Summer shines a light on some of the most exciting new and upcoming artists, as well as this the sun casts inky shadows of nostalgia across the green lawns that are our musical memories. It’s the season of festivals, concerts, open air live performances and gatherings on grassy lawns or sandy beaches with music blaring and cocktails in hand. It’s hard not to fall in love with music at this time of year, even for are more silence-loving friends.

At the moment I’m listening to a lot of new artists I’ve recently discovered, and they’ve really shaped my memories of this late summer, along with a few others I’ll write about on a different date. If you aren’t aware, I listen to everything. There’s not much I don’t like, and it’s very important to me to try out new things all the time. The point I’m trying to make here is that this list is very eclectic, and expect most lists about what I’m into to be just as eclectic in the future. Moving on, here’s the five artists I can’t get enough of right now.

Benedict Cork

Benedict Cork has one hell of a voice on him and can play the keys of a piano better than most people text on their phones, and if that isn’t enough to pique your interest, you’re probably reading the wrong kind of article. The best way I could describe his voice is to think of a younger, more delicate even, version of Sam Smith. That combined with his pianist artistry combines to provide a well-balanced and extremely emotional sound. Incorporating elements of soul and pop, stripping it right back to something extremely raw and guttural, I can’t get enough of Benedict’s voice.

Recently he released his latest EP ‘Letter’s From Strangers’ which opens a very personal window into his life and our own hearts. My personal favourites from the EP have to be Fear of Lonely, Breaking Hearts and Boys Don’t Cry.

Clairo

Clairo is an American singer-songwriter (god do I hate that term) who’s flowy vocals and indie-pop rock sound will have you swooning for a convertible road trip across the American plains, or at least through California. Her vocals remind me of the likes of Lana Del Rey or Ellie Goulding in their almost rough delicacy, hiding a power that on first impression isn’t abundantly clear. If indie electropop tickles your fancy and you’re into the vocals of those I’ve referenced, you should definitely give Clairo’s latest album ‘Immunity’ a listen.

Sam Smith

At this point in time, who doesn’t love Sam Smith? He’s got the vocal range that can travel octaves faster than you can blink and he’s got that much-loved British celebrity charm down to a tee. So, it’s no surprise he’s one of the most loved pop stars of our time. Following on from his latest album full of more stripped back epics, Sam has released one of the defining songs of our summer: ‘How Do You Sleep?’ Going back to a more pop sound, Sam Smith has beyond blow us all out of the water with a pop ballad that comes with it’s very own addictive breakdown. It holds us prisoner with its catchy melody, infectious rhythm and silky-smooth vocals, clawing at our ears and hearts all at once. Let us not forget the video too, in which Sam embraces the gender fluidity he feels and expresses the song through some rather interesting, instantly classic and inventive dance moves.

Snoh Aalegra

It’s been a long time, in my opinion, since we’ve had really good R&B/soul album. There have been plenty of great ones, don’t get me wrong, but nothing has really pushed past the crowd, past the oversaturated market and shone like a bright star. I’m talking Tinashe’s debut album level of fresh and exquisite. This is where Snoh Aalegra steps in. She’s never been on my radar (a mistake) and only through iTunes’ new releases section did I come across her album. This is THAT album I’ve been waiting for in this genre. It combines new and old styles of R&B/soul, reinventing it to create her own sound whilst paying homage to the epics that have paved the way for the sound.

Did I mention, that is also has a hell of a clever and catchy title? ‘- Ugh, those feels again’ is a phenomenal debut from Snoh Aalegra and if you want to dip your toe into the waters, I suggest giving Toronto a listen first.

Mari Samuelsen

This is a musician I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard of, and if you have, I admire your equally eclectic musical tastes. Mari Samuelsen is a Norwegian Violinist who’s published works on iTunes and Spotify are my go-to when I need to set a mood for a book I’m reading, or to clear my head, to meditate and to absorb the world. She is an insanely talented violinist whose latest release highlights her wide-ranging skill on the strings instruments. The self-titled album ‘Mari’ is definitely worth a listen, however another album which Mari features on along with Håkon Samuelsen and Jesper Soderqvist called ‘Nordic Noir’ is by far one of my favourite pieces of contemporary music, and an absolute must listen.5 Artists I’m Currently Listening TooThis is a musician I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard of, and if you have, I admire your equally eclectic musical tastes. Mari Samuelsen is a Norwegian Violinist who’s published works on iTunes and Spotify are my go-to when I need to set a mood for a book I’m reading, or to clear my head, to meditate and to absorb the world. She is an insanely talented violinist whose latest release highlights her wide-ranging skill on the strings instruments. The self-titled album ‘Mari’ is definitely worth a listen, however another album which Mari features on along with Håkon Samuelsen and Jesper Soderqvist called ‘Nordic Noir’ is by far one of my favourite pieces of contemporary music, and an absolute must listen.

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