Five artists that are SO underrated

I’ve always been one to listen to super quirky music. As a musician, I’m drawn to more acoustic, indie sounds, and these artists are incredible. Even though they aren’t on the mainstream, I think you can learn to love them too. If you’re looking to expand your music preferences, I’d take a listen to these five, totally underrated artists. Their lyrics are captivating, their melodies unique, and their sound transformative.

Phoebe Bridgers

Most of her music is accompanied by a single guitar or piano, and her vocals are given the chance to shine. She has a unique tambre to her voice, and you can’t quite figure out if it’s bright or dark...all you know is you want more. Classified as “indie rock,” her album, Stranger in the Alps, is full of poetic lyrics that take you through a coming of age journey. Her new album, released under the band name Better Oblivion Community Center, with singer-songwriter Conor Oberst, offers up a more folk-rock style that fits Bridgers’ evolution as a collaborator.

The Paper Kites

An indie-folk rock group from Melbourne, Australia, the Paper Kites are what I call my “morning music.” At 5 am, it’s easy listening and calming. This group fosters an acoustic sound on their two most recent albums, On the Train Ride Home and On the Corner Where You Live, both out in 2018. The color of their sound is smooth and not jarring in any way. They write on anything from heartbreak and loss to incandescent happiness and adventure.

Lennon Stella

You might recognize Lennon Stella from the popular TV show Nashville where she played the daughter of famous country star Rayna James. Since then, Stella has released her EP Love Me, She plays with rhythm and electronics brilliantly while a catchy melody shines through. Her voice is effortless, gliding between registers, offering up the perfect pop sound that isn’t overpowering. Honestly, you won’t be able to get her songs out of your head.

Alec Benjamin

Benjamin is a pop singer-songwriter from Arizona who released his debut album, Narrated for You, last year. His knack for storytelling makes his music interesting and incredibly relatable. You may have heard his most recent remix of his song “Let Me Down Slowly” featuring Alessia Cara. He’s a John Mayer in the making. His tenor voice floats over his melodies and makes you never want to stop listening.

Maisie Peters

I discovered Maisie Peters on YouTube a few years ago, and since then I’ve watched her release singles on Apple Music and Spotify until finally releasing a full EP called Dressed too Nice for a Jacket, featuring her bright vocals, her lyrics speak on broken hearts and what might have been. Her sound is distinct and consistent across her use of many instruments, including the guitar and piano. I listen to Maisie every day, and her sound is inspiration for a musical I’m currently writing. It’s natural, soft, but still present--everything a musician could want.