New Sensations: A British R&B Collective, New Wave Revivalists & More Pop Finds

Carl Williott | November 9, 2016 9:30 am

New Sensations is our semi-regular roundup of emerging acts you oughta know.

We don’t deserve these songs from these five new, non-American acts. Five non-American acts who, if they’re wise, will never tour here. We don’t deserve the world’s music.


S4U (a.k.a. Something For You) are a London crew led by Prinz George and Rosita Bonita. They produce their own music, and on “Twice,” they hit the pre-FanMail TLC vibes heavy — which is refreshing because so much R&B since that album has been of the digital-future-sounds mold. But “One Key” proves they’re versatile enough to thrive in the murky swamp of nightmare grooves that The Weeknd has spawned. Both tracks are on their Brazil EP.

Avante Black

This is a band, not a person. The band is made up of two Swedes, an Italian and a Brit. Their frontwoman is 22-year-old Ottilia Zimmerman Kjulsten. And they have found their sound. Self-released debut “Imaginary Love” had more of a mid-’90s grunge-pop vibe, but “Drug Money” tightens up the melodies and builds out the dramatic synth textures.

Many Voices Speak

With her “Blue Moon” cover, this Swedish singer joins the ranks of artists who’ve actually earned the “Lynchian” label, like Lana Del Rey and newcomer Grace Lightman. The melancholy sway of MVS’s new song, “Away For All Time,” adds some motion to the proceedings but occupies that same eerie void. Her debut EP dropped a couple weeks ago.

Artificial Pleasure

The trio’s second single, “I’ll Make It Worth Your While,” is excellent, full stop. It’s Bowie and Talking Heads, it’s Twin Shadow (album 1 iteration) and The 1975 (album 2 iteration). It’s slick and louche, garish and completely straight-faced. It’s everything radio pop isn’t anymore. “Bolt From The Blue,” while more of an oddball, is still a colossal piece of cock-pop.


New Zealander Kim Pflaum was lead singer and co-founder of Yumi Zouma, but she left the group a couple years ago and ever since has been focusing on this solo project. These two cuts off her debut Bad Humors EP, out now on Carpark Records, demonstrate her facility with billowy synth tones that still have a dance-floor snap to them; it sounds a bit like if Warpaint were to start channeling Phoenix.