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.

We'll update this page as the month wears on and we have more articles to add, but for now, cast your peepers over who we reckon are some of the best things happening in the world of music this month.

This month's edition is smaller than usual due to the recent Christmas break. New Music introductions written by Chris Taylor. Album pieces and introduction by Larry Day.


  • niia

    niia

    Soundcloud / Facebook

    With Rhye's Robin Hannibal on her side, Niia is set to dominate 2014 with her as of yet untitled debut album. Starting out in the world of jazz, this mesmerising chanteuse was noticed by, and worked with, an unlikely collaborator, Wyclef Jean in 2007. Now, she’s set to carve her own path and, if recent single 'Generation Blue' is anything to go by, mixing together her silky smooth, gorgeous vocals with Hannibal’s idiosyncratic yet gentle productions, it's going to be a fine path indeed.

  • Violet Skies

    Violet Skies

    Soundcloud / Facebook

    Violet Skies stole our heart towards the end of last year with the incredible 'How The Mighty'. Mixing the minimal R&B feel with the bubbling grooves and that bookended piano piece, oh that piano piece, created an extraordinarily beautiful and arresting introduction to the Welsh singer. If 2014 is going to bring us more tracks like that, then 2014 might just be the year of Violet Skies.

    - Listen to Violet Skies' debut track 'How The Mighty'

  • Synaesthete

    Synaesthete

    Soundcloud / Facebook

    After starting out as the drummer for various bands, Sarah Tanat-Jones has decided to go solo, swapping the drum sticks for knobs and buttons. Luckily, however, she hasn't ditched the percussion background entirely. Her debut EP Earth & Air features the clattering of drum sticks and organic percussion over the standard drum machine which, coupled with the extraordinarily catchy rhythms, makes for an excellent example of what you can do when you don't completely reject actual instruments.

    - Listen to Synaesthete's Earth & Air EP.

  • Blue Daisy

    Blue Daisy

    Soundcloud / Facebook

    Calling himself Blue Daisy is definitely a tiny bit of a misnomer. Kwesi Darko is not here to take you on a lovely jaunt through beautiful fields as the sunset paints the sky a gorgeous hue of orange. Not content with the pop charts peddling thoughts of puppy dogs and love hearts, Darko wants to remind people that there's no benefit in living in denial. He's here to drag you down into the deepest, darkest corners of your psyche. It takes the darkness of, say Massive Attack, to a whole other circle of Hell.

    - Watch Blue Daisy's video for 'Psychotic Love'.

  • Mokadem

    Mokadem

    Facebook

    Mokadem made a hell of a splash last year with a remix of Lana Del Rey's 'Gods & Monsters' which sent Hype Machine into a frenzy. 2014 sees her getting ready to get out there on her own with her debut EP, out this month. 'Pretend Ur Mine', the first single from the EP, is a pretty good indication of what we might expect; house and 90s garage dragged through a big pile of glitter. It's euphoric and it's colourful, it's gonna be a hell of a way to see in the New Year.

    - Check out our Under The Influence feature on Mokadem.

  • Lucki Eck$

    Lucki Eck$

    Soundcloud / Twitter

    Being from Chicago and with a mixtape entitled Alternative Trap, it'd probably be true for everyone that your first listen to Lucki Eck$ would be quite a confusing one. His pensive lyrics, and melodic and minimalist beats are more Frank Ocean than they are Chance The Rapper or pretty much anything coming from Chicago to be honest. It's worth a listen just to hear how wrong your preconceptions actually are, but also to hear how diverse and exciting the Chicago scene is.

  • Ian Isiah

    Ian Isiah

    Soundcloud / Twitter

    Underground electronic music and R&B have, most recently, started to cross paths a lot more often than they had previously; each side taking samples from the other or enlisting one another to work on a track. Ian Isiah is very much in this crowd, having enlisted the likes of ShyGuy on his The Love Champion mixtape. Packed full of sensuous slow jams with a forward thinking electronic twist, it seems as though Isiah is going the way of R. Kelly via Kelela.



    • Mogwai

      Mogwai

      Rave Tapes - [January 20th]

      The Scottish post-rock legends aren't showing signs of slamming on the brakes with upcoming eighth studio album Rave Tapes winging it's way over to us imminently. It's already garnering some impressive reviews ahead of its January 20 release on Rock Action, with some pointing out that they're aging well rather than pretending to be 'hip youths', with their sound feeling smoother and subtler, losing some bite in favour of tenderness. Perhaps the evolution will see some loyal devotees waver, but for many, it'll be a vital component of their canon.

      - Read our review of the album by heading here.

    • Bibio

      Bibio

      The Green [EP] - [January 27th]

      Veteran experimentalist Bibio's new EP – The Green – sees him peel a cut from recent full-length Silver Wilkinson for a standalone release. Bibio has proclaimed 'Dye The Water Green' his favourite track from that album, and wanted to use archived material to flesh it out; there's a variety of tracks, including a collaboration with Richard Roberts of Letherette entitled 'Dinghy' which was recorded in 2006. In a way, it's a rarities mini-collection riding along one theme, so if you're an fervent Bibioliber (or whatever), you'll probably be itching to snap this up. Expect the release on Warp January 27.

      - Read our review of the EP by heading here.

    • Actress

      Actress

      Ghettoville - [January 27th]

      Accompanied by an uneasy manifesto, the London producer's new LP – apparently a sequel to Hazyville – may end up being his last. Introducing Ghettoville, released January 28 on Ninja Tune/Werkdiscs, Actress states: “A fix is no longer a release, it's a brittle curse. Zero satisfaction, no teeth, pseudo artists running rampant, but the path continues. R.I.P Music 2014.” Whether his macabre prophecy and ruminations bear fruit remains to be seen, but it appears that he knows something the rest of us haven't even fathomed – it's probably safe to assume that this new record will be darker, bigger and more unhinged than anything prior.