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Prospect 2021 nominations announcement with Hannah Clarke.
E P S O F T H E Y E A R
"JOY AND FANTASY"
BY ADELPHI MUSIC FACTORY
Electronic powerhouse collective, Adelphi Music Factory released their 4 track EP 'Joy and Fantasy' in late 2020. Filled with high energy dance anthems that expertly blur the lines between dance and other sub-genres, this EP contains some seriously incredible summer hits. For example, the six and a half minute anthem, 'Cuba' is the perfect balance between current electronic music and old school club hits. Perfect for if you need a bit of workout motivation, or to recreate the festival vibes we're most likely going to miss out on this year. As their discography and presence across big-name stations like BBC Radio 1 continue to grow, we're positive we'll be hearing so much more from Adelphi Music Factory this year.
"FOREVER ISN'T LONG ENOUGH"BY ALFIE TEMPLEMAN
Prospect Music Award 2021 runner-up, Alfie Templeman has had a phenomenal year. At just 18 years old, 'Forever Isn't Long Enough' is his 8th EP and first official 'mini-album. If you're looking for a combination of chilled out indie vibes and funky tunes to blast in your car with the windows down, this is exactly what you need to be listening to right now. The track 'Wait, I Lied' features some really funky disco vibes and a really catchy bass riff, demonstrating just how versatile Alfie is, and that you never quite know what to expect from him. Except that it's going to great of course. The album received 4/5 stars from NME and is described as "experimentation across punchy summer anthems". Expect to be hearing a lot from him this year, and hopefully a full-length album!
"I'LL BE THERE"BY BEKA
Nottingham-born artist, BEKA, released her debut EP 'I'll Be There', with the leads of the same name boasting beautiful, ethereal vocals coupled with seriously catchy beats and powerful lyrics. Throughout the album, her harmonies are something that really stands out and set her apart from others in the pop scene. Every song feels effortlessly cool. For example, the track, 'My One' is insanely catchy and the whole EP is a must if you're a fan of a strong woman in pop. Each song really perfects the combination of beautiful vocals and upbeat, pop rhythms so well. She's sure to make her mark on the pop world and I can't wait to hear what she does next.
"GRAND NATIONAL"BY COURTING
Liverpool indie-rock four-piece, Courting, released their latest EP 'Grand National' in April of this year, with 2 songs already released as singles, and 2 previously unheard tracks. The lead song boasts funky guitar riffs and high energy vocals, a great representation of what to expect from the rest of the EP. Not only are they making great-sounding music, but they're also including a lot of social and political statements in their lyrics. For example, the lead track, 'Grand National' discusses the morality of horse racing and its cruel, exploitative nature. If you like punchy punk rock vocals with bags of wit and sarcasm and are a fan of bands such as Sports Team and Squid, this EP is most definitely for you.
"BE RIGHT BACK"BY JORJA SMITH
There's no denying that Jorja Smith has had an incredible last couple of years. Following her debut album, Smith's latest EP 'Be Right Back' was released to generally positive reviews, with the Guardian describing it as 'keeping the same flame burning'. Doing what she does best, this EP beautifully showcases Jorja's soulful vocals and the reoccurring themes of turbulent romance and social and political issues, that she captures so well. There's a great mix of hip hop and dancehall influences, coupled with acoustic guitar and piano instrumentation, which adds to that raw, stripped back feel. Her full length, the sophomore album is due for release in 2022 and absolutely can't wait to hear it.
"YOURS TRULY"BY MARTHA SKYE MURPHY
Following her, widely successful EP 'Heal' which was released last year, Martha Skye Murphy's latest EP, 'Yours Truly' is one of the most unique pieces of art you'll experience. Martha's vocals are so captivating and paired with beautifully written piano arrangements, the whole EP is strange and mysterious in the best way possible. In particular, the song Outis really stands out, giving off major Kate Bush Wuthering Heights vibes. There's truly no one doing what she's doing right now and the industry really needs people like Martha to reinvent what we know about pop and indie music, blur genres and keep music fresh and exciting. If you're looking for something a little bit different, you'll very quickly fall in love with Martha.
After hitting the huge milestone of 1 million Spotify streams after just 5 singles, the Irish quartet, NewDad, certainly did not disappoint with their hotly anticipated debut EP, 'Waves'. Lead singer Julie Dawson expresses hauntingly soft vocals coupled with classic indie-pop guitar riffs and beats, this album is the perfect soundtrack to any coming of age movie. A perfect example of this is their track 'Blue'. With hazy, slow rhythms, it's a very easy listen that anyone will enjoy. A brilliant collection of songs for every mood, expect to hear a lot from these guys in the near future.
"I CAN'T CRY FOR YOU"BY PHOEBE GREEN
Described by NME as creating 'soaring and glamorous pop that stands out from the crowd", Phoebe Green's latest EP is no exception. The Manchester-based indie-pop artist released 'I Can't Cry For You' at the end of 2020 and received exceptional reviews from major magazines such as NME, DIY and The Fader. Her half-spoken, half-sung style on the track, 'Reinvent', co-written by Juliette Jackson of The Big Moon, really shows off her charming, badass vocals that makes her such a special and unique artist. She also has a really powerful, dark side to her music, shown in the standout track 'Grit'. Creating such an impactful set of songs, Phoebe truly is a force to be reckoned with in the indie scene and we cannot wait to see what she does next.
"FOUR° IN WINTER"BY RACHEL CHINOURIRI
Prospect 2021 finalist, Rachel Chinouriri showcases beautifully produced, soul-inspired tracks on her latest EP, four degrees in winter. Across eight tracks, Chinouriri takes the listener on a journey across multiple genres and emotions. the track "give me a reason" is haunting yet sexy, whereas 'lose anything' is a beautifully written stripped back ballad. Speaking to NME, she says, "I wanted people to transcend into another world" as she described the meticulous process of building various sounds and harmonies to create music with a modern, ethereal feel. Every song feels so unique, yet somehow connects so perfectly to the others. She really is a true, raw talent, this is just the beginning for Rachel.
"DARK DAYS"BY YARD ACT
Released at the beginning of the year, the four-track EP, 'Dark Days' by Leeds rockers, Yard Act, gives off a post-apocalyptic feel, particularly in the single of the same name. I personally love when you can hear a singer's accent, and you definitely get that with Yard Act. Their combination of singing and talking creates a very cool, suave attitude, coupled with lots of northern colloquialisms such as, "I was shitting bricks". They deliver a lot of social and political themes within their lyrics, like the corruption of the media and police in the UK, a standout lyrics from the track Dark Days being, "I have the blues and I can't shake them loose, its a never-ending cycle of abuse". Fans of artists like Sam Fender who make proper, raw indie music and openly discuss worlds problems in their lyrics, definitely need to check out Yard Act.