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10 New Artists You Need to Know: October 2015

Wolf Alice, Jess Glynne and more

methyl ethel and el dusty

Methyl Ethel and El Dusty


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: Wolf Alice,  Nicole Dollanganger, Jess Glynne, Tory Lanez and more.

el dusty

El Dusty

Sounds Like: The last hour of the year's most turned-up quinceañera.

For Fans of: Bomba Estéreo, 3BallMTY, arguments over the meaning of "moombahton" 

Why You Should Pay Attention: Dusty is at the forefront of a sound he calls "the new cumbia," updating a genre that dates back centuries by adding EDM synths and a digging-in-the-crates approach to samples. Born in Corpus Christi, Dusty found similar artists through at parties like Peligrosa in Austin and Que Bajo?! in New York, and he landed a deal with Universal after attempting electro on 2012's "K Le Pasa." Next up, a debut album: It will be released as soon as he figures out the right rappers for his unique beats.

He Says: "[The internet] is the birthplace. People were uploading all these old cumbia records, the Cumbia Cumbia compilations, and sampling the shit out of all those songs. And that's kind of where it started: People were making edits of those songs or cumbia edits of hip-hop tracks. Toy [Selectah] was scouring MySpace for all the artists and putting us all together. It was a cool little phase we went through. Now it's so routine: You put a song out and here's where you market it and here's your target audience, all this kind of shit. Whereas before it was just experimenting." 

Hear for Yourself: "Cumbia Anthem" uses an accordion sample as bait, then locks you inside a rave. Nick Murray


Jenna Foxton


Sounds Like: A certain ratio of post-punk distilled down to the fundamentals: wiry guitars, emphatic rhythms and incisive lyrics 

For Fans of: The Slits, Slant 6, consumerist critiques you can dance to 

Why You Should Pay Attention: The London band are currently on their first tour of the U.S., including dates with Shannon and the Clams in October and Priests in November. Guitarist Rachel Aggs, drummer Andrew Milk and bassist Billy Easter first played together in the group Covergirl. They opted for a more "streamlined and scaled-back" approach, according to Milk, when forming Shopping in 2012. They're already on to their second album, Why Choose, out now on FatCat.

They Say: "We're political people, but we didn't set out to make a political band," says Easter. "I think it comes through cathartically," says Aggs.

Hear for Yourself: "Straight Lines" neatly summarizes the band's strengths: taut work from the rhythm section, an accelerated melody on guitar, and interesting vocal interplay as Milk examines the economic and emotional dynamics of a relationship. Tobias Carroll


Dita Havránková


Sounds Like: The club, the afterparty, those regretful moments after the afterparty

For Fans of: Cashmere Cat, Trippy Turtle, Shlohmo

Why You Should Pay Attention: Nadus — born Rahshon Bright — is an architect of the thriving "Jersey Club" scene; though his new LP, Broke City, veers firmly off the dance floor. As an actual tween, Bright and his friends threw way-underage parties in and around Newark, New Jersey. Too young to get into real clubs but old enough to learn rudimentary music production software, this scene of middle schoolers blended their parents' house beats with hip-hop, chopped-up Top 40 tunes and pretty much whatever else they felt like. "If ghetto house and Baltimore club had a baby," says Bright, "that's what Jersey Club music is like." Nadus still proudly reps his hometown and its club sound as he tours nonstop; but Broke City goes beyond the beats, toying with moody, downtempo, choir-filled film-score-like compositions.

He Says: Newark's former mayor is honored with a track named "Sharpe James" on the LP. When young Bright was supposed to make a trip abroad with the Newark Boys Chorus School, the longtime politician helped make it happen. "We were like $25,000 short, and he pledged that $25,000 for us to go on that trip," says Bright. "That trip changed my whole outlook on music."

Hear For Yourself: "Sharpe James" is one of the album's most heavenly offerings, full of celestial strings, keyboards and choir "oohs" aplenty — along with samples of interviews with the titular politician. Arielle Castillo

methyl ethel


Methyl Ethel

Sounds Like: A lone glam-rock astronaut floating deep into the outer reaches of his own mind

For Fans of: T. Rex, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, Tame Impala

Why You Should Pay Attention: The latest act from Australia to make waves in the Northern Hemisphere is this trio from Perth — a noteworthy success story at this year's CMJ festival despite having zero U.S. label backing. They're already getting even bigger cosigns Down Under, where Melbourne's own Courtney Barnett is taking them out as an opening act in January of 2016. Frontman Jake Webb spent a solitary summer recording their debut album, Oh Inhuman Spectacle, almost entirely on his own in a house a couple of hours south of Perth in a remote coastal town. "I find it difficult to work on things when there's anyone in earshot," he says. "If I'm as isolated as possible, I can go completely crazy and work on things until they evolve."

They Say: Webb met Thom Stewart and Chris Wright, who round out Methyl Ethel's live lineup, through Perth's thriving rock scene. "It's a real tight-knit community," says Stewart. Their friendship with local stars Tame Impala came in handy earlier this year, when Methyl Ethel played a show at the club where Wright usually works as a sound mixer. "I didn't think to book anyone [to cover for me] that night, so we were stuck for a sound guy," Wright says. "We paid [Tame Impala leader Kevin Parker] 50 bucks to come and mix us. It was his first time mixing — he was a little nervous, I think!" "He did a good job, though," Webb adds with a laugh. Simon Vozick-Levinson

Mura Masa

Mura Masa

Sounds Like: Millennial R&B and neo-classical minimalism meeting in a trap track

For Fans of: Jamie xx, James BlakeFKA Twigs

Why You Should Pay Attention: Taking his moniker from a 16th century Japanese swordsmith, the productions of 19-year-old Brit producer Alex Crossan's are razor-sharp, with startling juxtapositions of elegant strings, honeyed R&B vocals and snapping trap drums. While he's working on his debut album, Mura Masa's individual tracks are taking off: "Lovesick Fuck" is at 1.3 million YouTube views while "Love for That" featuring Shura and released two weeks ago, already has more than 400,000 plays on his SoundCloud page. And back in April, five of Mura Masa's tracks were prominently featured on a Diplo & Friends mix for BBC Radio 1.

He Says: Crossan claims that Gorillaz' "Feel Good Inc." video so inspired him as a lad that he learned guitar just so he could play along. But he also credits his musician father for some crucial lessons beyond turning him onto Joni Mitchell and Yes. "He gave me the best advice about how to be a mindful musician," Crossan said. "He told me that music is so much more about what you aren't playing than what you are; silence and space are so important."

And while present-day Crossan relishes his recent collaborations with upstart singers like Shura and Nao, he's currently finding inspiration in something more personal. "I recently went through my first really terrifying breakup, and I can't express how powerful that is for me," he says. "It's not something to be shy of or try and avoid; catharsis is so healthy. I feel like a lot of really seminal records come from being deeply upset."

Hear for Yourself: The minimal snap of "Love for That" is led by an assured mix of strings, woodwinds and thumb piano. Andy Beta