10 new pop acts for 2015 

click to enlarge Kami Thompson (daughter of Richard and Linda Thompson) and James Walbourne make up The Rails, a folk-rock duo to watch in 2015. - COURTESY  PHOTO
  • COURTESY PHOTO
  • Kami Thompson (daughter of Richard and Linda Thompson) and James Walbourne make up The Rails, a folk-rock duo to watch in 2015.
If 2014 felt like a big dormant beehive musically, then 2015 – by contrast – is already abuzz with activity, as it heralds the return of some legendary artists and the emergence of several remarkable new ones. Muse comes back this summer (with a new Mutt Lange-helmed recording) as do Florence + the Machine and Madonna (with controversial album tracks already leaked).

Bob Dylan covers – gasp! – Frank Sinatra on February’s “Shadows In the Night,” and influential riot grrrl trio Sleater-Kinney has – gasp again! – regrouped for the comeback “No Cities to Love,” out Jan. 19. Then there’s British chanteuse Adele, who reportedly has gone into seclusion to perfect the successor to her multiple-Grammy-winning “21,” which moved 25 million copies. But wait – there’s more!

1) The Rails

Kami Thompson spent years denying her family legacy. With her guitarist husband James Walbourne, she’s now accepted it as the folk-rock duo The Rails: She’s the daughter of Richard and Linda Thompson.

2) Sheppard

This Australian family-and-close-friends band will dominate 2015 once its dazzling debut “Bombs Away” is released here. Spin the joyous single “Geronimo” and see for yourself.

3) Deers

Originally just a duo, this Spanish outfit is now a four-piece, finishing up its debut album. Check out garage-jangling early tracks like “Bamboo” and “Trippy Gum,” and you’ll be a Deers hunter, too.

4) Girlpool

These two Los Angeles gals – guitarist Cleo Tucker and bassist Harmony Tividad – make a hell of a racket as Girlpool. Their lo-fi approach clicks on clever cuts like “Slutmouth” and “Blah Blah Blah.”

5) Sleaford Mods

Bare-bones lineups are back. Frontman Jason Williamson has an angry working-class outlook, a spoken, Billy Bragg-droll delivery, and the minimalist rivet-gun backing of beatmaker Andrew Fearn.

6) Wolf Alice

Led by powerhouse Ellie Rowsell, this London quarter – only two EPs old – named itself for an Angela Carter short story – reason alone to love it. A folk-punk full-lengther should cement its stardom.

7) Melanie Martinez

This spooky singer’s EP “Dollhouse” is decidedly Tim Burton-ish. “I need to kill you/That’s the only way to get you out of my head” she grimly chirps on “Dead to Me.” Full album coming – you’ve been warned.

8) Elle King

As legend has it, this Ohio-bred, Brooklyn-based composer heard The Donnas at age 9, and her life changed – which almost explains her great genre-jumping 2015 debut for RCA.

9) James Bay

This R&B singer just won the Brits Critic’s Choice Award. Find out why when his debut, “Chaos and the Calm,” hits in the U.S. in March.

10) Rita Ora

She’s best known on these shores for her omnipresent fashion and cosmetic shoots, even a role in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” flick. But that will change in America, once this UK diva’s upcoming second album is released.

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Tom Lanham

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