Best New Artists

The Best New Artists of October 2022, featuring Santangelo, The Hellp, Blake Saint David, Hadji Gaviota, Aundrey Guullaume, Tsubi Club, and more.

Best New Artists October 2021
P&P Original

Image by Sho Hanafusa

Best New Artists October 2021

Every month, we round up some of our favorite new music discoveries. Look back at all of our Best New Artists here and keep up with them all on the Best New Artists playlists on Spotify and Apple.

Aundrey Guillaume

Aundrey Guillame

Elusive Inland Empire rapper Aundrey Guillaume coasts over a hypnotic beat in his newest single “ANTI,’’ channeling a casual cadence that suggests the confidence of a hip-hop veteran. Recently signed to label Secretly Canadian, “ANTI’’ serves as the first single from Aundrey’s upcoming EP VIOLET. Aundrey has previously released music on streaming platforms, but seems to have wiped the slate clean for a new era.

The monochrome visuals for “ANTI” open on an introspective note. “In order to elevate, you got to seperate, not from your family or your peers, but yourself,” Aundrey says. This sets the tone for the single—brooding and melancholic in delivery, but still maintaining a bounce carried by Aundrey’s repeated ad-libs and percussive thrum. The ambience of the video melds with a deadpan flow laced with a hint of mischief. The product of purging negative experiences, Aundrey describes “ANTI’’ as his comfort zone, sharing that “it helped me realize just how much I needed to get a lot of things I had bottled up inside, out through record.”

The youngest of nine and immersed in a deeply musical family, Aundrey was already cultivating his talents at a young age. Spending his childhood performing at a local church with his siblings and being challenged to strive for more by his father created a competitiveness within Aundrey. Further down the road he formed a rap group Knowname with his friends, but tragedy struck when he was kicked out of his mother’s house and lost his older brother who’d taken him in and encouraged his musical ambitions. This tumultuous time left music as an outlet for Aundrey to heal. Decades, two demos, and a label signing later, Aundrey has kept this dedication close to his heart.—Sabine Adorney

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In dark times, music can act as a much-needed escape—a companion that provides some comfort in an age of uncertainty. Santangelo’s new song “Bliss” is not that.

Sonically and lyrically, “Bliss” reflects the chaos we see on a daily basis. It swells like a panic attack during a stop at the Yeezus tour where the walls are caving in and members of the crowd are turning on each other. This song is not easy listening, but it’s a visceral release and it provides some much-needed balance to the soundscape of 2021, which is largely occupied by sterile bops and gratuitous vibes. Santangelo’s intentions had nothing to do with any of that, though.“‘Bliss’ was just my attempt at making sense of it all,” he tells us.

Santangelo is a New York City-based artist and somewhat of an underground hometown hero who’s been on our radar for a while. We covered him on Pigeons & Planes years ago when he was going by another name, and more recently featured his work as a graphic designer alongside acts like Omar Apollo, Noname, JPEGMAFIA, Mick Jenkins, and more. He’s not new to creative work, but “Bliss” is his most urgent and immediate output yet, and he’s planning an ambitious project called AdWorld for 2022. Follow along here for more.—Jacob Moore

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Blake Saint David

Blake Saint David

Blake Saint David is a Chicago artist mixing R&B and rap with experimental production and a razor sharp wit that takes on celebrity idol worship, fake Yeezy sneakers, and capitalism over the course of a brisk 18-minute-long new EP. Be Your Own Celebrity may be over quickly, but not a moment is wasted as sounds and ideas are introduced, twisted into new shapes, and left in the rearview while Blake speeds forward. The EP is mostly self-produced, but whatever genres they are deftly mixing, the production never overwhelms Blake’s rapping and singing, allowing earworm melodies to shine through song after song. 

Be Your Own Celebrity is poking fun at the dynamics of celebrity culture, and highlighting the way that art causes people to exploit their identity,” Blake Saint David tells us. “There’s a ton of power that comes with what I consider manipulation (commercial art), but it is our responsibility to be earnest with our attempts to impact the world or else we’ll damage it. The message behind the content is ultimately to point out that we shouldn’t idolize these people [celebrities] because of their proximity to the things we love. We need to start making our own everything… Being our own everything. That goes for everything. From opinions to fashion advice to music taste. Stop living in an echo chamber. You can do that too.” 

From the artwork to music videos to amusing promo clips that reference famous celebrity run-ins with paparazzi or satirize press conferences, Blake Saint David delivers a cohesive package with Be Your Own Celebrity. The full EP is out this week, on October 29 via Chicago tastemaker label Sooper Records.—Alex Gardner

The Hellp

The Hellp

The Hellp is Noah Dillon and Chandler Ransom Lucy. The two met years ago on the set of a Hot Mess photoshoot (Hot Mess is the name of Dillon’s project with Luka Sabbat). Dillon, with the intention of starting a band, asked Lucy to learn how to play the drums one day, and The Hellp was formed.

After dropping a few singles and an EP between 2016 and 2019, The Hellp seemed to go quiet. They continued teasing new music online that never materialized on streaming services, all while pursuing other interests. Several years later, the band signed to Terrible Records and put out Vol. 1, a compilation of their “most vital work.” 

Fast-forward five months, and The Hellp is back with Enemy, their debut EP on Terrible. Dillon’s vocals on Enemy are fervent and emotional, not unlike Xiu Xiu frontman Jamie Stewart’s drawl, while Lucy’s production takes cues from ‘80s electro-industrial music. Regardless of any comparisons that come to mind, the music on Enemy is unlike anything out today. It’s self-aware and fully formed—the result of Dillon and Lucy honing their sound for years.

What sets The Hellp apart from other “new” acts is their clear creative identity and a sense of purpose that extends beyond just the music through their visuals, style, and social media presence. Dillon and Lucy move at their own pace against the torrent of an increasingly saturated music landscape, making music that flies in the face of what’s trending and comfortable.—Maddy Quach



In 2021 and beyond, a career in music is about so much more than just writing good songs. For better or worse, music fans have come to expect so many elements from an artist: content, concerts, visuals, and connection by any means necessary. We see the most loyal fan bases moving as communities who feel like they’re a part of something bigger, and it all starts with the artist’s singular vision.

When it comes to that all-encompassing vision, Tampa, Florida-based artist Rahul has an advantage. He got his start in the music industry as a visual artist and video director, and even though he’s only released one song, he’s already mapping out the big picture. His first single “ANECDOTE” is the perfect starting point, a curious concoction of surreal voice-pitching, simple but potent songwriting, and a two-minute runtime that leaves us wanting more. It also comes with a music video that feels like a film’s worth of storytelling packed into those two minutes.

“I’m a filmmaker at heart,” Rahul says. “Every time I make music I’m imagining the visual world I want to build alongside it. ‘ANECDOTE’ is special to me, which is why I wanted to drop it first. It’s the first demo I made that really resonated personally with a wider audience in a way that was unexpected but inspiring. It’s the first single off my debut project DEPRESSED BUT MAKE IT COOL, which documents the person I’ve been over the past two years while finding myself as an artist. With this EP, I want to invite others into my universe and bring together all the different mediums of art I’ve played with.”—Jacob Moore

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Hadji Gaviota

Hadji by Alex Abaunza

We’re building a small but beautiful community in the Pigeons & Planes Discord (join us here) and last week we spent some time listening to submissions and reacting in real time. Hadji Gaviota has been a regular in the Discord for a while now and came through with a preview of a new song, “shyhomie!,” which grabbed us all straight away with in-your-face vocals and sharp riffs. 

“This song is about the person who clams up around people, especially around romantic interests,” Hadji tells us. “It sounds kind of gendered in the song but it doesn’t really have to be. I think everyone knows the shy homie, but has also been the shy homie at some point. I wanted to poke fun at it but I also wanted to make sure I wasn’t being mean about it, because I think it’s a really relatable position to be in, and people have their own reasons for being shy. Maybe they’ve been hurt before, or maybe they just really lack the confidence for some reason. Either way as a friend, as much fun as it is to make jokes, you also gotta be there for your shy homie!”

Speaking more about the song, he adds, “I grew up listening to a lot of punk rock; my dad was super into British punk and would play stuff like The Clash and The Jam in the car, along with stuff like Green Day and The Ramones, and I’ve been trying to tap back into that inspiration recently. I wanted to take it into my own world with the rap verse in the middle too!”

While Hadji’s sound varies song to song, there are almost always rap-inspired punchlines that raise a smile (“My word is Bond like I’m Sean Connery,” from “Oyster,” for example) and an easy way with melody that shines through. His approach to music and independent spirit is deeply inspired by his upbringing in Queens, New York. “I went to school in Jackson Heights, which is the most diverse neighborhood in the world,” Hadji explains. “I grew up with a lot of people from backgrounds different from mine, hearing Spanish music, Bollywood music, and Greek music outside all the time, which I think made me more curious and open-minded. We have legends in every genre, from The Ramones to Nas and 50 Cent, even Louis Armstrong lived here for a long time. It’s a lot to take in.”

Hadji tells us he has lots of music on the way, but for now, you can dig into his catalog including the “Oyster” video below and the “shyhomie!” single which just dropped.—Alex Gardner

James Mantis

James Mantis

Los Angeles artist James Mantis has combined his love of basketball with songs that draw inspiration from far and wide to find a unique way to describe his sound: Jab Step Pop. It’s the name of his impressive new EP, out now, which introduces us to an artist who can seamlessly blend see-sawing synth-pop and indie rock with rap in a way that feels fresh and authentic. The influence of artists like Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and Toro y Moi, who James highlights as some of his favorites, is clear in the ambitious soundscapes and emotionally unguarded lyrics.

“When I get in the studio, we instantly go to work,” James tells us. “My producer Christian Lum is a big part of helping me shape our sound. I’m definitely influenced by a bunch of different styles and like to mix a lot of crazy synths over hip-hop drums. I just do what naturally comes that day, whether I’m feeling sad, happy or tired and see what the result is.”

Of the EP title, James says, “I grew up playing basketball so it definitely means a lot. Whenever I would train with my brothers we would go through drills that involved these moves, so it always kind of stuck. I made a song called ‘$LINK’ and during the outro I repeat, “Hold it stop, won’t pass the rock, jab step pop, swish down the block,” and I remember telling my producer Christian Lum that that would be a perfect name for an EP. It’s almost like it could be a new genre. From there I just rolled with it.”

After consistent single releases, Jab Step Pop proves that James Mantis can create a deeper body of work. Stay tuned for more.—Alex Gardner

Tsubi Club

Tsubi Club

It isn’t often that we cover an artist whose entire discography clocks in at under two minutes. But soren, aka tsubi club, isn’t your typical artist. His debut single “burbank house” combines overblown production and addictive songwriting for an introduction with endless replayability—and that’s not to mention the ambitious visuals.

tsubi club, short for tsunami bitch club, belongs in soren’s own “head-canon” of things that are monumental to his personal taste. This includes convoluted arthouse anime like FLCL and Serial Experiments Lain, crowded GameCube user interfaces, and over-produced SoundCloud deep cuts. He describes his eclectic taste as “stuff that would kill someone in the 1600s if you showed it to them.”

soren and friends spent two months crafting a diy music video for “burbank house” that sends you head-first into the world of tsubi club. We meet soren on the site of a parachute crash, watch him rocket-jump off a cliff, plummet into the ocean, and get abducted by government agents. The visuals come together with meticulously stylized title cards and anime vfx. Not a second of screen time goes to waste.

soren treats tsubi club as a visuals-first project, going as far as releasing the music video for “burbank house” a couple days before the song went up on streaming services. He’s determined to break the mold, not just in his music, but also in the way he presents himself. Over on TikTok, tsubi club is a breath of fresh air. soren cuts through the noise of copy-paste presave campaigns with videos that feel genuinely interesting and authentic. This past summer, it only took a handful of self-aware TikToks to connect with his core audience of other artists and anime fans. With just one song under his belt, there’s already an active community of listeners sharing fan art and remixes that are actually really good. In other words, tsubi club membership is booming.

With the phrase “I spend all my time in the bitch club” permanently stuck in our heads, it’s safe to say that soren has captured our attention. When asked what to expect up next from tsubi club, soren’s vision is crystal clear: “My short term plans are to release a few more songs and finish the story presented in burbank house, and then pivot to a larger scale audiovisual project that’ll be a bit more immersive than music videos.” While we wait for the next tsubi club release, you can download the “burbank house” stems and make one for yourself. The password is, of course, BITCHCLUB.—Nico Tripodi