For The Matinee March 31st edition, we have six artists and bands who are well positioned to be among music’s biggest, new stars of 2016. Roots rock, art-soul, indie pop, blues rock, indie pop, and indie rock, these six names will be making a huge imprint on their respective genres.

 

Esme Patterson – “Feel Right” (Portland via Denver USA)

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Esme Patterson - "Feel Right"You likely have heard the name Esme Patterson before, as she co-wrote and performed on a couple of songs on Shakey Graves’ 2014 album, And The War Came, including the sweet ditty “Dearly Departed”. As she prepares for the launch of her new album, the sweet-sounding, girl-next-door is pushed out the backdoor in favor of one that has a lot more bite and pizzazz. “Feel Right”, the lead single of Patterson’s new LP, We Were Wild, is more representative of Patterson’s previous solo work – fiery, edgy music by a woman unafraid to speak her mind. With this track and the forthcoming We Were Wild, Patterson is carving out a niche for her where she is becoming roots-rock’s / country-rock’s answer to St. Vincent but with a twist of Bonnie Raitt.

We Were Wild drops June 10th via Grand Jury Music. This should be one heck of an album.

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Heavy Heart – “Yellowbird” (London, England)

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Heavy Heart - "Yellowbird"Like a cool, light breeze on a hot day is “Yellowbird”, the latest single by London-based quintet Heavy Heart. This summery, melodic single echos the time when ’90s pop-rock was made with heartfelt lyrics and a warm sensibility – music that made you recall your favorite memories while swaying gently to the lush melodies. It’s Mazzy Starr meets The Jesus and Mary Chain, and like these two iconic bands Heavy Heart have created a memorable single.

The band is releasing one song a month, and you can check out their past singles on SoundCloud.

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Human Skills – “Trouble in My Head” (Los Angeles, USA)

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Human Skills - "Trouble in My Head"I have a soft spot for buzzing, infectious synth-pop, and it only took one listen to Human Skills‘ debut single, “Trouble In My Head” to get hooked. This song is far from being a problem in one’s mind; rather it’s the remedy to freeing one’s mind of all the jumble that tends to occupy it. The combination of scintillating synths, bombastic keys, stuttering beats from the electric drum kit, a shimmering guitar solo, and the delicious vocals creates one memorable tune. Imagine a blend of Alvvays meets Misun meets Coves and you get a song that is perfect for welcoming spring.

We don’t know too much about Human Skills other than this duo started writing music in 2014, and they’ll be sharing more music in the coming weeks.

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Islands – “The Joke” (Los Angeles, USA via Montreal, Canada)

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Islands - "The Joke"

All Montreal bands have one thing in common – ambition. Arcade Fire showed the world that a small symphony could make explosive, anthemic music. Wolf Parade introduced us to some of the best indie rock of the past 15 years and often edging close to the limits of prog rock. While Islands have been based out of Los Angeles for several years now, they still retain the Montreal spirit of doing things their way and not following the rules of engagement. Case in point, on May 13th, they will be self-releasing two albums – Taste and Should I Remain Here At Sea?. The new single from the former is “The Joke”, a sparkling, hypnotic number that dabbles in Wolf Parade’s world of blistering guitars, proggy keys and synths, and glistening pop melodies. This song will be on repeat until the two albums drop (o.k., maybe for days).

Pre-order the albums on Bandcamp and Pledge Music.

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Moses Sumney – “Everlasting Sigh” (Los Angeles, USA)

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Moses Sumney - "Everlasting Sigh"It took a few years for Moses Sumney to get noticed, but over the three years, he has seen his star brighten exponentially. He’s best known for his incredible ability to make a variety of sounds, beats, and noise without using a single instrument. As a one-man band, he loops these sounds to create dazzling, often soulful music. Not surprisingly, he became a sensation, and artists from Sufjan Stevens to Solange Knowles spoke glowingly about his talents. As Sumney gets set to release his debut album this year, he has released a re-working of his 2014 single, “Everlasting Sigh”. Unlike the original song (check out this video of a live rendition), Sumney does receive some assistance from some instruments (synths, keys, percussion), but his lush, stunning voice and skillful noise-making are still front-and-center. The other instruments offer extra layers to bring the original to an atmospheric level.

Pay attention to this young, gifted artist, as he could very well be 2016’s brightest new star.

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Sidewalk Express – “I Know” (Aylesbury, England)

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Sidewalk Express "I Know"

Let’s be honest – Sidewalk Express‘ popularity probably doesn’t extend much beyond the borders of Aylesbury, which resides an hour to the northwest of London. Now why is that? This trio is creating some awesome rock ‘n rock that combines blues, garage, and southern rock. From their Toronado EP, which they released about a month ago, is the throbbing “I Know”. It’s one part My Morning Jacket (the opening chords could be taken from MMJ’s live intro into “Steam Engine” and the bass line is Tom Blankenship-esque), one part Royal Blood (the deep vocals and the dark vibe of the track), and one part Rival Sons (the blues-rock approach). Taken all together, and this song is awesome. It won’t be long before folks around the United Kingdom and beyond will be speaking Sidewalk Express’ name.

You can hear Tornado in its entirety on SoundCloud. Sidewalk Express are Alfie King (vocals/guitar), Big K (bass), and Stevie Long Fingers (drums).

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