2016 Vinylmnky Breakthrough Records Lookback

It's been a solid year at Vinylmnky. We've featured artists from around the world - artists who've been nominated for Grammy awards, who've crushed SXSW, landed major record deals, and who've gone on international tours. We've put together a look back at our breakthrough artists of 2016. Check it.

January Breakthrough Record: Dopamine by BØRNS

[ BØRNS: Dopamine ]

Garrett Borns has been constructing landscapes of fascination and enchantment with his imagination since he was young. Growing up outside of Lake Michigan, Garrett fell in love with illusion, fantasy, and magic. Wearing his signature sparkling shirts, Garrett would work gigs at local restaurants as a tableside magician. As Garrett matured, he migrated away from magic and further towards music through choir, learning the piano, guitar, and how to use his voice to the best of its ability. Now, after experiencing his dreamy, and euphoric music firsthand, it is not difficult to connect the ten year old tableside performer Borns to the mainstream stage performer we see today, BØRNS. (Read more...)



February Breakthrough Record: Don't You by Wet

[ Wet: Don't You ]

With formulaic precision, the Brooklyn trio of Kelly Zutrau, Joe Valle, and Marty Suklow have developed a distinct methodology of sharing their innermost understandings of love and heartbreak through contemplative and bold break up songs. Having delivered a groundbreaking self-titled EP in 2014, followed by a wave of stylish singles, the trio has now released Don’t You – a fearless, introspective, and atmospheric eleven-track narrative that passionately dissects a love that promises everything, but in the end, comes up brutally short. (Read more...)



March Breakthrough Record: Long Way Home by Låpsley

[ Låpsley: Long Way Home ]

Holly Lapsley Fletcher, stylized Låpsley, has hit the ground running. At twelve she started writing music, at thirteen she wrote her very first fully formed song, Station, and at nineteen, Låpsley has dropped her first album, Long Way Home, for the world to hear. She’s picked it up quick, and she’s young and bold enough to diversify her sound through the debut without forcing solemnity just to display maturity. Long Way Home is an intimate bedroom confessional where Låpsley weaves stories of loss, sorrow, and solitude together through simple, heartrending recordings. (Read more...)



April Breakthrough Record: All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend by Aurora

[ Aurora: All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend ]

At just nineteen years old, Aurora Aksnes, also known as AURORA, is an artist both at the beginning of her journey and at the apogee of fantastical enjoyment. Redefining her own normality via the wondrous and extraordinary, her music is filled with passion and is intrinsically moving in nature. It’s keenly identifiable. In her performances, the sincere visceral significance of her lyrics and themes resonate in her very being, bringing her to shakes and wild, un-choreographed movements. Even with lyrics originating from thoughts of loneliness, death and solitude; there’s a resolve towards magical realism and dreamy soundscapes emerge. (Read more...)



May Breakthrough Record: Ganbaru by Yeo

[ Yeo: Ganbaru ]

Yeo is on the grind. The days of stopping at the local bottle shop, picking up a few forty ounces wrapped in brown paper bags and heading up to the top of a multi-zone carpark to chill with his Aussie crew are essentially over. Carparks have been a bit of a recurring theme in Yeo’s life (you can even find it in his lyrics and videos, see Icarus). He and his friends in music come up from the “DIY Scene”, as he puts it – staying at people’s houses, doing house shows and gigs where they shouldn’t be happening, to sneaking up to the rooftop of one of those carparks to put on a show. Yeo admits, without saying too much, “trespassing can be a bit of fun, but that happens less and less as we’re becoming adults with reputations.” Nowadays, when the Melbourne producer and songwriter isn’t clocking up the hours of his day job or handling “life admin”, as he puts it, the virtuoso turns his focus towards his passion – developing fresh pop music for the world to groove to. Fully committed, Yeo has been on a challenging and trying journey in music that is ever too cliché with the modern musician; yet he continues to push forward with tenacity through adversity and trying times. Yeo is an ever evolving and progressing artist - all while staying unique and true to himself. Breaking down his journey and evolution, it’s easy to see how he has gotten to where he is today, and how it’s given us his latest album, Ganbaru(Read more...)



June Breakthrough Record: Phase by Jack Garratt

[ Jack Garratt: Phase ]

With Phase, Jack Garratt breathes new life into indie alternative music through a moving album of ambitious power, dynamic arrangements, and clever electronic interpretations. It is the debut album that demonstrates why Garratt is positioned to be music’s next great talent. As a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer, Garratt’s virtuosic abilities united with his craving for artistic excellence allows for him to develop profoundly introspective yet radio ready recordings. (Read more...)



July Breakthrough Record: 99.9% by Kaytranada

[ Kaytranada: 99.9% ]

Arriving with sheer swag and hypnotic vibes, 99.9% is the debut LP from Kaytranada that we’ve all been waiting to dive into since first hearing his re-works on SoundCloud. Laced with dazed and confident sounds, the debut LP from the Haiti born producer, Louis Kevin Celestin, is a glowing testament to his unparalleled attention and manipulations of detail. Each club ready track is not only a commitment to Kaytranada’s eccentric intricacies, but an ebullient devotion to his Haitian upbringing through complex African rhythms and cohesive styling that bring the sounds of Dominican merengue to life. (Read more...)



August Breakthrough Record: Warm on a Cold Night by Honne

[ Honne: Warm on a Cold Night ]

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. Honne embraces that understanding, and takes it even further. Expressing their innermost feelings with us in every rousing verse, Honne vocalizes open wounds within each and every fractured R&B track, and takes us on a late night drive through their steamy electro-soul debut. (Read more...)



September Breakthrough Record: Illiterate Synth Pop by Prinze George

[ Prinze George: Illiterate Synth Pop ]

Based out of Brooklyn, New York, by way of Prince George’s County in Maryland, Prinze George has been carefully perfecting their craft since breaking on to the scene back in 2014. Comprised of Naomi Almquist (vocals), Kenny Grimm (production), and Isabelle De Leon (drums), Prinze George is an indie electro band that makes swoon worthy synth pop of substance. (Read more...)



October Breakthrough Record: Haunted Paradise by Black Atlass

[ Black Atlass: Haunted Paradise ]

Alex Fleming, who goes under the moniker Black Atlass, makes lusty, stripped down R&B with palpable essence. Hailing from Montreal, the young virtuoso recently released his debut album that reveals the hidden vices that even the most beautiful places hold. Fleming shares the struggle of trying to maintain a sense of purity within the journey through those dark spaces, giving us Haunted Paradise. (Read more...)



November Breakthrough Record: Ology by Gallant

[ Gallant: Ology ]

Gallant delivers a groundbreaking debut LP with the release of Ology. Pushing the boundaries of R&B, both lyrically and sonically, the Maryland-born musician carves out a distinctive voice with innovative precision. That voice is one of a thinker and philosopher. (Read more...)



November Breakthrough Record: Tkay by Tkay Maidza

[ Tkay Maidza: Tkay ]

The genre of hip-hop is occasionally seen as something that has been milked for everything it’s worth. What more could possibly be brought to the table at this point? Many artists look towards the past and build on the ideas and fashions that have been stale for over a decade, remaking the same songs over and over in an attempt to reclaim nostalgia. Tkay Maidza uses her unique blend of swirling wordplay, playful confidence, and staunch individuality to ultimately set herself apart from everyone else. Her debut album, Tkay, perfectly exemplifies what she's capable of. (Read more...)



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