Required Listening For Fall Semester

  by mtvU.

Every semester, mtvU identifies five up-and-coming artists that are primed to jump from campus favorites to household names. This fall the “Freshman 5” line-up includes Allen Stone, Charli XCX, Icona Pop, Polica and The Neighborhood. Take a look and tell us your favorite.

Note: Voting for this round of The Freshmen closes Friday, September 7th at 2pm/ET.

Allen Stone


USA Today has called Allen Stone a “pitch-perfect powerhouse” and The New York Times has likened his socially conscious music to that of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers. But the 25-year-old singer-songwriter from the tiny backwoods town of Chewelah, Washington just sees himself as “a hippie with soul.”

Charli XCX

“You’re The One”

“It’s quite simple,” says 19-year-old shooting star Charli XCX. “We need to reboot British girl power, but this time with edge!” A bold claim, but if there’s anyone whose fingers are best placed to hit CTRL-ALT-DEL on pop, it’s Charli. Believe all you read about breaths of fresh air and you’d half expect a force
ten gale to be blowing through the music industry but here, we have the real deal: a singer
songwriter liberated from the acoustic guitar fixation that preoccupies so many; a teenage
popstar with a good head on her shoulders and a sharp mind in her head.


Icona Pop

“Love It”

Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt formed Icona Pop right after they first met in Stockholm in 2009. Four weeks later they started gigging and haven’t stopped since. The pair merges a knack for synths and drum lines with an appreciation for pop melodies and explains it themselves like so “…that’s ‘what we are’. We don’t have to decide, because there’s no decision to be made. We just have to do exactly what we want.”


“Dark Star”

Minneapolis continues its golden run of producing quality talent with the first project to arrive out the Gayngs collective, the super slick electronic pop-soul outfit Poliça. Fronted by ice cool vocalist Channy Leanagh who sang with Gayngs, produced by Ryan Olson and featuring Mike Noyce from Bon Iver, it’s a who’s who of the current Twin Cities scene.


The Neighbourhood

“Female Robbery”

California indie pop band The Neighbourhood rock a deeply layered vibe that blends catchy melodies with edgier undertones that results in a sound that can be described as sweeping. The band has recently played some gigs in NYC and have an engaging live show as well. Might be all the meatballs they’ve been eating?


Who will it be this week? Vote and tell us in the comments section below.