buried alive, up to my face in dirt, the ranger comes and freaks out on us for digging on state property. We wound up on my friends property and did it again. There’s dirt in every crevice of me and I don’t think I’m going to get it out.”

Hear for Yourself: “Test” is a beautiful, dark, twisted fantasia. Andy Beta

10 artists to watch november once a tree

Hayden and Jayli Wolf

Once A Tree

Sounds Like: Soulful R&B duets over soothing electronic soundscapes

For Fans of: Phantogram, Crystal Castles, Chvrches

Why You Should Pay Attention: This Canadian duo’s career was given an extra push when they were discovered through Toronto non-profit the Remix Project. Jayli and Hayden Wolf grew up on opposite sides of British Columbia, but their lives were similar. Both were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses and didn’t cross paths until they were leaving the religion, meeting through mutual friends and later connecting while trying to launch their individual music careers. “Our whole childhood past was so similar that we bonded instantly,” Hayden recalls of their immediate connection. As they began collaborating, they realized that their romantic and musical spark was undeniable and decided to take their relationship and joint career seriously.

They Say: “We didn’t know we were going to die,” Jayli says of the research path that led to the name Once a Tree. Given the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Wolfs had to unlearn and re-learn different aspects of the way they saw life, energy and spirituality. “It was a really big shocker for us when we left the religion. We were looking into different avenues of religion, and [the phrase] Once a Tree came to represent freedom to us. It means the circle of life and how energy doesn’t die but instead transforms.”

Hear for Yourself: Summer single “Breakdown” captures the smooth, emotional electronica of the duo’s debut album, Phoenix. Brittany Spanos

10 artists to watch november Zuli

Kimberly Young Sun


Sounds Like: The sweet spot of a Sixties-tinged summer hit

For Fans of: The Beach Boys, Rooney, Weezer

Why You Should Pay Attention: Long Island-based musician Ryan Camenzuli writes infectious, abrasive yet melodic indie-pop with a framework that is constructed with precise multi-part harmonies and surf rock guitars. His debut album On Human Freakout Mountain conveys the earnestness of someone going through and trying to document the coming-of-age experience. 

He Says: “I felt like I was always very reserved in being open about things and being myself in a lot of ways. I think once I broke that barrier, it started getting so much easier for me to open up and be truthful,” says Camenzuli. “Once that started happening, and I started writing more honestly, I let me be me. That’s when people started responding to the music I was working on.”

Hear For Yourself: Inspired by the relationship between his friend and their childhood dog, “Blaze” reflects on the build up of anxiety and heartbreak in a toxic relationship. Sarah Midkiff

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