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There’s something about finding a hidden gem, diamond in the rough project that gives you a fresh look and pep in your step. Here are a couple top-tier side projects that deliver just that!

1. Gorillaz

A side project from Blur’s Damon Albarn, Gorillaz is an animated band composed of virtual band members Noodle, Murdoc Niccals, Russel Hobbs, and 2-D. When Blur separated, Albarn wanted to experiment outside his previous brit rock pop sound and created the virtual band to experiment with hip hop, latin and electronic music influences. Most known for their songs ‘Feel Good Inc.’ and ‘On Melancholy Hill’ the band has released ten albums, dropping Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez late September 2020. If you like funky, upbeat songs I recommend Dirty Harry!

2. Big Red Machine 

Created by Bon Iver, or Justin Vernon, and Aaron Dessner from the National, Big Red Machine originated from a simple, MySpace message amongst two upcoming artists. BRM combines both collaborator’s styles and has an experimental indie folk rock sound. As a true side project, the band has released a multitude of singles that made their first self-titled album in 2018. If you find yourself wanting more folk, cottage core vibes I suggest starting off with Lyla!


Long time friends artist Kid Cudi and producer Dot da Genius came together to make their side project WZRD in 2010. The group uses rock influences combined with synth acoustics. Their first self titled was met with the most popularity, peaking at top 3 in the Billboard Top 200 chart. The project has been on hold for a couple years but if you ever find yourself interested or enjoy anything Cudi, I recommend Teleport 2 Me or Where Did You Sleep Last Night!

Related: The Issue with "Pitchfork" Ratings: You Don't Have to Justify Your Favorite Album 


Probably the most popular or known side project of this list is Kanye and Kid Cudi’s collaboration KIDS SEE GHOSTS. Wanting to collaborate with each other and as fans of each other for quite some time, both artists finally got together to make KSG. Combining hip-hop with psychedelic influences, the project was widely accepted by both fandoms as the perfect combination of the two artists. The whole project is amazing but 4th Dimension is a personal favorite!

5. The Voids

Another notable side project is The Voidz, a side project by the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas. Sharing similar qualities to his more popular band, the Voidz uses experimental rock sounds with influences of electronic and pop. The band has been active in releasing singles but their last album, Virtue, was released in 2018. If you find yourself intrigued, I recommend Did My Best or Human Sadness for your first listen! 

Related: Music Taste Breakers For You

These are all great side projects, spanding from from rock to indie-folk so happy listening, collegiettes!

Fiorella Izquierdo

George Mason University '23

Fiorella Izquierdo is a senior at George Mason University currently studying Communication with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Graphic Design. She is happiest when she is has a magazine in one hand and a chai latte in the other. Music, fashion, and cooking are some of her other passions, which keeps her busy in her free time. In the future, Fiorella hopes to work as a creative director and travel the world doing what she loves!
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