Now that we have arrived in March, the days are getting longer and the weather a little warmer. As much as I’m relishing in the beauty of this, I know that battling the oppressive Canadian winter is long-suffering and can take us right into May. That being said, one of the best things we can use to get us through this season – beyond some sunlight – is a great playlist of music! Music has the ability to uplift us if we are down in the dumps or connect with our more somber side, and given how the winter affects our mood, using music as a coping strategy is a great way to survive these dark times – literally!
Though I adore nearly all genres of music, indie has a special place in my heart. Truly any genre can have a subset of indie, but when most use this term, they are referring to indie pop and folk artists, and some R&B. These songs can range from heartwarming to devastating, without ever flinching from slow, soft or somber melodies: perfect for all your feels this winter season! So, without further ado, here are 10 of my favourite indie artists in no particular order!
- Good Morning
Okay, maybe it is in particular order because this is, in fact, my favourite. Indie. Band. Ever. Good Morning is an Australian band headed by Liam Parsons and Stefan Blair. Their 2014 debut album Shawcross was a total hit in the indie world, gifting us with some of my favourite songs to date including the fun-yet-sad “Wednesday” and downright depressing “Warned You.” In the summers of 2015 and 2016, they released two cassettes/albums with two songs, respectively, my favourite being the melancholic and dreamy “You.” Nearly everything that comes out of Good Morning you could hear as a backdrop to none other than an indie film! Check them out immediately – I mean it!
- Peach Pit
Peach Pit is the quintessential 4-man indie band, delivering happy and somber vibes for all your moods, and are currently on a world tour, stopping in Toronto on May 15! Their first EP Sweet FA dropped in 2016 with sweet songs about summer love and high school culture. Their 2017 album Being So Normal was a total hit, and my favourite track is “Tommy’s Party” in which the speaker uses each verse to ask Tommy about how his evening went, detailing what he saw through the night, all while dropping sad hints that the speaker is being replaced in Tommy’s life by someone else. It’s like following along a short story and you want to know what’s going on between the speaker and Tommy. (Mini spoiler alert – I don’t know about other listeners, but the third verse was serving some pretty big gay vibes!) Have a listen to this track, album and phenomenal band!
- Sunset Rollercoaster
Sunset Rollercoaster is a 5-man Taiwanese synth-pop band with big 80s vibes for all those out there who enjoy that sound. They released their debut album Bossa Nova in 2011 and their follow-up EP Jinji Kikko in 2015, a huge hit in within this niche of music listeners. If you had to describe the way a sunset sounds, their acclaimed hit “My Jinji” is it – I swear. Throw on some Sunset Rollercoaster when you’re at your most chill, relaxing after a long day, or even want to meditate – they’re that soothing!
- Saffron A
Saffron A is a local musician – based in Brantford – whose feminist hits will have you reflecting on your stories as she shares some of her own. Her first EP Introspection released in 2018 and features all the mandolin goodness you could hope for and sounds to me like the onset of spring. All of the songs sound like a dreamy trip through a forest while reflecting on the madness of life, with “Sparrow’s Lullaby” being my favourite.
Saffron followed up this project with her 2019 Resilience EP, with somber and upbeat tunes focusing “on the initial response to experiencing sexual violence.” Coupling this was her Resistance EP which dropped September 2019 and features one of my favourite songs ever, “Flashes,” which powerfully explores triggers and flashbacks following a sexual assault. Her latest single, “Survivor” dropped yesterday in honour of International Women’s Day – check out our music review on it and stream it on all platforms now!
- Billie Eilish
After her absolutely breathtaking Grammy 2020 performance of “when the party’s over,” I knew I really had to delve into this hot new artist more than before. At 18 years old, Eilish is so well accomplished, having walked away with 5 Grammys this year including Best Album and Best Song! “Xanny” is likely my favourite song from Eilish, not only because of the deafening beat changes that really emphasize her pain throughout, but also because of how much I can relate to it. If you’re somehow not familiar with Eilish yet, truly any song is a good introduction to the inner workings of this super talent!
- Pity Party Girls Club
Few are familiar with the 5-person band Pity Party Girls Club, as they came onto the scene in 2014, releasing small EPs until their first, full album Healing Process dropped in the summer of 2018. They recorded “Amante” on February 23, 2019 (as stated in the song), one of those super cute, super sweet ukulele hits that sticks with you forever after your first listen. The simple lyrics and innocence of the love overcoming hard times in this song will have you sending this to your SO in no time! (FYI, the YouTube video of this song with the most hits is an edit of Timothee Chalamet – are we surprised, really?)
- Honourable mentions
Truly, there’s so many more than those I’ve listed, but that’s the beauty of indie – it just keeps on giving! Oddly enough, I discovered a majority of these artists in the summer season, which just goes to show how their beautiful music is actually the perfect backdrop to warm summer nights and cold winters indoors. If you love indie, check them out, and if it’s your first introduction to this genre, I hope you find these artists as special as I do!