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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

Music is undoubtedly one of the most important things in our culture and is so ingrained in our daily lives. Current pop music consists of a lot of the same artists running through the mainstream circuit with very few new artists entering mass media. There is too much incredible variety and talent in the world for just the same few artists to constantly be in conversation — there are so many musicians who deserve so much more attention and recognition. If you’re looking to find new music, here is my list of the top five absolute best-underrated artists.


Kishi Bashi has been a long-time love of mine since I first heard the song “Can’t Let Go, Juno” in seventh grade. Kaoru Ishibashi is the name behind this incredible sound. He released his first album, 151a, in 2012 and currently has 674,686 monthly listeners. Kishi Bashi uses a variety of instruments and often plays with Mike Savino (AKA Tall Tall Trees) who appears as number four on this list. I was fortunate enough to see him in concert at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, Colorado in June 2022. His talent is striking and recordings cannot capture his raw energy and passion the way live performances do. He started out as a violinist, touring internationally and working with artists like Of Montreal before starting his solo career. His resume is impressive and it’s clear how much talent he possesses. The musicality that goes into his performances and songwriting is phenomenal.

By far, my favorite Kishi Bashi song is “The Ballad of Mr. Steak” from the album Lighght. I also absolutely love “Philosophize in it! Chemicalize with it!” also from Lighght and “I Am the Antichrist to You” from the album String Quartet Live! I cannot recommend String Quartet Live! enough if you are looking for an album to get a look into his music and pure talent. His use of instruments and vocals and how they flow together is mesmerizing. His music will always mean the world to me.


Cheekface is one of the most unique, creative, and original bands I have ever heard. I first discovered them in 2018, about a year after they started putting out music. They currently have 109,682 monthly listeners on Spotify and have found success in touring and playing live shows. Cheekface calls themselves “America’s Local Band” with their genre being described as alternative/indie rock. The band consists of members Greg Katz, Mandy Tannen, and Mark Edwards. Their songs feature incredibly hilarious lyrics that are delivered in a genius deadpan way. Many of their lyrics are absurd — for example, “You ruled the world/ for like three minutes/ and now they’ve replaced everyone else/ on your flight with crying babies” from the song “I Only Say I’m Sorry When I’m Wrong Now.” They have found a unique and effective balance of comedy and morbidity, melody and talking, and the perfect amount of dryness in their humor and delivery.

My favorite Cheekface songs are “‘Listen to Your Heart.’ ‘No.'” from the album Emphatically No., “Dry Heat/Nice Town” from Therapy Island, and “Next to Me (Yo Guy Version)” from Too Much to Ask. I saw Cheekface in concert in Denver, Colorado in April 2023 and it was truly one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve included below a picture of my best friend and I with lead singer Greg Katz when we saw him after the show. The band members are down-to-earth, hilarious, and unbelievably talented. They certainly know how to put on an entertaining, high-quality live show.

Original photo by Zoe Collins


Kid Freud is a Nashville-based indie-rock band that put its first EP out in 2015. The band no longer makes music together, but in an Instagram post made on Dec. 1, 2022, they allude to new music coming out soon. Their number of monthly listeners on Spotify is currently 29,190. I discovered the band when I was in middle school with the first song I ever heard being “Up All Night.” Their sound is mostly upbeat with unique guitar riffs and phenomenal songwriting. My favorite thing about their sound has to be the lead singer’s voice. It’s one of those slightly husky, powerful voices that you can place anywhere. It scratches an itch deep in my brain.

My favorite songs by Kid Freud are “Up All Night” and “American Boy” both from the album American Boy and “Boston” from the album The End. I don’t think they have a single song that isn’t incredible — the quality and musicality put into their songs are amazing. Though their discography is not long, they have blessed the world with the 10 songs they’ve released. Their announcement about new music is an exciting one and I hope we get to hear more of what these talented artists have to offer.


Mike Savino, or Tall Tall Trees, is undoubtedly one of my favorite artists of all time. He has 12,655 monthly listeners on Spotify and his first album, Tall Tall Trees came out in 2009. His genre of music is self-described as “psychedelic banjo rock” — a very fitting name. Some of his music falls more into a blue-grass/folk vein and generally speaking his sound is varied. Along with his banjo, he often uses loop pedals, a violin bow, a Casio keyboard, and a toy laser gun (not kidding — it’s as amazing as it sounds) among other alternative methods to create his sound. I first discovered TTT when he opened for Kishi Bashi’s concert at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, Colorado in June of 2022. I will never forget hearing his music for the first time at that concert — he is an incredible live performer. I’ve seen him in concert several times in Colorado (I’ve included a picture of him and me at a concert of his in Pueblo, Colorado in August 2022) and every time it’s magical. His energy is electric and you can just feel his passion for the music he makes.

Three songs of TTT’s that I would recommend listening to are “Say Something Real!” from the album Seasonal, “A Number of Signs” from the album A Wave of Golden Things, and “Castle in the Sky” from his newest album, Stick to the Mystical. These songs showcase his extreme talent and unique style which are the reason I fell in love with his music. If you are interested in checking out his live performances, he is touring starting October 11th!

Musician Mike Savino AKA \
Original photo by Zoe Collins

5. broth

Last but not least on this list is the band Broth. I am not entirely sure how I discovered this band, but I’m so glad I did. They are based out of my hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado. They’ve been making music and playing live shows in Colorado since 2019 and have 158 monthly listeners on Spotify with their most popular song, “Mattress,” having 4,690 streams. The first song of theirs that I heard was “Mattress” and I was certain it must be a highly successful band. I was shocked to see that they weren’t more popular. The quality of their recordings is amazing and each member of the band is incredibly talented. Their songs have amazing guitar riffs, vocal parts, harmonies, and songwriting. They’ve created a unique aesthetic within their music and the band’s overall personality.

My favorite Broth songs are “Mattress,” “Is Illinois in Ohio?,” and “RED.” As someone from Colorado Springs, I’ve observed that the music scene is getting bigger with venues like The Black Sheep and Stargazers Theatre supporting smaller artists like Broth and giving them a stage to find their audiences and grow. Broth makes high-quality, catchy music and I hope that they will find success on a larger scale — they certainly deserve it.


There are so many people in this world making incredible music who haven’t been discovered. There is a never-ending supply of art and talent and these are just a few of the artists who I believe deserve so much more recognition. Music will never stop being an important part of human life and culture and I think it’s so beautiful that people want to share their creativity with the world in such a vulnerable and enjoyable way.

Zoe Collins is originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is a first-year journalism major at the University of Connecticut. Her dream is to work as an investigative journalist. Zoe enjoys writing articles about literature, music, and self love, as well as current events. Zoe is an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, and classic literature. In her spare time she loves to practice yoga, get tattoos, and listen to all kinds of music.