Originally hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand, Andrew and Victoria Knopp are the duo that makes up the indie-pop act The Response. Determined to faithfully translate their expansive albums from tape to stage, The Response have crafted a live show that utilizes every one of their limbs and will leave you wondering exactly how a mere two people can make so much noise. The Response has shared the stage with a variety of musicians and acts including Baio (of Vampire Weekend fame), Big Scary and Kate Boy. After releasing their third album in 2014, North of Nowhere, the pair packed a suitcase and headed for Canada, where they have been working on new material. They released the singles “You Wanted To Go” and “Hours,” which earned them global airplay and has helped build their fan base. Produced independently, all duties from writing, recording, mixing and mastering to artwork are undertaken by the resourceful pair. The Response continue to write and record and have completed a brand new single called “Holding Out For Something,” which has been compared to Arcade Fire, Liam Finn and Grizzly Bear.
STREAM: “Holding Out For Something”
Formed in late 2013, Greater Manchester’s Blossoms is a five-piece indie-pop outfit that in a short amount of time has become one of the hottest live bands around. The band was tipped very early as a “Band To Watch” by UK radio tastemaker and influencer Mike Walsh from Radio X in London, England. Members Tom Ogden, Charlie Salt, Josh Dewhurst, Joe Donovan and Myles Kellock have mastered their live show and displayed their talents at a number of festivals including SXSW, The Great Escape, T in the Park, Reading & Leads—even shows in Tokyo. Their self-titled debut album (Virgin/EMI), produced by James Skelly and Rich Turvey, peaked at No.1 on the UK Albums Chart, earning comparisons to The 1975 and Arctic Monkeys and praise from fans and music critics. Built for the road, Blossoms just wrapped up dates in the U.S. and Canada and recently announced UK dates for November and December.
WATCH: “Honey Sweet”
Lauren Waller is a Los Angeles-based artist, singer, songwriter, performer, musician, producer and stage manager. She’s currently pursuing a college degree in Theatre Arts Production and Design, with an emphasis in stage management. Artists ranging from Sara Bareilles and Ron Pope to Marina and the Diamonds and Daughter influence her, musically. Her soulful, compelling voice, with a touch of grit, attracting the listener to come along through this satisfying sonic release of substantive, straightforward, self-penned lyrics and complex arrangements. As a performer, she has previously shared the stage with several world-renowned musicians including Berlin featuring Terri Nunn, The Fixx and Helen Reddy. At the top of the year, Lauren released her Perhaps EP featuring the single “Never Were,” which earned global airplay. She has returned with a brand new single, “Down,” which has drawn early comparisons to Morcheeba and Feist.
AaRON is a duo from France consisting of members Simon Buret and Olivier Coursier. A few years ago, they received the European Border Breaker Award in Denmark and are supported by a well-deserved national infatuation and international recognition. The twosome released their third studio album, We Cut The Night, an electro-pop composition draped in a striking semi-darkness in France, and in April they released the Blouson noir EP worldwide digitally through Believe. The single “Blouson noir” was chosen for the worldwide campaign of L’Homme by Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, directed by Grammy-nominated American music video director, commercial director and filmmaker Colin Tilley, who also directed music videos for Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj. Presently, the French pair are touring and working on new music; they recently released a new video for the single “The Leftovers,” taken from their latest album We Cut The Night. Talented photographer Damien Blottière directed the video clip, where he took more than 2,000 pictures that he cut, removed and disposed that took six months to make the video, which is his first music video, which can be seen HERE.
WATCH: “The Leftovers”
Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions (BDCL) are an Afro-Indie pop rock band from Cape Town. The name originates from the lead singer’s name, Ben Dey, and the term Concrete Lions represents the strength and tenacity found in African culture. Musically, they fuse indie folk with some locally inspired Afro-pop beats to create their unique blend. Their philosophy is that music speaks a universal language and can be used to uplift and inspire communities all around the world. Formed in 2015, BDCL is made up of Ben Del (lead singer), Ongama Mona (lead guitar, backing vocals), Alex Birns (percussion) and Dillon Birns (bass). Their single “Easy Love” reached No.1 on the 5FM Top 10@10 rock chart and received positive feedback from critics, including top South African blog Texx and the City who stated the band were “one of Oppikoppi’s greatest surprises” regarding their performance at Rocking The Daisies 2016. BDCL are ready to unleash a new single, “Life On Mars,” and continue to work towards their anticipated EP release.
STREAM: “Life On Mars”
Raised between the Middle East and the West, Tamtam strives to serve as a musical bridge between these two regions. Her profound lyrics and her strong message stand out in today’s sea of music artists, where she presents to music lovers around the world a message of empowerment that encourages all people to use their voice to create positive change. Tamtam’s music and her story have been shared globally; from being featured on CNN‘s Great Big Story, to a number of online websites and blogs including Ozy, Upworthy, Girltalkhq, Thestoryexchange, Barakabits and more. She was asked to perform her song "Gender Game" at the 2015 See Jane Annual Symposiums, an organization founded by Geena Davis to encourage Gender equality in media. Her musical journey continues with her latest single “Old Soul”; a song that displays Tamtam’s talents, not only as a singer, but also as a strong songwriter with a unique and unifying musical energy. Tamtam is the first Saudi artist to debut a single exclusively with iTunes/Apple Middle East and generate support on key radio stations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Europe, South America, Asia, Australasia and Africa.
STREAM: “Old Soul”
All she had left was a pen, some paper and her thoughts. Thoughts filled with melodies. Thoughts filled with words. And that is all she really needed, so she kept traveling in galaxies of the abstract kind, knowing that this was her home. With her calm, intensive voice, 19-year-old Veronica Fusaro sings about all the little things, and with a little help of a few instruments, she makes them sound big. After canceling her guitar-lessons, Veronica taught herself everything she needed to produce her first EP in her parent’s basement. This resulted in Lost in Thought, – a collection of songs about hope, fear, the world and life – calmly played, but with a big impact on everyone who listens to it. Her music can be described as cool indie-pop with a touch of electronica. She won both the Pop and Demo of the Year awards at the M4Music Festival 2016 in Zurich and is the featured vocalist on the upcoming Klischée tracks “I Don’t Know” and “Man on the Moon” to be released in October from the album Bend The Rules.
Dublin’s Tara Lee is a rising singer/songwriter/producer and actress now based in London. Citing influences ranging from Blondie to Massive Attack to heartfelt songwriters such as Tori Amos and Diane Warren, Tara has the unique ability to write raw emotional and connecting ballads to contemporary edgy pop songs. Tara was asked to compose the theme song for the International TV series Jack Taylor and was also featured in the new series The Fall, the hit BBC drama where she starred alongside Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. Tara had a busy 2015 filming the UK movie Moon Dogs, where she performs a leading role, directed by Philip John (Downton Abbey). Tara will also be playing the lead support role in the new Irish film A Date for Mad Mary, produced by the award winning director Ed Guiney (The Guard/Garage), which won Best Film at the Galway Film Fleadh. Tara is an accomplished songwriter and in recent months has written with Blair MacKichan (Paloma Faith, Sia, Lily Allen), Justin Broad (Jessie J, Raleigh Ritchie, Izzy Bizu) and Jonas Quant (No Doubt, Hurts, Kylie Minogue). She’s currently writing and recording with renowned producer Jonas Quant and is due to release her new EP over the coming months.
Jason Aaron Coons was born in Birmingham, Alabama; during his high school years, he moved to Indiana, where he studied Fine Arts at The Jacobs School of Music. Once considered a well-kept musical secret, Jason, known best under the stage name JAC, has emerged as one of modern music’s most credible and promising new artists. Equipped with glowing press accolades, capacity-attendance headlining club shows, and support gigs for Ben Folds, Andrew W.K., Robert DeLong and She Wants Revenge on his resume, excitement continues to build around him and his music. As his tunes and videos continue earning thousands of plays online, and his ever-growing fan base uniting around his infectious, lyrically candid songs, it would seem that fortune is truly on his side.
STREAM: “How We Operate”
Indie-pop trio Middle Kids is Sydney’s latest music export. Members Hannah Joy, Tim Fitz and Harry Day released their debut single “Edge of Town” and set the bar pretty steep for their upcoming EP, due later this year. The track is essentially the story of a girl who was consumed by the world, featuring Hannah’s powerful vocals, united with the clever music created by Tim and Harry. This summertime feel-good song displays the confidence of Middle Kids and makes you hunger for more.
STREAM: “Edge of Town”