New Sensations: The Best Thing About New Artists Is They Don’t Have Stans Yet
New Sensations is our semi-regular roundup of emerging acts you oughta know.
Individual stans can be utterly hilarious and biting (as we saw when we ventured deep inside the Bey Hive). But en masse, they are insufferable and humorless, a phalanx of delusion and not-actually-clever recycled tweets barking “mom,” “delete it,” “extra,” “YAASSS,” “tea,” “sit down” and that one Rihanna GIF with the car window. They display — to use one of their own favorite charges to levy at those who dare come at one of their faves with actual humor or sarcasm — absolutely no chill.
The best thing about new artists is that they don’t have stans. You can experience emerging artists’ music and form an opinion and dip into the online conversation about it without subjecting yourself to Twitter’s version of the screaming TRL fan pop-ins. No baggage. No manufactured drama measured in RTs. No reaction GIFs you’ve seen a dozen fucking times.
So take a break from the march of the stans and get to know the five emerging artists below.
BB served as a backing vocalist for Katy B, featured on Shift K3y‘s “Gone Missing” and is opening for Tinashe on UK dates of the Joyride tour. That’s a hell of a lot of momentum considering her second single dropped less than a month ago. Debut track “Instinct” is an aqueous little dance number that’s not too far off from what Disclosure‘s done with featured singers, and follow-up “Feeling” is a piano-pounding house track with a full-bodied vocal to match the surprising brass breakdown.
This New Jersey multi-hyphenate has a full-fledged career as a model, but carves out time to DJ and record her own music. Sitting at the heart of all three of those industries is the club, which is apparent on her latest tracks. The sultry electro-funk of “Black Ice” skews to the post-PBR&B cool kids, while the neon roller rink pop of “Sweet & Low” caters to classicists and fans of Beyoncé‘s “Blow.” They’re both off her forthcoming project Lé Funk.
RABBII stands for Revolutions Are Best Before Initial Inception, so this is one of the more perplexing names you’ll encounter, for a variety of reasons. Don’t let that scare you off listening to the Swedish duo. I mean, if you’re a discerning pop fan you should already be sold on “Swedish duo,” and chances are if I hadn’t spoiled it you probably would’ve guessed this was the work of Swedes anyway. If you’re into sparse and icy synth sprawl, and the childlike coo of Grimes or her signee Nicole Dollanganger isn’t a dealbreaker, then join the pre-revolution or whatever.
Only Girl is London singer Ellen Murphy, who debuted in 2014 but has now really come into her own with this month’s Young Blood EP. She’s one of these British soul-pop singers like Jessie Ware whose voice is gorgeous without feeling showy and whose music gives off a sense of relationship wisdom far beyond the singer’s years. The title track is begging for a romcom sync, “Salvation” brings things down to earth with gospel touches and closer “Colour Me” is a flat-out stunner.
Whatever nuance Saya lacks by naming her debut single “Wet Dreams,” she more than makes up for in the subtle genre cross-pollination she pulls off on the song. She seamlessly bounces back and forth from cloud-pop murmur to snappy summer melodicism to a sing-songy rap flow to a warped electro burble, packing four songs’ worth of ideas into one.