For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.
SOUNDS LIKE: Nineties-era indie rock delivered with wit and a refreshing sexual candidness
FOR FANS OF: Wolf Alice, the Big Moon, Sharon Van Etten
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Twenty-five-year-old Hackman was brought up in the English countryside, enjoying a musical upbringing. ("My parents and brother are really musical and would play a lot when we were growing up," she says.) A multi-instrumentalist also proficient in playing bass and drums, Hackman began piano lessons at five; at age 14, she taught herself to play guitar to "defeat the boredom of living in the middle of nowhere".
Her 2015 debut album, We Slept at Last, was a set of dark-hued folk; its follow-up, I'm Not Your Man, recorded with friends the Big Moon as her backing band, is a foray into fully fleshed-out rock. "Making a heavier, band-focused album is something I've always wanted to do," she says. "It was really cool recording with friends, and you can hear that sense of fun on the record."
The album also expresses the singer-songwriter's sexuality with newfound confidence: "I think people wanna see other people being brave – if you see someone bare their soul and have a good time, then people are a lot quicker to connect with it."
SHE SAYS: "It's really liberating [being candid about being gay] and it has opened up a whole new door in my brain in terms of where I can go with songwriting. It also feels really empowering when I'm on stage singing those lyrics. It's a cool feeling, but it was also scary at first when these lyrics started coming out of nowhere. I made the decision to not self-edit and just be really frank, and that was quite an intimidating prospect – but I actually think it's one of the best things I've ever done."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: The crunchy, confessional rock & roll of the just-released LP I'm Not Your Man. "I found my swagger," says Hackman, "and I'm enjoying it."