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For you, from us: a list of the best up-and-coming European bands

By ties gijzel

Who would have thought that the European Commission would ever have been involved in kickstarting the careers of James Blake, Milky Chance, Hozier, Bastille and Ásgeir? We sure didn't. 

Pictures taken by Jorn Baars, Bart Heemskerk and Siese Veenstra

But you will be surprised. What all these artists have in common is a performance before a European audience in Groningen, a town in the northern part of the Netherlands.

Why on earth in Groningen? Well, every year the European music festival Eurosonic is held in this town. With artists from 32 countries, the festival attracts more than 42.000 visitors and is subsidized by the EU.

According to the festival itself, Eurosonic is supposed to be the place where you can spot all the up-and-coming European musical talent. Because we all like the idea of discovering the next James Blake, Are We Europe decided to select the major highlights of the 4-day festival (11 - 14 January 2017) that you can't miss.

Day I

1. Vera Jones Experiment (Jazz | Soul - Hungary)

With a song that is as beautiful as their hometown of Budapest, Vera Jones Experiment made an impressive debut at Eurosonic. The band was one of the lucky few to perform two nights in a row, which made their performance even more unforgettable. 

2. Albin Lee Meldau (Soul | Pop - Sweden)

Sporting a similar haircut to that of James Blake, a unique sound and only 1000 views on YouTube, this guy is probably one of the exceptional talents present at the festival with a bright future ahead of him. Music reviews of this year's edition did not mention him at all, but he definitely deserves to be center stage. As you might have noticed: we're big fans. 

Day II

3. filous (Alternative | Electronic - Austria)

In French 'filous' means 'rascal', but with its warm electronic vibes his music is surprisingly innocent.  This hipster-epitome & singer/producer from Austria sure knows what he's doing and didn't win the EBBA award for nothing. 

4. Gallowstreet (HipHop | Trap - The Netherlands)

What's better than a brass ensemble to lighten the mood? Gallowstreet is gonna be brassing for many more years to come. Listen to their songs and you'll see that you'll be tapping along - or even sneakily dancing -  when alone in a room. 

Day III

5. Bazart (Indie-pop | Belgium)

"Bazart is the latest example of the 'goud' (gold) that Belgium seems to have plenty of," claims the festival's organization. Well, amen. 

6. Coely (Soul | Rap - Belgium)

Coely is everything Nicki Minaj is not: she can be charming, sing and is not made out of plastic. On top of that, she can also rap. Don't they say that Antwerp, her hometown, is the city of diamonds?

Day IV

7. Weval (Electronic | The Netherlands)

We first spotted Weval four years ago in a local club somewhere in Amsterdam, and now the two dj's have gathered international attention. Due to their dreamy electronic music with its solid base, Weval is definitely one of a kind. Don't expect to easily spot them at Amsterdam venues as frequently as before, for now the gates to European festivals stand wide open. 

8. Birthh (Folk | Electronic - Italy)

Maybe a shame that her performances can never be as good as her video clips, but her music is even better live. The Italian Alice Bisi is only 19 years old and already reminds us of the electric guitars of The XX. Let's hope there are many more songs to come.

Last but not least, we might have said before that we don't need the United Kingdom for our musical needs,  but these British talents sure made us reconsider that entirely: 
> Stormzy - even though he's far too well-known nowadays to label as a discovery... 
VANT -  responsible for the longest queues of people at the festivals wanting to see them. Their music ranges from indie, to rock and punk - you name it.

All in all, the Eurosonic festival is a great way to discover the most talented (starting) artists from all over the European continent.

Here are the countries that were represented at Eurosonic:

What better way to start 2017 than by making a new Spotify playlist? Make sure to go check it out.