It’s almost time to bid adieu to the year. These haven’t been the easiest of times for artists, but their perseverance through it is downright admirable. While so many artists in our Sofar community wowed us, and helped us, through these rough times, here are a few who we want to recognize for their huge year.
The English singer gave listeners a string of emotion-soaked pop songs this year, and took the crown for Amazon’s 2021 Breakthrough Artist. There are no doubt big things ahead for Olivia, and while we can’t wait to see what’s ahead, we’re still appreciating her intimate Sofar from 2020.
Kudos to Neffy for being NPR’s 2021 Tiny Desk Contest Winner, and first artist to perform in NPR’s headquarters since the pandemic began. The Arlington, Virginia-based artist shared the single “Youth” this year– could a debut LP be on the horizon? While we wait, we love revisiting her multiple Sofars, including this stunning DC performance.
At the tip-top of the year, Jensen McRae gave us the lighthearted internet moment we needed when she parodied Phoebe Bridgers with the track “Immune (Visualizer)”. The thing went viral, and the artist released her debut EP, a collection of heartfelt, folk-pop stellar songs. We still have her Sofar from last year on repeat around here.
The pop artist got some big work done this year. He announced he’d signed with Warner Records, made his major label EP debut, along with his late-night television debut, and, and, he just played Paris Hilton’s wedding reception. It seems inevitable he’ll be selling out stadiums soon, so it’s extra special we’ve shared multiple Sofars with him, including this beautiful performance from 2019.
The recent Nashville transplant gave us a solidly grounded pop EP, and the country hued single “Best Revenge”. We also got to see her perform at the CMAs alongside Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards singing “Love My Hair”. We’re keeping our eye on what’s next for Madeline, but also, we just keep coming back to her Sofar from last year, which kicks off with the most sultry jazz version of Simply Red’s “Holding Back the Years”. It is, SO GOOD.
Photo credit: Neffy, photo by Katie Marriner