Trudy And The Romance
Sounds like: With undertones of crooning ’50s pop, Trudy And The Romance make shuffling, swooning indie-pop to win over the coldest, stoniest of hearts.
For fans of: Spring King, The Maccabees, Mac DeMarco
Need to know: The trio are doe-eyed romantics with a love of doo-wop, Jonathan Richman and tongue-in-cheek humour, all of which adds up to a band who sound unlike anyone else around at the moment and one who are hard not to love.
What’s next: Expect a host of new singles, each as swoonworthy as the last.
See them live: They’ll be breaking hearts across the country, but you’ll have to wait for dates to be announced.
Essential track: ‘Baby I’m Blue’
From: Atlanta, USA
Sounds like: Sparse, trappy electronic pop
For fans of: Kelela, Blood Orange, FKA Twigs
Need to know: Born in New York and raised in London until the age of eight, Abra now lives in Atlanta and is a member of the city’s Awful Records family. She calls herself the Darkwave Duchess, a title evidenced on her 2016 EP ‘Princess’.
What’s next: More music, judging by her productivity to date – she’s put out an album and two EPs in the last two years – and we can also expect a return to the UK. She played a handful of shows here last year, mostly in London, at venues including XOYO, Corsica Studios and the Jazz Café.
See her live: Judging from the aforementioned gigs, a few smaller shows will likely be hot tickets.
Essential track: ‘Crybaby’
From: Los Angeles
Sounds like: Funky synthpop which packs anthemic choruses aplenty
For fans of: Two Door Cinema Club, Prince, La Roux
Need to know: The West Coast threepiece got heads turning when they dropped their ‘Loudspeaker’ EP earlier this year – but it was inclusive dancefloor banger ‘I Know A Place’ that cemented their places as one of the most exciting and innovative pop bands in the world right now.
What’s next: Their debut album ‘About U’ is due on February 3 with a tour not far behind.
See them live: Stay tuned for new UK live dates.
Essential track: ‘I Know A Place’
Cigarettes After Sex
From: El Paso, Texas
Sounds like: Atmospheric balladry.
For fans of: Rhye, Daughter, Destroyer
Need to know: Formed in 2008, the band are still yet to release a debut album, but their few releases so far have collectively amassed more than 66 million views on YouTube, thanks to the killer combination of Greg Gonzalez’s androgynous vocals and the band’s lush, languid instrumentation.
What’s next: Now based in Brooklyn, the band are putting out their 2012 EP1 physically again next year, following two recent standalone singles, ‘Affection’ and ‘K’.
See them live: Edinburgh Caves (April 17), Manchester Gorilla (18), Birmingham Hare & Hounds (19) London KOKO (20)
Essential track: ‘Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby’
Sounds like: A sweet, sultry mix of ’90s R&B grooves and trap production. Expect her to be all over the radio next year.
For fans of: Rihanna, SZA, Miguel
Need to know: Kehlani hasn’t even released a full record yet, but she’s already collaborated with some of music’s biggest names, including Zayn Malik and Chance The Rapper, had her ‘You Should Be Here’ mixtape nominated for a Grammy and contributed a song for the Suicide Squad soundtrack in ‘Gangsta’. The last few years haven’t been without their struggles for her, but in the last few months she’s come back stronger than ever.
What’s next: Her debut album ‘SweetSexySavage’ looks set to be an early highlight next year with a January 19 release date.
See them live: There are no UK shows announced at the time of writing.
Essential track: ‘CRZY’