Thursday, 28 November 2019
Ones to Watch 2020
It's time for tips for 2020!
Besides the Breaking More Waves monthly playlist of new tracks from the previous month (coming soon), this November I’m adding one further post to the blog and it’s something I've done every year since I've started this thing; and that's my annual tips for the year ahead. I do love a tip list and I do love deciding who should be on mine - to the point where I started a list of possible selections back in April this year, finally deciding who I'm going to pick at the start of this month (the first two selections on the list were my first choices from Spring). So, welcome to the Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch list for 2020.
Over the last decade I’ve normally posted this before we get too many lists being published, partly because I don’t want to be influenced by other lists and partly so I can play musical bingo of sorts, seeing which of my tips match up with all of the big music industry lists and which don’t. Occasionally I can even claim bragging rights by seeing that an artist that I tipped a year ago (or in the odd case 2 or 3 years previous) has made it onto the BBC Sound of poll nominations or other high profile industry list.
However, this year some sites and publications seem to have gone even earlier than normal and I'm a little later so there are already quite a few Ones to Watch / Sound of lists for you to work your way through. My list features 10 artists, some of which have appeared on some of those lists, but a few that haven't cropped on any. They range from artists I first featured on Breaking More Waves 3 years ago to one who released their debut single yesterday.
I'm still claim bragging rights this year as well. In 2017 I chose Maisie Peters as One to Watch for 2018 and this year a number of the lists already published have chosen her for their 2020 tips including You Tube, Amazon and Dork magazine.
Normally my Ones to Watch would form a series of individual posts, but now with my time being devoted elsewhere, I’m simply giving a basic run down of the 10 artists I’m tipping in one post.
This year I've tried to represent my geography, so all the acts chosen are either from the UK or Ireland, with 4 of them coming from the south coast, where I'm based.
So without further ado, here are the Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch 2020:
She captured my heart earlier this year in Brighton and her recent release Strange is the one song that has made me cry in 2019. I'm predicting more tears in 2020 from the songs of this U.S born but UK raised artist who has similarities to Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin. She seems to be on every tip list going and that's no surprise - her talent is self evident.
2. Arlo Parks
Neo-soul singer Arlo Parks first featured on Breaking More Waves in January 2019 with her stunning debut Cola. Her smooth unhurrIed delivery and subtle groove make her one to watch for 2020.
3. Master Peace
With a refreshing rawness Master Peace straddles the boundaries of indie, hip-hop and pop. With just 3 tracks on line at the moment, it's his 2019 release Night Time that grabbed my attention. And if continues to release tracks like this 2020 could be his year.
4. Black Country New Road
The first of three bands on this list and another act that first appeared on Breaking More Waves in January 2019 just before they released their debut single. an act from the leftfield that mix post-punk, jazz, post-rock and middle eastern traditional sounds together with spoken (sometimes shouted) vocals, they're not a particularly commercial proposition, but do offer something new and interesting and (if) they release an album in 2020 it could be something quite exciting.
5. Winnie Raeder
Sometimes a voice just stops you in your tracks. In the same way as Celeste's Strange creates goosebumps so did Winnie Raeder's Don't You Dare. In April when I first wrote about it it had less than 1,000 streams. now it has over 1 million. Winnie connects to the listener with music that is deep, honest and beautiful.
6. Sinead O Brien
Originally from Limerick, Ireland's Sinead O'Brien makes music that is a mix of post-punk, performance art and spoken word. She has already supported the likes of Pond and British Sea Power. Ear grabbing and unique.
7. Joy Crookes
Joy Crookes has nearly appeared on the Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch list a number of times, having been first featured on this blog as far back as 2016. However, it feels like Joy's career has taken a while to really gain momentum and with single Early (featuring Jafaris) having grabbed her Radio 1 playlisting and a slot on Later....with Jools Holland now feels like a good time to push her forward as One to Watch for 2020.
With just 2 tracks on line (So What? and Do It Like That) Worthing based Noisy are another band not afraid to straddle genres; in this case rock, rap and drum and bass. Noisy's sound is adrenaline packed and full of punch. Cardiac inducing fun, get ready to push the tempo with Noisy.
9. Coach Party
Formerly known as Jeph, these Isle of Wight indie rockers describe their sound as 'beige indie'. LOL. It's far better than that though. Hooky and energetic, it might be extremely early days for Coach Party with just 1 track released just yesterday, but if they can write songs that fizz and sparkle as much as the 1 minute and 53 seconds of indie dynamite that is Oh Lola, they're going to be Ones to Watch.
10. Sam Tompkins
The final choice on the Breaking More Waves ones to watch is Sam Tompkins. That most unlikely of tastemakers Elton John is already a fan and it's easy to see why. From Sam busking on the streets of his home city Brighton to getting signed to Island records, Sam Tompkins is my final One to Watch for 2020.
There's a Spotify playlist of all of these Ones to Watch as well. Click here.
Finally, for completeness here are all of the artists I have chosen as Ones to Watch in previous years. Hindsight is a wonderful thing eh?
Alabama Shakes, Alessi’s Ark, Alice Chater, Alice Jemima, Another Sky, Aurora, Avec Sans, Banks, Beth Jeans Houghton, Billie Marten, Cabbage, Charli XCX, Chasing Grace, Chloe Black, Chloe Howl, Chvrches, Clare Maguire, Clock Opera, Coasts, Confidence Man, Curxes, Dave, Declan McKenna, Dot Rotten, D/R/U/G/S, Delphic, Easy Life, Elderbrook, Ellie Goulding, Eva Stone, Fontaines DC, Foxes, Flohio, Florence & the Machine, Flyte, G-Flip, Gabrielle Aplin, George Ezra, Grace Carter, Haim, Hazel English, Holly Miranda, Hurts, Iyes, Jade Bird, James Blake, Jerry Williams, Joseph Salvat, Jungle, King Princess, La Roux, Lana Del Rey, LANY, Lapsley, Laura Doggett, Laura Mvula, Lauran Hibberd, Let’s Buy Happiness, Lianne La Havas, Little Boots, Liv Dawson, Loyle Carner, Lucy Rose, Luke Sital-Singh, Maggie Rogers, Maisie Peters, Majik, Marina & The Diamonds, Mumford & Sons, Mura Masa, Nao, Off Bloom, Outfit, Pale Waves, Passion Pit, Pink Kink, Pumarosa, Queen of Hearts, Rachel Sermanni, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Ren Harvieu, Ryn Weaver, Seinabo Sey, Savages, Seramic, Sigrid, Skint & Demoralised, Skott, Sofi Tukker, Sons & Lovers, Sophie Jamieson, Spark, Spector, Starsmith, Stornoway, Superorganism, The Blinders, The Milk, The Night VI, The Shires, The Staves, The Vaccines, Tom Odell, Unicorn Kid, Valerie June, Visions Of Trees, White Lies, Willy Moon, Wolf Alice, Xylaroo, Yes Giantess, Zyra