Remarkable Future Sounds 2021

We don’t have a crystal ball, but here we summon our thoughts on the rising stars of 2021, who we predict may shape the sounds of tomorrow.

Nov 25th 2021 by Moodagent

Shygirl (Photo: Trinity Ellis)

There’s enough rap verse, hardcore, electronic industrial to eke out any last frustrations of the pandemic, and more than enough excellent r&b, pop and indie to sooth and inspire the next life unfoldings. We loved how bold and beautiful artists’ comebacks and debuts have been during this rough patch, and can’t wait to see a new era of interaction and live experience give way to more sonic glory.

Jeuru: ‘Cut A Rug’

From Queens, via Copenhagen, for fans of Frank Ocean and Usher. A total gem on the Copenhagen scene. He returned with yet more crowning glory single releases this year, with video dance routines fierce enough to make you throw away the furniture. Await his 2022 explosion.

Obongjayar: ‘Message in a Hammer’

From Nigeria, via South London, for fans of Moses Sumney and serpentwithfeet. It’s not long now before you’ll be seeing and hearing this guy on every wave; and for good reason. His rhymes have a certain irony and sensitivity that’s elevated by his tongue-in-cheek videos. But he’s anything but a provocateur.

Death Tour: ‘D*E*S*T*R*O*Y’

From Oregon and for fans of Fever 333 and Death Grips. Urgent, hyper, political ragers with a lot on their chest: we can’t blame them. Listen to the title track from their heady 2021 album and release your feels.

The Heliocentrics: ‘Telemetric Sounds’

The London-based jazz fusion ensemble brings a ruckus that we need after the staleness and stillness of a million lockdowns. Both Telemetric Sounds and Infinity of Now present happy cacophonies and skill and vibration that is set to get you moving into the new year.

Shygirl: ‘BDE’

The British multi-talent has pretty much every attribute there is in the music world: rapper, producer, label founder, DJ, muse. Her collabs include Arca, Sega Bodega and SOPHIE. Their single  ‘BDE’ (with Slowthai) pushed boundaries with it’s saucy language and surprise collab. Her debut album could be coming oh so soon.

Erika de Casier: ‘No Butterflies, No Nothing’

We can't get enough of de Casier's smooth, subtle yet attitude-laden vibe, and as we’ve watched her scopp national prizes and international nods all year, we know we’re not alone. On 'Polite' and ‘Good Time’ she exhibited more of that tight production - and her album simply does not disappoint with its Aaliyah frames of reference. Watch this star-in-the-making.

Lyra Pramuk: ‘Witness’

American-born, Berlin-based ambient siren Lyra has travelled through a number of guises to reach now; her ethereal sonic peak to date. Don't miss this uber-special LP of Ableton-meets-soul mastery, and the remix version that followed. Overall, don’t miss her spectral live performance if you can help it.

Mdou Moctar: 'Ya Habibti'

The psychedelic rocker from Niger has made waves on in recent years. A personal and sensitive approach to storytelling has seen him singing about body politics, geopolitics and other sites of human suffering. His most recent album was nothing short of alive and beautiful and we’re thrilled to await the next movements.

Tems: ‘Crazy Tings’

A spiritual force of nature whose sound and style makes you want to dance. After appearing on Drake’s 2021 surprise drop, her star status has soared, but Tems counted Alicia Keys and Whizkid amongst her greatest supporters. Her powerful EP For Broken Ear is a great place to experience her refreshing rehaul of the typical sounds of her nation: she esches Afrobeat for her own alternative shiny soul-pop style, whilst her later If Orange Was a Place EP is less directly confessional and more poetic.

Snail Mail: ‘Ben Franklin’

Just when you think you don’t need another sweet, navel-gazing indie act, comes along Snail Mail, the solo project of American Lindsay Jordan. This song is just one belter from her sophomore album, Valentine, which meditates on recovery post rehab in a light and gorgeous manner.

Words by Alexandra Pereira

Listen to our playlist of remarkable future sounds in Moodagent

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