Every Sofar Sounds show begins with a secret. Guests sign on for three unnamed performances at undisclosed locations, hosted by Sofar community members everywhere, from living rooms to retail stores. Ordinary spaces are transformed into legitimate music venues, connecting up-and-coming artists with engaged audiences in over 400 cities around the world.
Having reimagined the live music experience, Sofar is here to help us reimagine our own playlists—every month, they’ll round up their current obsessions from around the world and share why these global artists deserve a spot on your Spotify rotation.
Location: Doncaster (Yorkshire, United Kingdom)
Genre: Soulful rock
You’ll be forgiven for not knowing where Doncaster, England is, but you’ll definitely remember it after hearing the powerhouse vocals of Stars Walker, of soulful blues rock group Bang Bang Romeo. Fresh off the road with P!nk on her European tour, Bang Bang Romeo is ready to show the world how they rock in Yorkshire (which, as it turns out, is pretty darn hard). Another thing we love about this band? Walker wears her identity on her sleeve, saying: “I’m proud to be an out lesbian woman and proud of the community I’m in for forever breaking down walls with a middle finger up to the haters.”
Location: Los Angeles
Genre: Funky indie pop
With ample studio space and sunshine all year round, LA is home to some of the best indie music found stateside. Former ski racer and American Idol contestant Remi Wolf is now the coolest girl on the scene, making her presence known across Spotify playlists with the release of her debut EP later this year. Plus, she’s got an impressive live presence to match. File her under Ones to Watch.
Genre: Alt dance pop
Imagine if the coolest friends you met at that laidback hostel on the Portuguese coast got together and made a (really good) band. Didn’t happen on your last vacation? Well, you can still listen to the trio Ora the Molecule, a truly international band that represents backgrounds and influences ranging from Norway to Spain, Los Angeles to Slovakia, and everywhere in between. This sensibility is one of the reasons their danceable pop sound feels so fresh and modern.
Genre: Chill pop
Even if you failed your high school French class, there’s much to enjoy about Pomme, a charming Parisian artist who mesmerizes and enchants with the lovestruck lyrics on her full-length LP “A peu près.” Her next album full of vulnerable music will be out later this year, so time to study up on Pomme (if not that stilting French) before even more of the world falls in love with her.
You won’t not get chills when you watch Jake Wesley Rogers perform live. Another in a long line of Nashville songwriting wunderkinds, he sings confidently (and powerfully) on his recent EP “Spiritual,” which explores spirituality, the self, queer love, and more. If you’re a fan of emotional pop in the vein of Sam Smith or James Blake, you’ll be a fan of Wesley Rogers.
Location: Rio de Janeiro
Genre: MPB (Música popular brasileira/Popular Brazilian music)
If you can’t make it to a Brazilian beach this month, you can at least go there in your mind with the music of Rebeca, an up-and-coming Rio-based singer who blends the best of the spirit of bossa nova with modern minimalist pop and electronic influences. Let her lilting voice put you under a trance and you can almost pretend you’ve got a caipirinha in your hand.