By: Katie Christoff – A&E Editor
Good or bad, 2014 was a big year for the music industry.
Taylor Swift’s “1989” became the best-selling album since 2002 and Swift also challenged the future of streaming music with her controversial decision to remove all of her music from popular streaming service Spotify.
On the contrary, U2 decided to give away an entire new album for free – to every single person with an iTunes account. This unavoidable and free music was considered an annoying PR stunt by those less fond of Bono, but the album was named the top album of the year by Rolling Stone, despite the controversy.
The music industry still faces dropping sales, but Swift’s “1989” ended the year on an (cautiously) optimistic note. But, you can only hear “Blank Space” on the radio so many times before you go crazy and start stabbing things a la Swift, so here are some musical moments to look forward to in 2015. With some excellent emerging artists and old favorites set to release new music, 2015 is sure to be just as monumental for the music industry.
ARTISTS TO WATCH IN 2015:
The previously unknown songstress made a name for herself this summer with “OctaHate,” the catchy pop hit that will be stuck in your head for weeks. Although this instant hit was difficult to surpass, Weaver (real name: Aryn Wüthrich) released some slower, more soulful (and still extremely catchy) tunes that showed she’s here to stay.
Perfect for: Singing in the shower, walking (strutting) to class.
Must download: “Promises.” (And obviously, if you haven’t yet, “OctaHate.”)
This electro-pop duo from Philadelphia consists of Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gongol, and is primarily beat-driven while still somehow managing killer, jazzy vocals. Vocalist Gongol described their music as “sax-ual” to the Huffington Post, creating a dreamy, electro-infused combo of jazz and R&B reminiscent of a jazzier, more upbeat Banks.
Perfect for: Getting ready to go out for the night.
Must download: “Got It.”
When Vine croons, “You’re something out of a dream,” in the refrain of “Celeste,” the title track of his new EP, he may be referring to his own dreamy vocals. Spotify predicts the singer will get his 15 minutes of fame in 2015, and his slow and soothing melodies reminiscent of a dreamier, synthier version of Ed Sheeran (minus the British accent) will surely help him become a household name.
Perfect for: Writing a paper, the soundtrack for the next Nicholas Sparks movie.
Although British import Charli XCX had a breakout year in 2014, backing up Iggy Azalea’s summer hit “Fancy” and then releasing her own hit, “Boom Clap,” for “The Fault in our Stars,” she’ll become a household name in 2015. Her second album “Sucker,” released late December 2014, has some serious punk-pop jams that will likely carry over into summer of 2015.
Perfect for: Getting over a breakup.
Must download: “Hanging Around.”
NEW ALBUMS FROM
Running on rumors, the pop singer – nay, sensation – is set to release a new album in late winter of 2015. Though a release date and title are still TBA, I think it’s safe to expect an album of the same magnitude and publicity as Swift’s “1989.”
Adele’s new album is just as much of a rumor as Rihanna’s new album, with no set release date or title. Despite this, Adele has hinted to the press that she’s been working on writing, recording and producing her third album and it’s hard to imagine it being anything shy of a chart-topper, given her resume.
Florence + the Machine
The soulful songstress has been absent from the music scene for quite some time now, but with festival appearances already lined up in 2015 and a photo on a fan blog of Florence in the recording studio, rumors have been spreading that she’ll release a new album soon.
The rapper has put out a new album every year since 2009, until 2014, when he was apparently too busy becoming half of “the world’s most talked about couple” (see: Vogue, April 2014 or the E! network). In 2015, he’s got some making up to do. West recently appeased his eager fans with a new single featuring Paul McCartney on the keys, to which many applauded him for collaborating with unknown artists and giving them their big break (I wish I were kidding.)