Gigging and performing for over 12 years now, JP Cooper played within a rock band for a couple of years, before moving to a gospel choir, and now sits much more on the soulful side of things than the heavy stuff. Recently signed to Island Records, JP Cooper is expecting his first album out this year, already releasing five EP's that, surprisingly, have remained under the radar. Tracks such as Brother, Colour Me In Gold, What Went Wrong and Halo are full of energetic soulful riffs and powerful melodies combined with a natural song-writing ability that brings his music to life. With a new EP on the way titled When The Darkness Comes, we have a lot to look forward to with this new found talent. 


I first stumbled upon this compelling and emotionally captivating young singer-songwriter through a free song download on iTunes. The song was Bottled Up Tight, which draws you in to its delicate, quietly beautiful melodies before a dynamic build up into something much more raw and powerful. He released three fantastic EP's before his debut studio album which had a great reception online and on iTunes. Definitely one to watch. 


Mighty Oaks is the Berlin-based folk project of Claudio Donzelli, Ian Hooper, and Craig Saunders. The name is a by-product of the group's affinity for nature. Their music is a blend of tight, three-part harmonies and effusive, largely acoustic-driven folk anthems. With acoustic guitars and mandolins at the centre of their sound, layers of electric guitars creating space and depth, rounded off through solid bass lines and the heartbeat of a simple drum - their music makes me want to travel. Have a listen to their only piece of music currently available on iTunes - Brother EP.


Josh Record is a British alternative artist who released his first self-produced EP titled 'The War' in 2012, which reached number two on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart. His slow, melancholic sound reminds me of an early José Gonzales. With soft rock harmonies, matched with heartfelt lyrics, Josh has shown his natural ability to tell stories within his music. With a very bright start to his musical career, I'm interested to see how his sound develops. 


Currently gigging in London, away from his hometown of Nottingham, Joel Baker has released two EP's on iTunes and has a rapidly growing fan base online. He started off busking and gigging in his hometown before compiling his covers into an EP project that he put out online. This consisted with his very original and fresh renditions of songs by the likes of Eagle Eye Cherry, Bob Marley, Kanye West and Kings of Leon. A rework of Kendrick Lamar's Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe has now attracted over 190,000 youtube views. He has been compared to the likes of James Morrison, John Mayer, and Gavin DeGraw. His sound is full of soul, raw emotion and melodic guitar rifts. 


SOAK (real name Bridie Monds-Watson) is a female singer/songwriter from Derry in Northern Ireland. Recording demos, gigging and busking since she was just 14 she managed to build a small audience of fans, and in 2012 self-released a small album of songs she had recorded on her own. Since then her once small audience has grown and grown and she was recently shortlisted by BBC Sound of 2015. With a very honest and endearing touch onto her young and innocent sounding songs, she has already been signed by Warner Bros. and is expecting an official debut album out this year.


The first track I listen to from this young singer-songwriter (real name Joseph Lyons) was titled As Old As The Grave. As soon as the song began I felt as if i was listening to Alt-J for the first time again through the strong swaying melodies, running up and down the vocal strings effortlessly. But after the introduction of the track, Eaves falls into a song of dark and somber roots which are carried and driven by his impressive songwriting skills and powerful vocals. With only one EP under his belt, he is definitely one to watch, currently on tour with rising star Nick Mulvey.


My Darling is so far the first and only track that this New Zealand based band has put out, but is good is enough to stand alone...for now. Reminiscent of The Lumineers hit Ho Hey which spent 18 non-consecutive weeks at the top of the charts and went platinum world-wide. My Darling embodies the same feel-good and loved up ambience, encouraging feet to tap and hands to clap from start to end. Hopefully this band can release some new music soon that reach the high standards their first song has set. 


Gavin James is a singer songwriter from the heart of Dublin, Ireland. At just 21 years old, Gavin developed his songwriting and performance skills through a series of live residences in Dublin's pubs over the last three years. I first heard him when I went to Dot To Dot festival 2012 in Nottingham. I stumbled into a the room Gavin was performing in for his last three tracks and shook his hand after the show. He was the first artist I researched when I got home. Gavin has an exceptional voice and songwriting ability that has a variety of influences including Damien Rice, Ray Lamontagne and Ray Charles. He's already selling out his own headline shows in Ireland and has performed alongside Ingrid Michaelson and Kodaline on tour, Lianne La Havas, Lewis Watson and Beth Orton amongst many others.


22-year-old Latir is an up-and-coming London based artist full of youthful soul with a modern twist, portraying unique vocals both in his live performances and his recordings. With a colourful catalogue of original music just waiting o be released, it shouldn't be long until his name is being heard all over London.  Rising through the London gigging circuit, he and his band recently headlined an event titled Play It Forward in the heart of Camden; kicking off his set with a unanticipated cover of Tupac's Do For Love, showing off his love for the old school, which easily transcended through the ears of the crowd, then gracing them with some of his down-tempo, soulful and melodic original tracks. He finished his set with an atmospheric, soulful rendition of Justin Timberlake's Señorita. With his first self-released album on its way, Latir is already showing off his musical knowledge and song-writing ability, shown within his online remixes which have already secured a strong online following. Watch this space!


Since raising his profile in the last year, Johnny Rain has been compared to artists like The Weeknd, PartyNextDoor, and Drake. An american R&B artists who follows the new style of down-tempo, progressive soul music, he has self-released three mixtapes online which provided him with a small crowd of followers who spread his talent through the digital world. One to watch within this new sub-genre with his debut album 11 just dropping on iTunes last month. 


Ever since I stumbled upon his rendition of 'No Diggity' a couple of years ago I've kept my eye on Chet Faker. I've had both his studio albums for a while but never properly listened to them through until recently, and have fallen in love with his downtempo, soulful, electronica style.  I'm also subscribed to a youtube channel called Triple J, an Australian Radio station which features a lot of good artists coming through, playing original music as well as cover's. I found this great feel-good track from Chet Faker covering Sonia Dada's (Lover) You Don't Treat Me No Good. It's a different vibe from his studio albums, but a fresh take on the track. Check him out!


If you like this listen to... 

Songs: Talk Is Cheap | Cigarettes and Chocolate |  Gold | No Diggity 

Albums: Thinking In Textures, Built On Glass

Sweater Weather


Tags    winterindiesinger-songwriterfolk

Genres    folkindieacousticsinger-songwriter

Published    December 16, 2014


A playlist to follow us into the season of crunchy snow and boots, cold winds and clear skies, and thick blankets and hot drinks. Whether you've decided to remain within the safe haven of your duvet for the day, or venture out into the cold, enjoy the wintery season with the likes of Ben Howard, Bon Iver, Matt Corby and more.


Chill (literally).