Lists like this often end up being only superficially about the artist's work. The focus shifts instead toward triangulating which act is going to be the next to blow up (as if being the best were somehow a prerequisite for achieving blown-upness).
We at Paste navigated this minefield through democracy—it’s an
election year, after all. We nominated the new-ish artists we were most
passionate about. Then we voted. Then we tallied the votes. A simple
We invited four of our favorites from the
list—our cover stars—to meet up at Milk Studios in New York City and
have their picture taken together. It was a fun afternoon and an
interesting study in contrasts: Lidell’s goofing for the camera
loosening up Painter, The Bridges’ bashful lead singer; the
wake-up-and-go fashion stylings of Vernon next to the meticulously
coifed and tuxedoed Monáe.
Every artist in this feature has made
some shockingly great music right out of the gates. May they all sell
millions of records in their lifetime, or at least have long careers
that make listeners feel like a million bucks.
Bon Iver: Daydream Hibernation
The Bridges: All In The Family
Janelle Monáe: Music You Can Believe In
Jamie Lidell: Modernity Can't Save Your Soul
...and 22 more artists you ignore at your peril
Listen to Paste's Best of What's Next artists:
Best of Whats Next 08