Breakthrough Playlist 2017: Volume 1

After a very long hiatus from our Breakthrough Playlists, Howl & Echoes is elated to reintroduce our favourite regular playlist series for 2017. The Breakthrough series aims to exclusively highlight unknown, upcoming and independent artists from across the globe, and across all genres. The majority of artists on the below playlist have less than a thousand spins on Soundcloud, and we’re so stoked to be able to share them with you.

You often wonder how many incredibly talented musicians simply fall through the cracks because they weren’t in the right place at the right time. The Breakthrough series aims to spotlight exactly those guys, and show them a little love.

If you’re an upcoming artist who would like to be featured next week, get in touch via Submithub.

  • Nat ReedGold
    We’re kicking off this week with a beautifully airy, ethereal number from Nat Reed. Waves of layered vocals, gentle melodies and soft-Sunday-morning rhythms find their way under your skin, evoking intimacy and sensuality throughout.
  • Mal the Oddity, Summer Blue
    Off the bat, I love this slinky, weird, trippy instrumental that almost doesn’t work, but it really, really does. There’s so many elements at play that I had to check I wasn’t playing two tracks at once. Oh, and the rapping is pretty slick too.
  • J.Lately, Crazy Love (prod. Isaac Sol)
    I’ve listened to this track a few times; there’s a fair bit to deconstruct in the verses – they’re smart, funny and easy to digest with that melodic hook, all the while showcasing a really impressive flow. Solid scratching in the background, too.
  • Amy Guess, Comatose
    Changing the pace, this is a deep, driving pop tune that carries a familiar but solid melody with precise finesse. Yeah, it’s a pop song, but it’s a really good one; you can’t help but feel a rush in the chorus, especially with that big distorted synth.
  • Jordan D. Mitchell, O H N
    This track begins with bright synths, a nice contrast against the gritty verse that appears shortly after. Complete with ominous vocals samples, this is ominous, introspective and remarkably dark; one of my favourites this week.
  • Becky CJ, Spending The Night
    This is a demo, and as such it definitely needs a little work, but there’s incredible potential in that voice and melodic construction. The best thing about this playlist is getting to showcase up-comers like Becky CJ; I’m keen to hear what happens next.
  • The Deer Tracks, Gossip
    I love everything about this track, from the spindly rhythms and glitchy synths, to the rich, tinny vocals, and the way it’s all been constructed – it keeps you on your toes, while forming a dance-ready rhythm all at the same time.
  • Mark Carson, Bandwagon
    This is fast and funky on every level; the Atmosphere-influenced verses are rapped at light speed, while jazzy pianos and guitars fill every crevasse of space beneath it, all in all crafting a seriously fun tune from top to bottom.
  • Sylo & Goldchain, Falling
    Another of my favourites this week, this slinky new track from Sylo & Goldchain knows exactly how you get you moving and shaking. Subtle, seductive and smooth as hell – one for the bedroom playlist, perhaps?
  • Keeakev, On My Mind Prod. by Omito X Taylor King
    The kind of track that baffles me because it only has a few hundred views. The well-practised verses pack a nice punch, while the production and instrumental layers are top notch. The flow is familiar, but engaging nonetheless.
  • The Mighty Marvo, Living Together (Prod. ICDMAW)
    Finishing with my favourite track of the week, there’s nothing I don’t like about this song, from the dynamic and varied tone and verses, to the subtle yet on-point production. The Mighty Marvo is absolutely one to watch.

Image: Sylo & Goldchain (supplied)