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The music industry today seems incredibly fast-paced. Album cycles are compressed, and fans demand new music to keep up with their instant-gratification media consumption. Artists rise into the public consciousness and fade out just as quickly (looking at you, buzz bands). Understandably, life gets in the way of music sometimes, and many artists fail to keep up. Below is a list of artists I miss, ones who haven’t released music in what feels like too long. Some may turn out to produce again: in 2014, D’Angelo released his first album in 14 years, giving me hope that these artists won’t be silent forever.
- Melody’s Echo Chamber
Melody’s Echo Chamber, the project of Frenchwoman Melody Prochet, crystallized in 2012 with a self-titled debut album. Kevin Parker (of Tame Impala) helped produce the album, lending the project his penchant for psych-rock. Prochet’s voice is wispy and bright, evoking a swinging ‘60s songstress, the perfect complement to the music. After cutting ties with Parker, Prochet has released only a single in the meantime, though she continues to play shows sporadically. Hope of return: 6/10.
- Sister Nancy
While it’s a long shot to expect Sister Nancy to record new music any time soon, nothing is impossible. The Jamaican dancehall legend of the 1980s now works in New Jersey as an accountant—she is, after all, the “Only Woman DJ With Degree.” Her crucial contributions to the genre, especially as a trailblazing female artist, make her a legend of Jamaican music. Samples of her most famous song, “Bam Bam,” can be heard from movies to commercials to any number of hip-hop tracks. Although the world has changed considerably since her heyday, I believe it’s ready for more Sister Nancy. Hope of return: 1/10.
- Black Marble
A Different Arrangement, Black Marble’s debut album from 2012, is the last we’ve heard from the group. Riding off of the momentum of an excellent EP, the album was an essential listen that year, crafting a heavy, spaced-out and atmospheric electronic sound. One reviewer of a show, which took place in the summer, described the group fittingly: only Black Marble could make a room feel cold on a hot and sunny summer day. Though most people describe their music as cold or dark, spots of warmth burn through, highlighted by the dreamy atmosphere that threatens to swallow them up. Occasionally, I hear their music in movies and commercials, a sign that the people are ready for a new Black Marble album. Hope of return: 8/10
- Jai Paul
Jai Paul is music’s ultimate man of mystery. Numerous articles have been written about the twists and turns of his career, and a (still active) Facebook page asks “Where Is Jai Paul?” The London producer rocked the internet with his unique, soulful, funky, bumping electronic songs circa 2010. He was quickly scooped up by XL Recordings, the same label as Adele and Radiohead, which some cite as the roadblock to new music. A mysterious bandcamp album surfaced, later called an illegal leak of unfinished demos, that some speculate was Paul lashing out at his label for stifling his creativity. My theory is that Jai felt the immense spotlight wasn’t worth it, and decided to lead a private and unreleased musical life instead. Unfortunately, the world is worse off for it. After only two official singles more than five years ago, rumors of his whereabouts and activity continue. Despite how badly I want Jai Paul to come back, I don’t think we’ll hear from him any time soon. Hope of return: 2/10.