Tom Odell breaks hearts and induces all the #crys with his sensitive piano pop.
It's not often you find a young pop pianist who doesn't get, say, thrown into the adult contemporary bin along with Josh Groban, Norah Jones, and Michael Buble. (Nothing wrong with those guys, of course, but they don't exactly fall into our, erm, demographic.)
And then there's 22-year-old U.K. singer, songwriter, and pianist Tom Odell, a long-haired blond dreamboat who idolizes Elton John and manages to create heartbreaking piano pop that you could easily enjoy with your mom, grandma, and anyone else who puts his record on. Yep, Tom's what you might call "cross-generational."
Manchester pop-rock outfit The 1975 aren't too British to talk frankly about sex. In fact, quite the opposite. In their rollicking track of the same name, Matt Healy wonders out loud if there's any point in fooling around with a lady's who's got, as he puts it, "a boyfriend, anyway." Lame!
But the band shouldn't worry too much about their relationship status -- their career's taking off! I mean, if your debut album went No. 1 on the U.K. Albums Chart AND simultaneously beat out Nine Inch Nails' comeback album, would you spend any time worrying about that chick with a boyfriend? Nope.
Chances are you're already obsessed with 16-year-old edgy pop wunderkind Lorde.
We don't claim to be psychics, but something tells us that you've probably heard of this week's MTV Artist To Watch. Maybe it's because 16-year-old Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor, otherwise known as Lorde, is officially having her Major Music Moment.
Specifically? Her first single, "Royals," debuted at No. 1 on the New Zealand Top 40 AND reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In all, that makes Lorde the first New Zealand solo artist to have a No. 1 song in the U.S. and the youngest artist to hold the U.S. No. 1 spot in more than 25 years.
As you can see, Lorde's not only making career strides -- she's making history.
Meet your new electronic dance obsession: Disclosure.
While we can get lost in a club banger every now and again, is it too much to ask for a little emotion in our dance music? Fortunately, Disclosure, the duo composed of Guy and Howard Lawrence, two brothers from Surrey, England, have been delivering a mix of both for the past couple of years.
Their debut album, Settle, which came out earlier this summer, went to No. 1 on the U.K. Albums chart, and was preceded by a string of singles -- "Latch," "White Noise," and "You & Me," all of which charted high and renewed our faith in the potential of crossover electronic to make us want to move and feel at the same time.
Meet your latest rock/new wave obsession: Los Angeles brother trio The Ceremonies.
Let's just get one thing out of the way: Matthew Cook, the leader singer of Los Angeles rock/pop/new wave outfit The Ceremonies, is a dead ringer for The Doors' Jim Morrison. And we're not just referring to his tight, fitted pants (rawr), strategically unbuttoned shirt, pensive stare, necklace chains, and brown, floppy hair. (Again, rawr.)
And here's where being an English major comes in handy! As self-proclaimed art and literature fans, The Ceremonies cite influences like British futurist writer Aldous Huxley and British poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake. And who else liked to reference / borrowed their name from Huxley and Blake's favorite phrase, "the doors of perception"? Yep... The Doors!
But! Unlike The Doors' trademark bluesy/psychedelic rock sound, The Ceremonies' jangly vibe is teeming with upbeat earworm melodies, pastoral, Fleet Foxes-esque harmonies, a smattering of horns, and twinkling synths.
Get ready to fall in love with alt-pop/R&B sister act HAIM.
If you're not yet familiar with Los Angeles alt-pop /R&B outfit HAIM, it's time to change that immediately. No, really, go to your room. OK, come out of your room and let's talk about HAIM, aka three enormously talented sisters, Este, Alana, and Danielle Haim, singers of such (soon-to-be) hits as "Don't Save Me," "The Wire," "Forever," and "Falling," all of which are set to appear on the girls' forthcoming debut album, Days Are Gone.
One of our up-and-coming faves, CHVRCHES, are slated to perform at MTV Hive's Artist To Watch Live event, which you'll be able to stream on MTV Hive tonight at 10 p.m. ET! Hopefully you're familiar with the Glaswegian synth-pop trio, but just in case you're not totally up to speed, allow us to fill you in!
Last night, we met up with bandmates Lauren, Martin, and Iain to chat about everything from recording their debut LP, The Bones Of What You Believe (out Sept. 23), to their thoughts on Photoshopping cats' faces onto human bodies (obvs in favor). So, without further adieu, here are seven crucial reasons why you need to watch CHVRCHES' Artist To Watch Live show tonight and/ or generally be as obsessed with them as we are.
1.) THEY ARE PRO CAT PHOTOSHOPPING: After stating that the group handles their own Facebook and Twitter accounts, Lauren explained: "We've gotta have a place to put pictures of us Photoshopped with cats on our heads."
2.) THEY SWEAT FOR THEIR ART: Apparently, Lauren, Martin, and Iain's final The Bones Of What You Believe recording session took place in a grungy motel room in El Paso, Texas. To get the sound right on "By The Throat," they had to shut off the A/C, and (SPOILER ALERT) Texas is hot.
EDM king Dillon Francis is MTV's latest Artist to Watch.
Meet Dillon Francis: Sure, you could call him "just another EDM/remix DJ," but that wouldn't be accurate. Turns out Dillon's also a mega-talented visual artist (he started out dabbling in every art medium from printmaking to photography to graphic design), AND he's a musician in his own right.
Yep, Dillon remixes ultra-famous songs (uh, hello Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie"!), DJs, creates original work, helped found two little movements called "moombahton" (a fusion of house and reggaeton) and "moombahcore" (a variation of moombahton only infusing other weird phrases like gabber, breakcore, techstep, and brostep), AND he was our special correspondent at last spring's Hangout Fest! #BestFriends!
Get to know brooding R&B singer-songwriter The Weeknd.
Brooding R&B mastermind Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, knows a little something about, as his fellow Canadian Drake would say, "starting from the bottom." Before he was selling out venues and collaborating with everyone from Wiz Khalifa ("Remember You") to, well, Drake ("The Zone"), Abel started his career as an indie music darling, known for releasing all of his music for free online. And you know what they say: You catch more fans with free music than you do, by, er, asking them to pay for stuff.