La Vie Est Belle/ Life Is Beautiful
Domino (Out September 11)
Sounds like: A contemporary counterpart to Joy Division, with fidgety percussion and Yannick Ilunga’s booming baritone.
Breakout moments: Collaborating with Mos Def and appearing on Solange Knowles’ Saint Heron compilation.
Cool factor: Petite Noir leads the noir wavers, who blend new wave with a traditional African aesthetic.
Conversation starter: “He used to sing in a church choir and play in a metalcore band.”
All Around Us
Sounds like: Cinematic, synth-driven dream pop, featuring ethereal instrumentation and wispy, Björk-like vocals.
Breakout moments: Releasing “Surrender,” a wandering wall-of-sound single that was championed by Earmilk and Stereogum.
Cool factor: The Washington state–based Marela lived in Reykjavik for two months, while recording with Sigur Rós producer Alex Somers.
Conversation starter: “Her album All Around Us is actually named after a children’s book.”
Mostly Music/Epic Records
Sounds like: A skilled singer and rapper à la Lauryn Hill, rhyming about Instagram and twentysomething relationship drama.
Breakout moments: Landing The Fader cover and earning a Timbaland record deal.
Cool factor: Timbaland says Aaliyah came to him in a dream and told him Tink (a.k.a. Chicago’s Trinity Home) is “the one.”
Conversation starter: “She released her first mix tape while she was still in high school!”
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