Listening to Joshua Chuquimia Crampton is like watching a guitarist perform with a thought bubble over their head. 4 is landscape music, but in a way that draws power from the land rather than just evoking it.
The best new artists are pushing boundaries as popular music becomes less genre-focused. New artists are forging new identities, rather than occupying the convenient marketing categories of the past.
In a year that felt lonelier than ever, some expected ambient music to be a soothing balm. Yet ambient artists capture the sadness, the bliss, the hurt, and the healing of this wild year better than most.