Every month, Google Play's Antenna feature tunes you in to new and up-and-coming artists. This month we feature a slew of interesting international acts who reflect music's global reach—from Capetown to Nashville and the Dominican Republic—as well as British and American bands digging into their countries' pop, folk and rock roots.
Twin Shadow is the solo project of Dominican Republic-born, Brooklyn-based George Lewis Jr., whose latest album Confess pairs dark sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lyrical tropes with contrastingly sweet '80s dream pop sonic backdrops. Michael Kiwanuka—born in London to Ugandan parents—makes acoustic songs that draw on folk and blues traditions as well as classic pop and Motown soul, textured by his remarkably warm and affecting voice.
A collaboration between Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and London DJ/production duo Radioclit, The Very Best have worked with artists from M.I.A. to Vampire Weekend, mixing bright Afropop vocals with electronic beats and diverse outside influences. Cape Town, South Africa trio Civil Twilight have uprooted to LA and Nashville to further define their polished UK-style modern rock that combines the broad reach of U2-via-Coldplay with the folk touches of Mumford & Sons.
The Wombats formed at Sir Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, but their excitably youthful, club-friendly rock 'n' roll is more stealthily respectful of its pop elders. Meanwhile, the son of an Oxford music professor, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs' Orlando Higginbottom makes surprisingly delicate synthpop and electronic dance tunes considering the big, stomping name.
Finally, Chantal Claret, former lead singer of glossy NYC alt-rock band Morningwood, refashions herself as a brassy soul singer; Raleigh, North Carolina's Chatham County Line play faithfully lively bluegrass; and LA family trio Wake Up Lucid do carefully ragged blues rock.
Visit Play to see related songs and albums, and check back next month for more new artists you need to hear.
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