opinion: michael’s indie pop picks

Written by Michael Gibbs

I’m always looking to find some new bands with great music, so I’ve decided to go ahead and make a list of some lesser known artists that I found and now love. Hopefully, this list either gets you into these bands or at least inspires you to go out and find other small artists. My definition of “small” in this context as any band with less than 100k monthly listeners on Spotify. Now, this list isn’t in any particular order and all of the artists and bands can be found on Spotify, so I highly suggest you go check them out.

I’m gonna start off this list with the two bands whose music I’ve already reviewed. The Rare Occasions is a fantastic alt-rock band with a hard hitting grunge-like sound, unique vocals, noteworthy lyrics, and impressive guitar work. Their newest album, Into the Shallows, is one of my favorite albums from 2018 so far. You can read my more in depth review of this album here. I definitely recommend them to any fan of modern rock and alt-rock music.

Moving on to the other band I previously talked about, Sub-Radio is an indie pop group with a bouncy sound and clever, catchy lyrics. This group makes music that inspires wild dancing and their newest EP, Headfirst, proves that by providing a multitude of lively bops. This band is worth a listen for those looking for a unique, more technically impressive take on pop music.

Third on the list, we have the alt-rock artist known as M.A.G.S. Multi-instrumentalist, Elliott Douglas, has created a high energy rock sound that’s on full display in his most recent self-titled album. Not only are the blaring riffs impressive, but the passionate high-key vocals complete that intense rock sound that carries on through most of the album save for a few songs. Elliot’s take on rock works so well because it is inspired by artists who’ve achieved plenty of success in the genre of modern rock like Cage The Elephant, Arctic Monkeys, and The Strokes. Those influences are definitely noticeable. For example, his song, “Drugs,” is highly reminiscent of “Cigarette Daydreams” by Cage the Elephant with the slower pace, subdued vocals, and similar guitar sound. However, Elliot isn’t just copying the sounds and styles of these other bands. He’s combining them and creating his own sound, a sound that deserves your attention if you enjoy the music of his listed influences and hard-hitting rock.

The last two bands, Good Kid and Duncan Fellows, sound pretty similar in that they both sound like a mix of The Rare Occasions and Sub-Radio. Their music is a pleasing fusion of thoughtful lyrics, impressively fast-paced riffs, and bouncy harmonies. Good Kid is more of an electric band while not lacking the rock aspect with their stronger riffs and quicker music. Duncan Fellows on the other hand seem to have a nice mix of lighter and slower songs with riffs that are just as catchy, just not as technically impressive. Duncan Fellows is the bigger , so big that they just barely get on this list as they’re about to break 100k monthly Spotify listeners. Both of these last bands are fantastic and fit into this little niche of pop-like alt-rock music that is quickly becoming one of my favorite sub-genres of music. I highly recommend both bands so you can love this type of music as much as I do.

I hope this article inspires you to check out these artists as I believe they are all deserving of it. Even if you don’t check out these specific bands, I would hope that you try to find other small bands to support. Not only would it benefit you by providing you great, new music to listen to, but it would also benefit the artists in a multitude of ways including financially especially if you actually purchase their music and merch. In a more personal/artistic way, your support helps by giving them another reason to continue making music. By listening to them, you give them an audience that wants to hear more of their sound. There’s really no downside to looking for and supporting new and small artists so I hope you go out and do so.

Featured Photo: Duncan Fellows

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