Your Favorite New Artists Of 2017 (So Far) : All Songs Considered Women, guitar rock and New York dominate our listeners' musical landscape in this year's poll for 2017's best new artists (so far).
NPR logo Your Favorite New Artists Of 2017 (So Far)

Your Favorite New Artists Of 2017 (So Far)

Clockwise from upper left: Overcoats, Jay Som, Vagabon, Diet Cig, ALA.NI Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

As we tallied the results of this year's listener poll for 2017's best new artists (so far), we continue to see women dominating the list and guitars still a big part of your musical landscape. Four of the five most popular new artists are women or fronted by women and all of them are based out of New York. (In last year's poll, listeners picked all women for the entire top ten). The fuzzy rock of bands like Diet Cig, Charly Bliss and Jay Som fared the best, while Nick Hakim and Sampha were the only two male solo artists to crack the top ten.

On this week's show we count down the best new artists from the first half of 2017, as selected by our listeners. We define a new artist as someone who released a debut full-length this year (if they don't have a full album, an EP or single will do). We also throw in a few of our own picks, including the out-of-time, otherworldly sound of ALA.NI, (more) guitar noise from Vagabon, and the transfixing voice of Tom Adams.

See the full list below with selected quotes listeners submitted in our poll.

Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for Swear I'm Good At This

07Barf Day

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    Song
    Barf Day
    Album
    Swear I'm Good At This
    Artist
    Diet Cig
    Label
    Frenchkiss Records
    Released
    2017

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01. Diet Cig

  • Song: Barf Day
  • from Swear I'm Good At This

"They're so genuine, happy, and unapologetic! Lovely humans, amazing music!" -- From our listener comments

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Song
Swear I'm Good At This
Album
Swear I'm Good At This
Artist
Diet Cig
Label
Frenchkiss Records
Released
2017

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Cover for Guppy

02Westermarck

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    Song
    Westermarck
    Album
    Guppy
    Artist
    Charly Bliss
    Label
    Barsuk Records
    Released
    2017

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02. Charly Bliss

  • Song: Westermarck
  • from Guppy

"They kick so much ass, and they've been a jolt of joy in a year that began with me having heart surgery at 25 years old. Two weeks after the surgery, I groggily headed down to Brooklyn to see Tokyo Police Club, one of my favorite bands since high school, as a 'congrats you survived' celebration. Charly Bliss opened and my friends and I were all soundly impressed by their throwback, alt-rock stylings mixed with Eva Hendricks' cooing, bubbly voice." -- From our listener comments

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Song
Guppy
Album
Guppy
Artist
Charly Bliss
Label
Barsuk Records
Released
2017

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Cover for Young

04Leave The Light On

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    Song
    Leave The Light On
    Album
    Young
    Artist
    Overcoats
    Label
    Arts & Crafts
    Released
    2017

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03. Overcoats

  • Song: Leave The Light On
  • from Young

"Totally rad ladies with smart lyrics, sweet vocals, and powerful, sometimes-gritty backing music that's kind of dark but very danceable." -- From our listener comments

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Song
Young
Album
Young
Artist
Overcoats
Label
Arts & Crafts
Released
2017

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Cover for Gracie And Rachel

03Only A Child

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    Song
    Only A Child
    Album
    Gracie And Rachel
    Artist
    Gracie And Rachel
    Label
    United Opportunity
    Released
    1969

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04. Gracie And Rachel

  • Song: Only A Child
  • from Gracie And Rachel

"Innovative beautiful music. Passionate devotion to honest storytelling. Eminently stimulating to listen to." -- From our listener comments

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Song
Gracie And Rachel
Album
Gracie And Rachel
Artist
Gracie And Rachel
Label
United Opportunity

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Cover for Cigarettes After Sex

01K.

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    Song
    K.
    Album
    Cigarettes After Sex
    Artist
    Cigarettes After Sex
    Released
    2017

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05. Cigarettes After Sex

  • Song: K.
  • from Cigarettes After Sex

Though Cigarettes After Sex just released its debut full-length earlier this year, the band has already racked up tens of millions of plays on YouTube, with an ethereal, ambient pop sound, and the unforgettable voice of frontman Greg Gonzales. The band's self-titled, debut full-length was released June 9.

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Song
Cigarettes After Sex
Album
Cigarettes After Sex
Artist
Cigarettes After Sex
Released
2017

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Cover for Process

04(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano

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    Song
    (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano
    Album
    Process
    Artist
    Sampha
    Label
    Young Turks
    Released
    2017

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06. Sampha

  • Song: (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano
  • from Process

"Process is a gorgeous album and Sampha has put some serious soul into some wonderfully accessible electronic R&B. I don't think anyone could disagree that the single '(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano' is one of the most unexpectedly beautiful songs of the year so far." -- From our listener comments

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Song
Process
Album
Process
Artist
Sampha
Label
Young Turks
Released
2017

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Cover for Middle Kids

05Old River

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    Song
    Old River
    Album
    Middle Kids
    Artist
    Middle Kids
    Label
    Domino
    Released
    1969

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07. Middle Kids

  • Song: Old River
  • from Middle Kids

"They have a raw energy, emotion, and very hooky tunes, all anchored by Hannah Joy's confident and soaring vocals." -- From our listener comments

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Song
Middle Kids
Album
Middle Kids
Artist
Middle Kids
Label
Domino

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Cover for Nothing Feels Natural

07Nothing Feels Natural

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    Song
    Nothing Feels Natural
    Album
    Nothing Feels Natural
    Artist
    Priests
    Label
    Sister Polygon
    Released
    2017

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08. Priests

  • Song: Nothing Feels Natural
  • from Nothing Feels Natural

"They are the urgency music is missing. They're wild, angry, political, and irreverent all at the same time." -- From our listener comments

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Song
Nothing Feels Natural
Album
Nothing Feels Natural
Artist
Priests
Label
Sister Polygon
Released
2017

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Cover for Everybody Works

041 Billion Dogs

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    Song
    1 Billion Dogs
    Album
    Everybody Works
    Artist
    Jay Som
    Label
    Polyvinyl
    Released
    2017

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09. Jay Som (Tied with Nick Hakim and Hippo Campus)

  • Song: 1 Billion Dogs
  • from Everybody Works

"Everybody Works is such a joy to listen to. It's easy enough to dip in and out and enjoy but then, upon deeper listening, it's a very well contained album." -- From our listener comments

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Song
Everybody Works
Album
Everybody Works
Artist
Jay Som
Label
Polyvinyl
Released
2017

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Cover for Green Twins

04Needy Bees

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    Song
    Needy Bees
    Album
    Green Twins
    Artist
    Nick Hakim
    Label
    ATO Records
    Released
    2017

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10. Nick Hakim (Tied with Hippo Campus and Jay Som)

  • Song: Needy Bees
  • from Green Twins

"His debut LP Green Twins is an awesome adventure in psychedelic soul and funk music. Hakim has such great guitar and synth tones and his voice is buttery smooth." -- From our listener comments

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Song
Green Twins
Album
Green Twins
Artist
Nick Hakim
Label
ATO Records
Released
2017

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Cover for Landmark

04Boyish

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    Song
    Boyish
    Album
    Landmark
    Artist
    Hippo Campus
    Label
    Grand Jury
    Released
    2017

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11. Hippo Campus (Tied with Nick Hakim and Jay Som)

  • Song: Boyish
  • from Landmark

"They're sound is so light and fun. They remind me of when indie pop/rock was at its peak in the mid aughts." -- From our listener comments

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Song
Landmark
Album
Landmark
Artist
Hippo Campus
Label
Grand Jury
Released
2017

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Cover for You & I

01Cherry Blossom

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    Song
    Cherry Blossom
    Album
    You & I
    Artist
    ALA.NI
    Label
    Imports
    Released
    2016

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ALA.NI (Bob's pick)

  • Song: Cherry Blossom
  • from You & I

A pick from host Bob Boilen, ALA.NI sounds like a no other voice making music today. She channels a bit of Billie Holiday or Judy Garland with a flair all her own.

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Song
You & I
Album
You & I
Artist
ALA.NI
Label
Imports
Released
2016

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Cover for Saturday Night

01Tall Glass Of Water

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    Song
    Tall Glass Of Water
    Album
    Saturday Night
    Artist
    Tim Darcy
    Label
    Jagjaguwar
    Released
    2017

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Tim Darcy (Bob's pick)

  • Song: Tall Glass Of Water
  • from Saturday Night

Another one of host Bob Boilen's picks for 2017's best new artist so far is Tim Darcy who is the front person in the band Ought. Here Tim Darcy channels a bit of The Velvet Underground adding some surprising turns on his debut full-length, Saturday Night, released Feb. 17.

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Song
Saturday Night
Album
Saturday Night
Artist
Tim Darcy
Label
Jagjaguwar
Released
2017

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Cover for Silence

02Come On, Dreamer

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Tom Adams (Bob's pick)

  • Song: Come On, Dreamer
  • from Silence

This final pick from Bob Boilen for best new artist, pianist and singer Tom Adams, makes ethereal, calming songs with an unforgettable voice. His debut full-length, Silence, was released May 5.

Cover for Infinite Worlds

05100 Years

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    Song
    100 Years
    Album
    Infinite Worlds
    Artist
    Vagabon
    Label
    Father/Daughter Records
    Released
    2017

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Vagabon (Robin's pick)

  • Song: 100 Years
  • from Infinite Worlds

One of co-host Robin Hilton's favorite new artists of 2017, Vagabon is otherwise known as Lætitia Tamko, a Cameroon-born, New York-raised singer with a love of gritty guitar rock. Her debut full-length, Infinite Worlds, was released Feb. 24.

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Song
Infinite Worlds
Album
Infinite Worlds
Artist
Vagabon
Label
Father/Daughter Records
Released
2017

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