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Rejoice! The hellscape that was 2020 is over and it’s time to update your quarantine playlists. I’m coming at you fully charged with five up-and-coming artists to watch for 2021.

Olivia Rodrigo

Let’s talk Olivia Rodrigo, Disney breakout Star and singer/songwriter, and how she garnered nearly 40 million Spotify streams in five days. By now, you, as well as the rest of the internet, are waist-deep in the "Disney Love Triangle" that inspired the cathartic breakup anthem “Drivers License.”

Not every seventeen-year-old singer gets to say Taylor Swift commented on her post, in addition to an amalgamation of celebrities like Hailey Bieber, Niall Horan, and singer Ashe. Rodrigo is sitting proudly at the top of global Spotify, iTunes, and Apple Music charts, and I am impatiently looking forward to her next release.

Listen to "Drivers License" here: https://open.spotify.com/track/7lPN2DXiMsVn7XUKtOW1CS?si=RESw4dpUQRq1tPSDhexGug

Lizzy McAlpine

Singer/songwriter Lizzy McAlpine conveys the existential thinking you experience during plane turbulence, and what you’d say to someone you’re secretly in love with if that hypothetical plane crashes. “Pancakes for Dinner” is a lovely, heartfelt letter that makes me want to hug all my friends a little tighter the next time I see them. Lizzy’s voice is soft and sweet like cherry wine, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her original music and covers come up on your Tiktok For You page. 

Listen to "Pancakes for Dinner" here: https://open.spotify.com/track/4HffeEF97c6UxNePgbuECW?si=ZEP_Bq-gTICNMXldqsOX1g

Ella Jane

During the United States' initial lockdown, Ella Jane had thought she lost her creative outlet among the uncertainty of nationwide closures. She channeled her songwriting skills into the perspective of Jay Gatsby and created an original song for her senior year English project. “Nothing Else I Could Do” is unlike anything I’ve heard before. Her innovative sound will take the bedroom pop world by storm. Jane credits songwriters like Lorde, Phoebe Bridgers, and Taylor Swift as inspirations.

Listen to "Nothing Else I Could Do" here: https://open.spotify.com/track/58b6TDSEEyGCILOzwCo4By?si=7swXncSHQA2hRHizXBwfWA

Del Water Gap

Sometimes you spot an artist and wonder how on earth they could have less than one million Spotify followers. Holden Jaffe’s solo work is impeccably good and draws inspiration from “romantic encounters and dimly lit rooms.” Following the release of “Notes from the Archive,” Maggie Rogers featured Del Water Gap on her album with “New Song.” It’s folksy, intricate, and beautifully sung as a duet.

Listen to "High Tops" here: https://open.spotify.com/track/1TPgw76OuRx2VA390Kjari?si=l5MsUWKQT0emKP1spnTblQ

Laundry Day

New York natives Laundry Day, stylized as LAUNDRY DAY, are captivating bedroom pop. Ditching premonitions of past “boy-band-esque” groups, their music is striking, cool, and steeped in vibrant trap beats and complex bass lines. Singles like "CHA" and "Jane" are poignant and fresh, reaching a level of assuredness that takes a lifetime for other bands.

Impressively, the boys have recorded at Shangri La Studios in Malibu (if this sounds familiar, you may recognize the studio as where Harry Styles recorded his sophomore album, Fine Line), toured with Clairo on the European leg of her Immunity tour, and opened for The 1975. Their most recent album, HOMESICK, nods to Brockhampton and Tyler the Creator while staying true to teenaged conviction and their unique sound. Boys, if you are looking for a Penny Lane to your Still Water...my Instagram is linked at the bottom. 

Listen to "CHA" here: https://open.spotify.com/track/1MhCYfNriGahJzcUBN2Mrq?si=uRINJOeVTGOztbr5OsrnSQ

You can check out these artists and more like them in the playlist linked below. Thanks for reading, as always. 


Isabel Causey knows good music, and isn't afraid to ask. A Baltimore native currently attending The College of Charleston, Isabel is pursuing a major in Arts Management and hopes to combine a love for writing with her passion for good music. Some of her other interests include running, astrology, making playlists, and good iced lattes. Isabel believes we should all be intersectional feminists and wear masks!
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