There’s so much good music out there just waiting to be discovered, but finding the right place to start that’ll take you out of your usual genres can be difficult. Here are five songs and artists that cover a nice selection of genres that anyone can vibe with.
Sunset Rollercoaster is a synth-pop band from Taiwan that pulls influence from jazz and synth-pop. The band, despite being from a Mandarin-speaking country, sings mainly English. According to the lead vocalist, Kuo Kuo, they sing in mainly English to speak indirectly to the audience and allow them to pull their own meaning from their songs. “Summum Bonum” comes from their 2018 album “Casa Nova” and has a heavy synth-pop sound. The song is about breakups, and the feelings of loneliness and isolation one can feel when love is lost. The poppy instrumentals are very misleading and provide a strong contrast to the lyrics. But whether you’re in a melancholic mood or want smooth instrumentals to vibe to, “Summum Bonum” is a good choice.
Stella Jang (스텔라장) is an artist from South Korea. Her song, “It’s Beautiful”, was released in 2018 as the third part of the Onstage Digging Club Seoul collection, a collaborative project between multiple Korean artists. The project pulls inspiration from Japanese City Pop, a style of music popular in Japan during the late 70s and 80s. That inspiration is especially prevalent on “It’s Beautiful”. The synths and chord progressions act as the very bright and happy lead while the bass line compliments the rest of the instrumental. Jang’s vocals are smooth and beautiful, reminiscent of Taeko Ohnuki, a popular artist back in the days of City Pop. If you’re a fan of City Pop, K-Pop, indie, or synthpop, give this song a listen.
Molchat Doma is a post-punk group from Russia. They’re most well known for their song “Судно (Борис Рыжий)”, pronounced “Sudno” in English, which was popular on TikTok for its gothic sound and made people envious of teenage life in Russia. “Клетка”, pronounced “Kletka”, doesn’t stray from that gothic, post-punk sound. It was released in 2018 on the album “Этажи”, pronounced “Etazhi”. It closes the album with its dark guitar melody, drum-machine kicks and snares and a moody bassline that give Molchat Doma their signature sound. If you’re a fan of punk, post-punk, synth-pop and goth, then definitely check out “Kletka”.
Luisa Almaguer is a Mexican musician, activist, and actress from Azacapotzalco, the northwestern part of Mexico City. She runs a radio show called “La Hora Trans”, where she provides her guests with a platform to use their voice and talk about important issues. She released her LP “Mataronomatar” in the February of 2019. The LP is full of raw emotion and representation. It focuses on the issues that Almaguer finds important, such as violence towards the trans community. I would describe Almaguer’s music as indie goth. She’s experimental with all the songs she writes. But no matter which song you listen to, you can find her emotions and feelings expressed throughout. Her song “Azotea” featuring Tompsy is a song that makes you want to grab a partner and dance. It’s a fun synth twist on what usually comes to mind when you think of Mexican instrumentals, and Almaguer’s passionate vocals make the song really enjoyable. It’s a fun, chill song that you can dance and vibe to with some friends.
Cortex is a jazz group from France. You may know their work from the many times they’ve been sampled in rap. They’ve been sampled in Wiz Khalifa’s “Visions” and in Rick Ross’s “Amsterdam”. Their song “Huit Octobre 1971” was sampled in “Odd Toddlers” by Tyler the Creator and most famously, in MF Doom’s “One Beer”. The song opens with light, melodic vocals from the band’s vocalist Mireille Dalbray. The song then kicks in with the jazz keys and a funky bassline played in a somewhat quiet, dark way. If you’re into jazz or like listening to samples in rap, this song is a good start.
Give any of these songs a listen? Let us know! Tag us on Twitter or Instagram @HerCampusSJSU!