Ones to Watch For in 2018



Tim Presley — best known as front man of psychedelic rock bands Darker My Love and White Fence—is an institution in the California tradition and a passionate champion of local L.A. talent. Back in 2012, Presley started his own label, Birth Records, for the sole purpose of producing the music of folksinger Jessica Pratt. Since then, Birth Records has been home to a select few — most recently, The Mad Walls. “The moment I heard [The Mad Wall’s] title track ‘Somewhere Anywhere’,” says Presley, “I thought I had unearthed a rarity, an old bootleg or new music from a lost group.” To Tim’s surprise, this was a living, breathing band; it was “draped-static-dim-seed-Los-Angeles-music, a flame that gets passed on down and through the avenues. Designed to be found.”

Led by Christopher Mercado, The Mad Walls started out in 2016. August 2017 saw the release of their first ever EP, Somewhere Anywhere, while their debut music video came out just this month. At this point The Mad Walls are in their musical youth, far from the mainstream, below Pitchfork’s radar, unbeknownst to college radio stations. I look forward to seeing what comes of the band in the upcoming year. With Presley’s guidance and support, I believe we can expect to see some creative work. — Rachel, Contributor 

Dayna Tortorici is not really a new talent — she’s been up and coming in the shifting pile of writers of political analysis, essays, and cultural commentary since 2011 when she joined the illustrious n+1 magazine. She’s an editor at n+1 now. But even now, she doesn’t get the readership her nuanced and brilliant essays deserve (or the readership that I think she deserves, despite signs that nobody reads anything longer than 5 sentences anymore). She recently asked in the magazine’s latest “The Intellectual Situation” section, “Who in a showdown would accept the subjugation of women as a necessary political concession? Who would make peace with patriarchy if it meant a nominal win, or defend the accused for the sake of stability?” This as a contemporary spin on Dorothy Thompson’s 1941 piece in Harper’s, “Who Goes Nazi”. Many went Nazi. Many would accept the concession. Needless to say, we can use more of Tortorici’s essays in the coming days when more will reveal their tropism toward nominal wins and artificial stability. — Hoon, Managing Editor

London R&B singer Bassette’s voice is as raw and soulful as Erykah Badu’s or that of the late Amy Winehouse. The soul singer has an intense, quiet vulnerability in the way she sings. I’m sure we will hear a lot more from her in 2018 on this side of the pond. Check out her latest single Bermuda produced by Joe Hertz. — Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief

Photographed by @theresbianca, Source: Refinery29

Dani Roche is my latest Instagram “find” – she however, is not so new to the online creative scene. Based in Toronto, she is the creative director and owner of Kastor & Pollux, a creative production agency. She recently launched Biannual, a genderless outerwear label and let’s just say I’ve added every piece to my wishlist. In 2017, Roche was recognized by Vogue, Refinery29, HYPEBAE and Coveteur to name a few. In many of her interviews, she’s expressed that comfort, confidence and a good thrifted piece are key to her unique personal style — she’s not just another fashion blogger, she’s a businesswoman. As a twenty-something creative myself, I am always looking for some inspiration so I will be keeping an eye out for Roche’s upcoming projects (and vibrant Instagram feed) in 2018. — Jana, Contributor 

Natasha Oakley is my number one business woman/influencer at the moment. From Australia, this young woman has been really famous on Instagram. Not only a pretty face (and body), Natasha is also the co-founder of two famous brands. A Bikini A day which is a beach, beauty and fitness brand and Monday Swimwear an exclusive bikini brand. – both own with her best friend Devin Brugman. This blond girl is close to perfection as she always looks beautiful (and natural) but also talented in everything she is doing. If you are looking for a beauty/fitness guru this year… go for Natasha Oakley! Aurore Evee – Fashion Contributor