It’s been a few months since I’ve done an Artists on the Dashboard, which gives me so much more motivation to keep moving on these, because the list of artists about to break out into the limelight is robust. It’s bursting at the seams. This is an exciting time for a lot of the artists that I’ve been following for a while now, and it’s an exciting time for artists I’ve never heard of who I believe have the ability to make it in the very near future. The three artists of choice this month are Theophilus London, Cults, and Lyn Charles. Hit the jump for descriptions and MP3 samples from each artist on the dashboard.
Theophilus was one of my first discoveries after starting this blog that made me stop and say, “WOAH.” This guy is doing something different. And he’s really good at what he’s doing. How to describe Theophilus in words? That’s a challenge. Something along the lines of a guy who tends to take popular samples (“I Will Always Love You,” “Aint No Sunshine,” to name a couple), flips them into electronic, foot-stomping beats and overlays them with a blend of singing and rapping. Recently, he’s been coming out with more original samples that rival the borrowed samples. When he’s finished with his work, it equates to a mix that produces a double-take. Did he just do that? Did he create that in his own mind? He’s a walking anomaly – a hipster black rapper with no desire to talk about gangs or drugs – he’s just here to make breakthrough music.
Cults are one of those chillwave indie-pop groups with a blissful overtone no matter what their topic. The featured song here is about a heart being torn apart from heartbreak, but the songwriting makes it seem like everything will be okay – just dance it off. To me, they seem like a duo who could walk into a dark room and brighten it with their cheery demeanor. Their songs spark the need to dance, to go outside, to soak up the sun, and to glue a smile onto your face. They’re a bit like the duo Tennis – a previous Artists on the Dashboard duo – in that they came out of nowhere and shocked the masses. Keep these two in your back pocket, and even the rainiest of days might seem to produce a rainbow.
MP3: “Abducted” – Cults
Three days ago, I had never heard of Lyn Charles. Frankly, I thought that was a girl’s name. One day later, I asked for the full album for review. Two days later, I’ve listened to the whole album. Twice over. I listened carefully for flaws. I fought for flaws. Only flaw I found was in the mixing – I can’t hear Lyn Charles’s voice well enough. You know what that means? I want more of Lyn Charles’s voice. The way he says Charles – Chaaaawles. I might be saying that in my sleep tonight. This is a hip hop artist who may sneak up on us, just like Kendrick Lamar did. Just like BIG K.R.I.T. did. Oh, did I mention that Kendrick and K.R.I.T. are both featured on this album? But don’t let that form your opinion on Lyn Charles, There are few features on the album, and though they are impressive ones, Charles holds his own on this collection. His rhymes are multi-syllabic, his beats are catchy, and his voice is more than bearable, it’s desirable.