We love discovering new music from artists across the globe and sharing it with you! Every week, we sift through bucketloads of song submissions from across the globe, and the best of it finds its way right here, into our regular fortnightly Breakthrough Playlist. Below you’ll find the best and brightest in upcoming, predominantly independent artists from across the globe.
We’ve got a SUPER diverse playlist this week, with Middle Eastern-inspired instrumentals, airy electro-pop, hip-hop, a classical violin cover and more.
I’ve also decided to focus entirely on less polished tracks this week – those which might not be perfect, but show a lot of potential; those which want me to hear more from each artist down the line.
If you’d like to submit your songs for consideration for the next Breakthrough playlist, please do so via submithub.com.
- PHANTØM, Rugged Feather
Starting and ending this week’s playlist on instrumentals. This one’s a hypnotic Middle Eastern-vibey hip-hop instrumental, with a seductive atmosphere and a plethora of instruments, the perfect soundtrack to a dark, smokey hip-hop harem.
LAB, Goodnight And Good-luck
From there, we move to a kind of softly Spanish-sounding guitar instrumental and really smooth, swift verses with some great wordplay, tinged with a breezy melody, later hardened by distortion and increased aggression. This is really promising from the upcoming artist; I’m keen to hear more!
We’ve covered Thandi in a previous Breakthrough, but I’m digging Cameo a lot, so I wanted to feature it again. The sensual, electro-pop track blends small yet chunky staccato synths with airy vocals, trickling keys and and some really cool percussive moments – a thoroughly interesting listen!
Shifty Eyes, Hustlenomics
This is a hectic rap offering with a slick flow and simple but cool production. He’s got a bit to go in terms of lyrics and mixing, but Shifty clearly has a natural flow and a really great tone, and while he’s wearing his love for Marshall Mathers on his sleeve, I’m looking forward to hearing this guy develop his sound and identity.
Ben Thompsøn, More (feat. Lord Apex & Nathan Mellis)
I’ve come to really love this Chance-style drawl, and Thompson shows it off so well atop that glistening, chiming instrumental and shuffling percussion. I’m loving the lyrics and the little embellishments – echoed vocals, soulful hooks. The devil’s in the details here.
Jig & Funk, Back Again (prod. Funk Tous)
Hard-hitting verses anchored by a jazzy double bass, and brightened by funk guitars? Need I say more? The lyrics are an absolute standout for me on this track. Admittedly I’m not too hot on the middle bars which speed way up, but once it falls back into that sweet funky place, it picks up once more.
Erica Dee, When You Were Gone Feat. DJ Nu-Mark
This is definitely my favourite track this week, one that I’ve listened to a few times since first hearing it. Erica’s vocals are rich and velvety smooth, they fall right into that smooth groove, embellished with piano, harmonies and a bass, and while a little more dynamic variation would add a punch, overall it’s awesome.
Moody, Say It Like You Own It
I LOVE the instrumental layers here – that shuffling percussion, the myriad synths and organs – there’s a party going on, and we’re all invited. Admittedly I feel like the some of synths builds and drops are a tad gratuitous, but apart from that this is seriously slick. I can easily picture this getting spun poolside at sunset.
Sweatson Klank, More
Another really cool trip hop instrumental, filled with vocal samples, a really funky bass and dynamic percussion. I can totally picture exactly the kind of verse you could spit on top of this – some great production at hand here, and I’m keen to hear more.
Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah (Zita remake)
Okay, this one is completely different to anything we’ve ever posted on these playlists – a part-new age, part-classical violin cover of the Leonard Cohen classic. Not exactly my typical thing, but I heard it when I was in a particularly sad mood and it just struck a chord – pun intended. Now I’ve listened to it a bunch of times and it puts me in a happy place.
Image: Shifty Eyes