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New signings and rising stars (Nov–Dec 2019)

Baker Grace, newly signed with independent agent Mark Bennett, and Jeffrey Lewis, the latest addition for Progressive Artists’ Shane Daunt, were among the acts added to the rosters of international agents in the final months of 2019.

Find out more, including a full list of new signings, below…

 


Baker Grace (US)

Agent: Mark Bennett

Eighteen-year-old New Jerseyite Baker Grace began shaping her distinct artistic voice as a child. Self-taught on piano and guitar, she started writing songs at a young age and soon learned that making music “allowed me to escape life while guiding me through it at the same time”.

Not long after releasing 2015 album Bitter’s Kiss, she was discovered by Scott Harris, a hitmaking songwriter/producer known for his work with Shawn Mendes and the Chainsmokers. In collaboration with Harris, she put out a pair of singles with Republic Records: ‘Am I Talking to You?’ and ‘Day I Die’. She also teamed up with producer Ayokay, appearing as the featured vocalist on his 2017 single ’Too Young’.

In 2019, Baker Grace independently released her debut EP, Girl, I Know, and single ‘Sad Summer’. She has since received over 25,000 new Instagram followers, 10 million views on TikTok, 15m streams with support from the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, and media support across numerous titles and brands.

 


Jeffrey Lewis and the Voltage (US)

Agent: Shane Daunt, Progressive Artists

Jeffrey Lewis and the Voltage play a blend of scuzzy urban indie-rock-folk, like a 21st-century mash-up of Sonic Youth, Pete Seeger and R. Crumb.

New Yorker Lewis has pursued a relentless touring schedule since 2002, as well as playing as the opening act for bands like the Mountain Goats, Daniel Johnston, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Dinosaur Jr, the Fall, Dr Dog, Pulp, Roky Erickson, the Vaselines and more.

The Voltage are Brent Cole on drums and Mem Pahl on bass and keys, and are essentially the same band that has been touring between 2016 and 2019 as Jeffrey Lewis and los Bolts, but Lewis continues his tradition of changing the band name with each album. New album Bad Wiring was released 1 November on Moshi Moshi Records in UK/Europe and Don Giovanni Records in the USA.

 


For full artist listings, including new signings for Primary Talent, UTA, ATC Live, X-ray, Paradigm, ITB and more, see the digital edition of IQ 86:


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New signings and rising stars (July–Aug 2019)

Kathryn Joseph (UK)

Agents: Rob Gibbs and Shane Daunt, Progressive Artists

Having won the Scottish Album of the Year in 2015 for her debut, Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled, Kathryn Joseph’s popularity has continued to snowball, thanks in no small part to what she describes as her “weird, creepy way of telling the truth” in her lyrics.

Last year, Joseph released a new album, From When I Wake the Want Is, and following a number of European dates supporting Neko Case in 2018, she completed her own headline tour in the UK in the first quarter of this year.

Critical acclaim for her second album has been as solid as her debut, and word of mouth is beginning to spread outside of the UK to overseas promoters, radio stations and tastemakers. In addition to a handful of UK summer festival dates, Joseph has an autumn headline tour confirmed, and a November appearance at Blue Bird Festival in Vienna.

 


Sheer Mag, ATC Live

Sheer Mag (US)

Agent: Will Church, ATC Live

With Sheer Mag announcing 23 August as the release date for sophomore album, A Distant Call, the buzz around the Philadelphia quintet in the music press is growing. While the band is still pursuing the theme of surviving the current hellscape, this time around the politics get extra-personal.

The album verges on being a concept piece, the protagonist of which resembles front-woman, Tina Halladay, herself. The songs document a particularly alienating time in her life when she was laid off from a job. Broke and newly single, her father passed away, leaving her with more wounds than it felt possible to heal. It’s heavy power-pop so sleek it gleams.

“We’ve been waiting to write these songs since we started the band and we were able to take these experiences and build a story out of them,” Halladay says. A Distant Call makes an argument for socialism on an anecdotal level. Matt Palmer (guitar/keyboards) and Halladay’s new approach to lyricism extended to the recording process, too. Once the Seely brothers (Hart and Kyle) had laid down the guitar and bass tracks, Halladay recorded vocals with producer Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Code Orange).

An 11-date, seven-country European tour has been confirmed for October and November, with additional shows in the pipeline, too, according to agent Will Church.

 


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