If you’re anything like a lot of people I know, you probably need music in your life like a good movie needs a soundtrack. Whether it’s to cut out the crowd around you in the Metro, or to give you company during work-outs or even just to sit and think, music makes for excellent company. The hunt for good new music is often overshadowed by the same Top 40 hits splashed everywhere, with only a few popular artists getting any attention.
The upcoming summer is the perfect opportunity to sift through some of the lesser known artists which will make you wonder why they aren’t more popular and why you didn’t tune in earlier. Here are our top 5 picks:
1. twenty øne piløts
This duo based in Ohio have got a cult following of sorts, with their fans called ‘The Skeleton Clique’, but are yet to be noticed by the mainstream media. Formed in 2009, the band consists of Tyler Joseph, who is the lyricist, lead singer and also plays the piano and ukulele, and Josh Dun, who takes the role of the drummer/percussionist. Their music is hard to define, going everywhere from hip-hop to raggae to alternative rock and Tyler Joseph switching between singing soulfully to rapping in a style that’s comparable to Eminem, only with no swear words and the lyrics a lot more poignant.
Their first album post their major-label signing, called ‘Vessel’, was an indie hit and has the most interesting bunch of songs that I’ve had the chance to hear in a while. With lyrics sure to get you thinking and Dun’s excellent drumming keeping time, twenty øne piløts are probably one of the most intriguing musical acts out there right now and their new album, ‘Blurryface’, released early last week, is out earning plaudits.
Start with: ‘Ode To Sleep’ (Vessel), ‘Stressed Out’ (Blurryface)
Ashley Frangipane, known by her stage name which is an anagram of her first name, is one of the most promising female voices to have hit the music scene in recent times. Halsey is known for being an excellent live performer and her Lana Del Ray-esque vibe. Her EP ‘Room 93’ has four songs which feature her hauntingly beautiful vocals and strong,empowering lyrics. She also has a very strong following on social media, owing to her strong views for feminism and body-positivity.
Her first full length album, called ‘Badlands’ will be out in August 2015 and has been described by her as an ‘angry feminist record’ which will feature songs that she has been performing live on tours and festivals. Give her a listen if you’re a little tired of sugary-sweet pop voices singing about the same old issues and are willing to try something that will challenge your musical pallete.
Start with: ‘Hurricane’, ‘Ghost’ (Room 93)
Pronounced ‘Paris’, the alternative rock trio has just recently started making waves for their commendable music and for being one of the top female-fronted bands. Signed to Rise Records, their debut album ‘White Noise’ was released late last year and garnered positive responses and also comparisons with ‘Paramore’- a female led trio in the rock scene with similar sounds. Buzzfeed called them Paramore’s “cool indie sister”. In fact, for a better understanding of their music, think a mixture of Paramore and Evanescence.
PVRIS’s music ranges from electro to alternative rock; Lynn Gunn’s voice has been described by The Huffington Post as “..a force that cannot be denied, redolently poignant in both her most excitable and serene vocalizations.”
Start with: ‘St. Patrick’, ‘Smoke’ (White Noise)
4. The 1975
Known for their indie-pop, ear-pleasing synthy sounds, the 1975’s music would make for the perfect setting for a summer that is equal parts laid-back and full of adventures. Their debut album, released in the later half of 2013 was heralded as the best indie record of the year and is a mix of sixteen songs which boast of influences from the 80s to glitchy pop and RnB Soul.
Matt Healy’s voice, heavy with the northern English accent, gives the songs a heady, intoxicating feel which makes the album a surpringly soothing listen. Given the length of the album, one would expect listeners to run out of patience and switch tracks but their music manages to hold listeners’ attention, which speaks a lot about their music.
Start with: ‘The City’, ‘She Way Out’ (The 1975)
5. As It Is
Widely being touted as the breakout band of 2015, the British pop-punk band is starting to go to places. The band-members’ ages, all just out of their teens, reflects in the music they create with prevalent themes of dealing with critics, growing up and a dreamers-against-the-big-bad-world vibe. Their music is the perfect soundtrack for a summer post gruelling exams where all you want to do is raise your middle finger to the rest of the world. They streamed their first album ‘Never Happy Ever After’ to a mostly positive response earlier this year, with some even calling it “everything a pop-punk record should be today”.
For a sense of their musical sensibilities, think ‘All Time Low’ mixed with early ‘Fall Out Boy’.
Start with: ‘Cheap Shots and Setbacks’, ‘Speak Soft’ (Never Happy Ever After)
Feature Image Credits: lhsepic.com