To truly celebrate Pitchfork’s first 25 years, we can’t just look back. We need to look forward, too. The site was born out of the spirit of discovery, and over the years, we’ve always made it our mission to champion new artists, often pushing the underground into the mainstream in the process. The musicians who excite us the most are often the ones that feel like they’re just on the brink of their masterpiece, who are constantly innovating and building a legacy for themselves or their community. These are the artists that help us consider the future of music: how it’ll be made, where it’ll come from, what role it’ll play in shaping scenes, and how genre lines may be increasingly dismantled.
Over the past few months, we’ve compiled a list of artists who are pushing us to think this way. We polled Pitchfork’s staff and select contributors to see who excited them right now. We pulled from our Rising series and revisited emerging artists with Best New Music releases from the past few years. (For context, the xx, Lana Del Rey, and FKA twigs were once Pitchfork Rising artists, back in the day.)