New Sensations: Asha, Izzy Bizu & More Names For Your Pop Radar
New Sensations is our semi-regular roundup of emerging acts you oughta know.
The tyranny of the reboot is plaguing TV and movies, as the nostalgia craved by internet dwellers is easily turned into bankable franchising opportunities by corporations. And music isn’t immune to the rebooting phenomenon, facing a similar problem with dinosaurs that refuse to go extinct.
New Sensations: 6 More Pop Newcomers To Keep An Eye On
No longer does an artist just retire or stick to the legacy touring circuit. No, there are reunions, hologram tours, comeback albums, second comeback albums, Vegas residencies, biopics. There are loads of profits to be made from built-in, loyal stanbases, so we’re getting to the point where immobile rockers are propped onstage when they should be sitting on actual rockers on some country patio, where fallen divas with vocal chords as creaky as their knees try to scale the pop mountain once more only to trigger an avalanche. It is dire out there.
But there is new life among the lumbering old giants! So it’s once again time to highlight some young pop artists that you should keep an eye on. Below, we have five of these emerging singers to get on your radar.
Asha — “Chapters”
There’s a little bit of Jessie Ware in Asha’s sultry pop&B, but there’s more London grit in her voice, more edge (as is apparent from her piercings and half-buzzed hair). On new single “Chapters,” clicking hi-hats and warped piano loops pierce through her full-bodied, soulful chorus. It’s a common juxtaposition, but it’s rarely pulled off this convincingly.
Izzy Bizu — “Give Me Love”
In this era of hyper-stylized electronic productions and murky soundscapes, London newcomer Izzy Bizu is a bright anomaly. Her songs have all the propulsion and huge hooks of modern pop, but they’re built with vibrant, organic parts — swoops of strings, relentless tambourines, that old art of stank. This is music that’s optimized for vinyl crackle without feeling like lazy retro-fetishism. It’s no wonder Sam Smith snagged her to open on his tour.
Patternist — “New Fashion”
You may have heard Patternist on Keeping Up With The Kardashians or The Real World, but don’t hold that against him. Gabe Mouer’s electro-pop project is far more low-key and polite than those licensing deals would suggest. Latest single “New Fashion” features his graceful vocals alongside a delicate blue mist of synths and guitars — it’s like The 1975 but good.
Dua Lipa — “New Love”
Mainstream pop music is becoming more and more about the producers, but songs like “New Love” demonstrate what happens when you get a special voice on the mic. While the skittering, thumping beat by heavyweights Emile Haynie and Andrew Wyatt is an understated thing of beauty, this is all about the 19-year-old’s killer vocal runs and that melismatic chorus that lassos your brain. My favorite part is the way her voice almost imperceptibly cracks at the 1:19 and 3:00 marks. That’s the kind of quirk that a lesser singer might try to polish out of a song, but for Dua Lipa it just adds another element to her range.
Party Nails — “Break”
L.A. singer Elana Belle Carroll has a few things going for her. One, a great name for her act. Two, a co-sign from indie-pop kingmakers Neon Gold. Oh, and three, her debut single “Break.” Produced by Shadom, it pairs a disco-lite sparkle with yearning vocals for a happy-sad singalong.