‘With the sound of mainstream music changing, and listeners expecting more from it, 2020 could well be the breakthrough year for these artists.’
As you will have seen from the first part of the Ones to Watch in 2020, choosing who to include has been incredibly tricky. However, while the first 10 have all been featured in some way during 2019, the final 10 include a real mix of artists including two who haven’t been reviewed yet and four who I didn’t know existed until very recently. Artists listed in order of when they were first featured.
Coverage in 2019: Track Review: All Works Out, Behind the Music: Interview with Talkboy, Gig Review: Talkboy at The September Session and #FridayFinds playlisting for Hollow Spheres
Releases this year: Over & Under EP containing their 6 singles to date.
Why should you get to know them? While 2018 signalled the start of Talkboy’s releases, this year has proved to be incredibly successful for them. Delivering a continuous output of high quality, earworm infused tracks, they most definitely bring a sound that’s more mainstream sounding than many other artists featured on Listen to Discover. Building on the fan base that’s grown throughout 2019 – thanks to countless energetic performances – and the release of their tracks-to-date EP ‘Over & Under’, 2020 should ensure even more people are talking about them.
Find and follow Talkboy on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Coverage this year: Track Review: Reign and Behind the Music: Interview with TOYGIRL
Releases this year: Reign
Why should you get to know them? Releasing just one track this year – their debut ‘Reign’ – it may seem strange to already have them as a one to watch. However, giving us such a strong debut, one which to date has been heard almost 80,000 times, they instantly put themselves in a strong position for moving forward. Blending mainstream sounds with jazz and RnB influences, it’s clear that listeners want more from them. Equally, with their track-titled tour of Ireland being so well received, and UK performances as well as future releases planned for next year, there is no doubting they have a bright musical future ahead of them.
Find and follow TOYGIRL on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Coverage this year: Track Review: Stuck Under the Surface and #FridayFinds playlisting for Eastcote EP
Releases this year: Stuck Under the Surface and Eastcote EP
Why should you get to know him? One of the first things you will probably notice about Sam’s music is how incredibly personal and infectious it is. Whether it’s the foot-tapping folky sound of ‘Medicine for My Brain’ or the touchingly reflective, yet energetic ‘Stuck Under the Surface’ his tracks perfectly fit among the others who bring life experiences into their music. Providing support to numerous artists across the UK and joining Plested on his UK and European tour in 2019, his forthcoming releases and already scheduled headline shows mean it really won’t be long before artists are providing support for him on a regular basis.
Find and follow Sam Johnson on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Coverage this year: Gig Review: Scala
Releases this year: Suddenly Everyone Explodes album
Why should you get to know them? Taking the UK by storm with their Suddenly Everyone Explodes tour, Plastic Mermaids were most definitely a huge highlight discovery of 2019. Creative, phenomenally exciting to experience and producing tracks that have the power to evoke a different emotion at every turn, they really have to be one of the most under-rated bands out of not just the artists on Listen to Discover, but the whole of the UK. Honestly. With releases from 2014 and their truly standout album bringing an abundance of originality and endless interest, they could well be what the music industry needs right now. Surely 2020 has to be the year they get the recognition they completely deserve.
Find and follow Plastic Mermaids on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Dancing on Tables
Coverage this year: Gig Photography: Camden Assembly
Releases this year: Black (full and acoustic), Wonderland, Transpose EP and Stay
Why should you get to know them? Much like their name, Scottish band Dancing on Tables brings a sound that is sure to get you singing as well as dancing your troubles away. Discovering them through a live performance at Camden Assembly for CloseUp PR, it was the best way to see how big the growing momentum around them was. With a mix of influences which switch seamlessly between relatable pop, folk vocal harmonies, rocky riffs and driving synths, there really is a hell of a lot to enjoy. And at that gig in October everyone certainly did. If you haven’t already, head here to get your tickets for their forthcoming tour and prepare to be Dancing on Tables in 2020.
Find and follow Dancing on Tables on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Coverage this year: Gig Photography: Camden Assembly
Releases this year: Vice, It’ll Be Alright and I Can’t Stand It.
Why should you get to know them? Featuring as headliners at the gig where Dancing on Tables supported, Only Sun with their combination of high-octane, instantly catchy musicality and infectious lyricism made an even greater impact. Discovering them this way, it truly showcased why – even in a year that was quieter release wise – their countless performances in 2019 have been so successful. Honestly, if you want some tracks to brighten up your days as we start 2020, let Only Sun be your soundtrack. That way, when they announce a gig near you, you’ll know to get your tickets fast.
Find and follow Only Sun on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
And finally, four discoveries that are just as incredible as the other 16, but so recent that no coverage has been given yet.
Releases this year: Dirty Dreamer EP
Why should you get to know them? Delivering intriguing electro-pop with their self-titled debut EP, this 4 piece fronted by the soft vocals of singer-songwriter Louise Gaffney – who you may remember from Zaska’s It’s Ridiculous – really are right at the start of their career. The sound of their first extended-release just this month is anything but. Already there is much to enjoy from the four tracks – more than some albums – and if this is a sign of things to come, their fan base should grow wonderfully in 2020.
Find and follow Dirty Dreamer on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Releases this year: One Last Embrace, Girls, White Lines and Just Goes to Show (both piano versions)
Why should you get to know her? Releasing tracks as far back as 2014 with her Water’s EP, Eliza really is an artist I should have discovered much sooner. And that is exactly why she makes this list. Whether it’s the stripped back connectivity of her acoustic reworkings of previous releases or the driving power of her most recent tracks, she is a musical force to be reckoned with. Add to that a vocal that’s as stylistically varied as you could want, and you have an artist that delivers everything a new artist should.
Find and follow Eliza Shaddad on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Releases this year: Not My Stories To Tell EP
Why should you get to know her? Containing influences that are as broad as could be, and a vocal that effortlessly draws you into the beautiful story-telling of the lyricism, Blossom’s tracks are a true joy to listen to. Listening back to her debut EP – which was released in 2017 – it’s clear that even with the rawness, she knew how to use her voice to best effect. However, fast forward 2 years and it’s just as clear how much that sound has developed. Offering real contrasts in her latest 4-track EP, it’s a perfect showcase of what her 2020 could sound like.
Find and follow Blossom Caldarone on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Releases this year: OK Love You Bye EP
Why should you get to know her? Firmly bringing female soul into today’s music scene, the inflections with Olivia’s tone contain all the hallmarks of classic artists from decades ago. Moving from softly soaring lines and more angular, punchy phrases her tracks are the blend of assured musicality and sophisticated production. There is no doubting the success she has already had given the two previously released tracks on the EP having achieved huge listening figures, but with the other two offering something new, it’s a beautiful introduction to where she is heading.
Find and follow Olivia Dean on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Discover the other chosen artists at: Listen to Discover’s Ones to Watch in 2020: Part 1