Every year, we talk about how eclectic the mix of new artists is, but it's impossible to avoid. The world is still flattening out, and the artists who are emerging today know fewer boundaries than any generation we've ever seen making music.
At the same time, listeners are becoming more open-minded. We've seen a drug-fueled, shadowy figure from Toronto become a superstar. We've seen a teenager from New Zealand make the biggest pop song in the world. And we've seen a group of oddballs from California develop a die-hard international following. Nothing is off limits.
In 2015, young artists were unafraid to carve out their own path and follow their instincts. There are no longer rules about where and how music can catch fire. Some went futuristic, others went retro. Some went high-tech, and others stuck to their bedrooms. Some put out albums, and others dropped free music on SoundCloud. 2015 was a time for experimentation and independence, a time of self-discovery and social commentary. The youth had a lot to say, and we listened closely. We didn't have a choice.
We can't imagine things getting much more diverse, exciting, and inspiring. That said, we'll probably be thinking the same exact thing next year. Until then, here are our favorite new artists from 2015, in no particular order.