Now in their sixth year, the Songlines Music Awards celebrate the wealth of musical talent from around the world. Here are the four nominees in the Newcomer category, as voted by you.
Fronted by Venezuelan Luzmira Zerpa, Londoner Jack Yglesias and Nigerian/Ghanaian Kwame Crentsil, Family Atlantica ambitiously delve into the wealth of the music on either side of the Atlantic with their Latin/African fusion. Very much a product of multicultural London, they unite with music of the African diaspora with unparalleled joy, enthusiasm and charisma.
This trio of Cypriot musicians – Antonis Antoniou on the bouzouki-like tzouras, Angelos Ionas on guitar and Demetris Yiasemides on wind instruments – have been updating the local repertoire since they formed in 2011. Their debut features confident reworkings of local songs, providing a fresh and inventive take on tradition. Peppered among the traditional songs are a few excellent originals.
Harmonica virtuoso Will Pound shows off his stuff on his solo debut. Taking the instrument on an epic journey through varied repertoire, Pound’s playing ranges from delicate to frenzied. For A Cut Above, he taps into the bluegrass repertoire, morris dance tunes and even a bit of gospel. But this isn’t just an exercise in range, it’s his consistent musicality that makes this album something truly special.
Just as the album’s title implies, We Banjo 3 – Enda Scahill with brother Fergal, plus brothers Martin and David Howley – explore the journey of this often under-appreciated instrument, from bluegrass to traditional Irish music. Joined by several guests including five-string banjo whizz Leon Hunt, they offer an homage to the great players of the past with some top-notch playing.