Ones to Watch in 2018

Ones to Watch in 2018 - ElohimJanuary is a month when new music recommendations come thick and fast, with industry bods and fans alike looking forward to the next 12 months. Everyone's eager to put their stamp on the Ones to Watch in 2018 tsunami, and DrunkenWerewolf is no different.

Whether you're reading an article published by a DIY blog such as ours or streaming a playlist compiled by your local record store, the process for selection is fundamentally the same. Hear it, love it, push it. But how do tastemakers hear about new artists in the first place? The answer can vary but it will usually stubbornly guide the end result.

The teenage years of the 21st Century have laid waste to the endless stream of promos arriving on welcome mats up and down the country, replaced by newfangled internet technology. Like many blogs, we take recommendations as they come: via email, support slots, local shows, Soundcloud trawls, podcasts, other blogs etc. But with so many PR jostling for attention in December, a healthy budget for advertising - or just the right word from the right person at the right time - can give an artist the push they need at a crucial, decision-making moment.

The niggle of doubt this creates around a band's authenticity will lead some to disregard the music before it's even been played. (How many of us criticising it have seriously listened to everyone on the BBC Sound of 2018 longlist?) At DW HQ we think that's just as unfair as ignoring a band because they're not signed. In previous years we've written about presenting a healthy balance of major to indie, rock to pop, and signed to unsigned. What we actually strive to achieve in our end of year roundups, is an honest representation of the music we love - no matter their background.

DrunkenWerewolf's Ones to Watch in 2018 are listed below!

10\\ Outsider

Holding post as the only Irish artist included on the FIFA 2018 soundtrack, Outsider aka Dublin-based singer-songwriter Seán Corcoran caught our attention in October with his stunning debut single, "Míol Mór Mara".

Literally meaning "sea whales" in Irish Gaelic, the song leaps away from the dulcet tones of the water world creature into a pit filled with bubbling pop, Bruce Springsteen, and enough shoulder shaking goodness to see us through until December 2018. "Míol Mór Mara" is a fab introduction to an artist who also counts Billy Idol, T Rex, and Johnny Cash as influences, promising a diverse repertoire and - as someone recently signed to Warner's subsid label, W - more material to come.

Read our full Introducing article here.

9\\ Graceland

Norwich band Graceland seems to be taking on the industry at their own pace, but they have enough something-something to warrant a place on this list.

We're not just talking about their ability to crossover The Organ and Girl Ray by way of fuzzy rock, though that's certainly a good starting point. Summer single "Flyaway" proves Graceland have the feel-good vibes to hit the festival circuit hard in 2018. The hazy four-piece have accrued support from BBC Introducing and Club Fandango, with whom they signed in September, but they've been suspiciously silent in terms of follow up material. Could they be planning an attack? Only 2018 knows.

Read our full Introducing article here.

8\\ Swimming Girls

Having caught an intimate Swimming Girls performance at Maida Vale recently, we were mega impressed with this Bristol act's ability to pin down perfection in less than 4 minutes, and without getting a hair out of place.

70s psych, disco pop, and sonic cool combine when these four come together, to create something with mainstream appeal to match the band's underground foundations. Since forming in Bath just over a year ago, Swimming Girls have become embroiled in the Bristol music scene but have also supported Jesus and the Mary Chain away from home. Not a bad start to any career, and definitely something that makes them Ones to Watch in 2018.

Swimming Girls' Maida Vale session will air in January 2017 on BBC Introducing West. Keep your eyes peeled!

7\\ K Anderson

Frank, stripped down and honest; over the past year, K Anderson's music has taken on a groove with roots in American punk, elevating his work above his former title of singer-songwriter.

2017 lead single "Cluttered" paves the way for this development and bowled us and our Introducing audience over in October 2017 - proving to be the section's highlight of the year in terms of visits. We can't say we disagree with our readers' passion for Anderson's sound. He's found a perfect balance between the acoustic scene that bore him and the bedroom lo-fi of John Grant and Ani DiFranco - both of whom he counts as influences.

Read our full Introducing article here.

6\\ Grace Lightman

How can a blog like DrunkenWerewolf not love an artist like Grace Lightman?

The London resident and Handsome Dad Records signee combines ghostly vocals with brassy soul, gramophone cool, and slick alt-pop to draw a comparison to early era Kyla la Grange (think "Vampire Smile"), Tame Impala and M83. She also names her songs after all things DW approved  (see: "Fangs", "Halloween is Over"). Having already worked with the likes of Ben Baptie (London Grammar) and garnered attention from Penzance to Aberdeen, she's been a surefire inclusion on our Ones to Watch in 2018 countdown since we first heard her.

Read our full Introducing article here.

5\\ Childcare

In a musical world where it can seem like most things have been done before, sometimes excellent musicians forget themselves in the name of innovation. Not so with West London's Childcare, who go back to the basics of rock and grunge to create their own, blissfully unique sound.

The four-piece have put the practice of dual vocals to good use across a series of releases, including their most recent Made Simple EP, which was released in April via Lost in the Manor. Having supported Bastille on tour and found fans in Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq, the band's 5-year history will hopefully pay off in 2018 with a promising career in the spotlight.

Read our full Introducing article here.

4\\ Stef Chura

A case in point for being in the right place at the right time but still having the gumption to deserve a slap on the back, Saddle Creek signee Stef Chura has enjoyed the blogging equivalent of primetime since news spread of her powers in the autumn of 2017.

The Michigan alt-rock champion has a trademark vocal to rival the artists she holds closest to her heart (amongst them Patti SmithElliott Smith, and Cat Power). That's not all. Her melancholy turned chaotic songwriting has all the hooks and charm of a star waiting to be born, proving her debut album Messes, due to land in February 2018, will be a must-buy before reviews are even out.

Read our full Introducing article here.

3\\ Bonzai

Not to be confused with copious other acts of the same name, this Bonzai is the project of London-via-Dublin artist Cassia O'Reilly; a 20-year-old singer who turned heads with a Mura Masa collaboration in early 2017 and went on to rule festival stages throughout the summer.

Ardent fans from the first klaxon, O'Reilly commanded the Blissfields 2017 stage with an unbelievably large presence and firey, character pumping songs to boot. For fans of fusion music incorporating dance, pop, and hip-hop, Bonzai proves women can own the title of producer as well as any man. May no one call her a singer-songwriter from here on in.

2\\ Sorcha Richardson

Such is our love for Brooklyn-based musician Sorcha Richardson, we nearly knocked her off our Ones to Watch in 2018 list believing we'd included her in a countdown in previous years. But slap our wrists and call us stupid heads, we hadn't! So here she is!

A massive oversight on our behalf, Sorcha has impressed us with lo-fi pop ballads and charged electricity for years, starting with the release of her song "Petrol Station" in 2015 (gulp). Recent standout songs include "Waking Life", which was premiered on Clash Magazine, and "4am", which has been our anthem for late night listening since it filtered through in June 2017. Imelda May is a fan, and so, most definitely, are we. In fact we will now sell a portion of our soul to ensure she 'makes it' in this busy world we live in. Bids open.

Read our full Introducing article here.

1\\ Elohim

Can someone with 15k Facebook fans be considered for the top slot on a Ones to Watch in 2018 countdown? We say yes.

Elohim has built a huge army of fans stateside through relentless touring, including support slots alongside Chromeo and Jai Wolf (which ended prematurely in November due to a bought of pneumonia, telling of her commitment to the road). Yet in the UK, the press hasn't caught up with producer's impressive career.

Faceless for a significant part of her career, B3SCI Records signee Elohim - literally meaning "Goddess" in Hebrew - has since revealed herself to be a Los Angeles-based producer who's keen to break gender stereotypes within the dancehall scene. Early in her career, she gave some insight into her decision to remain nameless in an interview with Wonderland Magazine ("As a woman, it's very empowering to embody this word as my name.") This selfless reckoning with the inherent sexism in the music industry echoes throughout her career, if only because she's winning in a synth dance genre often dominated by men.

Love this Ones to Watch in 2018 feature? Don't forget to check out our Tracks of 2017 playlist on Spotify!


One Response to “Ones to Watch in 2018”


    1. Ones to Watch in 2018 – Live List - 02/01/2018

      […] post Ones to Watch in 2018 appeared first on […]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *