In the realm of singing, a good falsetto is a special magic of its own. A part of you wishes to deny its existence, while the other part is charmed like a snake when a singer executes one well. Of late, there have been a handful of falsettos that have captivated our ears at Ones To Watch. Read on for a list of these charmers’ names.
10. Ry x - “Berlin”
Ry x, a Los Angeles-based singer and guitarist, has been circulating local clubs and venues with only a handful of tracks. The Australian folk singer has a sound so ethereal it’s almost haunting. Ry x may recall the initial euphoria and hype surrounding Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver, but tracks like “Berlin” stand completely on their own.
9. Rhye - “Open”
When the band Rhye first emerged, many people couldn’t place singer Michael Miloshe’s magnetic voice as definitively male or female. Silky and dynamic, Miloshe makes words sound like velvet; his voice is as smooth as jazz and as gentle as the violin it accompanies.
8. James Vincent McMorrow - “Cavalier”
This Irish singer, who plays all the instruments on his tracks, just released his second record Post Tropical four years after his debut. McMorrow hits notes that are absolutely unworldly, hardly exerting any effort to execute the repeated line “I remember my first love” that can douse any body in shivers.
7. Mikky Ekko - “Pull Me Down”
His falsetto is most well-known for its guest appearance on Rihanna’s “Stay,” whose immediate popularity led him to drop out of his supporting role on U.K. songstress Jessie Ware’s tour. In the company of two powerful female vocalists on the road and in the studio, Ekko’s voice doesn’t pale at all in comparison.
6. Shy Girls - “Second Heartbeat”
In a timid, hushed voice, Dan Vidmar of Portland’s Shy Girls oozes subtle sultriness. On the strength of its six-track album Timeshare, Shy Girls is ushered into an already active new age of bedroom R&B. Vidmar’s voice, with its soft range, lends itself perfectly to that kind of nighttime balladry.
5. Active Child - “Evening Ceremony”
Active Child has collaborated with How to Dress Well, Mikky Ekko and Ellie Goulding, seemingly favoring those who, too, can hit the high notes. It’s not the voice that you’d expect to be coming out of long, lanky red-haired Pat Grossi, but nevertheless it ascends to an angelic level that perfectly complements the strings of his harp.
4. How To Dress Well - “& It Was U”
Tom Krell, who dropped his third album What Is This Heart? this June, is all pop and R&B goodness. His thudding beats and syncopated snaps drown in a piercing falsetto that is arresting on its own, but doubly stimulating as it hovers through one speaker and out the other, multiplying in rich layers against itself.
3. Autre Ne Veut - “Play By Play”
From the moment he lets his lyrics slip through over his tongue, Arthur Ashin entrances with a voice that strains but achieves its message of desperation and determination. With whispers and sheer power, Ashin commands his high notes and sends them soaring over a tapestry of competing electronic elements.
2. Glass Animals - “Gooey”
This Ones To Watch band from Oxford exudes cool. With their first album Zaba notched under their collective belts, Glass Animals uses front man David Bayley’s vocals to create sensual, trip-hop songs that saunter like jungle beasts. Bayley doesn’t boast his falsetto to make it the climax of his band’s music, but rather draws out the music around it.
1. Jai Paul - “BTSTU”
Probably one of the most elusive acts in the game, the mysterious Jai Paul has only two tracks officially accredited to his name. The rest are loitering in the empty caverns of the internet, when his highly-anticipated full-length album was supposedly leaked. The Indian producer has slinked away into the shadows, but his wide berth of hungry fans is still clinging to what it can.
By: Alexa Girkout