Hi, I’m Grady Tyree and I’ve been working in our Label Relations / Procurement department for the past 8 years, in our position we play both air-traffic-controller and bullhorn to keep our team of music supervisors aware of new artists and label priorities as they come through the library.
As we are sorting through the multitudes of songs each week, I get a chance to discover music from artists not necessarily on the charts or on the top playlists on the various streaming platforms. I recently read an article stressing the importance of searching out new music, new artists, new sounds… so for 2021, I’ve been keeping track of songs I’ve let occupy space in my mind as ear-worms on a monthly cadence… below are four artists who you need to know about!
Artist: Aaron Frazer
Track: Can’t Leave It Alone
Aaron Frazer first appeared on my radar in April 2019, when I saw him perform as the drummer/singer for Durand Jones & The Indications. I wasn’t quite expecting what was to come at that point, but the trajectory is on point! In the first week of January 2021, Aaron dropped his debut album Introducing…, on Dead Oceans, and it was produced by Dan Auerbach. The pairing of Auerbach + Frazer has resulted in a beautiful soul album that will transport your mind back to 60’s soul. “Can’t Leave It Alone” is the perfect taste of this amazing debut!
Artist: Kirby & D Smoke
I gotta say, I’ve been obsessed with KIRBY since I heard her cut, “Kool Aid” from her debut album Sis., in January of 2020. Kirby may not be a name you know yet, but she’s been behind songs like “Break Your Heart Right Back” (Ariana Grande), “Only One” (Kanye & Paul McCartney), “Don’t Walk Away” (John Legend) and “Die With You” (BEYONCE), keep her name and voice close to your ears and eyes, as 2021 continues! “Superpowers” was dropped in November of 2020, so in case you missed it the first time around, here is your friendly reminder to press play!
Squid is my favorite new band of 2021. The Brighton-UK quintet will be dropping their highly anticipated debut album Bright Green Field, before you know it, and hopefully… HOPEFULLY… we’ll get some shows at some point! The string of singles the band has been dropping since 2019 – “Houseplants” (2019), “Sludge” (2020), and now “Narrator” – have put the band in conversations with artists like Black Midi, IDLES, Black Country, New Road and Porridge Radio – all bringing a new, somewhat aggressive vein of the post-punk, guitar-driven rock back to the masses! And after watching their 2021 SXSW video clips, I REALLY CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THEM LIVE!!!!
Artist: Vargas & Lagola
Track: Sweet Escape
Vargas & Lagola are the Swedish songwriting/production duo of Vincent Pontare and Salem Al Fakir who have worked with artists like Avicii, David Guetta, Galantis, Madonna and Seinabo Sey – some heavy hitters and artists known for dance cuts, which is some interesting context for when you hit play on this song, or the album, for that matter. On “Sweet Escape”, Vincent & Salem are channeling their inner Kevin Parker and Tame Impala, and the moment I heard the track, I immediately started sharing it with my fellow music supervisors, as it has such chill, indie vibe… it’s infectious! Take a trip through Mount Alda, the album they released in February this year, you’ll enjoy the musical journey!