Within the last 12 months, I’ve found myself becoming obsessed with a lot of different genres of music, a lot of it considered “hipster” and “underground.” Yes, some of it I’d jam to at Coachella, but some you just would not see a little ginger child listening to.
This month I’m making a list of the top seven most underrated artists out there right now. I apologize for the odd number, it is bothering me a little too. None of this is in any particular order, these are just my opinions, and there will be plenty of fangirling. Let’s get started.
Timeflies is a popish, rap-ish, dance-ish, hip hopish duo from New York. They do a little bit of everything to be honest, and they do it well. Rob “Rez” Resnick, is the producer and Caleb “Cal” Shapiro is the vocals. This guy can go from rapping to nearly a Mariah Carey vocal jump.
Songs that really show off his vocals are “Guilty” off of their newest album “Just For Fun,” “Swoon” off the album “After Hours,” and “Ex Games” off of their first album “The Scotch Tape.” The production of every song is done carefully, you can just hear the uniqueness in each song. Over the years their sound has changed a little, but for the best. “The Scotch Tape” showcases Shapiro’s rap side, while their newest record revolves more around a melodic, pop sound. Same roots, somewhat different sound, overall awesomeness. Okay, onto the next band!
I found out about Hunny and Bad Suns through The Neighbourhood, shocker there. They both opened up for them on their fall tour “The Flood.”
COIN is kind of out of the loop. They have similar sounds to the other two bands but tend to sound more like every song on a summer road trip playlist. Their song “Atlas” is probably one of the most underrated summer songs out there. It reminds me of California and The Neighbourhood. Then yet, everything reminds me of The Neighbourhood…
The best way to describe Hunny and Bad Suns’ is anything new by The 1975. They have this beachy sound with a hint of Coldplay (heard especially in Bad Sun’s track “We Move Like the Ocean”). Wondering what a song in Hollister may be? Listen close enough, you may hear Bad Suns, Hunny, or COIN.
5. Alina Baraz
Angels are calling, they want their voices back. Her voice is girly, light, and graceful. Her most popular songs are “Pretty Thoughts,” “Make You Feel,” and “Fantasy.” “Pretty Thoughts” was produced by Galimatias. He played a huge part in her album “Urban Flora,” which includes “Fantasy” and “Make You Feel.”
Her voice is not only light, but also edgy and raspy. There are points in “Make You Feel” that give me goosebumps. Towards the duration of the song, Baraz repeatedly says “I will make you feel,” and carries a thick Amy Winehouse tone within her petite and rather frail presence. No one can compare to Winehouse, but you get the idea.
Sticking with a chill atmosphere, Noname Gypsy is one of a kind. Female rappers are scarce, but boy does she do them justice. I’ll be honest here, she spits fire, a dragon would be jealous of her. I found her through Chance The Rapper’s 2013 mixtape “Acid Rap” on the track “Lost.” Her smooth voice and calming poetic rhymes are what I live for. She does not have much out currently, but she is featured on lots of tracks, mainly with her main man Chance. “Israel,” a track by Chance, features Gypsy. At around 1:30, her majestic voice is heard and soon combined with Chance’s.
A few months back she released a tracked entitled “Open Apology” with Saba. She always chooses artists that compliment her voice, and it also sounds beautiful. She’s a Chicago native, let’s give her some love!
3. Keys ‘N Krates
Has curiosity ever gotten the best of you and you’ve wanted to experiment with drugs? Now you don’t have to folks! Keys ‘N Krates are a group of three guys based in Ontario, Canada and take you on a “journey.” You guessed right, listening to them is like dropping acid for the first time. You don’t know if you’ll like it, but once you start, you can’t stop.
Within the electronic music world, there are different genres. As of right now, the most popular style is EDM with hidden trap beats. Keys ‘N Krates is solid trap. It is a dreamy version of dubstep, and it isn’t as upbeat as EDM. It’s the perfect mix among “I’m so high right now,” “Let’s party till the sun comes up!,” and “this is my nighttime lullaby.”
Songs that showcase their trippy side are “Dreamyness” and “Yes We Faded.” “Dum Dee Dum” is the definition of party goers, and “I Know U” is something I can easily fall asleep to. Underneath every sense of trippiness is hip hop roots. Overall, 10 out of 10 is what I would recommend.
2. Bryan Sammis (Olivver The Kid)
This kid, man. He’s actually changed my life, as a sane functioning part of society, and the crazy fangirl side of me. As the old drummer for literally the greatest band alive, he needed to step up his game when left The Neighbourhood. Being an independent artist is hard enough, but then on top that he must compete with the lovely Jesse Rutherford. Fine, I’ll stop.
Anyways, this guy is inspirational, philosophical, and amusing simultaneously. He’s the ideal lyricist. Every word, every instrument, every breath, tells a story and shows pure emotion. His latest EP “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” was taken directly from a short story he wrote when he lost the energy and passion he had for music. His beautiful mind is finally beginning to be put on a mini pedestal, and I couldn’t be happier.
Remember the show “How To Rock” and the movie “Rags”? You know the mildly attractive curly haired kid that would sing like a god. Nostalgia hitting you hard? Because same. MAX, or Max Schneider has “glo’d up” as the kids say and still brings the best vocals Nickelodeon has created and brought to stardom.
Three words to grasp this guy’s music: dark, sexy, and innovative. There is nothing little boyish about this guy anymore. The song “Wrong” is constantly on repeat and “Gibberish” featuring Hoodie Allen is heartbreak mixed together with sexual tension to an extent. He gives pop a whole new name. I wouldn’t be surprised if more artists started using him as roots for music to come. Really, he’s one of those musicians where it’s hard to explain what he does. Listen to the songs stated above and you’ll get the jist of him, along with “Puppeteer.”
Here are some honorable mentions! SuperDuperKyle, Skizzy Mars, Arizona, and Strange Talks. That’s it. Go music!