Joshua Brill

New Artist: Dante

Dante Kinnunen, once the drummer for The Concretes, has applied his skills to the world of Electronic-RnB-Soul this year with his solo project under the alias Dante. His music tends to merge his own voice (akin to Nina Simone) with a score of rich productions.

New Release: Clear Soul Forces – Get No Better

Clear Soul Forces are a Detroit-based collective bringing Hip-hop back to the golden age. Consisting of Wimpy, J-Roc, E-Fav and Ilajade, each emcee brings forward a different style, tone and rhythm of rap that makes their whole sound so diverse and unique.

Tracks You Might’ve Missed: Lips – Everything To Me

A talented keyboard player with a soft spot for Casio sounds, Stephanie Brown a.k.a Lips isn’t your run-of-the-mill singer-songwriter. The mingling of dulcet tones with idiosyncratic beats places her comfortably alongside Little Dragon and Zero 7, in a realm of Electronic-Pop that seems to be dominated by female artists. Lips performed extensively in her native New Zealand before moving to New York and releasing contagious anthem, Everything to me, in 2010. The track personifies that fervidly desperate plea to vanish from the daily grind, under the surreptitious guise of a lucid pop song. It draws an almost inverted semblance with Bill Withers’ Lovely Day, replacing the celebration of Bill’s sunny morning verve with an anesthetised lament of Monday morning melancholy that has the ability to, in the same way as Lovely Day or Zero 7’s Home, lull you into a coma of comfort.

New Artist: Chance the Rapper

What better way to mark the beginning of a new year than with some fresh young talent from Chicago that you are bound to hear a lot of in 2012. The 18 year old MC has been cooking up a bit of a storm in the Chi-town area, pairing quick-fire lyrics with breezy flows. His forthcoming project 10day is a concept album based on a 10 day suspension handed down to Chance during his senior year of high school – an idea not too dissimilar to that of other Chicago-born rapper Kanye West and his debut, The College Dropout. Looks like Chance has chosen the right path to greatness…