1. Bedroom (Noah Kittinger)
Hailing from Nashville, 20-something Noah Kittinger has already shown versatility beyond his years. Many of his tracks attempt to hit on different notes — whether they’re guitar-heavy or reminiscent of ’90’s psychedelic pop. All the same, Kittinger’s ‘Bedroom’ project should be lauded. He’s a virtual unknown at this point from a commercial standpoint. With that said, he’s currently in the midst of a West Coast tour over the month of March. It’s only a matter of time until Kittinger’s unique sound breaks out.
Tracks to check out: Nothing Lasts, Nostalgic Feel, Clean, All My
Image Source: Noah Kittinger Facebook/Photo by Colton Bailey
2. Denitia and Sene
Denitia Odigie and Brian ‘Sene’ Marc have set Brooklyn on fire with their harmonious companionship. In what can best be described as slow R&B mixed with synths, Denitia can manipulate her voice in an immensely captivating way. It’s ‘chill’ electropop — and is best enjoyed whilst relaxing. Though it may not be fully intended by Denetia and Sene, there’s a sense of remembrance from an earlier time period. Denitia’s voice — coupled with the musical breakdown — hearkens back decades (the early-to-mid ’90’s). It’s undoubtedly pleasant nonetheless.
Tracks to check out: Casanova, Divided, Trip.Fall., Runnin.
Image Source: Denitia and Sene Facebook
Blu (real name John Barnes III) perfectly embodies the rap scene in Los Angeles. With smooth ballads and thoughtful commentary, Blu emotionally connects to generations past and present. He’s not fond of the ‘mainstream’ idea — and would rather operate independently. Regardless, Blu has developed cult followings all over the world. He’s the rare case of an artist immersed in the soul of the craft rather than the insatiable drive for materialistic goals. Had he been wired differently, Blu would be spoken about in the same breath as Snoop Dogg, Aloe Blacc, Ice Cube, and others with larger personas. To put it into perspective, Blu was J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar before J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar existed.
Tracks to check out: Dancing In The Rain, Til’ We Die, The Return, Seasons
Image Source: Blu Facebook Page
4. The Orielles
Sisters Esmé Dee and Sidonie B Hand-Halford fortify this group based in the northern part of England. Though they’re relative unknowns at this point, the band has been a fixture when it comes to touring all over the U.K. There’s an airy quality to the vocals. This isn’t a major shock — considering one of the band’s major influences comes in the way of The Pixies. Though alternative, it’s more of a pop sound rather than an edgy one. Nonetheless, they’re a band to look out for in the upcoming years.
Tracks to check out: Twin Freaks, Jobin, Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist), I Only Bought It For The Bottle
Image Source: Orielles Facebook Page/Photo by Neelam Khan Vela
Jafaris (real name Percy Chamburuka) came to fame from the hit 2016 film Sing Street. While not classically an actor, Jafaris has been a staple within the emerging rap scene in Dublin. The young artist is highly experimental with his work — both musically and visually. Paired with Nathan Barlow, the two have created a plethora of aesthetically pleasing music videos. Stylistically, Jafaris is a hip-hop artist — though he certainly dabbles with jazz and soul elements. His authoritative voice has a true richness to it. In 2017, Jafaris released an EP entitled Velvet Cake.
Tracks to check out: Love Dies, If You Love Me, What You Lookin Ah, Trees
Image Source: Jafaris Facebook
6. LION BABE
Lion Babe is a two-person group featuring vocalist Jillian Hervey (daughter of actress Vanessa Williams) and musician Lucas Goodman. Hervey’s striking appearance (hence the group’s name) is the first thing you’ll notice. Possessing flowing locks and cascading curls, the ‘lion babe’ moniker fits quite well. Upon hearing her sing, you’re transfixed by an amalgam of Mary J. Blige and Erykah Badu. Hervey’s soulful voice is exquisitely meshed with all sorts of unconventional synths. When further factoring in the artist element surrounding the duo, they’re destined for stardom.
Tracks to check out: Treat Me Like Fire, Jungle Lady Remix Part 2, Jump Hi, Where Do We Go
Image Source: Lion Babe Facebook
7. Wye Oak
Though the group formed in 2006, Wye Oak has seemingly gotten lost in the ever-evolving shuffle of the indie demographic. Frankly, we aren’t exactly sure why. Lead singer Jenn Wasner has previously worked with the likes of The Decemberists and The National. However, Wasner’s performance with Wye Oak clearly showcases her range as a vocalist. The band ping-pongs between a folksy band and one fully immersed in electropop elements. Thus, it makes for a very unique sound across the board.
Tracks to check out: It Was Not Natural, The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs
Image Source: Wye Oak Facebook
8. Boy Pablo
Hailing from Norway, the five-member group is starting to make waves within the indie scene. Billed as bedroom pop, 19-year-old lead singer Pablo commands the group with a sweet-sounding croon on a similar level of a Mac DeMarco. There’s an innate sense of ‘cool’ with this band — as the collective sound transcends experience. Boy Pablo is currently promoting the group’s first album entitled Roy Pablo on a European tour.
Tracks to check out: Everytime, Yeah, Imreallytiredthisdaysucks, Ur Phone
Image Source: Boy Pablo Facebook
9. The Rifles
Starting in 2004, The Rifles have long endured the label as being an underrated English rock band. Lead singer Joel Stocker offers a somewhat abrasive lilt — though his charming English accent helps to smooth out rougher edges. Essentially, The Rifles never got the hype it deserved based upon the ever-changing evolution of rock music. Commercialized pop music exploded during the mid-2000’s, and indie music remained as an afterthought. However, The Rifles have five studio albums worth delving into.
Tracks to check out: She’s Got Standards, The Great Escape, Romeo and Julie, Local Boy
Image Source: The Rifles Facebook
Lauv (real name Ari Leff) has started to gain plenty of steam as a mainstream name. Whilst studying at New York University, the 23-year-old was feverishly working on his own content. Lauv endured a period of self-reflection — which was then followed by intense studying of R&B, blues, and pop. In 2015, his first EP, Lost in the Light, followed. The audience was left with a sultry amalgam of Robin Thicke and Usher. If there’s such thing as a ‘panty-dropper’ within this piece, it’s Lauv. In early 2018, he’s slated to begin a world tour over three continents.
Tracks to check out: Adrenaline, Paris in the Rain, I Like Me Better, The Other
Image Source: Lauv Facebook
11. Le Couleur
Le Couleur is an electropop band based in Montreal. Even if you don’t speak French, you’ll enjoy the melodic explosions of singer Laurence Giroux-Do. Keyboardist Patrick Gosselin is adept at conjuring up nostalgic elements of classic French pop. When further spliced together with fast-paced synth beats, you’re left with a carnival in your ear canals. Thus far, Le Couleur has released two studio albums. Many of their songs are sung in French. This limits potential popularity on airwaves within the United States. With that said, this is a band you most certainly should listen to for the pleasant cacophony alone.
Tracks to check out: Concerto Rock, Femme, Club Italien, Voyage Amoureux
Image Source: Facebook/Photo by Antoine La Rochelle
12. Clay Priskorn
Hailing from Los Angeles, 24-year-old Clay Priskorn has begun to garner notoriety for his work. Priskorn operates with a folksy feel — much of which is washed over with an ethereal chorus. Further instrumentals help in giving the body of his work more depth. Throughout his burgeoning career, Priskorn has worked with the likes of Jack Tempchin, Beng Fong-Torres, Dido, Olivia Olson, Five For Fighting, and John Hiatt. Though not a mainstream figure yet, Priskorn continues to churn out high-quality music videos at a rapid clip.
Tracks to check out: Me Seek, Favorite Song, Borderlands, Dreams
Image Source: Clay Priskorn Instagram Account
13. Melody’s Echo Chamber
French singer Melody Prochet is the architect behind the project Melody’s Echo Chamber. The bilingual frontwoman mixes back-and-forth between English and French. All the same, her music is fortified by strong roots in shoegaze, dream pop, and psychedelia. Prochet’s wistful voice pairs wonderfully with the melodic arrangements. It hangs in the air — offering a sorrowful, yet sentimental feel. Prochet was slated to embark on a long tour. However, a serious accident delayed the release of her second album, Bon Voyage.
Tracks to check out: You Won’t Be Missing That Part Of Me, Shirim, I Follow You, Bisou Magique
Image Source: Melody Prochet Facebook/Photo by Diane Sagnier
14. De La Soul
De La Soul has been around since 1987. Though they’ve certainly got a cult following, the group (Dave, Maseo, Posdnous) doesn’t get the universal respect it unequivocally deserves. With expressive lyrics and funky beats, De La Soul has a tangible energy emanating from its vast discography. The duration of De La Soul’s prominence is highly impressive. Since 1989, the group has released nine major studio albums. Though packaged in an upbeat and sometimes lighthearted manner, De La Soul’s content is considerably deep. There’s no quantifying reason for this statement, but they just should be more relevant than they are.
Tracks to check out: Ain’t Hip To Be Labeled a Hippie, Me Myself And I, A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays, Stakes Is High
Image Source: De Le Soul Facebook
Yes, you’ve heard of M.I.A. But have you actually heard M.I.A.? The 42-year-old singer (real name Maya Arulpragasam) has been releasing music since the early 2000’s. She rose to fame with the hit track “Paper Planes” — though her vast music library makes her much more than a perceived one-hit wonder. There are some absolute bangers that she’s released over the years. People may be surprised to know that M.I.A. has released five albums, two EPs, and two mixtapes during her illustrious career. She does a fantastic job of weaving together storytelling with the personal plight of her background. Much of her music revolves in the realm of activism — though funky beats and frequently paid homages to her Sri Lankan culture makes her rapping that much more dynamic.
Tracks to check out: 10 Dollar, Borders, Bucky Done Gun, Galang
Image Source: M.I.A. Facebook
16. Camera Obscura
Sentimental and wholesome, lead singer Tracyanne Campbell buoys this band with both her voice and lyrical genius. The Glasgow-based group has been together since 1996. During this time, the band has released five albums — with the latest (Desire Lines) coming in 2013. Campbell’s melancholy voice is strikingly beautiful. She’s immensely adept at extracting raw emotion from her writing ability. Though this isn’t a mainstream band by any stretch of the imagination, it should be lauded for its consistent level of brilliance over a 20-year period. In the wake of keyboardist Carey Lander passing, the band has been on a bit of a hiatus. Campbell recently teamed with Crybaby musician Danny Coughlan to create an unnamed album. It’s scheduled to drop within the next few months.
Tracks to check out: Honey In The Sun, My Maudlin Career, If Looks Could Kill, You Told A Lie
Image Source: Camera Obscura Facebook
Hailing from Canada, Alvvays has established itself as a true player within the indie scene. Lead singer Molly Rankin presents sorrowful lilt (which comes as no surprise when considering her background in Celtic folk). Her voice pairs wonderfully well with a robust, upbeat assortment. Alvvays is a quintessential indie band — with elements of jangle pop, shoegaze, and dream pop. Starting in 2011, the group has released two full-length albums: Alvvays and Antisocialites. Much of the band’s lyrical breakdown aims to exploit a longing nostalgia coupled with sharp observational commentary.
Tracks to check out: In Undertow, Party Police, Dreams Tonite, One Who Love You
Image Source: Alvvays Facebook