Photos by Alex Hupp and Brian Kinnes //
As a freelance music writer, my job is to keep editors up to date on what’s happening in various music scenes. This means staying on top of tours, releases and personal projects from numerous artists. Another great part of my job is highlighting new talent.
Lately, I’m finding myself stuck in the following cycle: Discover great song/artist, pitch music mag about them, get told no, get annoyed.
They tell me to wait for a full album to be released, wait for a tour to be announced, wait for something more newsworthy to happen with them- wait, wait, wait. Because of my frustration, I’m taking matters into my own hands.
Below are five indie artists making great music right now that are seeing little to no coverage from major music mags. And while I plan to continue pitching these worthy artists, I refuse to wait until an editor says I can share their sounds with the masses.
5. Slater – “Overtake”
From piercing, high-pitched croons to murderous muttering, Nick Beaty of Slater lays down both vocal styles on synth infused hip-hop beats. With lo-fi aesthetics to die for, “Overtake” is the Orange (County) native’s first single from his new album 23 dropping soon. I dare you to not get any of his songs stuck in your head- good luck.
Reminds me of: If Kevin Parker from Tame Impala became a really good rapper.
For fans of: Yung Lean, Jaden Smith, Knox Fortune, Puzzle and other vibe-y hip-hop music.
4. Soren Bryce – “Cellophane”
Texas born, Brooklyn based singer Soren Bryce is making quite a name for herself. The video for her new single “Cellophane” from upcoming album Discussions With Myself invokes serious Big Brother vibes. Commenting on hot topics like technology affecting our relationships, selves and world for the worst, Bryce is much more than just a pop singer.
Reminds me of: If Lana Del Rey and Portugal. The Man raised a baby in Brooklyn.
For fans of: Fiona Apple, Sia, MØ and other pop music with solid vocals.
3. Field Medic – “OTL”
Charming lyrics and folk-y vocals are the specialty of San Francisco based singer Kevin Patrick a.k.a Field Medic. Probably the best love song I’ve heard in a long, long time, “One True Love” is a beautifully honest depiction of what it’s like being lonely in 2017. Patrick’s entire album, Songs From the Sunroom is just as painful…and soothing.
Reminds me of: If Fleet Foxes played an acoustic set outside in the snow for some reason.
For fans of: Bon Iver, Bob Dylan, The Lumineers, Kevin Devine and other folk tinged male singers.
2. Fox Academy – “Saint”
Michael Todd Berland and Christian Novelli (yes, the one from YouTube) are definitely helping keep Portland weird. The duo making up Fox Academy don’t release music often, but when they do it’s in your best interest to pay attention. Mixing monotone vocals with Avant Garde production, their music is what your music listens to when it wants to relax.
Reminds me of: An old lady sitting in a rocking chair pensively thinking about the glory days.
For fans of: Kanye West, Current Joys, Elvis Depressedly, Acid Ghost and other great indie bands buried way down deep on Bandcamp.
1. Grapetooth – “Trouble”
Made up of producer Chris Bailoni (Home-Sick) and Clay Frankel of Twin Peaks fame, Grapetooth is brand new to the Chicago scene. Putting Frankel’s Mick Jagger-esque vocals on pop sounds could have easily gone south. Instead, it turned their eight word first single into one of the brightest tracks I’ve heard this winter. Beyond excited to see what path this pair takes musically as they work on their debut album.
Reminds me of: If Beck was young again and getting chased by the cops for underage drinking.
For fans of: The Talking Heads, The Rolling Stones, XTC, The Clash and the Beastie Boys.