Outspoken New York-born rapper Azealia Banks has been keeping us on tenterhooks since she released her debut single 212 in December 2011, the same year she topped NME’s Cool List and finished third in the BBC’s Sound Of 2012 poll. 2012 saw her releasing a mixtape, Fantasea, in July and playing 11 sold-out UK shows, as well as music festivals such as Coachella, Reading and Leeds and the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekender. Following label changes and disagreements, the 21-year-old’s debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste, is due to be released in February 2013.
With the beautiful debut single Even If We Try, which was out in November, the future is definitely bright for Colorado native Winston Yellen. The 23-year-old’s musical outfit, Night Beds, makes dark, cathartic music that is eerily emotional, raw and haunting, with wistful vocals, which he describes as “an exercise in catharsis”. His first album, Country Sleep, which was recorded in a self-built studio in Johnny Cash’s old house, will be released on February 11.