Best New Artists of the Month (April 2015)

Here are the best new artists Pigeons & Planes discovered in April 2015. Includes Mai Kino, Obenawa, Alessia, dylAn, and more.

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 April.


2. Mai Kino

Portugal's Mai Kino has hit the ground running. Her debut single "Burn" is arresting from its opening bars, an almost indistinguishable blend of acoustic and electronic elements invoking Maipei and SOHN in equal measure. She has a voice that sticks out from the crowd, and with new music purportedly on the way, Mai Kino could be staring down larger spotlights in no time.

3. Leisure

It's a breath of the freshest air to hear music coming out of New Zealand that doesn't sound like Lorde. No disrespect to those who have been inspired, but there is a tipping point, and we're well past it.

Leisure is cut from a different cloth—airy, echoing vocals are accompanied by the sort of tumbleweed blues that you see coming from a mile away, but that don't make "Got It Bad" any less funky. They're operating with a classic rock/funk setup that recalls Jungle, Tame Impala, Chet Faker, and not Lorde.

4. Obenewa

If you told me that I could craft a great debut single in exchange for being sick in bed for a couple weeks, I'd start licking subway poles then and there. I don't know if that was exactly the type of supernatural deal that Obenewa struck, but here we are.

A bout of the flu left the English singer with some extra time on her hands, and the melodies started flowing. "He" was incepted in the process, and the singer's career has a great start as a result, thanks to a powerful voice, feathery synths, and confident melodies that started with a sore throat and chills. The chills have stuck around.

5. Her

Her comes with a minimalist, falsetto-tinged funk that is simultaneously melancholy and danceable. "Quite Like" is a beautiful introduction to the European duo: Victor and Simon share responsibilities across the board, telling P&P that "we complete each other in very different writing and singing skills. We’re trying to achieve 1+1=3, that third person being Her."

The two also said they have a bevy of new material coming, ripping through 18 songs in four days. If they're anywhere close to "Quite Like," Her has a very bright future.

6. Rvdical The Kid

He may be in Benin for the time being, but Rvdical The Kid is making waves back in the States. Carte Blanche is our first proper introduction to the producer, but the lush vibes coating the seven-track EP are timeless in the best of ways.

Most impressive is his attention to detail: the vinyl pops in the opening "Miles Away," time signature twists on "Feels," and the subtle crescendoes in "Break It" indicate we're dealing with someone with a fierce dedication to his craft. Carte Blanche is show stopper, no matter where Rvdical The Kid happens to be making music.

7. Alessia

Alessia is 18 years old, from Ontario, and "Here" is her debut single. But expect more from the Canadian songwriter soon—she has already linked with Def Jam and is getting major media attention. In just a few days, "Here" has racked up over 60,000 plays by balancing accessible songwriting with a gorgeous, natural delivery and a message all loners can relate to. Sometimes, a debut hit can be a lucky strike, but with Alessia it feels like the first big step for a young artist with massive potential.


London's Hira King has a lot on his mind. His songs (three in all, so far) are full of ideas, and he's not afraid to ask his audience to do a little legwork: there's a sharp left turn in "Wild Fires / Cold Lovers," and an abrupt stop in his debut track "Run."

King sounds like a younger, rawer Frank Ocean. His voice is presented unobstructed, free of effects, relating similarly uncut sentiment: "Pigs are running wild," he sings, "with firearms." But there's a sweetness to his sound, too: he possesses a smooth, silky voice, for starters, and an affinity for muffled percussion that allows songs like "Hummingbird" to wash over you in waves.

10. dylAn

It's all in the family with dylAn. His older brother/fellow musician Daniel D'Artiste produced his breakout track "Stephulka V3," and the verses—better described as conversations—have a warm, familiar quality to them that promote a unique intimacy.

With a samba-tinged acoustic guitar leading the way, dylAn talks on the phone about girls, DMs, and school. It's the kind of track that belongs to sunny mornings, spreading warm vibes that emanates outward through the rest of the MSFTSrep crew.

11. Rationale

Rationale is a London-based producer and vocalist who combines classic, soulful vocals with lush production on his stunning debut song "Fast Lane." It's over all too quickly, clocking in at around two-and-a-half minutes, but the delicate air of sadness will remain with you long after. Poignant lyrics and perfect production—start paying attention to Rationale now, because he has a lot more music on the way.

12. Marin

Marin may only have one original song and one Zomby bootleg to her name so far, but she's already gathered a crowd of fans.

"Day 42" is a sweet introduction to the singer: the song reveals itself slowly, never deviating from its chosen lane of gentle alt-R&B. Bubbling synths and sparse, sharp percussion leave plenty of room for Marin's voice, aching in its sincerity. This is the sound of neo-soul's next chapter, and the English singer could be at the forefront.

13. Turls

We live in a time of endless possibility for smaller artists, a time where Post Malone or iLoveMakonnen can have their quirky, off-key songs hitting millions of plays. Turls' "My Plug" is a low-key bubbler, the kind of track that might not grab you on the first listen, but will keep pulling you back to listen again, until you're totally addicted. The low and slow delivery is a perfect match for the melody driven production, the question now is whether Turls can make another song as good as this one.