They’ve charmed us with killer singles all through 2017 and now we’re begging for some debut albums (please!)

Parcels

When Parcels appeared last year with ‘Myenemy’ we were floored. They barely existed on the internet, and I’m not even sure they had social media. All we had to go on was the music, an addictive bassline and the fact that they were signed to Kitsuné. Fast-forward to 2017 and we’ve since discovered that this five piece don glitter and flares with their shaggy hair and disco-funk. ‘Myenemy’ made the cut for their debut EP Hideout, alongside the heated summer tones of ‘Gamesofluck’ and jaunty rhythms of ‘Older’. Keep your eyes on this lot, and thank us later. KW

PLGRMS

In comparison to most of the bands on this list, it has been a relatively quiet year for PLGRMS. The Sydney duo have only released a pair of singles, albeit very good ones. Their latest, ‘Crawling Back’, shared a brighter pop tone than its predecessor, the dark whorls and ping-pong ricochet of ‘Dream You Up’. Surely, it’s cruel for a band this creative to keep us waiting? Even an EP would do, right? KW

Banfi

It has certainly been a successful year for this particular indie-pop trio, one of which Banfi are well aware. Their relentless touring schedule – including stints at – is only paralleled by the rate that they are birthing stellar pop into the world. Our highlight of the year from the band is most-definitely the pulsing, retro-anthem ‘June’ (which you can read all about in our tracks of the year – go go go!) but the London band showed a whole different side to their sound in the pared back arrangement of ‘Caroline’. One thing is for sure: Banfi are a band adept at conveying emotion. May we see more of it in 2018. KW

Joseph of Mercury

Having drip fed the blogosphere tracks for the best part of 2017, mysterious Toronto native Joseph of Mercury announced himself to listeners with rose-tinted, bittersweet pop and poise. Debut single ‘Without Words’ drifted in with a lucid haze, whilst follow up singles ‘Find You Inside’ and ‘Young Thing’ showed a darker edge to his 80s tinged anthems. Solidifying his sound and persona with the release of his self-titled debut EP, we can only hope a longer effort is coming soon to re-immerse ourselves in his world. KW

Fickle Friends

Fickle Friends. Is this 2016? Trust us, it’s not, though we definitely are still waiting. Oh, how we’re waiting – but the end is nigh! Debut album You and Someone Else is has been announced (there’s even an album cover!), so may this agony draw to a close. Soon we’ll be able to dive into a whole LP’s worth of euphoric Fickle Friends goodness. Do you think we’re excited? KW

Mez

Upon hearing Nottingham grime artist Mez on the Midlands vs. London grime-a-side session for Red Bull Studios, I decided he was the greatest thing to happen to grime in the Midlands. Resurrecting the energy of early D Double E (Streetfighter Riddim) in his machine gun flows and humorous lyricism, Mez brings an excitingly weird vibe that harks back to grime’s forbearers. You’d be forgiven for thinking that most modern emcee’s go for a shout-really-loud-and-fast-over-the-beat approach, or are just trying to hit the charts with the next hit, but Mez brings a uniqueness and lyrical charisma that enthrals, especially in tracks such as ‘Normal Shoe’ and ‘Magnum.’ It’d be great to hear another EP or a debut album in 2018 to truly cement Mez as the next in grime. JM

Kamakaze

I’ve chatted before on BORN about Kamakaze’s cold, collected delivery and mad lyrical flow, and having just released his new EP Wavey Shirt Wednesday in November, you could say I should give him a rest. I disagree. Even with two EPs released this year and multiple freestyles with Red Bull Studios, Charlie Sloth and GRM Daily, Kamakaze has offered only a smidgeon of what this up-and-coming Leicester artist has to offer. I’d like to see a debut album or another EP in 2018 that combines the diverse sound of these two releases, his freestyle charisma, and perhaps adds in a little old-school hip-hop from his early BLG days. Hip-hop beats, grime flows and crisp, modern production – what could be better? Maybe only a collaboration with Mez. JM

Darkoo

Not much is known about UK artist Darkoo, but with her release ‘Gas Station’ featuring Curtis J earlier this year it’s fair to say that there should be. Fusing modern afrobeat instrumentals and R&B vocals in a style similar to that of Birmingham’s Lotto Boyz, I’m excited to see what Darkoo has in the works. If the rest of her tunes are of as high quality as ‘Gas Station’, she’ll definitely be an artist to hit the charts. JM

 

Jai Paul & A. K. Paul

The elusive musician first broke out and made a name for himself with ‘BTSTU (Demo)’ back in 2010, gaining immense popularity partly due how incredible the song is and partly because he was so secretive about his music and identity. Around the time the single was released, nobody knew anything about him other than he lived in Rayner’s Lane, London. Rarely participating in interviews, it only boosted Paul’s intriguing, mysterious image. This lead to contributing on Big Boi’s ‘Higher Res’. It’s been almost eight years since the innovative track was released and fans worldwide have been waiting for him to release his debut album. The only glimmers of hope we’ve had are ‘Jasmine’ which went on to feature in Grand Theft Auto V and an illegally leaked album which turned out to be old unfinished recordings of Paul’s past.

Jai Paul’s Brother A. K. Paul (Anup Paul) helped produce ‘BTSTU’ and ‘Jasmine’, and the two have collaborated on numerous occasions. A. K. has also worked with big names such as NAO, Sam Smith, Emile Sande and Miguel, and also released the stunning single ‘Landcruisin” in 2016.

‘Landcruisin” was also the first release from their newly formed record label Paul Institute; will they finally release their long-awaited debut in 2018? RB

Urall.me

If you were to solely listen to the Danish art collective’s music, you would be left quite perplexed. The enigmatic artist goes from pure unadulterated avant-garde electronica to astounding acoustica between tracks. What’s special is that Urall.me manages to create sublime pieces of work no matter what stylistic qualities a track may possess, capitalizing on minimalism and negative space for ‘midtide’ and a hurricane of synths in ‘thesign’. If that wasn’t enough, he also has a clothing range. Whilst it isn’t entirely clear whether the clothing is designed and created by him or salvaged vintage items, they are utilised in his art and photography to create ominous, futuristic alien imagery. After his widespread delivery of art and clothing in 2017, we hope the superb Dane delivers his debut record in 2018. RB

SOPHIE

Scotland-born SOPHIE has featured on more than one of our end of year lists already. The soon-to-be icon has come a long way since her last release ‘Product’ in 2015: making a leap from masking parts of her body and voice in interviews and disguising herself as a bodyguard at her own live show, to completely exposing herself in the phenomenal video ‘It’s Okay To Cry’. SOPHIE manages to capture cute, childlike soundscapes in her work whilst maintaining a maximalist approach to sonorous synths. The hyperrealistic postmodernist artist released ‘Product’ as a compilation of singles rather than a complete record. It’s no wonder we’re so keen for SOPHIE to release her full debut next year. RB#

Miya Folick

Miya Folick began her musical journey in Santa Ana, California being raised as a Jōdo Shinshū Buddhist, learning to play the taiko drums in a church group. During a gap semester at NYU, a high school friend taught her how to play guitar, inspiring her to form a band using Tinder, where she created a profile that said, “looking for a band”. After releasing Strange Darling – EP she came out with the hard-hitting, exclaiming EP Give It To Me, featuring the single ‘Give It To Me’, powerful enough to extract the soul out of one’s being. Miya combines distorted guitars with hurling vocals to yield a potent mixture of indie and hard rock. The talent here is undeniable and truly deserves a place on our wishlist. RB

Girli

Love her or hate her, it’s undeniable that her talent has been growing and growing with each EP release, the most recent Hot Mess EP saw each and every track hold its own in its own right.
A full-length album is surely in the works and we’re sure that with it will come many surprises and be lots of fun. Not to mention address a load of important topics and be incredibly relatable all at the same time, in true Girli form. We’re not sure how she manages it, but she sure does have a talent for making music accessible and relatable whilst as catchy as can be. Samantha Daly

Anteros

We’ve made it no secret how big fans we are of Anteros. They’ve had a mad year of touring, both headline and supporting the likes of Two Door Cinema Club. They’ve given us some bangers in the releases of their Drunk EP and singles ‘Bonnie’/’Love’ and as they continue to fill our live with catchy dream-pop bangers, we can’t help but imagine how great a full-length LP would be. SD

The Rhythm Method

Starting four years ago as a solo project, The Rhythm Method have come a long way. Their personal, near spoken word music could quite possibly be the future of pop music. Reminiscent of the likes of The Streets, they take the mundane and make it interesting. Lyrics full of puns and intriguing quips, a full-length effort from these London lads would prove as intelligent as it would infectious. SD

Superglu

Superglu started 2017 with such energy, we really thought they were going to take it by storm, with placements at SXSW and releases such as ‘Simmer Down’ which proved just how much talent they had. It’s made the past few months with no new Supergu music in, that much more upsetting. We’re sure they haven’t gone anywhere too far however, and they’re ready and waiting to make 2018 their own… hopefully with a full-length effort?! SD

Indoor Pets

They’ve had a whirlwind year, from changing their name to releasing massive bangers! But having only release singles since their EP releases back in 2015, it’s surely time for some larger packs of Indoor Pets goodness? They’ve got a headline tour coming up in the new year, an exciting way to kick off a year that could easily be dominated by this indie four-piece. SD