Norman Warwick listens to the experts

As 2021 came to a close (phew!), the music press advised us who might be in the vanguard of leading new artists now in 2022. American Songwriter kept its eyes and ears open for new standout acts pm the way up and named 12 artists they believe are ´destined for stardom´ . Today we bring you five acts they chose that we think most fit our play lists here at Sidetracks & Detours.

Whilst Sidetracks And Detours  are sure that acts even as yet unheard of will also come to the top in the next eleven months, we were nevertheless pleased to read American Songwriter´ s tip off for twelve acts that should, at the very least, be at the top of your list to get to know. From country and folk to hip-hop and pop, American Songwriters had it covered, So in bringing you the five that have blinked on our radio recently we also urge you to subscribe to American Songwriter and read their Top 12 Artists to Watch in 2022. Bookmark the five of those that we feel certain will please our regular readers, and you will have plenty of good listening to look forward to.

American Songwriter is on safe ground, surely. in lauding Sunny War, (left) the Los Angeles-based folk artist who they say could well have a Grammy nomination or two by this time next year. Her writing and performing signals her as a spirit staunchly unto herself. In many ways, War seems like the next Americana artist to pop into mainstream conversations. (No pressure, of course.) While War is certainly not an unknown artist to date (indeed, she has already earned a coveted NPR Tiny Desk Concert), she is not yet a household name like, say, Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell, or Valerie June. But we think she will be. In conversation, War is charming yet soft-spoken and concise. Her music is inspired. It sweet talks past your soul’s outer defenses and nestles within to live happily ever after American Songwriter is grateful for that.

There are few singing voices, on the planet suggest American Songwriter that can match Shaina Shepherd’s and none at all that might out-battle her. If, as the great movie ScottPilgrim vs. the World depicted, voices are like mythical creatures that emanate and grow from their source, then Shepherd’s would be unconquerable. Such a voice gives a person poise, too, it would seem. American Songwriter has already covered Shepherd previously on at least three occasions. But it looks like the world is catching on to her skills now, too. See her in a recent Nordstrom ad, and opening for John Legend, and with Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, and with Duff McKagan. We’re happy the audience is finding out what American Songwriter already knew to be grand. You´ll all be happy, too, when you hear more of Shaina (right).

 While Priscilla Block (left) generated a buzz in 2021 thanks to the release of her self-titled EP and Tik Tok viral single, “Just About Over You,” 2022 is primed to be her year. With a highly-anticipated new album, Welcome to the Block Party, set to release on February 11, Block purposefully weaves messages of self-love, empowerment, and acceptance throughout the album. Songs like “Peaked in High School,” and her current single “My Bar” are sure to catapult this North Carolina native to the next level. This spunky, country-pop newcomer, who moved to Nashville eight years ago to pursue a music career, is set to take the town by storm. If you haven’t been around the Block yet, American Songwriter highly recommend a visit.

An artist we trumpeted as far back as November 2020 in an an article called Its Not All About Me has moved in the past fifteen months From busking in the streets of Brighton to signing with Ed Sheeran’s label, Gingerbread Man Records, and racking up over half a billion global streams of her debut album You Signed Up For This.

British-born Maisie Peters (right) is actually already well on her way, and was featured on these pages as long ago as November 2020 in an article entitled its Not All About Me Her songs “Psycho,” “Brooklyn” and “Volcano,” featured on her debut album, have garnered praise from fans and industry insiders alike. She’s already been tapped to write and perform songs for the new soundtrack album for the Apple TV+ original series Trying, and released the lead track, “Funeral,” in 2021.

You Signed Up For This debuted at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart. Of the album, Masie says, “It really is my (albeit not hugely long) life’s work and my proudest achievement; it is my favourite album maybe ever and whilst I may be biased, I really hope it goes into the world and becomes lots of other people’s favourite too Next stop for this 21-year-old phenomenon, according to American Songwriter, ´is surely world domination´.

photo 5 Perhaps, though, you might be a looking for a band of musicians that knows how to party. The seven-member group led by soulful singer/songwriter Sammy Rae has released two EPs and a handful of singles thus far. The Good Life (2018) introduced Sammy Rae & The Friends to the world, and Let’s Throw a Party (2021) solidified their staying power. Each of their songs possesses a diverse smattering of rock, folk, funk, and jazz sounds. The translation of their songs to the stage is subsequently distinctive. “We try to cultivate an environment where everybody feels really welcome both in the live space and on the internet space,” Rae recently told American Songwriter. We can’t wait to see SR&TF out on their Follow Me Like the Moon tour, and maybe we’ll see some of their famous friends there too.

please note logo The primary source for this article was  an article published in American Songwriter.

In our occasional re-postings Sidetracks And Detours are confident that we are not only sharing with our readers excellent articles written by experts but are also pointing to informed and informative sites readers will re-visit time and again. Of course, we feel sure our readers will also return to our daily not-for-profit blog knowing that we seek to provide core original material whilst sometimes spotlighting the best pieces from elsewhere, as we engage with genres and practitioners along all the sidetracks & detours we take.

This article was collated by Norman Warwick, a weekly columnist with Lanzarote Information and owner and editor of this daily blog at Sidetracks And Detours.

Norman has also been a long serving broadcaster, co-presenting the weekly all across the arts programme on Crescent Community Radio for many years with Steve, and his own show on Sherwood Community Radio and has regularly guested on BBC´s Radio Manchester, Radio Lancashire, Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio Four.

As a published author and poet he was a founder member of Lendanear Music, with Colin Lever and Just Poets with Pam McKee, Touchstones Creative Writing Group (where he was creative writing facilitator for a number of years) with Val Chadwick and all across the arts with Robin Parker.

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