Your playlists suck, make them not suck by adding these budding artists
Time to finally get that streaming spring cleaning out of the way to make room for what’s next.
Look, I’m the weird guy far in the back of venues during concerts or festivals. I’m okay with it. After 1000+ shows you learn that it’s the best seat in the house. Not only can you stretch your arms a little without blasting a poor stranger in the nose, but when the headliner goes on, both the bar and the bathrooms are completely empty.
During one of the last concerts I was at, arms crossed, beer full sitting in the back, I met a guy named Greg. He tried to spell it with a “TH” maybe four or five times before admitting to taking a hero dose of Molly before he got in the venue. His mind was somewhere between his left front pocket and the Mars rover, about as dead too. But I managed to get out a few coherent words, all about new acts he was excited about. One was Autograf, the other Kayzo.
I went home and listened to them both that weekend. Dude was high as fuck, but had decent taste in music.
It’s the same thing I’ve been doing for almost 15 years professionally, chatting up the folks in the back and finding out what’s in their playlists. As a hookup, I’m thumbing through old notes to give everyone a dive into people like Greg’s mind — full of lasers, watered-down CÎROC, MDMA and artists just waiting to be heard.
As far as EDM is concerned, Poolside has the summer vibes. The act calls its brand “daytime disco”; it’s fitting. Bakermat is fun too, as is Dani Corbalan, Nitti Gritti, FISHER. And for something out there mystical, Shanti People might fuck up a chakra or three this year.
The longest of my lists falls under a “pop” umbrella. The word doesn’t mean much in 2019, but it’s easy to keep track of it that way. I love that Julia Michaels is finally stepping out on her own after writing massive hits for the stars. Kat Dahlia — part emcee, part singer/songwriter — will have her time soon as well.
You also need to get Tove Styrke, Gavin Turek, Morgan Saint and Pink Sweat$ a seat at the table. Melanie Martinez is dropping a new album soon, too. She isn’t really “new,” but is looking for a comeback. She’ll get it.
And one of the best voices to come out of, well, whenever, goes to LP. The single “Lost On You” got them heard by the world while “Girls Go Wild” really ties the room together.
ALLBLACK is heating up the hip-hop space — he’s Oakland-bred with the hype machine at his back. Same with Coi Leray and Brockhampton. Both of them are on fire with the right industry connections to lean on. And if you want a real challenge, something completely out of the ordinary, Jpegmafia is buck wild. “Baby I’m Bleeding” is one of the better songs I’ve heard all year (even though it was released "decades" ago in Internet time). His newest album Veteran is a pivotal lesson in gritty experimental hip-hop.
There’s rock too, still treading water out there in the deep end. Highly Suspect and Angel Du$t are worthy of a like or four. As is Hello Yello, a hybrid grunge thing rooted deep in ‘90s nostalgia. Nirvana for the new era.
You don’t need algorithms to guess what your life needs right now. All it takes is one Greg. May he make it home safely for the rest of his years.