Top 10 Breakthrough Acts of 2016
    • TUESDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2016

    • Posted by: Kirsten Spruch


    When we had the chance to talk to Pumarosa earlier this year, they seemed to be such a eccentric and passionate band, who labeled themselves as "spiritual industrial" (sounds weird, but actually makes sense). Lead woman Isabel Munoz-Newsome explained how they rehearse in exotic places like abandoned cinemas and how they even starve themselves for a day if they feel the writing process calls for it. 2016 was a big year for them as well - they went on tour with Glass Animals and released new songs like the Sleater-Kinney-esque "Honey." They've already made a big impact with a few songs, we can't wait to see what they'll do with an entire record.


    LOLO, a.k.a. Lauren Pritchard, has had one hell of a year. After collaborating with Panic! At The Disco and working on musicals Spring Awakening and Songbird, the powerhouse vocalist/queen of songwriting finally released her own debut album, In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit. It was filled with heartbreak, love, family, soul, a little sass, and lyrics that practically every young woman could relate to. Although she's been around for a while (since the young age of 15), she has finally broken out with her very own solo project.


    Shura has teased us with a couple of tracks like "2Shy" and "Touch," but once her debut record Nothing's Real dropped this year, she officially proved that she's a force to be reckoned with. She makes all the boys and girls swoon with her ability to relate and her perfect imperfections, and then she blasts out polished pop music as if it was coming straight from Madonna herself. A weird combo? Maybe on the surface, but it totally works and we are officially obsessed.

    Marian Hill

    Marian Hill is another act that dropped their debut album this year. The album, Act One, consisted of several songs that broke through, like "One Time," "Got It," and "I Want You." The duo, which consists of vocalist Samantha Gongol and producer Jeremy Lloyd, stand out from the rest because they are bringing something different to the table: new sounds. With minimalistic beats and interesting usage of vocal chops and saxophone, we haven't heard anything quite like it. And their touring history also speaks for their success this year - headlining a national tour with support from VERITE and SHAED and playing major music festivals like Governors Ball, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, and more... No big deal.


    And speaking of SHAED... This Washington D.C.-based electro trio released their debut EP Just Wanna See which was a smash in the Baeble studio. The term "powerhouse vocalist" simply did not feel like enough to describe Chelsea Lee, the front lady of the trio, and her thunderous voice. Twin producers Spencer and Max Ernst whipped up sensually soothing beats (especially fitting for the EP's title track) and made it seem effortless. See a live show and you're bound to be blown away.

    Tor Miller

    Tor Miller, singer-songwriter based out of (and very much in love with) New York City, teased us a while back with "Carter & Cash," a near-perfect indie pop anthem about reassurance in a relationship. Ever since the release of that track, we've been waiting (not so patiently) for his debut LP which finally came this year, entitled American English. Piano-heavy anthems highlight Miller's strong, raspy voice and his clear ability to write a timeless song.


    The electro-soul duo from London know the way to our hearts - with sensual, soulful music. The duo released Warm on a Cold Night which mixed R&B, pop, and electronics to make a smooth record filled with love and affection. They caught the attention of the world with their single "Someone That Loves You (ft. Izzy Bizu)" and since then haven't disappointed, with other quality songs such as "Good Together" and the album's title track. We know everyone's a sucker for a good love song, so they'll be around for a while.


    Whitneys Light Upon The Lake immediately became a winter classic upon release. Low key, nostalgic guitars mixed with horns made for an emotional record and left the listeners wanting more. Songs like "No Woman" bring a feeling of warmth and comfort.


    Aurora is this mystical, magical creature that isn't so easy to forget. She's only a teenager, but her soul seems like its a million years old. We could see her fairy-like voice and her whimsical movements as she performs songs off of All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend even be considered as iconic in a few years.

    Maggie Rogers

    Ah, Maggie Rogers. We all know this girl's story by now, right? She went to NYU, made a really good song, and got discovered by Pharrell. When she came out, we thought "is she the next Lorde?" "Will she stick around with more good music?" And of course she did, because after "Alaska" she released "Dog Years," another magical tune. Rogers blew up the internet and is set to go on tour in the new year... Let's hope that album is coming soon, too.

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