Next Wave Class Of 2014: The Very Best Of The Rest

From The Hics to Jungle via Courtney Barnett and Dornik…

As Clash runs new band features in our Next Wave section all year round, our spotlight interviews with a select few may-they-do-wells – find them all here – were engineered so that we weren’t repeating ourselves too much. But it should come as no surprise, what with our appetite for new music, that the team here has a good few more tips for 2014.

So, in brief, here’s a list of acts (on top of the already published some) who we’re hoping to see go on to brilliant things in the year to come.

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“The music of Jungle is universally smooth, and inflected with Motown soul. The double-tracked vocals – one octave apart – hark back to a ‘70s sound, but this is a faster groove than your casual mellow funk.” Those were our thoughts when we met the mysterious collective in October. With one of the UK’s best labels apparently in pursuit, we expect Jungle’s debut album to be one of the most anticipated in years. (Read our full Jungle feature.)

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Courtney Barnett (pictured)

She’s a Melbourne-based slacker-pop songwriter with a wondrous imagination and some magical lyrics. On ‘Avant Gardener’ she makes a day of gardening into a fascinating tale, and ‘History Eraser’ is a quixotic daydream with tractor rides and lemonade-washed jeans. We expect her to grow into a cross between Mac DeMarco and Lewis Carroll.

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Sway Clarke II

This Berlin-based Canadian has a voice smoother than brandy cream, and Frank Ocean fans can get a fix here. But Clarke also impresses instrumentally. ‘I Don’t Need Much’ is a codeine-soaked R&B ballad yet, contrastingly, forthcoming track ‘Secret Garden’ is a stomping pop track. His current ascension should guide him naturally into 2014’s limelight.

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As a Royal Academy student, it’s no surprise that the gospel-inflected soul croon of Kwabena Adjepong has turned heads, but it wasn’t until his recent collaboration with producer SOHN on ‘Last Stand’ that we realised the myriad ways he could work those pipes.

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The Hics

The Hics specialise in lushly textured electro, and have been on the rise since their debut EP ‘Tangle’ hit the web in September. Their consequent debut headline show, at London’s 750-capacity Electrowerkz, was a sell-out – not an insubstantial feat for a band barely past their first birthday. (Read our full feature on The Hics.)

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Lion Babe

This NY duo mixes neo-soul with splashes of fierce R&B to create a sound that is danceable, nostalgic and lyrically flammable. After a year of being spun by everyone from Kate Moross to Solange Knowles, it’s hard to believe that ‘Treat Me Like Fire’ is still the only fully mastered release to surface. Word has it an EP approaches, so we wait like a quivering pronghorn for the aggressive advance of Lion Babe. (Read our full feature on Lion Babe.)

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Dornik started out as Jessie Ware’s drummer, but after releasing a hazy, Blood Orange-like slow jam in ‘Something About You’, he’s become a name in his own right on PMR Records. Expect his forthcoming second single ‘Rebound’, an upbeat ‘90s funk track, to get some serious love in the first quarter.

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Until The Ribbon Breaks

Welshman Pete Lawrie Winfield has surfaced the music industry once before, but his new alias as Until The Ribbon Breaks marks the move to a distinct new realm of drum machines, bass lines, and powerful hooks. His ‘A Taste of Silver’ EP has just dropped on Universal’s Republic Records, and it’s a bold sign of intent.

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Denai Moore 

20-year-old Denai Moore’s music has the intimate confessional feel of fellow Londoner Lianne La Havas: a bare-bones backdrop of piano and guitar set the scene for her world weary tales of love and loss. With Plan B already involved with production, a stage is being set. (Read our full Denai Moore feature.)

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Royal Blood

Face melting… If you had to sum Royal Blood up in two words, that’d be it. This insanely loud power duo from Brighton pack a ferocious punch. Matt Helders from Arctic Monkeys wore a Royal Blood T-shirt on stage when they headlined Glastonbury, and it’s been all go since then. (Read our full feature with Royal Blood.)

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Words: Joe Zadeh, Jamie Carson, Rob Knaggs

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