Neu Neu Recommended (Babeheaven, Noname, Hazel English & Serpentwithfeet)
DIY picks out four new acts to get (very) excited about.
Every month in DIY, we pick out four new artists who stick out in a big, ever-growing crowd of fresh faces. With each day that passes, there’s someone else turning heads, another act to follow and keep track with. Our weekly Neu Bulletins cram in everything brilliant we’ve heard.
Neu Recommended aims to filter things down to the absolute must-hear names, acts who’ve bit-by-bit established themselves as the real deal. Below, find out what we’re getting excited about.
Also in this month’s mag, Eat Fast shed some light on their North-Easternly origin story, The Bay Rays prepare to take over and Kelsey Lu talks swapping the church for the cello. Read all about it here.
You won’t be ‘Moving On’ from this London group anytime soon.
Back in January, Babeheaven played a hyped, hushed gig in London for DIY’s ‘Hello 2016’ nights. The West London group seemed to bring the winter fog inside, swarming everything in a smoky cool. One thing stood out, even in those early days - their ability to flick a switch from smooth atmospherics into something substantial. New single ‘Moving On’ is another thing altogether; the kind of track capable of sending any band skywards.
Listen: ‘Moving On’ is out 7th October via Handsome Dad / BS3CI. Catch them live at Mirrors London (29th October).
Similar to: Massive Attack giving blog-pop a lease of life.
Creator of the year’s best mixtape? Don’t rule it out.
Three years separate Noname’s guest verse on a Chance the Rapper track and the present day. Right now, she’s being credited with releasing 2016’s best mixtape. ‘Telefone’ aptly calls in a few favours - a collaboration with Raury on ‘Diddy Pop’ is a highlight - but it stands out for being able to tell Fatimah Warner’s story. On Chance’s ‘Lost’, she rapped about loneliness, depression and a psychiatrist’s advice that she should “pill pop” to seek happiness. Here, she documents everything - love, faith, a tragic abortion - in perfect detail.
Listen: ‘Telefone’ is a free download. Do not miss out.
Similar to: The rich storytelling of Frank Ocean.
The chart-ready twist beach-pop has been crying out for.
Just when all routes to the coast look to have been exhausted, out steps Hazel English. The California newcomer makes straight-up beach pop. Heard it all before? Possibly. She shares plenty of traits with her producer, Jackson Phillips (aka Day Wave), and the early work of DIIV and Beach Fossils. What makes Hazel stand out is her ability to apply dreamy escapism to sharp pop hooks. Instead of an airy tribute to crashing waves, she writes melodies that could even make songwriting guru Max Martin jealous.
Listen: Debut EP ‘Never Going Home’ is out 7th October on House Anxiety / Marathon Artists.
Similar to: An it’ll-never-happen Beach Fossils and Taylor Swift collab.
A Perfume Genius-worshipped star in the making.
“How are more people not freaking the fuck out?” tweeted Perfume Genius when he first heard Serpentwithfeet. He wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last to lose their shit about this Brooklyn artist. Every so often a piece of music jumps out from the dark and sounds like nothing else on this planet. ‘Blisters’, Josiah Wise’s latest track, is a crazed hybrid of future-leaning R&B, earnest balladry and twisted, haunting stabs of noise (thanks in part to production from the Haxan Cloak). Both a blitzing cinematic score and refined, spacious pop song, it’s a chasm of ideas worthy of worship.
Listen: The ‘Blisters’ EP is out now via Tri Angle.
Similar to: Aliens reinterpreting noughties pop.
Taken from the September issue of DIY, out now. Subscribe below.
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