Five artists we have high hope for in 2021
It’s been an introspective year and Arlo Parks is a deeply introspective artist.
Her music tells personal but relatable stories of youth, friendship, depression, identity, and unrequited yet not fully understood love. These stories are wrapped up in musically agnostic tunes; lofi R&B rubs shoulders with indie, soul sensibilities are wielded with a singer-songwriter’s approach.
In a year where we spent a lot of time in our own heads, it’s been reassuring to spend some time in someone else’s.
You may recognise Allysha Joy’s husky delivery from her other gig, fronting progressive, future-soul quintet 30/70. (whom we welcomed to Love Supreme in 2019).
When part of 30/70, Joy’s voice weaves in and out of the other instrumentation, content to sit back when the song requires. On her solo work, Joy’s vocals are the focal point, showcasing her range, tone & song-writing ability. There’s plenty of music to get stuck into as well, her debut album ‘Acadie: Raw’ was released in 2018 through Gondwana Records
Jazz’s Borg-like assimilation of genres is up there with its greatest strengths but in the wrong hands can be difficult to engage with. So when we were turned on to a pianist who drew as much from Scottish fold music as he did from EST, it would be a lie to say we didn’t feel some trepidation.
It was all unfounded though as Fergus McCreadie is a breathtaking talent. With one award-winning album already under his belt and a new record coming next year the sky’s the limit for this young man from Scotland’s emerging jazz scene.
Whatever you do in life, if 2020 was supposed to be your year, you have our sympathies. If you were working towards something that was meant to come to fruition this year then it must have been a bitter pill to swallow knowing you had to hit pause.
Celeste was poised for 2020 to be her breakout year. Brit Awards were won, the BBC sound of 2020 list was topped and a huge single was released. Then, as it was for all of us, plans went out the window. However, none of this diminishes her talent and when her debut album is eventually released we could be seeing a new force in British soul.
While Celeste might have been robbed of her breakout moment in the sun, 2020 was a more foundational year for a band just coming into their own unique sound.
Mamilah have been one of the leading lights of the northern jazz scene over the last couple of years. They are a seven piece nu-soul band based in Leeds who draw from the rich musical community around them including producers, composers and musicians to form this exceptional project. Mamilah released their second independent EP in May, Talk Less, which they followed up with a set of remixes in September and have more music on the way in 2021.
50 tunes that made our year.
Featuring Jorja Smith, Sault, Avishai Cohen, Ambrose Akinmusire, Greentea Peng + more
Ten 2020 releases that might have flown under your radar
Featuring Ego Ella May, Jaga Jazzist, Tenderlonious, Mansur Brown, Yazmin Lacey + more
Sign up to our newsletter