Here is our third selection of new acts to keep an ear out for in 2022; next week we treat you to some Welsh tips.
The rate at which the Yard Act star has risen has taken everyone, including the band, by surprise, but the trick they pull is they manage the infectious pop hook with the abrasive everyman observations very well. They would be perfect touring partners with Dry Cleaning as both do a good line in non-sequiturs and make the mundane humorous and engaging. James Smith creates characters and worlds to address real-world problems but with his tongue firmly wedged into his cheek. Debut LP The Overload is out early 2022 after a barrage of singles over the past 18 months. They’re gonna be big. (Jim Auton)
Horsegirl caught our ears last year with their awesome 7”, ‘Ballroom Dance Scene‘ b/w ‘Sea Life Sandwich Boy’ selling out within 24 hours, it showed a literate, layered brand of noise pop. Now freshly signed to Matador Records, the Chicago trio of 17–19-year-olds Penelope Lowenstein (she/her), Nora Cheng (she/her), and Gigi Reece (they/them) released a brilliant single ‘Billy’ at the tail end of 2021.
This fuzz-laden gem was co-produced by the band and legendary producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile). Riven with three-part harmonies led by Cheng and Lowenstein, that sketches out the life of ‘Billy‘ a fictional character, written during the lockdown you can feel the frustration seeping out of every pore, caustic overdriven guitars and switching tempo changes of drummer Reece, surfing from a melodic narrative, into a fantastic cacophony of noise pop that consumes you whole. With tinges of Throwing Muses and Sonic Youth, but ultimately just Horsegirl this is another step for this enormously exciting emerging outfit, with a deep bond who will be ones to keep an ear out for in 2022, the band will make their debut appearance at SXSW this year. (Bill Cummings)
20-year old South London native Scuti is a talent you cannot ignore with her intimate yet intricate flow redolent of early Little Simz or No Name, her debut EP ‘This Is Skoo’ caused a stir with its stripped back instrumentals and inventive lyricism, while her appearance on Boiler Room Sessions, Reading and Leeds festival slots and a plethora of appearances built an appreciation of her work. Her infectious new single ‘KitKat‘ a plea for someone to chill, is the latest example of her prodigious talent. Her youthful flow, witty, personal and playfully pouring over a sparse bed of cutting breakbeats and eastern samples. Its lifted taken from her forthcoming EP ‘Intoxication’ a collection of crystalline trap beats with undeniably slick lyrics that speak to her growing up on the streets. (Bill Cummings)
Should 2020 and 2021 have turned out differently than 2022 would have probably been too late to call Chappaqua Wrestling a “tip”, as their music is 100% festival ready. There is an edge – particularly on the recent single ‘The Rift’ which brings to mind My Vitriol or Swervdriver, but there are also hooks and catchy choruses aplenty. (Jordan Dowling)
Anyone who has seen Glasgow’s Vlure live this year knows that this band are the real deal. Support for The Murder Capital, headline gigs, signing to So Young Records, it has been a busy year for Vlure. Intense performances with a musical landscape rooted in electronic dance music, but with a fiery twist of guitars and drums, Vlure are an emotional experience live. Rave reviews have followed wherever they played in 2021 and 2022 is going to see them only move in one direction, further upwards as the word continues to spread of this extraordinary band. (Julia Mason)
Julia-Sophie fuses an electronic tapestry with dreamy and evocative melodies. It’s a meditative and exploratory sound that delves deep into the subconscious and possess vast possibilities. Her debut EP featured the majestic ‘Breath’ with its enveloping textures of synth and melody, offered an intriguing glimpse of her talent. While The evocative and rippling single ‘and you know it‘ that possess shades of Tracy Thorn‘s work with Massive Attack, and the enveloping helicopter beats and spectral vocals of the striking previous single ‘i wish‘ made it onto her second EP. released in the Spring of 2021. Julia- Sophie is a fascinating and refreshing new voice and an artist with a vision for 2022. (Bill Cummings)
Despite releasing two EPs in a very short space of time over 2020 and last year, their debut LP was recorded in London at the end of 2021 with them touching down back home in Atlanta, Georgia on Christmas Eve. Expect this, hopefully, in the first half of 2022 but in the meantime go back and listen to Honeycomb, Bedbug and The Gaping Mouth and marvel in their wonky lo-fi new wave pop excellence with Olivia’s poetic dark lyrics and laconic vocals and Avsha’s deft touch with melody and off the wall tunes. They both even managed to release solo EPs during 2021, so prolific is the word. (Jim Auton)
I am cheating here slightly as we usually only tip acts who have yet to release a debut album and Melbourne’s Grace Cummings (no relation!) releases her astounding second album Storm Queen this January. But her fearsome brand of songwriting throbs with heart and heft that it cannot be ignored. Her voice is a grand monument less gritty and more resembling the epic vista of rocks that are crumbling from the edges of the Brecon beacons. ‘Heaven‘ is stunning, seething with longing and desire, while ‘Up in Flames’ has shades of the poetic intensity and poetic couplets of early Nick Cave. Grace Cummings is an absolutely formidable talent with a towering voice. (Bill Cummings)