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Matt Wilkinson’s 2020 Artists to Watch For January

Our new columnist Matt Wilkinson is one of the U.K.’s best known new music tastemakers, presenting a daily show on Apple Music where he reports on artists who are changing the way we listen. Having originally made his name as New Music Editor of NME, Matt continues to mine the best new music, chronicling the whole of the U.K. scene, and telling the stories behind the songs of the day.

Listen to Matt’s Apple Music show live for free or on-demand Mondays-Fridays at apple.co/B1_Matt, and read his picks for the recent U.K. releases you need to know about below. 

1. Georgia, Seeking Thrills

In terms of hype, Georgia’s second album feels more like her debut. There’s certainly a sense here in London that she’s about to cross over, after more than five years as a cult artist. She’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of music! At the heart of Seeking Thrills is a deep appreciation for Chicago and Detroit: house and techno's influence is everywhere. Listen even closer and you’ll also hear subtle nods to classic R&B ("Honey Dripping Sky"), John Lydon's Public Image Limited ("Feel It") and straight-up pop ("About Work The Dancefloor").

2. Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, "Reducer" 

If you’re going to SXSW 2020, make sure you watch Pigs x7, who I’ve been calling “the loudest band in Britain” for a while now on the show. Sometimes I think metal bands from our side of the pond can sound too weedy, like they don’t really mean what they’re preaching… but not so with this lot. There’s just the right amount of absurdity about them to make it all balance out perfectly. "Reducer" opens their new record Viscerals, and it gives me the exact same feeling as when I first heard King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.

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3. Rarelyalways, "Figure"

This track actually embodies what it SOUNDS like to walk around certain parts of London right now!! I did a quick search and couldn’t find a single article about it, so you’re gonna have to go and listen to it yourself to hear how brilliant it is. It made my jaw hit the floor the first time I heard it. Now I've had a chance to live with it for a while, "Figure" reminds me of early Dizzee Rascal in terms of its intensity, but with a clear nod to what Moses Boyd, Kamasi Washington and others have been doing in jazz in recent years.

4. Meth Math, "Perreando Y Llorando"

This threepiece grew up in one of the hottest places in Mexico (the manufacturing city of Hermosillo), but have this gothy, doom pop thing going on. Hooking up with L.A.’s In Real Life label, their debut single "Perreando Y Llorando" (translation: "Grinding and Crying”) is drenched in reverb, and the accompanying horrorshow-vid is more Berghain than Baja.

5. Lauren Auder, "June 14th"

Lauren Auder have been kicking around the U.K.'s emerging music scene for a while; every now and then I’d spot them at buzzy new band gigs, or being mentioned in passing by other rising artists who’d be on my show. After a couple of previous releases, I feel like they’ve really hit their stride on this track, which is heavy in a Scott Walker kind of way; all subdued, world-weary strings, and a vocal that spits and spews yet still somehow manages to stay afloat while sounding utterly ethereal.