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  • The 2020 hot list: 8 Berlin musicians to look out for this year

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The 2020 hot list: 8 Berlin musicians to look out for this year

One year passes, another begins. And with it, hopeful newcomers who may soon be stars. Here’s our list of Berlin musicians to watch in 2020.



Pop

Lxandra

Woman with long her and white button shirt and green eye make up in front of light orange background. It is singer Lxandra.
Berlin’s Lorde: Lxandra (Photo: Iris Heikka).

Lxandra might just become Berlin’s answer to Lorde. The Finnish Berliner grew up on the Suomenlinna islands and has an instinctive feel for catchy melodies that avoid sounding generic. And she has a Lorde-like edginess to her voice. It sets her apart from many of her contemporaries, but may also go down well with listeners. She composes from her piano, which gives her sound a hint of Soléy, a kindred musical spirit from Iceland.



80s psych ballads

Better Person

Better Person brings crooning back (Photo: Moritz Freudenberg).

Word on the street is that Polish Neuköllner Adam Byczkowski, aka Better Person, was in the California studio with indietronic heroes MGMT last summer. If you’ve experienced a Better Person show, as Jessica Pratt’s support or at an underground location on Ziegrastraße with a lot of fog and sex in the air, for example, you’ll love his falsetto ballads.



Indie pop

Discovery Zone

Discovery Zone is as comfortable with a guitar as she is with a theremin (Photo: Lucas Ufo).

Berlin-based band Fenster have always been good for a breakaway project. Singer John Moods made a start. Now JJ Weihl, master of vocals, guitar, bass, percussion and synth, is following up with her project Discovery Zone. It already sounds like the great Weyes Blood. Debut album Remote Control comes in 2020. A zone to discovery, we think.



Avant-Pop

We Will Kaleid

Sounds born somewhere between Berlin and West Germany: We Will Kaleid (Photo: Johanna Besseling).

Jasmina de Boer and Lukas Streich sound like James Blake — if he had a female singer permanently on board. Their ambitious pop is Björk-like and breakbeat driven.



Piano pop

Inger Nordvik

Inger Nordvik writes ballads with a Nordic twist (Photo: Charles Mignot).

Fans of Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush and Tori Amos, but most of all Regina Spektor, will find great pleasure in the Norwegian singer’s ballads. Inger Nordvik, however, twists her songs through Nordic folklore and adds a bit more jazz to the mix than the others. In February, her debut album Time will be released. It already shares its title with one of Tom Waits’ best ballads.



Indie pop

HYMMJ

From Berlin to the world: HYMMJ (Photo: Una Kubinski)

It’s hard to believe, but the four members of HYMMJ all grew up in Berlin. The band has been going since 2013, but it took until now for the gently chugging indie pop to develop a maturity that sounds not like Berlin’s suburbs, but the big, wide world.



Pop rock

Giant Rooks

The least known next big thing: Giant Rooks (Photo: Frederike Wetzels)

The five young men from Hamm in Westphalia are so successful already that it’s hard to believe they don’t have a record out yet. But don’t worry — it’s coming in 2020. With a number of EPs under their belt they’re already playing venues like Columbiahalle, where bands like their (presumed) idols, Arctic Monkeys, perform. And they obviously live in Berlin by now.



Concept pop

Madanii

Madanii’s influenced by the world and understands pop as a total work of art (Photo: Cora Pereghy).

At first, Dena Zarrin, aka Madanii’s, songs sound like internationally compatible pop music. But then come these influences from all over the world, and noise moments that break the mainstream vibe. Not to mention the visual concept that always links the music with live gigs and videos.



Original text by Stefan Hochgesand and Thomas Winkler

Translated by Aida Baghernejad



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