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14 Artists Who [Alt]ered Pop In 2014

From Lorde to Charli XCX, well-known artists are beginning to identify their music as "Alternative Pop" or Alt-Pop. 2014 introduced us to tons of new talent offering up gems of this new genre - pop music that fuses together contrasting genres, foreign musical styles and different sounds. The developing genre incorporates pop elements into it's songs through repetitive structure and formulaic melodies. However, the lyrics and unusual beat progressions typically showcased have a more abstract sense about them, thus slightly distancing from pop's mainstream.

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1. Tove Lo Intoxicated Us With "Not On Drugs"

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Stockholm is known for pumping out pop's most promising talent, from Robyn to Icona Pop. Next up is Swedish songstress Tove Lo who appeared on the charts this year with her infectious single "Habits" and the Hippie Sabotage remixed version "Stay High."

Tove Lo's debut EP Truth Serum, which follows the up and downs of a damaging relationship, features her latest rasped-filled hits in addition to her next single, the emotionally-loaded anthem "Not On Drugs."

She has the chance to finally solidify herself within the pop scene - with a stint as VH1's "You Oughtta Know" artist this month and the opening act slot alongside Betty Who for Katy Perry's Prismatic World Tour in Australia this coming Fall.

2. Thomston Puts Us On Edge With "Motley Crew"

He's 18. He's from New Zealand. Please stop comparing him to Lorde.

"I haven’t got Grammys so I’m like the lame, non-famous, less cool, and not critically acclaimed version of her," Thomston told Pigeons&Planes.

Thomston, easily one of 2014's most under-noticed artists, is definitely one to watch for the upcoming year. Major labels are going to devour his alt-pop vocals layered over hip-hop productions, similar to what James Blake has been doing as of lately.

His Argonaut EP features wisdom beyond his years with "Caffeine," "Burning Out" and "Anesthetic" proving most buzzworthy.

3. Allie X Caught Our Attention With "Catch"

Canada has finally done something right - they've delivered us Allie X. The Toronto songwriter-turned-artist's mysterious vibe, soaring vocals, and synth beats bring us to an unknown place "X" that we never want to leave.

However, the Katy Perry-praised artist has no intentions to follow suit of the "Teenage Dream" superstar. Instead X, with the help of power producers Cirkut and Billboard, plans to remain mostly an unknown entity.

The twenty-something star explained to Billboard: "I don't see a reason for there to be a ton of personal information out there about me -- at first, at least," she says. "I think the content should speak for itself."

Other addicting tracks released on X's Soundcloud include "Prime" and "Bitch."

4. Ryn Weaver Surprised Us With "OctaHate"

Just one month ago, no one had ever heard of Ryn Weaver. To be quite honest, we still don't know much about Charli XCX's latest passion project.

Although she's another mysterious female twenty-something on the alt-pop scene, Weaver proves herself unique. The pop songstress seems to be a perfect product created with the A-list team of producer gods Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat, as well as chart-topping artists Michael Angelakos (of Passion Pit) and Charli XCX.

Formerly Aryn Wüthrich, the 21-year-old appeared on Cashmere Cat's "With Me" months ago to positive reactions. Although not formally with a label just yet, new music is sure to come considering "OctaHate" has already nabbed 1M+ listens on Soundcloud.

5. VÉRITÉ Struck Us With "Strange Enough"

VÉRITÉ emerged earlier this year with an incredible teaser track "Heartbeat." This time around the New York-native officially releases her scintillating debut single, "Strange Enough."

Explaining the track to be, "a contemplation of all the questions I’d ask myself about my relationship, and why we bother ourselves to try to make things work sometimes. The song goes back and forth between the nostalgia of what was, the reality of how things shift as time moves on, and how ultimately we romanticize moments that are fleeting. I’m excited and simultaneously terrified to have people hear it. It’s a song that wrote itself.”

This week's most blogged about artist has been compared to Ellie Goulding, Jessie Ware and BROODS. I think it's safe to say VÉRITÉ, with the help of Elliot Jacobson's production prowess, will continue to surprise us with her electrifying individuality.

6. Lo-Fang Won't Have Us "Look Away" Anytime Soon

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Did you know Lo-Fang's "#88" is one of Lorde's favorite songs? It explains why the talented singer-songwriter is currently on tour supporting 2013's biggest breakout star.

Lo-Fang is classically trained in piano, guitar, bass, cello and violin - showcasing his talents of each significantly on his debut album, Blue Film, which dropped earlier this year.

Stand-out tracks include "When We're Fire" and the simple yet sensual "Look Away."

7. BROODS Brought Us "Mother & Father"

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You might know BROODS by now.

The brother/sister duo's debut single "Bridges" hit Top 10 on the New Zealand (their home country) single chart, and they released their debut EP earlier this year with Capitol and Polydor Records. Evergreen, their full-length album is slated for an August release.

The odd yet edgy duo opened up for HAIM and recently performed their latest single "Mother & Father" on Late Night With Seth Meyers .

8. How To Dress Well. Faced Us With "Face Again"

His real name is Tom, like the Myspace dude. Boring, right?

How To Dress Well has been blasting out hits since 2010. His debut album Love Remains earned a top rating and Pitchfork "Best New Music" stamp of recognition. His sophomore effort Total Loss later ranked in their "Top 50 Albums of 2012."

His 2014 release What Is This Heart? is amping up speed with "Face Again."

How To Dress Well is currently on an impressive solo world tour.

9. Banks Is A "Goddess" And We Are Not Worthy

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Her Name Is Banks.

The Los Angeles-based artist is finally on your radar - with international rotation, praise from music's most prestigious publications and media outlets, an exciting feature in a prominent Victoria's Secret ad and major appearances at Coachella, Open'er Festival and Governor's Ball.

Spotify highlighted Banks as one of 2014's best - they couldn't be more right. Banks' London EP featured some of our favorite tracks of the year, including haunting hit "Waiting Game" and the thrilling "This Is What It Feels Like."

Her much-anticipated debut album Goddess will hit iTunes on September 5, 2014 with Harvest Records. The dark record has already been supported by the blogosphere's successful singles "Brain", "Goddess", and "Drowning."

10. Say Lou Lou Strikes Gold With "Everything We Touch"

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Two is better than one. At least it is with twin sister duo, Say Lou Lou.

Since their father is Australian and their mother is Swedish, it is to no surprise that Miranda and Elektra Kilbey are flawlessly beautiful.

Say Lou Lou made the BBC Sound of 2014 long list this year and haven't looked back since - having released ethereal singles "Julian," and "Better In The Dark" via à Deux, their own label.

"Everything We Touch" is the latest single of their highly-anticipated debut album due out later this year. The dreamy and glowing hook is pure gold.

11. St. Lucia Releases Unforgiving Track "Forgiveness"

Time & time again, Neon Gold Records always knows what's up.

Brooklyn's St. Lucia released a deluxe edition of 2013's electropop album, When The Night. The re-release introduces three brand spankin' new tracks - including the unforgivably infatuating "Forgiveness."

St. Lucia will tour North America from September through November on The Night Comes Again Tour to celebrate his latest and greatest feel good music.

In addition to St. Lucia's own music, he has remixed for Charli XCX, Passion Pit and Foster The People, as well as produced for HAERTS.

12. MS MR Revamped Betty Who's "Heartbreak Dream"

She's bold, she's blonde, she's beautiful - she's Betty Who.

The NYC-based Australian recording artist is well on her way to superstardom. The Berklee alum and RCA Records rising star has been all the buzz ever since her 80s-pop reminiscent single "Somebody Loves You" went viral last year.

Her debut EP was praised by Billboard, Idolator, Popjustice and Elle Magazine. Additionally, TIME included Who in their "14 Musical Acts To Watch in 2014."

Follow-up to The Movement EP was her Slow Dancing EP, released this April. With support from leading single "Heartbreak Dream," the project soared to No. 1 on iTunes' pop chart. This great feat earned Who an opening slot on Katy Perry's Prismatic World Tour this Fall in her home country of Australia, alongside Tove Lo.

Not only is Betty Who starting to impact radio in a big way- but she's gaining a very loyal fan base that extends beyond alt-pop favorite MS MR, pop superstar Katy Perry and real-life best friend Sophia Bush- the gays. Catch her touring PRIDE festivals all summer long!

13. When I Go Can I "Go" With You, Grimes?

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Vancouver's Grimes has been on the scene since Visions (2012) was proclaimed "one of the most impressive albums of the year so far," by The New York Times. She re-emerged into the limelight after earning Canada's prestigious Juno Award for Electronic Album of the Year in 2013.

Grimes is currently signed to Jay Z's management company Roc Nation, in conjunction with 4AD Records.

In June, Grimes premiered her new track "Go" featuring Blood Diamonds on Zane Lowe's famed Radio 1 show. The song teases the apparent new sound for her fourth studio album.

14. MØ Got Us Dancin' To "Don't Wanna Dance"

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The Danish singer-songwriter, , signed to Sony Music Entertainment, has been compared to Grimes - but she's quite different.

In the last year, she co-wrote and sang vocals for Avicii's "Dear Boy" off TRUE and released her internationally-acclaimed single "XXX 88." In January 2014, she released single "Don't Wanna Dance" on BBC Radio 1. Her debut album No Mythologies to Follow was released this March - featuring hits such as "Say You'll Be There", "Walk This Way" and "Never Wanna Know."

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