With so many great popular artists dominating the music industry today, it can be easy to miss great, lesser-known artists worth listening to. Below are a few underrated artists who have been making strides in the music scene lately that I love (and you will, too!).
- Maude Latour
Maude Latour’s "Starsick" EP initially put her on the map as an up-and-coming artist in November 2019, as it showcased her talent for both songwriting and singing. The songs on the EP range from upbeat and playful with "Superfruit" to ethereal and romantic with "Plans." The 21-year-old Columbia University student released three songs in 2020, establishing herself as a powerful force in pop music. Her first single of the year, “Furniture,” is a girly, catchy tune about seeing your ex at a party and the resulting sinking feeling. Next, she released “One More Weekend," her most popular single from 2020. “One More Weekend” puts Latour’s storytelling abilities on full display: you can feel and imagine every moment she details in this song with her original and creative lyricism. The song itself is an anthem for being young, free and hopelessly in love. Her final – and my personal favorite – single from 2020, “Block Your Number,” feels like you’ve listened to three different songs once it’s over. “Block Your Number” further showcases Latour’s storytelling skills, bringing the listener along on the journey of a doomed relationship from beginning to end. For those who love pop, clever lyricism and young-adult themed music, Latour is definitely an artist to keep your eye on in 2021.
Noah McBeth, known by his stage name NoMBe, masters the art of pop music. His ability to blend genres from Alt Rock to Soul and create atmospheres in his music sets him apart from other pop artists. NoMBe released his first album, “They Might’ve Even Loved Me” in 2018 following a slew of amazing singles released the year prior. The album is highly sensual and soft, positioning NoMBe’s smooth voice as the main focal point in most songs (with some notable exceptions including my favorite song of his, “Can’t Catch Me,” an upbeat, beachy departure from his usual sound). His most popular song to date, “Wait,” has almost 50 million streams on Spotify and has some of the most soothing and beautiful instrumentals I have ever heard before. NoMBe released multiple singles in 2020 in anticipation of his upcoming album "CHROMATOPIA" which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including “Weirdo,” a slow and soft love ballad, and my favorite of the year, “Paint California,” which combines the best of his slower, atmospheric songs and his upbeat tunes to result in a smooth masterpiece of a song that somehow just feels like the ocean, while also giving the instrumentals on “Wait” a run for its money. Personally, I think NoMBe is one of the most underrated artists today, and I highly recommend listening to his music.
- The Regrettes
The Regrettes, a female-fronted pop punk band from Los Angeles, have amassed a small but dedicated fanbase since the release of their albums, “Feel Your Feelings Fool!” in 2017 and “How Do You Love?” in 2019. Their free-spirited first album, released when lead singer Lydia Night was only 16, focused heavily on feminism and issues many women and girls face in daily life. The group took a noticeably different direction with their sophomore album as Night progressed into adulthood, focusing mostly on love and relationships. In 2020, the group released their single “I Love Us,” an ode to a perfectly-imperfect relationship, masterfully communicating the complicated and passionate state of being in love. The Regrettes are an incredibly talented band with immense energy, which makes them a perfect band to immerse you in their music or to see in concert. I’ve seen The Regrettes live twice – and met Night and guitarist Genessa Gariano along with two former band members in 2017 – and have nothing but positive things to say about this group. Their music is perfect for anyone who enjoys playful, relatable music, great instrumentals and indie/pop punk genres.
- Nasty Cherry
You’ve heard of Charli XCX, but have you heard of the pop band she formed in 2018, Nasty Cherry? While Charli XCX isn’t actually a part of the group, she helped create the group and secure their own Netflix special, “I’m with the Band: Nasty Cherry.” The band is led by singer and former model Gabi Bechtel, with drums from Debbie Knox-Hewson, who played drums for a Charli XCX tour, bass from Georgia Somary, an old friend of Charli’s and guitar from Chloe Chaidez, lead singer of Kitten (another fantastic yet underrated band and the original reason I discovered Nasty Cherry). The group released their first EP, “Season 1” in late 2019, followed by their second EP, aptly titled “Season 2” in July 2020. The tone of the two EPs differs drastically; the first consisting mostly of bedroom pop, romantic tracks with the exception of the catchy and charming “Music With Your Dad.” Their second EP, however, departs to a more upbeat, 2000s style, which fits the band’s energy much better. Their song “Better Run” was a standout from their new EP, and my personal favorites from Season 2 are “I Am King,” a loud and proud track with glitchy instrumentals and occasional supporting vocals from Chaidez, and “Cardamom December” a sleepy, dream-like song that sounds more beautiful with each listen. Keep an ear out for Nasty Cherry in the future to see what they do next!
Check out some of these musicians to discover some new songs to add to your playlist this new year. Whether you want to be pumped up, dancing, crying or pondering the nature of the universe, these artists have plenty of songs perfect for any and every occasion.