While the past year lacked releases by big names like Kanye, Adele, and Drake, there was a hugely varied crop of talented new artists, who put out music that crossed genre boundaries and confounded expectations. As listeners become more open to experimental and unusual sounds, creative young artists benefit by releasing some of the most vital and vibrant music we've heard in a long time.
Today, new artists are able to blow up faster than ever before. The combined power of the internet and a co-sign from a star can take an artist from being locally known to Grammy-nominated (in the case of iLoveMakonnen) in less than six months. With music moving so quickly, and trends coming and going in the blink of an eye, the new artists that forge their own path and make honest, genuine music are rewarded.
These are the Best New Artists of 2014.