Reading time: 5min.

by Graham Peters

Virgin Virtuosos #1: Luna Rae, Aurora and The Academic

Every fortnight, we will be bring you three under heard artists who we think have the potential to make it big. For everything from the complete unknowns to the just-about-to-blows, take note.

The unknown: Luna Rae

We start off with a supremely talented pair of female vocalists (and waitresses, when they’re not on stage), based in Bath, who’ve recently been making modest waves on the UK music scene. The self-styled electronic pop duo, whose influences vary from eighties and nineties soul, R&B and funk, to contemporary pop-punk, blend two seemingly mismatched voices, like their tastes and indeed their respective backgrounds, to create something entirely gorgeous.

We present to you Beth and Myra: Luna Rae.

Myra’s distinctively diva R&B style provides rasp and fire over Beth’s silky melancholia, and the result is something that really, really works. This is a duo for anybody whose spine tingles at vocal harmony. Capital FM and Vodafone have already taken notice of the pair’s talents, and so should you.

Click here for a short interview with the duo, who will be releasing their debut single (featured above in the video) at the end of the summer. If you happen to be in and around Bath, you might also be able to catch them playing a gig or two in the coming months. You can expect their debut EP early 2017. For all their latest material, here is their Youtube channel, or you can follow them on Facebook.

The criminally underheard: AURORA

A Swedish singer songwriter whose debut studio album ‘All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend’: already hit number 28 in the UK albums chart but there’s so much more to come. Aurora Aksnes, probably best known for her work on the infamous John Lewis Christmas advertisement of 2015, takes clear inspiration from Florence and the Machine, while her voice has a distinctly Lorde-esque quality to it. If you like powerful tracks with sweeping, epic vocals, definitely give her single: Running with the Wolves a listen. Seeing as she cites Leonard Cohen as one of her main influences, the acoustic version in the video below is worth featuring, too.

Aurora’s deceptively gentle vocals, awash with breath, mingle seamlessly with a tentative guitar backing. But she is also capable of fierce power, pronounced by pinpoint pitch and tone, culminating in something that is equal parts haunting and beautiful.

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The just about to blow: The Academic

A four piece indie-rock band from Mullingar in Ireland, whose youthful tunes and youth itself provide a perfect platform for them to go global. With a strong tradition of rock bands in Ireland, from U2 to Snow Patrol (Kodaline being the softer styled cousins that the Academic’s lead singer clearly takes influence from) The Academic have their work cut out. But having just signed a worldwide publishing deal, they’re sure to be rocking in your earphones anytime about now. The four piece’s energetic pulse is best showcased in their punchy single ‘Northern Boy’. It’s fucking brilliant.

The rough-around-the-edges vocals, the simple narrative, the raggedy guitar. It’s direct, it’s fun, and it’s full of passion, but look a wee bit deeper and you might just find a forgotten part of yourself in it. Endlessly listenable.

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See ya in two weeks time!