Newbies: 7 Debut Albums And EPs You Have To Hear

Written By Sam Murphy on 11/02/2016


New Music Fridays are often so overshadowed by the big releases, that these gems by newbies get overlooked. We're not gonna let that happen. Here are some of the best you need to get around.

Topaz Jones

New Jersey rapper Topaz Jones occupies the same sort of space as GoldLink and Anderson .Paak do. It's personal, heartfelt music but it's backed by a soul and groove that makes you want to move. Aracade is a seamless, funky project that only taps two artists for features Pell and Leven Kali. Jones doesn't really need anyone but himself to captivate. He's a charismatic rapper with beats that give you that feeling.

Key Track: Pumping opener Howlin' To The Moon.

After Hours

It's been a pretty incredible year for the Mixpak label. They won the Red Bull Soundclash and have released incredible records by Palmistry and GAIKA. Florida producer Jubilee's debut album is their next release for the year and it's brimming with forward-thinking, dancehall-tinged beats. It's a solid listen from start to finish and one that rarely dips in energy. A record that's going to be on repeat for us through summer.

Key Track: The furious, flickering Spa Day.

Lil Aaron
Gloing Pain$

Lil Aaron has worked with Kiiara and JOY. among others but now he's attempting to change pop on his very own. Gloing Pain$ is his dark, punk-infused debut album that oddly blends pop and hip-hop for something that's unlike anything you'll hear all year. "We wondered how weird we could get, yet still be making pop records," he told Project U about the record and that's summing it up better than we ever could. You'll probably hate it the first time you listen to it but that's a good sign it's something different.

Key Track: The haunting, woozy STRONGER.

Terror Jr
Bop City

Terror Jr's music first appeared in an odd music video/commercial for Kylie Jenner's lip kits which sparked rumours that Jenner was the vocalist of the group. Whether she is or not (she's not), is beside the point. Bop City is a near-perfect collection of quirky pop tunes operating in that minimal pop space popularised by singers like Annie. It's full of slippery melodies and bubblegum beats that feel very otherworldly yet still hit at the heart.

Key Track: The bare-boned opener Little White Bars.

Most At Home

Sydney producer Oshan sneakily dropped his debut EP a few weeks ago and it's spreading around the world with a sound that's far too internationally informed to be labelled as Aussie in anyway. It's a confident, crisp collection of electronica with plenty of sonic twists and turns. Wobbly and wonky, it's what you get when you take funk and run it through the filter of the internet in 2016.

Key Track: The detouring lead-single Most At Home.


If there's an artist on this list most likely to become a prominent voice in music, it's RAY BLK. The London R&B singer's debut EP is a strong statement piece about race, self-love and roots. It's an organic R&B project that's built around her unwavering voice which spills out thoughtful, expertly constructed vocals. She's got Stromzy, Wretch 32 and SG Lewis on there but they're simply supports because it's all about RAY BLK.

Key Track: The narrative opener Baby Girlz

Foreign Water

Drake's VIEWS may go down as 2016's Toronto champion but Toronto singer JAHKOY has thrown up some strong competition with his debut EP Foreign Water. It's got the iciness of Drake's VIEWS but it's far more melodic and soulful looking outward at the world rather than simply staying in his feelings. This is about experiencing the world as a boy form Canada rather than simply detailing his life in Toronto. There's more than just a couple of hits on here to if it's treated in the right way.

Key Track: The Schoolboy Q-featuring California Heaven.

Listen to our Newbies Spotify playlist, featuring our favourite new songs by new artists: