Here are some of the artists we think are set to enjoy big years in 2014, from Amira Kheir to Kassoma.
Sudanese-Italian singer Amira Kheir has quickly won fans around the world with her idiosyncratic musical approach, which melds the sounds of her native Sudan with jazz, soul and Middle Eastern arrangements. Most striking initially is her remarkable voice, which makes the songs instantly accessible despite their eclectic influences.
Kheir has enjoyed extensive airplay, especially on the BBC, as well as performing at big events like the London Jazz Festival and the Festival Au Desert in Mali. Her second album, Alsahraa, came out in 2014.
Visit Amira Khier’s website here.
Based in Manchester, Kassoma are clearly following in the tradition of Oasis, Elbow, Doves and the other northern rock bands that brought soaring, emotive tunes into fashion over the last decade or so. They have been rewarded with sell-out gigs and even a few arena shows; certainly, their music sounds arena-ready.
In addition to the older bands mentioned above, Kassoma sound like they have followed the career of a number of their indie contemporaries with interest – don’t rule out the kind of crossover success enjoyed by Two Door Cinema Club and their ilk in the near future.
Kontiki Suite are in the grand tradition of English bands that take their influences from across the Atlantic – think Lee Mavers with his head to the speakers, listening to Leadbelly, or Graham Parker saving his cash to buy the latest soul records. Amusingly, their bio admits to an affection for the ‘B-troika brigade’, from The Beatles to The Beach Boys and The Byrds.
Debut album On Sunset Lake is a remarkably sunny record despite being written in the Lake District, with songs like See You In The Morning bridging the worlds of psychedelia and country to impressive effect.
Video: Benji. Hollywood + Open Up & Smile + In My Head + Part Of You. Acoustic. http://t.co/7pG39w0JRg
— Kontiki Suite (@kontikisuite) July 16, 2014