Akira Galaxy, Arcy Drive, Asha Imuno, Banks, Brigitte Calls Me Baby, Brimheim, Cannons, Cecilia Castleman, Chappell Roan, Corella, Cry Baby, Denn., ericdoa, Fleshwater, Foxtide, Francis of Delirium, Freddy VS, Hovvdy, Ice Spice, Infant Island, Infinity Song, Jake Minch, Jasmine Jethwa, Jazmin Bean, Jo Hill, Jockstrap, John Roseboro, Jonwayne, junodream, Kenya Grace, Klwn Cat, Megan Moroney, milk., Nieve Ella, Picture Parlour, Pinkshift, Rachel Chinouriri, Reneé Rapp, Reyna Roberts, Sabrina Song, Samm Henshaw, Sarah Kinsley, Scowl, Serena Ittoo, Sobs, swim school, Talking Points, The Marías, The Moss, The Warning, TYLA, UMI, Vindigo, Warren Zeiders, Wasia Project, Wednesday, Willow Avalon, Wisp, Yarin Glam
Every year, we are amazed and humbled by the artists we discover – and 2023 felt like an overwhelmingly special year for music! The past twelve months introduced us to a litany of fresh and exciting music makers whose incredible talents, stories, sounds, and voices made them impossible to ignore. Now as 2024 dawns, we look to a year of powerful and promising new music ahead!
Atwood Magazine is proud to present our staff-procured list of Artists to Watch in 2024, in alphabetical order (you can jump directly to an artist by clicking their name above). From singer/songwriters like Samm Henshaw, Rachel Chinouriri, Jasmine Jethwa, Willow Avalon, Sarah Kinsley, and Jazmin Bean, to up-and-coming bands like Wednesday, junodream, The Marías, The Moss, and Wasia Project, buzzy names like Chappell Roan, Reneé Rapp, ericdoa, and beyond, these are the standouts we’ll be keeping close eyes and ears on over the next twelve months in eager anticipation for the music they’ll release.
With 2024 just beginning, Atwood‘s worldwide staff takes a look at the 50+ artists who have caught our attention and earned a spot on our music radar.
Mitch Mosk, Editor-in-Chief
2024 Artists to Watch
Akira Galaxy captures this sort of fleeting feeling that is utterly indescribable. Whether staring into “Virtual Eyes” or dancing about in a pair of “Silver Shoes” every song she has released thus far puts reason as to why music is, in my opinion, one of the highest forms of art, and why art is something that we as humans should be eternally grateful for.
Galaxy’s music is like that craving that you feel deep in your bones for the push and pull of love while wanting to maintain independence or like those minuscule seconds in figurative free-fall where you’re not sure if you’ll survive the crashing descent or not. To put it simply, she is eclectically ethereal in her sound, lyricism, presence, and the atmosphere that she builds in her music.
Though her current catalog is brief, it is dense with a shining identity that is perfectly entrancing and addictive. Her catalog is already set to grow with a 5 song EP out this year, which – might I say – is stunning. She has a vision that is simultaneously hypnotic and timeless. Galaxy possesses an ingenuity that I haven’t felt such a magnetic pull to in a while. Perhaps it’s too soon to say, but for some reason, I feel perfectly comfortable stating that the artistic vision that Akira Galaxy exhibits is that of a young mastermind and she has the flair that the industry needs today. – Brianna Corrine
When you watch Arcy Drive play a tiny, packed club in Brooklyn, or onstage to rabid fans across the river at Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom, there’s a sense that something is happening, really happening. It’s a certain buzz and fervor that other New York bands have captured along the way, memorably. Take heed: Arcy Drive hails not from Dimes Square – although they’ve got the buzz to fit right in – but further east out on Long Island.
The scrappy band of indie pop-rock upstarts have put in their time, taking on odd jobs (like lead singer Nick Mateyunas’ stint working on a Gulf of Mexico tugboat) and writing heartfelt songs in an attic. It should come as no surprise that they’re labelmates with attention-grabbing Hippo Campus. That Minnesota group was a similarly hailed band that whipped crowds into a fervor by playing “Mr. Brightside” before taking the stage, and they’ve still got the chops to back it up. Can Arcy Drive, with a swagger reminiscent of Cage the Elephant or Young the Giant, reach the same level? Keep an ear out in 2024 and beyond. – Beau Hayhoe
LA based R&B fusion artist, Asha Imuno is making waves with his effortlessly groovy and catchy tracks. The artist released three dynamic, smooth and soulful tracks last year whilst gearing up to release his forthcoming debut album PINS & NEEDLES. Each track Imuno has unleashed has revealed an entirely new side to his music, filled with lilting melodies, ear worm hooks and soul shaking beats. Not only has each of Imuno’s releases been dynamic and enthralling but the artist walks the line of eclectic genre fusion brilliantly as he blends elements of R&B, Hip Hop and Soul throughout his discography.
If “FLORIDA WATER,” “DID I CALL AT A BAD TIME,” and “PUSHING BUTTONS” are any indication for what PINS & NEEDLES has in store, the alt R&B sphere is in for an absolute treat this year with Imuno’s forthcoming project. – Minna Abdel-Gawad
Cementing her legacy as the queen of moody alternative with a mix of electronic pop for over a decade now, singer/songwriter Banks has never shied from being creatively involved in the process of the music she wants to make. From electronica and alternative to R&B, the artist has never stuck to one mold, and that’s the fun part.
On a hiatus from her last album, Banks still managed to feature on a few tracks last year with the likes of Kim Petras, Jai Wolf, and Trippie Redd –– though fans are very excited at the prospect of a fifth studio album. While she may not be a “newer” artist, Banks is definitely on our radar for 2024, as perhaps this will be the year for the release of her fifth studio album! – Jada Moore
With an “IT” factor so obvious it hurts, ATO signees Brigitte Calls Me Baby debuted last November with a spellbinding EP whose five songs hit hard and leave a lasting mark, practically demanding repeat listens as we dive deeper and deeper into the Chicago band’s breathtaking (and brutally vulnerable) vortex.
Seductive, soul-stirring crooning (courtesy of charismatic frontman Wes Leavins) combine with fervent post-punk passion and heated indie rock sounds to create a warm and wondrous musical experience that not so much pulls, as yanks elements of rock n’ roll’s past into the present. Comparisons include (but are not limited to): The Smiths, Roy Orbison, Elvis, and Arctic Monkeys – but Brigitte Calls Me Baby aren’t setting off to be some Morrissey soundalikes, nor will you see them bumping around Graceland anytime soon; rather, the Midwestern five-piece and their once-in-a-generation vocalist are dead-set on carving out a space for themselves in the modern rock canon, and for what it’s worth, this writer believes they could – and will! – go all the way.
This House is Made of Corners, that aforementioned debut EP, is an all-hits, no misses introduction packed with emotionally charged choruses dripping with sweat and swagger: The raw fervor of a soul unhinged and a heart undone comes to life in such poetically titled, provocative songs like “The Future Is Our Way Out,” “Impressively Average,” and “Eddie My Love,” each of which (together with the record’s last two songs, “You Are Only Made of Dreams” and “Palm of Your Hand) promises to be on repeat for years and years to come.
Brigitte Calls Me Baby’s music is electric and energetic, honest and aching, vulnerable and visceral. They’re a bold, dynamic rock band roaring like the flames of that endless fire burning deep within them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t stop until they scorch the entire Earth (and I mean that in the best way possible). Leavins’ breathtaking vocal delivery alone is enough to make our ears and hearts swoon, but it’s his candid, thought-provoking songwriting – together with the way he and his bandmates create an intoxicating world around his singing – that makes Brigitte Calls Me Baby a full-package experience.
So hell, maybe Brigitte Calls Me Baby’s early songs do bear a striking resemblance to The Smiths right now; that’s just their starting point, and if they can do in this decade what The Smiths did back in the ’80s, then I’ve got no doubt that, in time, we’ll be comparing the next generation of rock n’ rollers to Brigitte Calls Me Baby.
I really do think their fate is written in the stars, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out in real time. – Mitch Mosk
A – Mitch Mosk
Los Angeles’ Michelle Joy, Ryan Clapham and Paul Davis are the talented trio behind indie-pop band Cannons. While the world may know them for their song “Fire For You,” that broke through the charts this past year and became a certified gold single, the band is taking 2024 by storm. Cannons creates music that’s hypnotizing, transcending you into an oasis of serenity. It’s music that begs to be listened to and will have you feeling groovy and on your feet. On November 10, their latest album Heartbeat Highway was released. The about 39-minute album is laced with euphoria and completely intoxicating. Joy’s voice is as smooth as honey and complemented with mesmerizing beats and riffs by Clapham and Davis. It’s no doubt that each of the 12 tracks on the record entrances its listeners. Their artistry is refreshing and unparalleled, which is desperately needed in today’s industry.
Cannons is one to keep an eye on in 2024. They will be playing upcoming music festivals such as Boston Calling and BottleRock. They will also be heading to Europe in March for “The Heartbeat Highway Tour.” – Lauren Turner
To listen to Cecilia Castleman’s organic, airy, and magnetic voice is to revisit old heartbreak… old love… old joys, and to feel too close to hers. Her songs, bedroom and unplugged versions included, of “Thought I Was In Love,” “Lonely Nights,” and Stephen Sanchez’s “Evangeline” are wistful and pure… easy listening but still deserving of the listeners’ full attention. Influenced by the Bonnie Raitt’s and Brian Wilson’s of the world, she ensures that her natural musicianship and vocal ability are front and center of her material.
Nashville based, the sounds of classic country music seeps into her sound, but she also explores adult contemporary, light synth pop, and blues. She has served as an opening act for artists such as Hozier and Patrick Droney over the last year, providing the audiences an unexpected but welcome opportunity to fully breathe in and out before the chaos that was to come later. – Noah Wade
Chappell Roan went from Midwest princess to international queen in a matter of months — and we couldn’t be happier about it. In 2023 we witnessed Chappell’s rise to her rhinestone-studded pop princess stardom, and rest assured, she is more than happy to take her seat on the throne.
While her studio recordings might be flawless (see the entirety of The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess), we believe that Chappell shines the brightest live. Just let her DSCVR series performance of “Red Wine Supernova” do the talking. Exuding charisma and boundless energy, Chappell takes audiences on one rollercoaster of a performance — complete with dance breaks, quippy banter and perhaps a tear or two (see “Kaleidescope” and “Casual”). Chappell Roan is everything a ruler should be — magnetic, passionate, confident and unafraid to SERVE. For all of those reasons and more, Atwood Magazine is happy to crown her as one of 2024’s artists to watch. – Sophie Severs
A – Mitch Mosk
A – Mitch Mosk
A – Mitch Mosk
Hyperpop is a genre that is easy to replicate, but seldom is it ever perfected. For 21-year-old electronic singer-songwriter ericdoa, doing just that and more has always seemed to come naturally; between the ease of the creative process and the decision to pursue a career in the arts, music was never not intuitive for the self-taught artist. Combining trap and emo-rap elements over hyperpop roots, ericdoa’s unique blend of alternative and electronic lends to something larger than life.
Born Eric George Lopez, ericdoa, like many Gen Z artists, cut his teeth on pop artists within online circles and uploaded on Soundcloud to escape the creative confines of his hometown in Connecticut — just over seven years later, he became a digital sensation. A multi-hyphenate in every sense of the word, Lopez has reached heights few musicians in their early 20s can say they’ve even come close to; from “sad4whattt” being featured on HBO’s Euphoria to partnering with Riot Games for the production of an original character soundtrack, his musicianship has earned him acclaim from Pitchfork, Alternative Press, and now, has dubbed him as one of Atwood Magazine’s 2024 Artists to Watch.
With his new album, DOA, set for release on January 19th, ericdoa is on his way to becoming the face of hyperpop in 2024, and we’re rooting that he’ll remain so for years to come! – Isabella Le
A side project born out of Boston’s Vein.fm, the melodic nu-metal/shoegaze lovechild, Fleshwater, has developed a sound and musical identity entirely its own. It’s difficult to move outside the tried-and-true when you’re looking to revive an old era of music, but the four-piece’s 2022 debut album We’re Not Here To Be Loved has shown us that doesn’t have to be the case. Garnering critical acclaim and response both within and outside of the alternative rock circle, the four-piece has rightfully earned its place as one of Atwood’s 2024 Artists to Watch.
The beauty of Fleshwater’s music lies in its ability to balance nostalgia and innovation. Fusing dream pop, nu-metal, grunge, and shoegaze seems intriguing at best and confusing at worst, but Fleshwater prove that neither is the case; effortlessly blending genre influences and incorporating magic of their own, Fleshwater knows where they’re going, and there’s no doubt that they’ll deliver. Closing 2023 with their latest EP, Sounds of Grieving, the band continues to demonstrate creative growth and forward pushing.
From forthcoming appearances at Rockville and Sonic Temple to Boston Calling and a near-sold-out tour in the spring, 2024 is looking busy and bright for Fleshwater! Though the band might not be “here to be loved,” we can say with certainty that they already are. – Isabella Le
023 was a spectacular year to be a Foxtide fan. Opening for Echo & The Bunnymen, the release of Paradise, and filming their ’70s inspired music video for “What Good Is It” were just a few highlights, but none compare to their newly released track “Running From Myself.” A quick-tonged and catchy live wire showing new depths for lead singer Elijah Gibbins-Croft, “Running From Myself” is magnificently self-aware.
As a frequent consumer of San Diego surf rock, Foxtide rises above the pack because of their strong grip on identity. They aren’t imitating that formulaic sound that so many bands get pigeon-holed into. Rather, they’re inventing something completely out of this world. – Grace Holtzclaw
A – Mitch Mosk
The overarching horror theme of Freddy VS’s music is done in a subversive way. They sound like they’d be the perfect soundtrack to a slasher comedy or a campy scary movie. They shirk a presumed association to darker, heavier rock subgenres by incorporating breezier indie rock sounds, all without sacrificing any wit or sonic impact. They manage to make “Mothman,” and many of their other songs, surprisingly sunny for having such an otherwise dark aesthetic. Freddy VS released “Mothman” on Christmas Day 2023, and in addition to this, have one other 2023 single (“Cryptid Cutie”) and their debut album The Projectionist from late 2022. The St. Louis rockers are in a great position to satisfy not only a more theatrical niche within rock music, but also to appeal to a wider audience looking for fun and innovative interpretations of the typical array of lyrical themes.
“Mothman” starts soft and sweet, almost like a love song. But soon, vocalist Katie Garner sings that “You can build yourself a silver bridge, that don’t mean I’ll get over it,” and what started off as something almost saccharine becomes toxified by betrayal. The song mixes more classic rock-and-roll vibes with an indie pop-leaning mindset. And what makes these songs so compelling is having them expressed through the lens of horror, which is at once universal and unique to the individual. It gives an element of experimentation that makes the music of Freddy VS very free and unencumbered by expectations. “Mothman” feels and sounds very authentic, unlike other music that’s out right now, and the prospect of the band continuing in this unique direction is exciting to me. Freddy VS has the tenacity and the skills to carve themselves out a place of their own on the indie rock scene. – Kendall Graham
A – Mitch Mosk
After a huge 2023, could 2024 be any “huge-er” for Ice Spice? The one obvious answer is “Yes, if her debut LP finally comes out (and there are signs that it will!), but Ice Spice has found so many creative alternative ways of nabbing the spotlight (guest verses, fashion statements, opening slots on the Doja Cat tour, etc.) that it will be entertaining to follow her meteoric rise in the new year, no matter how it may be achieved. – Josh Weiner
Remember World’s Strongest Man? These cartoonishly yoked dudes would gather on the beach to compete across a gauntlet of herculean feats. My favorite was always the tire flip. Because racing to see which one of these bald, sweaty behemoths could lift 900-pounds of burning hot rubber was never impressive enough. No; they had to be chained to some kind of Promethian torture device, like a semi-truck.
“Clawing, Still” reaches that extreme level of punishment in a hurry. Right from the jump, the riffs surge and throb with all the righteous fury of Zeus’ lightning bolt. The drums crunch like a trash compactor that’s running on nothing but creatine. Daniel Kost screams in such agony, with so much throat-ripping intensity, that you can practically hear the veins bulging against his forehead.
Maybe that all sounds like too much for you. But Infant Island offer something for everyone. The Fredericksburg natives inhabit the same undefined stylistic territory as Vein.fm or Portrayal of Guilt. Screamo still occupies most of the real estate here, though their new album extends an ingrown toenail into grindcore, black metal and powerviolence, alongside other friendlier fixtures. On Infant Island, there’s plenty of room for eerie organ swells, quivering cello, mezzo piano, whispered cleans and guest spots from death metal and shoegaze-y slowcore bands. Heck, somewhere amidst all the chaos, there’s even a pluck of mandolin.
Indie rock has been trending in a heavier direction ever since the pandemic. Turns out, watching society collapse from the inside out helped people realize that there’s a lot to get angry about. You might need a lyric sheet to pick this up, but Infant Island wrestle with weighty issues like racial injustice, corporate greed, the climate crisis, spiraling mental health. The way they channel those mounting frustrations into a towering display of noise that inspires both beauty and terror speaks to what it feels like to be alive right now, but also, the enduring power of the human spirit. Who knows, maybe Obsidian Wreath will leave the same impact that Sunbather had on my generation. I’m curious to see how many of us are ready to make the leap. – Will Yarbrough
Hailing from New York City, Infinity Song – the sibling quartet composed of Abraham, Angel, Israel, and Momo Boyd – are not exactly “new” to the music scene. In fact, they’ve gained attention from the likes of Jay-Z, who went on to sign them to Roc Nation in 2016. For most of us, the group collectively popped onto our radars last year with “Hater’s Anthem.” The song garnered widespread attention across social media (and even went on to be their most streamed song) for its catchy, funny, and even thought-provoking lyrics of reveling in being, well, a hater!
If “Hater’s Anthem” is a hint for what’s more to come from the quartet, then 2024 likely could very well be their year. – Jada Moore
Jake Minch released “handgun” in May of last year. In an Instagram caption he wrote that this song came of an “8 minute stream of consciousness” while trying to write a bad song. Out of this came a song with intense honesty. He delivers gut punching lines – the type of turns in a lyric that make a song great. Later in the year he released his EP how many with equally poetic lyrics and melodies. His conversational, honest tone with the sweetest voice is a style that is as timeless as it is popular.
He opened for Jeremy Zucker to close out 2023 and we can only expect more things for this young artist in 2024 and beyond. – Kelly McCafferty Dorogy
It takes some serious chutzpah (in my book, at least) to release a song at the very top of January, and that’s exactly what Jasmine Jethwa did with “Pylons,” her first song of 2024 – released January 5 via Akira Records. “Burnt bridges, small stations; how’d I get so far away?” Jasmine Jethwa sings, her voice heavy with emotion. On paper, “Pylons” is an achingly bittersweet goodbye, but it felt like a warm and welcome hello when I first heard it. Already an Atwood Magazine Editor’s Pick – she’s responsible for one of our favorite EPs of 2023, the smoldering five-track Same Streets But I Don’t See You Around – London’s Jasmine Jethwa is without a doubt an artist to watch in 2024.
I’m counting pylons
From the window of the train
You said you loved me and I
Didn’t know what to say
Oh how I wish I’d
Told you I loved you but,
All I said was OK
A force on the indie scene for the past four years now, Jethwa has proved her prowess as an extraordinarily talented songwriter, vocalist, and performer at every step along her path, starting with 2020’s debut EP Hurricane (which Atwood‘s Nicole Almeida praised as a “much-needed breath of fresh air from the radio-ready pop hits of the 21st Century.”) Her storytelling poetry and raw, visceral vocal performance in “Pylons” prove especially poignant and heart-wrenching – a moving expression of loss and letting go – two of life’s most intimate and intense emotional experiences.
Beautifully brooding and increasingly impassioned, “Pylons” proves a stunning start to Jethwa’s year, and essentially ensures (at least for us) that she’ll stay top of mind as 2024 gets underway. Not only is this song a reminder of how powerful love’s pull can be – even as that love itself wanes – but it’s also an evocative take on regret and nostalgia, highlighting how hard it is to know if we’re ever truly making the right decisions for ourselves. – Mitch Mosk
A – Mitch Mosk
A – Mitch Mosk
Art Pop had never sounded fresher before the release of I Love You Jennifer B, the full length debut from British duo Jockstrap. Nuanced, electrifying instrumentals from producer Taylor Skye accompanied Georgia Ellery’s lush yet soft spoken vocals on a colorful tracklist of Glitch Pop bangers. The kaleidoscopic variety of sounds on display conglomerated into a project of immense creative potential from the duo whose playful and progressive take on the genre was a major highlight of 2022.
Last year’s remix album by band member Taylor Skye, perfectly encapsulated the zany skill of Jockstrap. I<3UQTINVU displayed a series of quirky, glitchy, and electrifying dance cuts which expanded the group’s palette of sound. An already scheduled 2024-25 tour is exciting news for the potential of new music from the duo which, no doubt, has the potential to break ground and shake the music world to its core in 2024. – Jake Fewx
If there’s anything I’ve observed of the soft-spoken, vividly introspective, humbly creative artist that is John Roseboro, it’s that he lets his art and music speak for itself; often shunning the spotlight, rejecting lavish offerings that a record deal or glitzy management might offer. Instead, Roseboro quietly releases his convictions and struggles with humanity, religion, relationships and identity in the form of song – post-bossa style to be exact – his quiet murmur coexisting with tranquil maj7 chords, twinkling arpeggios and the occasional saxophone outro.
Roseboro’s knack for songwriting is undeniably remarkable; it’s simple yet profound, incredibly welcoming and about as raw as it gets in terms of vulnerability. He certainly has stories to tell, acknowledging his stints living with the Amish and schooling as a mortician along with his Christian faith to influence his perspective and playing style. Come for the bossa-nova runs that so easily tickle the ears, and stay for the gentle lullaby-esque whisper of Roseboro – and maybe learn a thing or two about humanity and love through the eyes of another. – Miles Campbell
While it’s been almost eight years since Jonwayne’s last rap record, he’s been keeping himself busy, most notably producing Danny Watts’ Black Boy Meets World. More recently, he’s been on a streaming blitz, spending the last couple of years treating his subscribers to beat-making lessons and making songs from scratch to a live audience several times a week. This has kept the lights on and food on the table, but his fantastic voice and rhyme style have been missed.
Just after new year, Jon stealth-dropped his first solo song in years – Simply titled No Joke. A 2-minute no-hook little diamond of a cut, this song was met with a wave of happy surprise from his growing fanbase. That was about a week back, and at time of writing no further information is forthcoming, but it does feel like the beginning of something new. If there’s going to be a new Jonwayne album in 2024, it could be a big year for the often discreet, sometimes elusive, but always cerebral Californian poet. – Adam Davidson
A – Mitch Mosk
An artist that gained popularity from a hit song (“Strangers”) going viral on social media, Kenya Grace’s future seems very promising if her past releases are any hint at what’s to come. The British singer/songwriter is unique in the sense that she doesn’t place herself in one box; rather, she likes experimenting with her sound – compare the synth moodiness of “Strangers,” versus the more upbeat and electronic “Meteor.” Grace is definitely an artist to keep an eye out for this year, as she may perhaps have some more tricks up her sleeve. – Jada Moore
Klwn Cat was responsible for one of my favourite rap records of 2023, the charred-black and moody Don’t Go Outside, a collaboration with fellow up-and-comer Unruly. The album evoked Vik Vaughn-era DOOM both in style and delivery, bringing something a little grimier than most of their contemporaries. He’s not one to rest though, recently announcing no less than four projects to his name slated for release already in 2024, the first being an E.P with fellow underground producer Tau in January.
These new releases are promised to be a switch-up in style for the already talented beatsmith. It’s going to be interesting picking through all the darkened soundscapes, as winter turns to spring and the days get brighter. WIll Klwn Cat’s sound follow suit and paint the summer with golden melodies, or will he stay in the back allies and quiet recesses? As a truly independent artist, Klwn Cat is free to choose his own path, and 2024 could be a special year for this up-and-coming name on the scene. – Adam Davidson
“Tennessee Orange” singer/songwriter, Megan Moroney, is making her way up the charts and into the hearts of country fans everywhere. She released her debut album Lucky on May 5, featuring songs such as “Girl In The Mirror” and “Another On The Way.” Whether it’s a broken heart, moving on or embracing self-love and empowerment, the 16-track deluxe-edition is packed with detailed stories to get completely lost in. Paired with Moroney’s beautiful and revitalizing voice, she gives a new flare to the country music genre.
Moroney recently released a gorgeous cover of Chris Stapleton’s “What Are You Listening To?” Her upcoming song “No Caller ID,” is set to release on January 19. In an Instagram post she wrote, “Huge day for the emo cowgirls who never move on from anything ever,” about the highly anticipated single. So, be on the lookout for Moroney as she bursts into 2024 with sparkling ambition and awe-inspiring music. – Lauren Turner
A – Mitch Mosk
Without a sliver of a doubt, Nieve Ella is a 2024 Artist to Watch, especially as she comes off the release of her second EP, ‘Lifetime of Wanting’ which is a stunning condensed exploration of all the facets of relationships and their comforts and complications.
Her music has an untouchable raw realness to it that is unbelievably relatable and homey. In other words, Nieve Ella’s music defines what human connection is and how it feels.
Whether you’re a subtle pop fan or more prone to the indie side of music, Ella has something that could please any listener in search of a soulful and evocative escape to the solace of a “Big House.” Between moving into and from heartbreak and love, and coping with dreaded birthdays and the most unsettled of relationships, Nieve Ella covers an impressive range of topics in a cohesive, yet invigorating way that is simply inspiring. All that Nieve Ella produces has this feeling of singularity about it while it also has this feeling of exuding a greater collective emotion and appeal that joyously invites you into a world you could only dream of without her gracious invitation. – Brianna Corrine
They’ve only got two songs out, and yet I’m betting on big things for London indie rockers Picture Parlour. The UMG-signed act fronted by dynamic, fiery frontwoman Katherine Parlour makes music that is cinematic in scope and breathtaking in depth, lighting a fire within all who listen as overdriven guitars roar and thunderous drums pulse heavy, creating a pocket in which Parlour’s achingly intense, impassioned vocals can erupt with grace and gusto.
Last July’s debut single “Norwegian Wood” (note: NOT a Beatles cover) and mid-October’s sweeping, searing “Judgement Day” are both as irresistible as they are unforgettable – two stadium-sized songs that hits us right where it hurts the most. That all-consuming unstoppability is part of Picture Parlour’s charm: Whereas so many bands these days debut with half-realized, semi-demo quality tracks that may or may not wind up on their debut album (or EP), Picture Parlour come to us fully baked, ready to rock our worlds inside and out. The band consists of Parlour, together with guitarist Ella Risi, bassist Sian Lynch, and drummer Michael Nash.
With a clear knack for vulnerability first and theatricality second, Picture Parlour are a new, instant favorite; I just wish we could hear more from them, but I get the funny feeling that a proper project is not so far away. Stay tuned and watch this space, as these unapologetic Brits are destined for the world’s stage. – Mitch Mosk
Every so often, you encounter a musician or a band that evokes something nostalgic in you; their music takes you back to your formative years, or brings you to a time when the discovery of a new sound resonates with you and could help you comprehend what was going on in your life at the time, making things that much more bearable. At the very end of 2023, I stumbled upon Pinkshift in my insatiable efforts to diversify my rock arsenal and bring more attention to diverse musical acts within the genre. I immediately became captivated by “lullaby,” the first track on Pinkshift’s suraksha EP, released in October 2023 via Hopeless Records. It compellingly blends heavy chords and melodies with instruments from and rhythm elements of Hindi music.
Pinkshift’s “lullaby” illustrates all the things that are enticing about punk rock and post-grunge rock music. From the heavy production to the evocative lyricism and the intensity of vocal style, Pinkshift embodies and evokes this pathos in spades across their discography, and “lullaby” is the greatest manifestation of these musical choices. The song is enveloped at its beginning and end by an ambiance that deftly weaves between a dream and a nightmare. Between guitarist Paul Vallejo’s chugging on the verses, drummer Myron Houngbedji’s incisive drumming, and vocalist Ashrita Kumar’s gritty and grating screams on the back half of the song, it was hard not to become enamored by Pinkshift’s attitude and density of sound.
Pinkshift is bringing a much-needed voracity to grunge and punk rock. The band has released one studio album and one other EP to date (2022’s Love Me Forever and 2021’s Saccharine, respectively) and I will be inundating myself with all these songs to tide me over until Pinkshift releases new music. – Kendall Graham
A – Mitch Mosk
The gatekeep deadline for Reneé Rapp is steadily approaching, as the actress-singer-songwriter who starred on Broadway’s Mean Girls: The Musical as Regina George will reprise the role in the theatrical adaptation. “She’s everyone’s bbg (babygirl) right now,” the friend who introduced me to Rapp said over text. Late last year, her first full length album Snow Angel released to bisexual applause; what other release speculates on a drunk girl friend’s sexuality for 2 minutes and 26 seconds with a whispered, “Yeah, that bitch is gay” in the outro? “Your boyfriend’s cute, yeah he can come, too,” she says with a coolness that all genders would be endeared to get in, loser.
Elsewhere on the album, title track “Snow Angel” explains winter depression with a piano as misery-inducing as the song’s mission statement. As it progresses, electric guitars rip through the background and Rapp shout-sings, “I still look for him in her, the seasons change, addiction’s strange.” Now in theaters everywhere and drinking from the same confessional-songwriting bottle as Sabrina Carpenter and Taylor Swift, Rapp has a recipe to become a household name this year. – Blake McMillan
Ever wondered what would happen if Johnny Cash and Carrie Underwood made music together? Of course not, but if they did, it would sound just like Reyna Roberts. Born in Alaska, and raised in Alabama, Tennessee and California, Roberts absorbed each places’ musical geneology and put it in her metaphorical musical backpack until she was ready.
Roberts is one of the visible black women in country music alongside Mickey Guyton and Rhiannon Giddens. Robert released her first full length EP Bad Girl Bible, Vol.1 in September 2023. The album weaves together bluegrass, country, and soft rock, alongside elements of R’n’B. Roberts is fierce in vocals and honest in her lyrics. “One Way Street” is the standout track from the record, Roberts says “this single is about unrequited love, and wanting to be with someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you. I think it’s a universal feeling – getting mixed signals and not knowing which direction to go in.” It’s a beautifully, heartfelt ballad. – Emily Algar
E ver since she first introduced herself in 2018, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sabrina Song has striven to craft music that is refreshingly candid, up-close and personal in every sense. Her upcoming debut album You Could Stay In One Spot, and I’d Love You The Same, out June 7, promises to be Song’s most intimate and unapologetic work yet: A full-length version of that vivid, vulnerable, and visceral artistry listeners have come to expect from her aching indie rock-leaning output.
Song recently previewed the LP via lead single “Okay, Okay,” an upheaval of intense passion, raw emotion, and spirited, seductive sound that sees the artist trading vulnerability for relationship security – wearing her heart on her sleeve in a bold and beautiful declaration of love, commitment, and connection. It’s a powerful look at what’s to come from Song, and all the reassurance we need to know that she is a definitive artist to watch from here on out. – Mitch Mosk
From his debut album Untidy Soul back in 2022, I’d been waiting for when we would see more of Samm Henshaw. Before the year rounded up, Henshaw returned with new single “Jumoké,” which saw him venture into the Afrobeats genre. From R&B to soul and everything in between, Henshaw’s music is decidedly unafraid, marked by his feel-good sound and deep-felt lyrics. His musical presence is sincere and effortless, evident in both his live performances and his studio work.
Reflective and soulful, he experiments with marked ease and diversity. With love songs that are about the little things, the big things and that speak to the ones you might not expect too — he also calls on love for family, spirituality, and friendships. 2024 will see him return to music with an experimental new album and we can’t wait to see him return to the stage. – Rachel Leong
Sarah Kinsley is a modern-day enchantress whose musical prowess have left us spellbound and thoroughly transfixed. Having full jurisdiction over her artistry as both the songwriter and producer, Kinsley’s clear vision rings true and permeates through every note of her discography.
With elegance and poise, Kinsley presents us with a thrilling range of sound — tunes that babble as languidly as a brook (see “The Giver”), and those that thrum with the power of an army of synths (see “Oh No Darling!). As energetic as she is firmly rooted, this songstress never fails to cultivate an impeccable atmosphere. We can’t wait to see all of the amazing things Sarah will be up to in 2024! – Sophie Severs
“Shot Down” was the track on Scowl’s intensely invigorating 2023 EP Psychic Dance Routine that made me realize that they can pretty much do it all. Singer Kat Moss’ cleans and growls are perfectly juxtaposed, at times dissonant but in the best way. They make this short pop punk gem really accessible for those who may find other Scowl tracks a bit too gritty. Most Scowl songs are short and sweet, although a better descriptor might be succinct. They show up, they go all out and give us everything they’ve got, and then they’re done. Scowl offers a utilitarian kind of perspective to their music where frills are unnecessary. Mostly what matters is the overwhelming urge to get what’s roiling inside their brains out, and the catharsis that occurs when it does. “Shot Down” details what can only be described as an extremely unsatisfying encounter in which the only solution to move on from the embarrassment of failing to be impressive is to resort to violence.
I appreciate Scowl’s desire to straddle the line of hardcore punk and alt rock while incorporating some pop melodies, particularly here on “Shot Down” and across Psychic Dance Routine. Bassist Bailey Lupo described the music on the EP as “more for people to live out their rockstar dreams with a hairbrush in front of their bedroom mirror than slam dancing in the pit,” which is an apt description of both the music on this project and what I did nearly each time I listened to it. Scowl has a brashness of character and assertive production choices that set them apart from their contemporaries. Scowl has previously been on Atwood Magazine’s radar; they had one of our favorite EPs of 2023, and if these melodic additions are indicative of what’s yet to come from the Santa Cruz hardcore punks, then they’re on-track to becoming frontrunners on their scene, and ours. – Kendall Graham
UK singer/songwriter Serena Ittoo made a big splash last year with her debut single, “Nature Foreseen.” From the moment I heard it, I was drawn into the artist’s world – a safe place where silky melodies, soul-soaked vocals and storytelling lyrics will help you learn to appreciate your own individuality.
Her celestial soundscapes create an epic backdrop for her words of wisdom, as she delivers positive and empowering messages. Perhaps it’s her work as an NLP Practitioner and Life Coach that allows her songwriting to work deep into your brain and leave a lasting impression, or maybe it’s her intoxicating musicianship that worms its way into our ears. Either way, we are excited to see what Serena Ittoo does next. – Joe Beer
It wouldn’t be a reach to call 2023 the year of Sobs. From Internet friends to bandmates of five years and counting, Celine Autumn, Jared Lim, and Raphael Ong have established themselves as one of the biggest indie-pop/rock acts in Southeast Asia, bearing a cult following and reputation as some of pop music’s finest. Following their U.S. debut, playing alongside Duster, Boy Harsher, and Yo La Tengo early last year, it’s only a matter of time before Sobs dominate the rest of the world!
Bright melodies and unapologetic funk are difficult to come by in the otherwise dark and melancholy atmosphere of the Singaporean indie music scene – Sobs has changed that narrative. With optimism, overflowing energy, and unmatched charm, Sobs’ music is the sun that peeks through white gloom on an overcast day. Following four years of studio content drought, Sobs returned with their no-skip sophomore album Air Guitar in late 2022, artfully blurring the line between 2000’s powerpop and modern indie-rock. With sophistication, youthfulness, and timeless songcraft, the band is on its way to capturing the hearts of international audiences and beyond.
Amidst the heyday of the indie pop genre and rock revival, Sobs are redefining music’s boundaries and demonstrating the coexistence of pop and rockstar. Fingers crossed, we’ll be getting a third record in 2024! – Isabella Le
With three EPs under their belt and a recently released single called “Give Me A Reason,” swim school is on the fast track to massive success in the music industry. If you’ll permit, let me give you a reason or a few as to why you should keep an eye trained on this tremendously talented Scottish three-piece.
Each song that swim school has released is proof of their blossoming genius, between hard-hitting lyricism and drum lines that broadcast their perspective on misogyny in the industry to cascading tunes that touch on all things life and love, swim school display a keen sense of range and comfortability with who they are as a band that other bands and artists only dream of. And honestly, what more do you need?
In everything they do, they are wholly authentic, and I can say this from a place of first-hand experience, as we at Atwood have interviewed them – swim school is one of the most personable and humble groups I have personally met. They are a small, but tight-nit group who over a decently short amount of time, have grown and continue to grow steadily. To this, it must be mentioned that over the past year, Swim has racked up an impressive array of artists whom they have opened for, including the likes of Pixies, Lovejoy, grandson, and Inhaler. Additionally, recently, swim school has been teasing new music and the potential for their first headline tour- which is just all the more reason to get excited about this band and jump on their wagon before they blast through the scene and definitively make their mark.
They are truly a gem in the world of indie guitar-band shoegaze-esque music. – Brianna Corrine
The Long Island, NY-based band burst onto the scene in late 2022 with debut single “Lost It,” currently sitting at just under half a million streams. Inspired by acts such as The 1975 and The Backseat Lovers, follow up singles “Last Licks” and “Boomerang” expanded on their alt-rock sound while experimenting with different musical palettes. While not perfect executions, the quality of the diverse first batch displays the groups strategic planning and willingness to learn in real time. “Boomerang,” their most recent release, is their most ambitious of the three, switching between vulnerable singer-songwriter verses and a more refined alt rock sound in the chorus and bridge. More music, social content, and live performances are on the docket for the upstart band in 2024. – Noah Wade
They’re not exactly new or up-and-coming, but 2024 could be the year of The Marías. In October, the band officially marked the “end of an era” for 2021’s debut album Cinema with a popup in Los Angeles. That doesn’t mean the end of their iconic, psychedelic, bossa nova-y, sipping-red-wine-in-a-candle-lit-bar-esque sound.
In fact, last year held surprising collaborations for the indie band, including their feature on Tainy’s “mañana” and “A Room Up in the Sky” with Eyedress. Anything could be coming… and fans are hoping something new drops soon. – Julia Dzurillay
Lovers of indie rock everywhere should have Utah based four piece The Moss on their radar this year. Consisting of Tyke James, Addison Sharp, Willie Fowler, Caiden Jackson, the dynamic foursome Following the release of their rocking debut project Insomnia The Moss has been probing themselves a staple in the indie rock sphere with every absolutely electric guitar lick, belting vocal and memorable lyric.
Gritty, fun-loving tracks like Carousel will have you yelling out “Maybe shit won’t go the way you plan” as you bop your head to the surf rock guitar licks whereas ballads like “Blink” will leave you gasping for air with its echoing bass, powerful drum lines and raspy, pained vocals echoing out, “Please change your mind, if I lose you I may never love again.” Every The Moss track is a deeply intimate and effervescent soundscape that transports you into their stories, changing up the instrumental and vocal style truly exhibiting their versatility and unbridled talent. – Minna Abdel-Gawad
“MARTIRIO” is one of The Warning’s heaviest, hardest songs to date. Released in 2022 from their excellent album ERROR, the amount of emotion they’re able to convey throughout this song transcends language barriers, even language in general. The Warning are on the precipice of a global takeover, and as much as my instincts point to gatekeep them from the masses, their talent, passion, and ingenuity are just too great not to want to share my excitement about what they’re going to do next. There is something extremely exciting about witnessing the birth of a band you just know will become legends in their own right. “MARTIRIO” is anchored by aggressive and driving chords, powerful percussion, and a bass line that carries the weight of the song’s lyrical content. Martirio is Spanish for martyrdom, and the song is about having to be your own savior, about surrendering to the inevitable and sometimes incessant pain that life will throw at you, about being lost in your own darkness and sacrificing a part of yourself to be released from it and finally see the light again.
The Warning is already on Atwood Magazine’s radar—they had one of our favorite songs of 2023, the fiery and uproarious “MORE”—and this year, we’re looking forward to more high-octane rock from these three sisters. Influences of their predecessors are unmistakable (think Rush, Foo Fighters, Black Sabbath, Van Halen) but The Warning are revitalizing the look and feel of classic and hard rock. They imbue so much energy into their music and have undeniable chemistry as a band. They honor the emotional undercurrent of rock music by combining soul-baring lyricism with amp-busting ferocity and a mastery of their instruments, even at their young ages. Slated for several festival appearances and shows across Europe this year, including Shiprocked 2024, Tecate Pal Norte 2024, and Mad Cool Festival 2024, it’s not hard to imagine that The Warning will be packing sold-out stadiums across the entire world in no time. I eagerly await new music from this exhilarating, outstanding trio. – Kendall Graham
It’s the Afrobeats TYLA served on her July 2023 single “Water” that launched her into stardom; I can hear the drum drop before the final chorus now. Its accompanying dance and lyrics are what TikTok love, but the production of it all has got her Academy attention at this year’s Grammys for Best African Music Performance. Her debut album is set for March 1, and its lesser-known singles like “Truth or Dare” play with soundscapes and beats that mesmerize. The track’s lyrical melody is ear worm material and she asks you exactly to worm with it: “Let’s play truth or dare, dare you to forget.” – Blake McMillan
Mixing elements of neo-soul, R&B, and folk, UMI has cemented theirself as a well-rounded musician. Taking inspiration from their Japanese heritage, as well as queerness, the singer/songwriter is able to compose beautiful and intricate lyrics with a melodic backing.
UMI’s most recent collaboration with global superstar V (of BTS) put them on the map for more music listeners. As more fell in love with their voice, the artist shared they would be releasing a new EP, and excitement is definitely buzzing around what they will do next! Without a doubt, UMI is one artist to certainly watch this year! – Jada Moore
Vindigo is offering electric alt-pop hooks with grunge inspirations that hit a nerve in your nostalgia receptors. With their debut EP Ur 4 Sale set for release later this January, it’s only a matter of time before their moment strikes. Their newly released single “Like You” has to be my favorite we’ve heard yet. Discussing the dark side of love and our insecurities reappearing to haunt us in the gaze of someone new, lead singer Dakota Brubaker proves himself to be a songwriter most earnest. I’m anticipating all this and more from their upcoming EP, and you should be too. – Grace Holtzclaw
Warren Zeiders is a name to remember heading into 2024. The rising country star is making waves within the genre as he brings in rejuvenating and innovative new music. He dropped his debut album Pretty Little Poison on August 18. The about 45-minute record has 14 tracks that capture themes pertaining to love, heartache and moving on. His country twang and rasp is invigorating and completely captivating as hints of rock infuse his country storytelling. Unmatched to what’s already in the industry, his artistry is rare, giving people a rush of excitement and music to constantly look forward to. His latest single, “Sin So Sweet,” was released on November 17.
Zeiders will be heading out on the road for his “Pretty Little Poison Tour” during the next couple of months. In a recent Instagram post he wrote, “I promise to y’all as long as you’re in my corner, I will always be working, writing, touring, singing and releasing music that I believe in.” – Lauren Turner
Brother-sister duo Wasia Project find their musical homing in jazz-pop piano ballads that merge sounds of the contemporary and classic. The London up-and-comers Will Gas and Olivia Hardy (yes, Tao Xu from Heartstopper) released their debut EP last year, How Can I Pretend? in the trail new retro soundings. The project certainly makes its mark as truly original — compact and intentional exploration that finds its grounding in classical sensibilities, not dissimilar to fellow up-and-coming artists like Laufey or Stephen Sanchez.
At just 18 and 20, Wasia Project have the whole world at their fingertips. Hardy’s gently commanding vocals reverberate with the soul and heart that usually only comes with years of experience. Reflective and dreamy lyrics front piano ballads that are unmistakably classic and timeless — their infusions of pop, jazz, and indie marking the modern sound, yet always remaining poignantly sparse and unforgettable. – Rachel Leong
Wednesday’s 2023 release Rat Saw God is a book you can’t put down. Their fifth album’s world is a small town, full of teenage delinquents and professional provocateurs.
The instrumentation is intense, but never overstated — the wailing guitars and screaming voices are just right.The music constantly threatens to spill over the edge, but finds its footing time and time again. Frontwoman Karly Hartzman shares her stories with a bittersweet weariness, a quiet acknowledgement of the stories that have passed and the stories that are yet to come.
“Chosen to Deserve” is a tongue-in-cheek love song. Haltzman’s sweet lilt is a perfect match for the alternative-country guitar riff. She admits, “Now all the drugs are getting kinda boring to me/Now everywhere is loneliness and it’s in everything.” Rat Saw God showed a different side of Wednesday that will keep you wanting more. – Nasim Elyasi
Willow Avalon has technically released only three songs to date, and yet she might be the artist I’m most excited about going into 2024. Hailing from a long line of musicians in rural Georgia, the 25-year-old Manhattan-based singer/songwriter makes music that toes the line between Americana, folk, pop, and alternative. A natural-born storyteller, her vivid lyrics ache with raw emotion as she imbues them with her own hopes and dreams, faults and insecurities, all in an effort to connect with something deeper – both within herself, and out there in the world.
Her debut single “Drivin,” released in 2021, resonates with the fragility of a bruised heart and the raw fervor of a soul unhinged as its author bares herself for all to see, hear, and feel. The track led to a label signing with Atlantic Records/Assemble Sound last year, and two more singles – the harmony-laced, emotionally charged “Stranger” and the achingly intimate, beautifully tender “Honey Ain’t No Sweeter” – have since followed. Avalon’s debut EP, also entitled Stranger, is set to release at the end of February, and is named as such in an effort to lift the veil between artist and listener; in other words, we might come into it a stranger to Willow Avalon, but by the record’s end, she’ll feel more like a friend. Already, its first two singles bring us deep into the artist’s sanctum as she picks apart her world, unpacking life experiences and processing heavy emotions as they happen to her in real time. Needless to say, this is one EP that I’ll be playing on repeat for months, if not years, to come.
As for Willow Avalon, I’d say she’s a household name in under five years’ time. – Mitch Mosk
A – Mitch Mosk
Los Angeles artist Yarin Glam needs to be on your radar, if she isn’t already. Originally from Israel, this powerhouse artist infuses her irresistible pop, R&B anthems with Middle Eastern elements, delivering both authenticity and uniqueness to her sound. With her songs touching on important and thought-provoking topics such as female empowerment, mental health and self-love, every track will hit you right to the core.
Her 2023 release “Side Effects” set the bar high for the artist, with the vibey track bringing to mind the likes of Billie Eilish. Starting 2024 off on the right foot, Glam has teased on socials that January 24th will see the unveiling of a brand new track, “Burn It Down.” We can only imagine what she has up her sleeves and I for one cannot wait to see where this year takes her. – Joe Beer