It’s the start of a new year, and everywhere you look, someone is making some sort of list summing up the last year. I’m not going to pretend to be above all that, and instead, I’ll jump in with both feet. Everyone is going to have their own opinions about this year in music, but these are the artists that I’ve discovered and rediscovered this year, in no particular order. Enjoy!
1. Little Mix
If you haven’t heard of this British girl group it’s time for you to Get. On. It! After forming on the X Factor in 2011, they went on to win the competition, and have since released 3 albums. I had definitely heard them before this year, but I didn’t know it was them I was hearing. They released their third album, Get Weird, this year, and it is some solid girl group goodness, my friends. Not only have they released some genuinely fun and catchy tunes, but if you get a chance to catch them live, they will blow you away with flawless harmonies and fun dance routines. I became a true convert after watching their performance of Grown at the Apple Music Festival earlier this year. Honestly, I could watch them sing together for hours and never get tired of it. They’re flawless.
Chvrches is a Scottish electronic band who have been around since 2011, but I only just found them a few months ago. Their music has a bit of an 80s pop feel to it, and they’re entire album is worth a listen. They’re newest single off the album Every Eye Open, is called Leave a Trace, and it so fun and catchy. You’ll be running to Spotify to listen to the entire album before you know it.
3. Troye Sivan
If I’m being perfectly honest, I discovered Troye long before this year, but he finally released his debut album a few months ago and I haven’t stopped listening to it since (I’m genuinely listening to it as I write.) Troye is an Australian singer/songwriter who got his start on YouTube with covers and vlog styles videos. I discovered him for myself 2 years ago when he released an original song inspired by the John Green novel, The Fault in our Stars. The song shares a title with the book, and is incredibly sad and beautiful. Since then, I have been anxiously awaiting his album, and I have not been disappointed. Please do yourself a favor and check this kid out.
Halsey is an incredible artist who has had an even more incredible year. I first heard her when her song, Hold Me Down, was popular earlier this year. After that song, I heard about her all the time, but never felt the urge to search her out. After I came to my senses, literally a month ago, I started listening to her album, Badlands. You guys, I stuck my head in the sand for 6 months and I’ve never been more disappointed in myself. I have listened to this album nonstop since downloading it, and I don’t think I will ever stop. She is also an incredibly outspoken feminist, and just generally a great role model for young women trying to find themselves in this hectic world, and that’s something I can get behind.
5. 5 Seconds of Summer
5SOS is an Australian pop-punk band who came into the public eye when they went on tour with One Direction in 2013 and again in 2014. We’ve all heard their crazy popular single, Looks So Perfect, but when they released their newest album, Sounds Good Feels Good, I knew that this band was one I could get behind. They kicked it off by releasing the single, She’s Kinda Hot, which blew me away. From there, they just get better. It’s a step back into my teenage years listening to All Time Low and Simple Plan, but with a whole new band. If you’re into the the punk sound from the early 2000s, get ready to be blown away by these 4 incredibly talented guys.
6. Panic! At The Disco
If you were alive in 2005, you have without a doubt heard I Write Sins Not Tragedies. If you have to look it up, I’ll wait. I promise you know this song. Anyway, I was a huge fan of the band back in high school, but lost interest and stopped listening years ago. This year, lead singer, Brendon Urie, pulled me right back in when I heard the song Hallelujah, and I’m back to being obsessed. The new album is coming out later this month, but with several songs already released from the album, I can already tell I’m gonna love it. It you haven’t listened to this band in a while, give them another try. You won’t regret it.
7. One Direction
Alright, lets not pretend like you didn’t see this coming. My love for this band has been well documented, and I’m not going to start acting like I don’t love them now. I’ve spent this entire year obsessing over Harry Styles and company, but when they released their newest album in November, I gained a new appreciation for their songwriting abilities. Made In The A.M. is almost entirely written by the members of the band, and it is without a doubt the most unique album yet. With the band taking the next 18 months off, they were able to create something not specifically targeted to their giant stadium production. The result is a thoughtful and diverse piece of art that I have been unable to stop listening to. Every song is a masterpiece.
8. Fall Out Boy
These guys have been around for over 10 years, but after taking a 4 year hiatus, they came back with a vengeance a couple years ago. This year they released the album American Beauty American Psycho, and I love everything about it. FOB is constantly evolving and changing their sound within the punk-rock world and I get so excited every time they release something new. I’ve seen them live several times and it creates an even greater appreciation for them as a band. If you haven’t listened to them in a while, you should definitely check them out.
9. Taylor Swift
Taylor is another artist I rediscovered this year. I get it, she’s everywhere; but for the last several years, I have really paid her no attention. When I was 16, Teardrops on my Guitar was released, and it was my anthem. I listened to Taylor’s first 2 albums religiously, and absolutely adored her. After the release of her 3rd album though, I lost interest and only listened to Taylor Swift when she was forced upon me in some way. If I’m honest, I probably was trying too hard to fit in by shunning the music, but after years of avoiding the inevitable, I was reconverted, and I’m once again a Swift fangirl. 1989 had a massive year, and is by far Taylor’s most successful album. The 80s inspired pop album has everyone raving, and I’m more than happy to join the masses in praising the current Queen of Pop.
Okay, so this is obvious. Adele disappeared from our lives for 4 years after the massive success of her last album, 21. For years we’ve been waiting for her to release some new music for us to cry to, and this year, it finally happened. After a surprise TV spot played on British television advertising her new single, the world lost it’s collective mind. She came out of nowhere with her incredible single, Hello, and a month later released her 3rd album, 25. Every record was broken and every mind was blown when her album came out, and we’ve all been sobbing since.
So there it is! What artists have you been obsessing over this year? Let us know so we can check them out in 2016!