It’s around that time of the year when the entirety of the music industry get their thinking caps on and try to determine which artists will be the next year’s big thing in music.
BBC Music have revealed their Sounds of 2016 Longlist, with the top five being revealed this week. Apple Music have thrown their hat into the ring and championed 12 new artists to be their shining beacons of hope over the next 12 months. We thought it was about time we put you all out of your misery and revealed the See Tickets Staff Top Picks for 2016. It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for.
It’s an exciting time to be a part of the music industry both as an artist or simply an observer. In light of that, here’s who we think is going to make the next year of music a big one.
All singing, all dancing and all cellist-ing Abi Wade did an amazing set at Mutations Festival in Brighton late last year and she’s certainly a welcome change from the status-quo. Keep an eye out for her debut album, expected to be out there later this year.
Track ‘Darkest Ocean’ was one of Radio X’s top 50 tracks of 2015 and they started on a tour with Kodaline back in December. There’s also a cover of Justin Bieber’s ‘Where Are You Now?’ floating around on the internet that you definitely need to listen to. They’re tipped for big things next year, watch out!
Blossoms have traveled all across the globe this year. From small beginnings in Manchester to last year playing massive festivals in the UK and America, we see big things happening in Blossoms future, starting with a supporting spot on The Libertines UK tour.
One of Apple Music’s new artists for 2016, Jack Garratt has won a Brit Award, the BBC Music Sound of 2016 poll, supported Mumford and Sons on tour and sold out a show at the O2 Academy Brixton all within the past 365 days. It’s been a mad one, but we’re looking forward to what Jack’s got up his sleeve for us next.
South London MC Loyle Carner has in the past 12 months released a stream of insightful and erudite tracks to critical acclaim across the board and has supported Kate Tempest, Joey Bada$$ and PRhyme. Keep an eye on this one!
Section Boyz have enjoyed great success in 2015, with their mixtape ‘Don’t Panic’ hitting the UK Top 40 and winning Best Newcomer at this year’s MOBO Awards. The rap group are bound to bring big things having been longlisted for BBC Music’s Sounds of 2016. Check them out.
One man guitar army who pumps out about 100 albums a week has another on the way. For fans of long hair, sweat, T-Rex, actual dinosaurs, tinnitus, watching extreme sport go-pro videos on YouTube, Pink Floyd posters, rocking tha f’ out.
Tegan & Sara
Having shifted gears from making the type of indie-rock best suited for Dawson’s Creek or being the band on The OC they dropped an incredible Taylor Swift beating dancefloor pop album in 2013. A new album is expected this year and if it takes the electro-pop sound further we can’t wait.
A supergroup of an album on its way with mega producers Oneohtrix Point Never and Hudson Mohawk working with Anthony Hegarty (of Antony & The Johnsons). The first release from the album is weird, spacious and haunting. This album will be crazy.
James Murphy kept himself busy since 2011 with the likes of Despacio but now he’s back with LCD Soundsystem… And they’re playing Coachella! We’re super excited that after a four year hiatus they’re back and ready for big things in 2016.
Notts trio Kagoule had a pretty great year in 2015 after releasing their debut studio album ‘Urth’. They’ve played shows in venues and festivals all across the UK, Europe and the US and we’re willing to bet that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
An exciting year indeed for The Japanese House, with the release of their EP ‘Clean’, and the announcement of her massive support slot with label-mates The 1975. Another of Apple Music’s new artists for 2016, we’re excited for what the future may bring for TJH.
21 year-old New Jerseyan Halsey has celebrated a number two charting debut album last year in the US, and she’s already started writing record number two. We can’t wait to see what the follow up to what she calls an “angry female record” will be.
The Guardian called them the ‘Australian Haim’ back in 2013 and their debut album ‘For The Company’ released earlier this year has gotten a lot of attention around the globe. They’re jumping on tour with City & Colour in their native land this year and are destined for big things.
Izzy’s sure been busy. She has supported Sam Smith, Rudimental, and Foxes on their latest UK tours and was shortlisted for a Brit Critics’ Choice award last year. One of the longlisters for the BBC’s Sound of 2016, we’re sure she’s going to blow up any time soon.
From doing the rounds all over her hometown of Nottingham, Georgie has in 2015 supported Amber Run on tour and Everything Everything at their show at Rock City, Nottingham. She’ll be performing at Mahogany’s Horizon show on 21st January – hopefully we’ll see even more of her in 2016
In their own words, Neon Waltz had a 2015 of ‘firsts and bests’, which must include the time they played Manchester’s O2 Apollo alongside legends Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr. With exposure like that, it’s impossible not to see a bright future for these lads.
Let’s face it, if you’re picked as the first ever band to be played on Apple Music’s Beats One radio station (whilst still being unsigned), you’re going to feel pretty smug. Bands with this sort of support don’t just disappear, so we see Spring King going from strength to strength in 2016.
NME and Mojo Magazine picked Pixx as a ‘one to watch’ in 2016 (we’re pretty sure they must have copied us…). You can catch her on tour with Youth Lagoon or Daughter this year, so we’re predicting a tour of her own on the horizon. Check out her EP ‘Fall In’ now, you won’t regret it.
An amalgamation of long hair and youth, Sundara Karma have been tipped as one to watch for 2016 by a number of people (Radio X, Loaded and See Tickets to name just a few…). You might have caught them on tour this year, so expect to see more of them in 2016.
‘Hot. Reckless. Totally Insane’. Not the band (maybe), the album of course. Their debut in 2015 was a corker, and after playing a number of small festivals across the country last year including Mutations in Brighton, we think that the best is yet to come for Best Friends.
Willis Earl Beal
Releasing five albums in three years is something to be admired. And Willis Earl Beal did just that. Another of the Mutations Festival crew, Willis Earl Beal has been all over Europe this year and shows no signs of stopping. Check him out this year, go on.
Claiming that if they had their way, they’d “still be a secret band” Black Honey have no chance of staying under the radar anymore, as they’re on the rise to greatness. The most blogged about band of the year in 2015, Black Honey are one to watch this year.
Get some new punk rock in your life with Canadian band Single Mothers, who released their debut in 2014 and last year were featured in Noisey. Their Facebook page gives us a wonderful snapshot of all the world’s greatest trending topics including Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian. So there’s that too.