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As great as Ariana, Demi, Drake, and The Weeknd are, there’s only so many times you can listen to the same songs over and over. It can be tricky to discover new artists these days, so we did the hard work for you. Use this as your cheat sheet to fall’s buzziest up-and-comers. Your playlist will thank you.
Both Lorde and Taylor Swift have tweeted their love for Alessia Cara, but it was none other than Drake who went a step further, DMing her and asking to meet. She’d better get used to chilling with her idols, because she’s one of the biggest new artists right now. With a heavy dose of soul, Cara’s songs blend pop and R&B, and her single “Here” is currently number four on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs list, right behind tracks from The Weeknd and Jidenna.
Track to check out: “Here”
As the first artist signed to Ed Sheeran’s new label, Gingerbread Records, Jamie Lawson has a highly anticipated debut album (out October 6). And, as a fellow British red-headed singer-songwriter, he certainly has a lot in common with his mentor. Having just spent the past few months opening for Sheeran throughout North America, Lawson is ready for his moment, and it’s happening now.
Track to check out: “Wasn’t Expecting That”
The singer-songwriter’s songs are so soulful and heartrending that her EP, Meg Mac, makes for the perfect salve to heal a breakup wound. Mac just finished touring across the country with D’Angelo and is now selling out her own shows in her native Australia.
Track to check out: “Every Lie”
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Currently claiming the number one slot on the U.K.’s alternative charts with their debut full-length album, The Balcony, Catfish and the Bottlemen are starting to catch on here in the States, where they are currently on tour. The four twentysomething guys are the epitome of British rockers. If you like Arctic Monkeys and The Vaccines, these rowdy guys are right up your alley.
Track to check out: “Kathleen”
Nineteen-year-old Atlanta native Raury delivers folk-infused beats that are shaking up the hip-hop scene. Both his songs and his personal style make him stand out, and his debut album, All We Need, has everyone from XXL, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and MTV counting down to its release on October 16.
Track to listen to: “Devil’s Whisper”
The Texas native has a throwback musical style reminiscent of 1960s tunes, but his songs still sound fresh. His vintage style got him noticed, but it’s his strong voice dripping in gospel and soul that got him signed, rescuing him from his dishwasher days. Bridges is heading out on a cross-country tour later this month, in support of his album, Coming Home, out now.
Track to check out: “Coming Home”
British pop duo Oh Wonder did something a little unusual—and wildly ambitious—to get their music heard: They released a new song every month for an entire year on SoundCloud. The project worked, primarily because listeners couldn’t get enough of the guy-girl melodic vocals and intricate layers of synth. They just released their first full-length album and are currently on tour in the United States.
Track to check out: “Livewire”
More saucy than sweet, Elle King is only the second female solo act to top Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart since 1996. Her voice is more Adele than Ariana Grande, and don’t expect this British pop-tart to play by the rules: She isn’t afraid to tell off haters or get a little crude. Favoring the banjo over the guitar, her music and style have a bit of Western flare that separates her from other heartbreak queens.
Track to check out: “Ex’s and Oh’s”
Electronica alt-rock musician Max Frost is such a talented guitar player that he sometimes plays two guitars at the same time. Up-tempo beats and melodic hooks make his songs damn catchy, and it doesn’t hurt that he isn’t bad to look at.
Track to check out: “Let Me Down Easy”
Rolling Stone gave ZZ Ward’s debut album, Till the Casket Drops, a glowing review, saying “it raises chills.” And now she’s back with her sophomore release, This Means War. Ward’s music blends blues with hip-hop and soul for a sound that goes beyond the average pop-star’s, and it’s already been featured on shows such as The Good Wife, Justified, and Pretty Little Liars. Get ready to be hearing a lot more of her.
Track to check out: “3x”