The Music Edict is our shiny new e-pamphlet highlighting artists we can't get enough of. We'll be keeping up-to-date with what they're doing, discovering a bit more about what makes them tick, and delving behind the scenes of their releases... basically just going nuts, raving about who we're obsessing over. We're going to showcase fresh acts, and dig a bit deeper than just reporting the bare bones; we'll be getting to grips with these fantastic musicians who might otherwise get overlooked in amongst the ocean of hype-engorged superstars.

It's about us discovering music we love and championing unsung talent - we want to make sure that the good stuff gets heard by as many people as possible. One of the best things in life is finding a scarcely-known artist and shouting about them from the rooftops to everyone within earshot - this is us doing just that. Perhaps the best place to start with all this is probably by listening to our bespoke mix. That way, you can hear just why we're head over heels about these artists.

Alongside our choice picks, we'll be taking a good hard look at some upcoming releases we believe are worth focusing on. This is about us at The 405 trying to understand fully what these musicians are trying to achieve or say with their labours of love, and not just taking a brisk glance at the surface. We want to discuss what they mean in the lyrics, how they achieve certain sounds, and who's involved in the creation of the final product. Rather than just taking it as-is, we want to tear apart these records and gaze upon the gooey, fleshy bits inside.

This month's selection really does have it all. From the likes of Jean Deaux in the new music section, all the way through to a new Planningtorock album, we've got one hell of a month planned for you.


  • Jean Deaux

    Jean Deaux

    Soundcloud / Twitter

    This Chicago singer has already collaborated with Sampha, and given him a run for his money in the soul stakes at the same time. Jean Deaux deals in heart-breaking melancholy over electronic beats that look back to traditional soul styles as much as they look forward. On the basis of her early work, particularly 'Alone' and 'Find U', as well as collaborations with other artists, we think Jean Deaux's on the verge of becoming one of this year's most in-demand vocalists. - Robert Whitfield

  • Rubee Rayne

    Rubee Rayne

    Soundcloud / Facebook

    Berkshire's R&B wunderkind Rubee Rayne is doing mighty fine lately - her new track 'Breathe' has been picked up by Radio One, she's worked with Gavin Monaghan (Fugees) and opened for Pixie Lott (okay, so that last one's not as impressive - but it's something, right?). Rayne, originally from Nigeria, has been heralded by the Guardian as "the UK Kelela", something of a lofty compliment for a burgeoning chanteuse from Sandhurst. Expect whiskey-smooth beats, amethyst synths and a voice that'll make you proud to be British. - Larry Day

  • Laurel

    Laurel

    Soundcloud / Facebook

    Constructing intricate pop is all well and good, but ultimately pointless when not accompanied by a voice of the same magnitude. Luckily, Laurel, a London native, possesses the lustful purr that effortlessly compliments tracks such as 'Fire Breather', a shuffling, brooding gem. On the strength of her sublime flurry of singles, it seems that pop has found a safe pair of hands in Laurel. - Lee Wakefield

  • Misun

    Misun

    Soundcloud / Facebook

    Misun, pronounced "Me-Sun" for all you exotic Avant-band name lovers, is a trio from Washington D.C. Named after the lead singer, it combines the surprisingly resplendent vocals of Misun Wojcik with the guitars and production from Nacey, and William Devon mixing in all the bass and keys. This combination? A sure-fire way for three multifaceted musicians to create something more unique than a simple 'pop' stamp only. They describe themselves as "aquawave", a genre-tab that is as weighty and revealing enough a hint for first time listeners to grasp easily. However, we let you in on a little secret - it's downright pop it is, totally fun pop. The kind that kneads itself into other experimental styles through synth and electro-pop techniques. The kind that could transport you to a tropical blue lagoon where you're dragging your finger tips along a crystal clear surface of a pool and watching the droplets of water trickle down. Along with the imagery they conjure up, they're instantly likeable. Misun will be releasing a limited edition 7" single via BSSCI Records soon. - Lior Phillips

  • Tweens

    Tweens

    Twitter / Facebook

    Tweens are anything but polite. Sure, Bridget Battle's sugary refrain is pure bubblegum, but, at their core, the Cincinnati outfit specialise in bratty, ramshackle tunes that hurtle past almost as quickly as they arrive. As a result, expect countless replays of an imminent debut album that has been promised in 2014. If it's any consolation, we'll be doing it too. - Lee Wakefield

  • Little Simz

    Little Simz

    Soundcloud / Twitter

    It seems that getting caught in the crossfire of Little Simz's stinging couplets (and trust us, there are many) is somewhat similar to being pinned down by machine gun fire, merciless and inescapable. Thankfully, the North London wordsmith never scrimps on beats either, Blank Canvas, her debut LP, sumptuously gliding amongst a tangle of syrupy time signatures and crackles of percussion. An exhilarating combination. - Lee Wakefield

  • COOPER

    COOPER

    Soundcloud / Website

    While background information is scarce, COOPER, the guise adopted by Kate Cooper, seemingly allows her lush vocals and euphoric, shimmering soundscapes to do the talking. With tracks such as 'Feel' and its feverish tribal chanting and 'Heaviest Of Weights' explosive choral refrain, we're not likely to argue either. - Lee Wakefield

  • Girl Band

    Girl Band

    Bandcamp

    Despite looking a little depleted on the female front, Girl Band are certainly not short on venomous barbs of beefy guitar and delicious splinters of fractured feedback. Birthed in Dublin and already sitting on an EP, France '98, and a fistful of riotous singles, we can't wait to hear what Girl Band do, or destroy, next. Bring your earplugs, of course. - Lee Wakefield

  • Princess Nokia

    Princess Nokia

    Soundcloud / Twitter

    The new project from the rapper previously known as Wavy Spice has been gaining ground with a string of great tracks that tend to trade R&B style vocals over more menacing electronic beats. Recent release 'Dragons', inspired by the relationship between Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, was a drum'n'bass lullaby whilst tracks like 'Versace Hottie' are pure clubland bangers. We think Princess Nokia is sure to be a favourite amongst DJs this year. - Robert Whitfield

  • Yumi Zouma

    Yumi Zouma

    Soundcloud / Facebook

    NZ trio Yumi Zouma, aside from having a penchant for wacky fonts, churn the most chillaxing noise you'll hear - imagine billowing white sheets, crisp summer air, sand, azure seas and a palmful of valium. It's a crossbred concoction of indie-pop, disco/semi-funk and dreampop - they're playful like the successor to ABBA but self-assured and confident, aloof even. Make sure to include the silk-smooth sounds of Yumi Zouma as part of your daily regimen. - Larry Day



    • Xiu Xiu

      Xiu Xiu

      Angel Guts: Red Classroom - [February 3rd]

      Xiu Xiu are a pretty tough sell. For instance, it took a long time before this album was picked up by one of our writers, which is odd to me, but whatever. Don't less this pass you by. It's an album that will float on by before punching you in your ear. - Oliver Primus

    • Angel Olsen

      Angel Olsen

      Burn Your Fire for No Witness - [February 17th]

      I don't get a lot of time to review music these days, but if there was one album released this month that was going to pull me out of retirement, it would be Burn Your Fire for No Witness by Angel Olsen. It's an absolute powerhouse of an album, which doesn't even talk half a listen to fall in love with. - Oliver Primus

    • Katy B

      Katy B

      Little Red - [February 10th]

      Little Red is an album full of tunes that could easily get a club shaking but that are also packed with emotion and maturity. It's an assured album that utilises everything Katy B has going for her, from her love of clubbing to her BRIT School trained voice which is both bewitching and relatable; the sound of a girl that you would see out on the dancefloor, not tucked away in the VIP area. Dance music with a narrative, and an interesting one at that, it's an album packed with odes to the strobing lights, thumping beats, and sweaty intimacy of a club with the emotional turmoil of a Robyn track that, like Disclosure's Settle, will probably dominate both radio airwaves and every DJ's decks. - Chris Taylor

    • Planningtorock

      Planningtorock

      All Love's Legal - [February 17th]

      Following last year's Misogyny Drop Dead EP, the Berlin based artist returns with a third studio album. Continuing the sound and themes of previous albums, All Love's Legal promises to be a far more political and powerful record tackling patriarchy and transnational gender politics. This is all communicated with extraordinary dance beats, vocal manipulation and a focus on the liberating quality of music, resulting in what is sure to be a direct and expressive record. - Robert Whitfield