Billie Marten - Heavy Weather
Delicate and beautifully poignant, 'Heavy Weather' first jumped out at us from a late night Radio 1 show, testament to the slow-burning success of it's creator, Billie Marten. Just 16 years old, her knowing tone and vocal control elevates this acoustic track out of traditional singer-songwriter territory into something quite special indeed. We hate to use the tired phrase 'one to watch', but we'd be very suprised if you don't hear much more from this young lady by the end of the year.
Brand New - Mene
After several years of absence, Long Island pop-punkers Brand New have swapped the radio silence for radio static with 'Mene'. The results are satisfyingly angsty, recalling days of Myspace selfies, Rubber bracelets and far too much eyeliner. Expect a new album very soon.
Lianne La Havas - Unstoppable
Immaculately styled with an old soul, we've loved Lianne La Havas since the day we heard her first EP. On 'Unstoppable', her songwriting skills finally match up to her glorious voice, a dreamy chorus that provides the perfect accompaniment to a heady summer romance.
Lucy Rose - Our Eyes
SIS favourite doesn't have to do much to impress us, which is why we're pretty chuffed to have her back. Where debut record 'Like I Used To' was predominantly ballads, upcoming effort 'Work It Out' seems to be a much more electronically-charged affair, offering lead single 'Our Eyes' the same joyous summer feel as the works of her long-time collaborators, Bombay Bicycle Club. Oh, and it's a pretty ace video to boot.
Hot Chip - Need You Now
When it comes to Hot Chip, we've grown to expect a certain calibre. While new record 'Why Make Sense?' initially underwhelms, the small nuggets of magic that pepper the pill are well worth the effort. 'Need You Now' is one such track, a regret-tinged disco banger that is destined to have crowds reaching for the lazers at some of Britain's more middle-class festivals.
Sufjan Stevens - Fourth Of July
They say that great pain makes great art, and 2015 is unlikely to yield a record as painfully beautiful as Sufjan Stevens 'Carrie & Lowell'. Telling the tale of his mother's death, 'Fourth Of July' is it's tear-jerking centrepiece, disturbingly frank in it's portrayal of loss, decay and inevitability.
Purity Ring - Repetition
While their live show is their true crowning point, there is no denying that Canada's Purity Ring are pretty beguiling on record also. Newest record 'another eternity' has many highlights, but it's 'Repetition' we keep returning to, an almost sultry RnB beat driving it forward to it's vocoder-tastic climax.
Everything Everything - Regret
Having admitted the flaws of their entertaining but somewhat atypical second record 'Arc', Everything Everything have returned with all their quirks in evidence, the band we first fell in love with when we heard 'MY KZ UR BF'. 'Regret' might not be quite as bonkers, but it's just as addictive, flitting between pagan chants and the sort of falsetto normally resigns to shower karaoke sessions.
The Maccabees - Marks To Prove It
A self-confessed love letter to Elephant & Castle (where it was recorded), The Maccabees upcoming fourth record is destined to be quite the urbanised affair. 'Marks To Prove It' has all the freneticness of the tube station in rush hour, with a hurdy-gurdy wind-down that couldn't be more british if it donned a union jack sunhat and camped outside Buckingham palace to moan about the weather. Welcome back boys.
Jamie XX (featuring Romy) - Loud Places
With repressed verses that break into semi-euphoric choruses, Jamie XX has created a 3am classic in the form of 'Loud Places.' Shy and romantic, it's the perfect halfway point between his DJ career and his role in The XX, sating the appetites of anyone gagging for that much-anticipated third record.