Another year, another lineup of incredibly talented artists to pay attention to. It seems like with every year, not only the talent of these musicians grow, but they get YOUNGER! I can’t believe how many of these artists are 25 and under, and just how massive I know they’re going to get this year. Even though the current pandemic is going to affect how these artists’ careers develop, I have no doubts that they’re going to figure it out.
I’ve also made a playlist that corresponds with this article and features songs from each artist. Check it out and give it a follow on Spotify HERE!
In alphabetical order:
Origin: Bedfordshire, England
Genre: Indie Pop
For Fans Of: The Arkells, Bad Suns, Declan Mckenna
Description: As I’ve been saying for years, it feels like the teenagers of this generation have the maturity of 20 somethings in terms of talent and self-awareness. 17-year-old Alfie Templeman is no different, dropping his debut EP in 2019 after releasing covers on YouTube since 2013 (at age 13….feel old yet?)
Origin: New Jersey
For Fans Of: Pink Sweat$, Alexander 23
Description: How do 19-year-olds with less than 10 songs on Spotify garner nearly 7 million monthly listeners? They go viral on Tik Tok. I’m a little embarrassed (but not really) to reveal that I had no idea his song “Yellow Hearts” got quite massive on the app, eventually pushing it on a handful of Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube charts in over 30 countries. The rest of his 2020 EP, Bubble, shows that he has no chance of becoming a one-hit-wonder.
Origin: Auckland, New Zealand
Genre: Indie Pop
For Fans Of: Conan Gray, Lorde
Description: Not only did Benee, aka Stella Rose Bennett sell out shows around the world in 2019, she supported Chicago Haze favorite Conan Gray on his first headlining tour, won four New Zealand music awards in 2019, and has now gained 20 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Benee had to postpone her own headlining tour featuring support from Remi Wolf, which was originally scheduled to hit Chicago in May at Lincoln Hall.
Origin: Los Angeles, California
Genre: Indie Rock
For Fans Of: Soccer Mommy, Diet Cig, Beach Bunny
Description: You really thought I was going to get through this entire post without featuring an indie rock female musician? You thought wrong. I was initially introduced to Blushh’s music after seeing their name on this year’s SXSW lineup, with plans to cover their set. We all know how that turned out….so here’s a real shoutout to their music.
Origin: Salt Lake City, Utah
Genre: Dream pop/rock
For Fans Of: White Lies, Wild Nothing, Day Wave
Description: The first time I heard Choir Boy’s music, it made me think of “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower,” probably because their sound has a real ’80s vibe to it. The band’s website refers to their sound as “nostalgia-laced romantic pop,” and I couldn’t have encapsulated it any better. Stay tuned for their next album dropping in 2020.
Origin: Wales, United Kingdom
For Fans Of: Charli XCX, Fletcher
Description: How does an artist release one single on Spotify, handcrafted in the comfort of their bedroom, and gets it to nearly 200,000 streams in less than a month? Support from FADER and i-D magazine certainly helps. Be sure to be on the look out for ELIO’s debut album dropping later this year.
For Fans Of: Dua Lipa, bülow
Description: If you’re a classically-trained opera singer, odds are you have little to no fear of becoming a superstar. Evan Giia’s powerhouse vocals take her indie pop songs to the next level. TBD on these plans, but she’s slated to open for Big Wild later this year.
Origin: Los Angeles, California
For Fans Of: Elley Duhé, Lauren Sanderson
Description: After being discovered at her high school talent show in 2014, 22-year-old Gia Woods has been crafting her sound and finding her voice as a Persian LGBTQ woman. As she continued working on her music, she became more comfortable with herself and her identity, which is evident in her music.
Origin: Memphis, Tennessee
For Fans Of: Vundabar, Slow Hollows
Description: Can you imagine living out of a van with your pet dog, traveling down the Pacific West Coast and recording music as you go? That’s reality for Griffin Washburn, inspired by a project launched while Washburn was in college in 2015. He’s been touring and working on music since—easily inspired by nature and the simple life around him.
Origin: Los Angeles, California
For Fans Of: Taylor Swift, Gabrielle Aplin
Description: I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Gracie Abrams can quite possibly be the next Taylor Swift. Her songwriting is off-the-charts, relatable, and relevant to what it’s like to be a 19-year-old in today’s world. She’s also a huge fan of Joni Mitchell, which obviously explains the songwriting part.
Origin: Sydney, Australia
Genre: Dream Pop/Shoegaze
For Fans Of: Day Wave, Yumi Zouma
Description: There haven’t been many musicians filling my shoegaze fix in awhile, and Hazel English’s music does just the trick. I’ve been a huge fan of every single she’s released ahead of her next album so far (which drops on April 24), and I’m hoping that she’ll actually be able to perform in Chicago at the Beat Kitchen on June 4.
Origin: Grantham, England
For Fans Of: Fletcher,
Description: Immediately after hearing Holly’s second single, “Falling Asleep At The Wheel,” I knew she’d be an artist to watch. I then found out she’s been gathering plenty of experience touring with breakout artist Lewis Capaldi. Some of Humberstone’s inspirations include Phoebe Bridgers, HAIM, and Lorde…need I say more?
Origin: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
For Fans Of: Troye Sivan, Conan Gray
Description: If you don’t feel bad about yourself, you will when you find out that Isaac Dunbar, 17, started producing his own music at just 12-years-old. Fast forward to 2020, and he’s released his debut EP, toured with girl in red, and unfortunately postponed his first headline tour that sold out in minutes.
Origin: San Diego, California
Genre: Indie R&B
For Fans Of: Declan Mckenna, Frank Ocean
Description: If you truly yearn for a genreless artist to get into, Jelani is your guy. At just 19-years-old, he’s already released two albums and has been featured in major publications like Rolling Stone and Complex.
Origin: New York, New York
For Fans Of: Georgia Ku, Chelsea Cutler
Description: I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Loote has some of the most catchy pop music currently out there. Jackson Foote and Emma Lov Block met each other in a writing class in college, and the rest was pitch-perfect history. Thanks to collaborations with artists like Joe Jonas and Gnash, Loote has definitely cemented their place as modern pop heavyweights. Their next EP is out on April 24.
Origin: Long Beach, New York
For Fans Of: From Indian Lakes, Say Anything
Description: After gaining the attention of Pitchfork last year (which is notoriously not easy to please), Oso Oso has had a busy 2019 leading them into an even busier 2020 with a headlining tour that is now postponed. They’re slated to make an appearance at Pitchfork’s festival this summer, but time will tell if that actually happens.
Origin: Vancouver, British Columbia
Genre: Indie Pop/Rock
For Fans Of: Wallows, Hippocampus
Description: If an artist is only as good as its producer (is that a saying?) Peach Pit are PRETTY DAMN GOOD. Not only did their first album, released in 2018, solidify their arrival in the indie space. Their follow-up album, You and Your Friends, was released earlier this month, with the help of producer John Congleton, who’s worked with the likes of St. Vincent and Best Coast.
Genre: Alternative Pop/R&B
For Fans Of: Khalid, Golden Vessel
Description: “Retrofuturistic pop” is a pretty cool way to refer to your own music, which is exactly what Sebastian Paul does. Growing up in a military family, Paul learned how to adapt to new circumstances and life scenarios, and his ability to seamlessly transition through multiple sounds in his music seems to correlate with how his childhood was.
Origin: Lerdala, Sweden
For Fans Of: Astrid S., Sasha Sloan
Description: I’m pretty much one to be invested in most Swedish female pop musicians (they really seem to do it best), and SHY Martin is no different. Born Sara Hjellström, SHY Martin’s career took off after her feature on Mike Perry’s “The Ocean” won Spotify Sweden’s “Most Streamed Song Of The Year” in 2016, with over 550 million streams.
Origin: Manhattan Beach, California
For Fans Of: Billie Eilish, Lorde
Description: A musician obsessed with Brittany Spears, Purity Ring, and Alt J results in WENS, a 20-year-old indie-pop musician who’s been singing since eight and writing songs since 13. While she’s spoken about growing up in a “bubble” otherwise known as Los Angeles, her experience growing up “different” (aka wanting to pursue music) has shaped her creative process in a relatable way.
Thanks for reading!