13 musicians to watch in 2022, including one from Portland


Reyna Tropical is one of our Slingshot artists to follow in 2022.

Alejandro / Courtesy of the artist

It looks like 2022 might come with more time than we’d like to explore new musicians. Fortunately, NPR Music’s partner stations have already selected a selection of artists for you to check out. Some have been honing their craft for ages, while others released their first project last year. Whatever their time on the scene, this year’s roster is full of artists set to accomplish great things in 2022.

You can stream a playlist of these artists via Spotify and Apple Music.

Black country, new road

Proven with his refreshing debut album, For the first time released last February, Black Country, New Road has promises. The British experimental rock band is as if Steven Reich were the head of a group that played in small clubs instead of philharmonic. “Bread Song” lasts six minutes, a harmonic tour de force without chorus on, among other things, eating a sandwich in bed. I’m looking forward to the band’s next album, The ants up there, will become one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2022. –Justin barney, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee


Sam Houston, the creative mind behind BLK ODYSSY, comes from a lineage of P-Funk collaborators; Houston’s father and uncle toured with the psychedelic collective in the ’70s, and George Clinton was a close family friend. Funk is in Houston’s blood, but his is haunted.

In 2020, the police murder of George Floyd unearthed Houston’s trauma surrounding the murder of his own brother. Compulsive self-reflection culminated in the creation and release of Houston’s debut album, VINTAGE BLACK. The Houston Album warps the mothership through shadowy space, but P-Funk’s sound is no stranger to the dark (just listen to Eddie Hazel’s guitar in Fly brain title.) The Mothership is salvation and deliverance from the earthly tragedies we endure, and like the funk that preceded it, BLK ODYSSY will take those who wish to embark on a journey to new worlds. – Ryan Wen, KUTX

Casii Stephan

Whether singer-songwriter Casii Stephan sings about pain, love, loss or social justice, her beautifully emotional voice inspires comparisons to alt-pop artists like Florence Welch and Fiona Apple with a style of writing reminiscent of Carole King’s.

His next single, “Already Gone”, is an anthem against domestic violence; “I wanted to write a song where, as a woman, you realize that your worth is not tied to the affection of another person. As a person, you are worthy without having to prove your love to someone. one, ”she said.

If COVID-19 allows, Stephan plans to take his songs on the road with some regional and national dates in 2022. —Julie Watson, Live from Cain


Gabriels, an LA-based collective with deep roots in the local gospel community, tap into elementary inner feelings to create music that moves the heart. Even when he riffs on a tune as familiar as the Flamingos’ “I Only Have Eyes for You” – as the band does in their 2020 single “In Loving Memory” – Gabriels brings a weight to the proceedings that doesn’t get annoying. With the promise of a full project in 2022, I predict that the bond between the group and its audience will only grow stronger. —Marion Hodges, KCRW

Tombs of Micah

After a six-month stay as an exchange student in Amsterdam, pianist Micah Graves returned home with a passion for writing music. Graves’ musical foundation has its roots in many of the same programs that aided the early development of Christian McBride, Joey DeFrancesco, Justin Faulkner, Immanuel Wilkins and many more.

With an aggressive recording schedule, the 23-year-old Philadelphia artist has released three impressive projects in less than a year, including his sublime mix of genres record. pions. In 2022, his discography should double. Two of his new works will feature original compositions and his other project will pay tribute to jazz standards. –J. Michael Harrison, WRTI


In 2021, Minneapolis-based artist Miloe re-recorded and released her song “Winona,” this time with features from Jamila Woods and Vagabon. Original hooks intact, the new version adds transcendent production elements. Be on the lookout for a new full album this year. –Brian Burns, WUNC


If you like unforgettable riffs, you’ll love Momma. If you like real hooks, you to like the New York-based indie rock duo. Elements of Sonic Youth, The Breeders, Veruca Salt and Smashing Pumpkins shine through in Momma’s music. Although there is a clear nod to the past, Mom is focused on the here and now. –Russ Borris, WFUV

Reyna Tropical

Composed of Mexican expatriates – Portland-based multi-instrumentalist Fabi Reyna and producer Sumohair – Reyna Tropical merges Afro-Latin rhythms, Mexican and Colombian cumbia and psychedelic rock influences to create a sonic palette as beautiful as it is original. –Jerad Walker, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Sammy Rae and friends

Sammy Rae & the Friends see themselves as a family collective of dreamers and artists. Thanks to the group’s first album, Let’s have a party, the family continues to grow in unprecedented ways. Influences ranging from classic rock to Latin tinged soul are gently distilled through the band’s energetic live performances. We anticipate that these tunes will ring in the ears of many music lovers as the band hits Mountain Stage this summer. –Adam Harris, Mountain stage

Suki waterhouse

In her single “Moves”, Suki Waterhouse is named after the revered and reigning Queen of Rock of Detroit, Suzi Quatro. The Confessional Jewel, with its feathery construction and instant hook, was a breakthrough for the rising British songwriter, appealing to both unsuspecting pop fans and intrepid musical adventurers alike.

Add to the mix her vocal style – reminiscent of the exquisite tones of Elizabeth Fraser or Hope Sandoval – and a solid collection of early works that caught the ear of Sub Pop, and you’ve got a welcome addition to your playlist. 2022. Gini Mascorro, KXT

Lazy eyes

Early Tame Impala and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are clear sonic references for The Lazy Eyes. While the four-piece Aussie band say it’s hard not to wear your influences on your sleeve, tracks like “Fuzz Jam” have many of us excited to hear where the band takes psych rock to its sound. debut album, later this year. . –Jason Thomas, KVOQ

Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno

Vivian Leva is from Lexington, Virginia, and was raised in the old tradition; his parents are acclaimed roots musicians who perform in duets Jones and Leva. She first met Riley Calcagno of the Onlies at a music camp in the Pacific Northwest. The couple began a remote collaboration, culminating in their first official release in early 2021. Desired Moses, WNRN

Court Act

Yard Act will be the groundbreaking English post-punk artist of 2022. The band nails the hair and emphasis, biting humor and timely politics of Fontaines DC and IDLES, and builds on that with mind-blowing beats and rhythms. Eye-catching hooks for the TikTok audience. After hearing “The Overload” on WNXP, Michael Grimes of Grimey’s Records and basement rooms in Nashville wrote this apt comparison: “Shit! It’s like the waterfall meets the streets.” –Jason Wilkins, WNXP

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