By Epigram Music
2022 promises to be a huge year for music; building on the successes of 2021, there are plenty of up-and-coming artists to get excited about this year. Now that it’s February and we’ve had some time to reflect on the chaotic music industry of 2021, we proudly present to you our top artists to watch this year. Better late than never, eh?
Jaguar Jonze (aka Deena Lynch)
By Emma Pope, Co-Deputy Music Editor
An enigmatic Brisbane-based artist, Jaguar Jonze’s most recent single ‘CUT’ was released on January 7th, starting off the year with fierce new indie-rock. With a debut album promised soon as well as rumours of representing Australia at Eurovision 2022, Jaguar Jonze has got a hell of a year ahead. An incredibly versatile artist, Deena Lynch doesn’t just have musical talent, with projects alongside the upcoming album ranging from gender-subverting photography to narrative illustration.
You may recognise Jaguar Jonze from a few places: the triple-j Like a Version cover of ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ with fellow Aussie electronic hip-hop duo Hermitude, her partnership with Stüssy, or more recently from her appearance in the TEDx talk mental health series where she explains how music helped her to overcome PTSD.
Jaguar Jonze’s smoky vocals are a fierce yet fragile insight into her personal vulnerability and empower listeners to speak up about their own experiences. The punchy sound of ‘Who Died and Made You King?’ is a brilliant collaboration with Shungudzo, who describes their lyrics incredibly accurately as ‘weapons of love’. Defiant and determined, the ethereal pop has a big impact. Her new single ‘CUT’ is already one of my top songs of 2022, and I can’t wait to see what the year will bring for Jaguar Jonze.
By Mia Smith, Music Editor
Tiktok loves to discover terms and run with them without having a clue what they mean. Recently it’s been ‘Industry Plant’, and Wet Leg are apparently just that. But the duo’s sudden success hasn’t come from nepotism – it’s come from simply being downright cool. People seem to be bitter that lyrics like ‘Is your muffin buttered?/Would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin?’, lifted straight from Mean Girls, can make for actually good music. Lines like these somehow make complete sense against classic indie guitar riffs, and Wet Leg’s formula proves uniquely intoxicating. Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers lilt about everything from self-gratification to regretting looking at your notifications. Fun innuendoes (‘I went to school and got the big D’) are crammed between smart rhymes (‘You’re so woke/Diet coke’), all wrapped up in the most charming Isle of White country bumpkin whimsy. If you need more convincing, the band have just been nominated for 5 NME awards – more nominations than songs they’ve released. While waiting for their debut album arriving in April, get learning the words to ‘Chaise Longue’ – Thekla Thursdays can’t get enough of it.
[ K S R ]
By Josh Templeman, Digital Music Editor
Heavily influenced by artists like Erykah Badu, Miguel and Frank Ocean, [ K S R ] has crafted and evolved his own sound, one which deftly combines elements of R&B, Neo-soul and hip-hop. The release of his latest EP, Peace + Harmony, in late 2021 saw this consolidation of his sound bear fruit with six tracks of undeniable brilliance. From the smooth and soulful vocals of ‘Lily Apart’ to the genius storytelling on ‘Born in 98’, the Manchester-born artist shows his musical versatility, making him one of the most exciting artists in the upcoming wave of UK-based neo-soul artists. Unexpectedly, [ K S R ] even has a few tracks in which he raps over frenetic drum & bass instrumentals in his catalogue, only further displaying the diversity in his skillset.
This year has already been huge for [ K S R ]. I first discovered his music early this year as he toured the country in support of the brilliant Pip Millett. One thing is for sure, if he can continue to drop showstopping performances like he did that night and continue producing exciting projects like Peace + Harmony, the future is more than bright for [ K S R ]. Expect to hear a lot from him this year and if you do, expect greatness.
Featured image: Nainoa Shizuru, Unsplash
Who are you looking forward to seeing new music from this year?