Rising Seattle-born and now LA-based musician Tierra Umi Wilson (better known as just UMI) is a perfect embodiment of her middle name, which translates to “ocean” in Japanese. Her music—an amalgamation of lo-fi beats, intense soul, and poignantly simple lyricism—radiates a quiet and compelling peace, not unlike that found in breaking ocean waves. And being half-Black and half-Japanese, UMI has rooted her identity in fluidity. It should come as no surprise, then, that breaking barriers in music seems to come naturally for her.
The Californian artist, who emerged as a dazzling figure of synth-pop with gothic overtones in the 2010s, has been announcing her second album, Masochism, for over five years. Three years on since the release of her last single ‘Downhill Lullaby’, Sky Ferreira is back with new track ‘Don’t Forget’. (Hopefully) the first taste of the long-awaited follow up to debut ‘Night Time, My Time’,
Toronto artist GRAE may be inspired by 80’s new wave, but the singer-songwriter is taking a fresh approach to pop, blending the light-hearted inclinations of new wave with indie-led guitar and dreamy bedroom pop vocals. This sound has culminated in the sparkling debut album ‘Whiplash’. Out now, ‘Whiplash’ is GRAE’s nostalgic contemplation of the multitudes of love, mirrored by a polished, yet composite sound.
Georgia Harmer leans into the mythos of her musical genealogy with the kind of effortless candour that may only be possessed by someone who has this in her blood. Harmer is already a household name thanks to the rock-infused folk of Georgia’s aunt (and now label-mate) Sarah, but she cements the beginning of her own musical legacy on debut LP Stay in Touch.
Maria Chiara Argirò has been quietly weaving her way around the UK jazz, classical and electronic worlds since she moved to London from Rome 11 years ago. A pianist from the age of nine and a key player in the capital’s multi-national jazz scene, she’s lent her skills to indie band These New Puritans, lush jazz troupe Kinkajous and, more recently, collaborations with Jamie Leeming – their 2020 album Flow was nominated for one of the albums of the year in the Jazz Revelations Awards.
But with her new album, Forest City, she finds a glistening thread between these movements: it marks her out as an exciting rising electronic artist, where jazz meets Kelly Lee Owens, Jon Hopkins and Radiohead. It’s a concept record, about the “duality of nature and city”, and where organic sounds and textures seem to flow above the urban sprawl.
Tomberlin is Sarah Beth Tomberlin, a pastor’s kid born in Florida, raised in rural Illinois. She wrote the majority of her debut, At Weddings (2018), while living at home. For a while after leaving home and church, she lived in Louisville, Kentucky. She worked a day job and kept writing songs. She posted some of these songs to Bandcamp, which led to her signing a record deal with Saddle Creek. It all happened fast: Less than a year after her first live show, she performed on Jimmy Kimmel and she ended up moving to L.A. which is where she wrote Projections (2020), her EP followup to At Weddings
Now Tomberlin has shared another single from her upcoming full-length, i don’t know who needs to hear this…. ‘tap’ follows recent offerings ‘happy accident’ and ‘idkwntht’,
Since the very beginning of her music making, the career of Blackpool singer songwriter Rae Morris has been one in continual ascension. Drawing influences from the Feist and Kate Bush, her emotive, electronic folk pop sound looks set to reach even more ears.
Now she returns with her first single since 2018, ‘No Woman Is An Island’. A perfect example of how honesty, truth and freedom lie at the core of this new songwriting phase for Rae – a celebration of self-love set to lush strings and sparse beats.