Finding new music can be tricky. When I like an artist I tend to listen to them ad nauseam, playing their tracks so frequently that I can name every beat, lyric, and riff. Yet, this causes me to lose interest quickly and focus mostly on popular, more well-known artists. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to Billie Eilish’s debut album or Clairo’s new singles. Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to branch out with my music taste and listen to tunes I might typically not give a chance. This effort has been super effective, and I’ve discovered all sorts of new artists and music. Here are eight songs I’ve found by smaller artists that you should definitely listen to.
- INC. by Dori Valentine
With only three songs released, Dori Valentine is just beginning her music career. Yet, ‘INC.’ is a stellar start, with over one million streams on Spotify already. The details in the song’s beat make it special, and Valentine’s voice feels effortless and smooth. At only nineteen, I can’t wait to see what else this young singer-songwriter comes out with.
- Honey + Tea by Mōzi
The first time I heard this tune I was blown away by how CUTE it is. The lyrics and the song’s overall sound work well together, creating a dreamy track that will indubitably get stuck in your head for hours on end. I would also recommend checking out the acoustic version of this song, as it makes for an interesting listen in comparison to the original.
- Pastels by The Brook & The Bluff
I discovered The Brook & The Bluff over winter break and I’ve been listening to them ever since. ‘Pastels’ is a great example of this band’s versatility. About halfway through, the song shifts into what sounds like an entirely different track. I’m a huge fan of this type of transition, and only have good things to say about this group and their music.
- Delilah by Aeris Roves
Aeris Roves is one of my favorite new artists. After touring with Billie Eilish in Europe in 2018, Roves has since released a handful of new singles, each with impressive production and vocals. ‘Delilah’ is one of Roves’ best: simple, sweet, and thoughtful. The combination of the guitar and Roves’ vocals is why this track has been on my monthly playlist since January.
- Ta reine by Angèle
Another effort I’ve been making lately is to listen to music that isn’t in English. I was initially opposed to this, as I love understanding lyrics and the nuances behind their meaning. However, ‘Ta reine’ emphasized to me that I need to be more open-minded. This French song is slow and sultry, and I have since learned the lyrics, even though I have absolutely no idea what they mean. I also recommend giving Angèle’s entire album, ‘Brol’, a listen. This album showcases Angèle’s range, as no two songs sound the same.
- Small Talk by Briston Maroney
The cover art of this single is what initially drew me to Briston Maroney. Yet, after listening to this song, I was impressed by more than just the cover art. Maroney’s sound reminds me of artists like The Strokes or The Killers. With a guitar-focused sound that feels tough and gritty, Maroney’s music is very different from what I typically listen to. The lyrics of ‘Small Talk,’ however, are vulnerable and relatable, emphasizing the ability of this young artist.
- Your Love (Déjà Vu) by Glass Animals
While Glass Animals is not a small group, there was no way I could write this list without including this song. When I heard the first fifteen seconds of ‘Your Love (Déjà Vu)’ for the first time, my roommate and I screamed because of how HARD it goes. The song’s synth track paired with the groovy beat makes for a disgustingly catchy tune that just forces you to get up and dance.
- Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me) by Orion Sun
This song popped up in my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify last month and I am definitely not mad about it. Orion Sun’s voice is sensual and slow, combining with the jazz-like guitar chords and simple beat to produce a very successful track. The song makes me think of floating through the sky or laying on a really soft, satin pillow. The repeated lyric “It feels so good to know ya,” is also one of the cutest things I’ve ever heard, easily making this song one of my favorites.