16 FOR ’16: New Year, New Acts

Some of the sweet sixteen.

Some of the sweet sixteen for ’16.

After all the endless social media posts about our Spotify mixes and SoundCloud favorites, you’re probably wondering about the top acts in the bunch out of the hundreds of under the radar musicians that we’ve been going through all year. Well, here it is. All year long, we’ve been jamming to the killer tracks released by these great soloists and bands. They have the stats and the support on their side, and it looks like it’ll be a good 2016 for all them. (At least, we’re hoping that it will be.) Here’s the 16 For ’16, a small list of acts we think are due for even bigger success and breakout moments next year:

(Listen to our 16 For ’16 Playlist on Spotify)

A R I Z O N A
A R I Z O N A
Current Location: New Jersey
Most Recent Release: “Where I Wanna Be” (October) (BUY – single)

Recently signed at Atlantic Records, this band named after the Grand Canyon State, but currently based in the Garden State, saw their audience grow off of four ripe single releases. Both their original versions and remixes received love from the blogosphere.

Cape Cub
Cape Cub
Current Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Most Recent Release: “Keep Me In Mind” (October) (BUY – single)

Singer Chad Male released two stellar singles this year, “Swim” and the aforementioned “Keep”, both of which hit the blog world and achieved success. The latter tune was featured on Apple Music and BBC Radio 6. Will this Cub become a lion king? I hope so.

CAPPA
CAPPA
Current Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Most Recent Release: “Goddess” (December) (BUY – single)

Nashville’s Carla Cappa has had some huge support from Spotify’s weekly new releases playlist this year, which jump-started her “No Scrubs” interpolation to over 1.8 million streams, her most successful song in 2015. The pop goodness is bound to continue.

Dagny
Dagny
Current Location: Tromsø, Norway
Most Recent Release: “Backbeat” (September) (BUY – single)

She calls herself a “songbird from the north of Norway”, and just like her location, her stats are also headed north. Recently, her outstanding track exceeded 1.6 million streams on Spotify and grabbed some major support from Beats 1 around its launch time.

FLETCHER
FLETCHER
Current Location: New York City, New York
Most Recent Release: “Live Young Die Free” (November) (BUY – “War Paint”)

When your track has 21 million Spotify streams, 7 of which belong to a remix, you know you have a hit on your hands. This is not some “Paint”-by-numbers pop, people. It is a real story. With no label or radio, this independent campaign was a refreshing one.

FRENSHIP
FRENSHIP
Current Location: Los Angeles, California
Most Recent Release: “Knives” [with Matoma] (November) (BUY – single)

This duo returned in 2015 with a series of well-received remixes, an original single titled “Nowhere” and their collaboration with a Norwegian DJ/producer that’s still racking up streams everywhere. Two heads are better than one, and 2016 will be better too.

Lauv
Lauv
Current Location: New York City, New York
Most Recent Release: Lost In The Light EP (September) (BUY – EP)

Summing up Ari Leff’s 2015 as “big” would be an understatement. Four million Spotify streams and a publishing contract later, a lot has been happening for the college kid from New York. Choice cuts from his debut effort include “Reforget” and “The Other”.

Lawrence Taylor
Lawrence Taylor
Current Location: London, United Kingdom
Most Recent Release: Bang Bang EP (November) (BUY – EP)

Taylor’s been posting music online and performing live since 2011, but it was in 2015 that his name really got out there. The buzz is certainly there now thanks to his playlisting across multiple services, syncs, acoustic clips and more. That is a really big “Bang”.

LÉON
LÉON
Current Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Most Recent Release: Treasure EP (December) (BUY – EP)

From the country that’s given us so many amazing pop acts over the last four decades comes another one that’s bound to become a big name in 2016. “Nobody Knows” and “Tired Of Talking” lead the way on this shiny set and what should be a solid full-length.

Lostboycrow
Lostboycrow
Current Location: Los Angeles, California
Most Recent Release: “Love Won’t Sleep” (December) (BUY – single)

Singer/songwriter Chris Blair has seen his star rise from even the beginning of this year, from mid-charting tracks to unanimous blog acclaim. It comes as no surprise that his most recent song is a former #1 on the Hype Machine survey. This bird is gonna fly.

Mackenzie Thoms
Mackenzie Thoms
Current Location: Los Angeles, California
Most Recent Release: “Hostage” (September) (BUY – “Conviction”)

Former American Idol contestant Thoms released “Conviction” for hot Nashville label South x Sea this year, and it soared to the top of the Hype Machine listing a few days later. Look for his forthcoming “Do Me All Again” to, well, do it all over again in 2016.

Maty Noyes
Maty Noyes
Current Location: Los Angeles, California
Most Recent Release: “Stay” [with Kygo] (December) (BUY – single)

Noyes signed with Lava Records in 2014, but now, she has an international hit on her hands with “Stay”, as mentioned above. On her own, she’s uploaded two songs on SoundCloud and has a soundtrack cut. 2016 is sounding nice if everything comes together.

Michael Blume
Michael Blume
Current Location: New York City, New York
Most Recent Release: “Colors” (October) (BUY – single)

Blume’s future R&B sound and loaded lyrics became a favorite on the blog circuit in July when “Manufactured Love” first hit the web, while follow-up “Colors” expanded his musical palette into the Alternative world. It’s aesthetically and musically intriguing.

Ruth B.
Ruth B.
Current Location: Alberta, Canada
Most Recent Release: The Intro EP (November) (BUY – EP)

Signed this year by Columbia Records, this young singer/songwriter’s “Lost Boy” has nearly 20 million streams on Spotify and is still selling several thousand downloads per week. With some early adds detected at the Hot AC format, this might be huge soon.

Secret Weapons
Secret Weapons
Current Location: New York City, New York
Most Recent Release: “Something New” (September) (BUY – single)

This duo’s catchy single was quickly snapped up by Epic Records a few months ago and finds itself north of 1.6 million streams, a total that continues to grow thanks to some Spotify playlisting. Next up for them… zombies? Get ready for another haunting hit.

Young Brother
Young Brother
Current Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Most Recent Release: Kamikaze EP (June) (BUY – EP)

Singer Dalton Diehl released one of my favorite EPs of 2015 with Kamikaze, and now, a remix of the title track is on the move on Spotify’s U.S. Viral 50 listing. He has an exciting pop and radio-ready sound, one that definitely needs more love in the new year.

(Listen to our 16 For ’16 Playlist on Spotify)

Sixteen more names to look out for in 2016:
Aaron Taos (SoundCloud)
Apollo LTD (SoundCloud)
BANNERS (SoundCloud)
Bibi Bourelly (SoundCloud)
BROADHURST (SoundCloud)
EDEN (SoundCloud)
Gnash (SoundCloud)
Harrison Brome (SoundCloud)
Harrison Storm (SoundCloud)
Jake Troth (SoundCloud)
KYKO (SoundCloud)
Matt Woods (SoundCloud)
Rationale (SoundCloud)
The Mosers (SoundCloud)
WΛVE & ROME (SoundCloud)
Whissell (SoundCloud)

Who are your favorites from the list above? Who else should be check out in 2016? Let us know! Comment below or find us on a social media page of choice by clicking our “Get Social!” tab above.

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