Best New Artists of the Month

Summer's almost over, but the music's still hot.

new music artists twelvelen nilufer
P&P Original

Image via P&P Original

new music artists twelvelen nilufer

Finding new artists is easier than ever, but this creates a problem: it's harder than ever to filter through it all and keep tabs on what's really good.

With so many artists popping up every day, it's impossible not to miss out on some fresh faces and new sounds. With that in mind, we'll be highlighting our favorite new acts each month. Here are the best new artists of August.



Good artists have good songs, but with the special ones, there's always an energy that extends way past songwriting, production, and charisma. Florida artist Twelve'Len has that energy, and it's on full display in the video for "Star Dust." There's always unpredictability associated with who is going to take off and when, but Twelve'Len has an advantage that only comes with practice, patience, and preparation.

"Before we had the internet, you had to give an amazing performance because word of mouth was the strongest thing," Twelve'Len told us earlier this month. "Everything had to be perfect. Now, you can just take a dope ass photo and put it online. Before we had the media and a TV in everyone’s house, how did you find out about The Beatles, feel me? How’d you find out about Bob Marley? How’d you find out about Erykah Badu? It was word of mouth, them going city to city and touching people, leaving them with an experience to take home. That’s what I’m big on and that’s why sound is very important."

Attention to detail and an emphasis on performance set this young artist up for a potentially big breakthrough moment when all the pieces come together. If he keeps making songs like "Star Dust," that moment could be coming soon.

Nilüfer Yanya

Nilufer Yanya

If sparse, picturesque guitar arrangements are your thing, give Nilüfer Yanya's "Small Crimes" a listen. The Londoner has a beautiful voice, but the way she turns that slippery guitar riff into a full-scale emotional wildfire is the real reason Yanya's on this list.

She begins with an admission: "I'm a petty thief," Yanya mumbles into the microphone. There are flashes of King Krule here, vocally and on guitar. But once that ride cymbal kicks in, it's time to abandon all comparisons. Yanya knows how to inject originality into a song, evidenced here and on her lively cover of The Pixies' "Hey."

Eli Sostre

still up all night eli sostre

Eli Sostre is a ​24-year-old from Marcy Projects, Brooklyn, and growing up there shaped him as a man and an artist. 

"I think [Marcy] has a lot to do with me even making music," Sostre told us. "Because I used to see Jay Z around a bunch of times. He used to come back every Christmas. My brother would get quarter waters for him. If I didn’t see any of that, I don’t think I’d want to make music. Jay’s a big reason behind that." 

Sostre's greatest talent, however, doesn't lie in rapping, instead its his melodies and songwriting, which are on full display on his Still Up All Night EP. Moody, late-night rap production abounds, but it's when he surprises, as with the saxophone and haunting pitched vocals on "Ain't Love Strange," that Eli Sostre is at his best.


lully daily discovery

Lully's "Slow D's" is a trip. A whirlwind of pitched vocals and pounding percussion, the song is vibrant electronic pop at its best, but is never formulaic, keeping a playful, sugar-rush energy throughout. This playful nature extends beyond the music, too. Whoever is behind the music emailed us the song along with a poem about the life and times of 17th century composer Jean-Baptiste Lully.

"He wrote foot-stomping marches and pretty ballets and I draw a lot from this sense of energy and humor," 21st century Lully told us. Whatever the story, we're obsessed with "Slow D's," and can't wait to hear what's next.

Lonny X

lonny x

Lonny X isn't a new artist in the temporal sense of the word, but his latest release is reason enough to get re-acquainted with the Connecticut rapper. The Not Just Anybody EP is just three tracks long, and all the tracks are under three minutes. It leaves you hungering for more, especially on the title track and "U Drive Me Crazy." He's created a unique sound here, with airy vocals bouncing off trap drums and bubbly synths.

Luckily, there's more—this is Lonny X's second strong project of 2016, and if you're fucking with Not Just Anybody, be sure to check out High Fashion.

Xavier & The Thrill

xavier and the thrill

Before his debut album drops on September 3, Xavier & The Thrill released "Tears of Legend" with fellow Chicagoan Saba. It's a gripping song about a jarring time in his life—when Xavier was just nine or ten years old, his father fell victim to a stroke. 

"It definitely froze me up," he told us. "Especially when I saw it happen in the hallway as a kid. I wanted 'Tears of Legend' to have that same chilling feeling that I felt that day. But I also wanted to give the record a sense of triumph, because that's what we all need in times of crisis. Be frozen still at first, then make something happen."

That's exactly what happens on "Tears of Legend." Ethereal, icy production gives way to Xavier's gravelly, rapid-fire baritone, and the resulting hypnosis lasts until the song's close.


FXXXXY 20 Taliband

Darkness and survival hover around FXXXXY's music. The Dallas rapper/producer finds the murkiest of beats to pair with his softspoken, sing-song flow, and it works beautifully on songs like "20 TALIBAND" and "Columbian Exchange."  An Earl Sweatshirt cosign got FXXXXY's music to a lot of new ears, and he's already amassing a catalog of music strong enough to prove Earl right.

The Moon Baby

the moon baby cover

The Moon Baby's "Witch" may be the most unique song you hear all week. If you're not feeling the first or second movements, hang tight—the Wise Blood collaboration takes a number of twists and turns in under three minutes, turning to elephantine trombones and syrupy vocals to keep things exciting. 

It's a song about "feminine majical [sic] energies," according to its creator. "Wise Blood is a genius and we do for each other musically what we can't do for ourselves. It's a true collaboration every time.”


woodes music

It started with "The Thaw," but the more we get to know Woodes the more we're convinced she's destined for success. The Australian songwriter has written an immortal hook on her second track, and her debut "Daggers & Knives" led the way. Woodes makes excellent electro-pop, which is rare enough. But Woodes also keeps her personality alive in the songs, and it's working out beautifully.

"What I do love about performing and releasing music," she told us last month, "is that it connects you with like-minded people." For Woodes, the connections will continue.