2017 in review : 4 Singer-songwriters who stood out this year

A touching voice, a story to tell, that’s what most of the singers have in common. However, what makes them stand out individually, as songwriters and take it one step further is the way they embody their stories.
It is obvious that creatives draw inspiration from their own daily experiences, nothing revolutionary about it. The difference is that some artists know how to make you feel things And that is what we are looking for. In the myriad of events we have attended this year, some artists remarkably distinguished themselves and we want to tell you about them. You will find below singer-songwriters who stood out for us this year.

Lewis Watson – Paris, Sept. 2017 © Gaëlle Pitrel // www.plugin-mag.com
Modern tales will often start on The Internet; Youtube and Tumblr, where tons of twentysomethings built communities of interest in the 2010s. Lewis Watson is one of those who shared their music on there and whose music got shared by thousands. It allowed him to shine and eventually blossom.
In 2017, Lewis has released ‘Midnight (acoustic)’, which is a stripped back version of his last album of the same name. He toured all year long in support of it, almost worldwide. Yes, Watson tours a lot (70-ish shows this year in Europe, Australia and America) and most of the time alone! His DIY ethic makes him so relatable and accessible, which is probably why even his very early fans stick to what he has to offer. Lewis is your typical millennial we all are in our homes, behind our computer screens, being all awkward and clumsy, but still very good at making bad jokes on #TheInternet. Except that on top of that, he makes great art.
A couple of months ago, Lewis Watson played a very packed little venue in Paris, called le Pop Up du Label, where many people of all backgrounds and ages got increasingly excited to watch him as the songs followed up. Watson was alone on stage with his guitar only. He quickly filled up the whole room with the best vibes, nevertheless. The rain was pouring outside and while we entered the venue soaking wet, it took us about three minutes to completely forget about the inconvenience and get caught in an hour-long moment with the singer. He’s close to his listeners and did even play a song in the crowd.
Photos of this show are available using the following link : Lewis Watson x Paris.

The aforementioned venue hosted many of Watson’s current peers, including up and coming australian rising star Amy Shark. If you haven’t heard this name yet, it’s coming, because we believe 2018 is going to be huge for her.
Amy sings about love and heartbreaks in the most simple and honest manner. She openly tells you the story behind each of the tracks. She could be your best friend, she could be your sister, she could be you. The songs take an unexpected depth live, as Amy Shark manages to give them a beautiful strength. Spits on Girls, Deleted, Golden Fleece and the popular, breakthrough single Adore are empowered and empowering. People in the room nod, smile, shout and applause as the set unfolds. Amy Shark will even cover Eminem’s Superman, describing it as her favorite song of his. She owned the track and gave it a new life.
Amy has the audacity of tickling our emotions and we can only imagine how her own are going  as she is currently rounding off a busy year of touring and promoting her music worldwide.
The Gold Coast native has already a busy year ahead of her, during which she will undoubtely seal her European conquest for good.

Elliot Maginot‘s story might have started by accident, but anyone who listens to his music would probably be thankful for “happy accidents”.
The Canadian singer and songwriter has the power to suspend time through delicate melodies and a soothing voice. His connection to his audience seems effortless and natural : he’s a little bit clumsy, but he’s endearing too. He puts smiles on faces and when everyone’s embarked on a voyage with him, we’re instantly thousands of miles away, hopping on some of the most captivating and entertaining stories. From Monsters At War to Still Alive, watching Elliot perform his songs is nothing but liberating. Elliot Maginot hasn’t released anything new in a little while, however, he played shows several times in our shores this year, which makes him still of topical interest.

It’s not often that artists on stage in Western countries face total silence from their audience. That was yet the case when singer songwriter Julien Baker performed in Paris in early November in the cosy theatre room Les Etoiles. Propelled as the new face of indie music on the other side of the Atlantic after releasing her brilliant debut album “Sprained Ankle” (6131), it was Julien’s second visit to Paris and first since the release of her second album, “Turn Out The Lights” (Matador). But it almost seemed that time and space became irrelevant concepts as soon as the 22 year-old from Tenessee started to share her music with the crowd of a hundred or so, while the soul crushing lyrics about addiction, religion and loss resonating on the venue’s walls, were only met with discreet weeping. That changed though, when Julien started playing Something, the crowd joining in as one and softly chanting back the lines, loud enough for the room to hear but as low as possible, as not to ruin anything out of respect for this incredible moment. If you are lucky enough to get a chance to listen to the musician, go and witness what will probably be one of the finest moments of music of your life. Words : Brian R.

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