Spare, skeletal music is the eerie platform for an astonishing voice.
|Fact title||Fact data|
According to tastemakers, The Weeknd - otherwise known as 22-year-old Toronto-based singer Abel Tesfaye - has been on the cusp of a breakthrough for a while now.
First tipped by Pitchfork, NME and The Guardian in 2011, his initial introduction came via the release of his House Of Balloons mix tape.
That collection of heartfelt RnB songs earned him a nomination for Canada's Polaris Prize (their version of the Mercury Prize) and caught the ear of rapper Drake - who he'd later go on to work with.
Since then, he's kept a low-ish profile, largely due to a limited number of live shows and interviews.
But with the release of his debut album Trilogy (a compilation of his three mix tapes so far) in November, plus appearances on Later… With Jools Holland and a session with Radio 1's Zane Lowe, it's only now this unique voice appears to be meeting a wider audience.
- 1. HAIM Three sisters from LA find a swagger in classic pop-rock
- 2. AlunaGeorge Bubbling in the interzone between UKG, bass and pop
- 3. Angel Haze Uncompromising beats and bruising rhymes from New York City
- 4. Laura Mvula An almost novel-like interiority in these gorgeous songs
- 5. CHVRCHES Electro-pop knocked into beautiful shape from this Glasgow trio
- A*M*E Machine-tooled pop hooks from this 90s-obsessed London girl
- Arlissa London teenager making waves across the Atlantic
- King Krule Jittery, sui generis bedroom rock begins to cohere
- Kodaline Introspective yet soaring rock from this Dublin quartet
- Little Green Cars Winsome indie rock with a tinge of the backwoods about it
- Palma Violets Sublimely loose rock 'n' roll with energy to burn
- Peace Blasts of tuneful indie static from Birmingham four-piece
- Savages Clattering and dissonant post-punk ruckus from London
- The Weeknd Dysphoric Torontonian tales of come-downs and crushes
- Tom Odell Confessional lyrics and a direct emotional appeal