I recently noticed that several artists predominantly occupy my playlists. Despite the difference in styles, one thing unites them – they are all criminally underrated.
I believe the acts I talk about in this post deserve a lot more love and attention than they are getting. I know it is a matter of time they take over their respective scenes, however, I want to give you a heads up and let you know about the six artists you need to watch right now.
Making music nowadays is a peculiar venture to dive into. As easy as it is for anyone to give it a shot, standing out and making a name for yourself is incredibly complicated.
The numerous scenes are all oversaturated with promising soon-to-be stars, one-hit-wonders, overly ambitious fresh players, veteran-level newcomers, and whatnot.
The people with true drive, passion, skill, and relevant messages do stay around, but growing a dedicated community and fanbase is never easy, no matter how good you are. Not to mention turning music into a full-time occupation that can financially support you.
Deen Persaud is one incredible upcoming musician who does amazing things with several instruments and his own compositions. You can read more about him in my interview and artist introduction post. Support him on Bandcamp and follow him on YouTube/Facebook/Instagram/Spotify.
Good tunes and substantial lyricism remain in the core at making or breaking it, but there are many more elements to work with. The deeper you get into all the marketing, targeting, and competition, the more you understand how hard it is for a music band/artist to do what they love and afford to put all their energy into it.
Bandcamp is a platform allowing listeners to (financially) support artists in whatever amounts they desire and get high-quality downloads or merch in return. As musicians make little to no money from streaming platforms, Bandcamp is a great way to show your appreciation and love for the art.
I believe that as a listener who enjoys the work of a musician, you have to support them in any way you can. Sending a song to a friend is often as important as buying merchandise. What matters is to nurture the connection between listeners and artists. The support should be mutual.
The music provides comfort, understanding, and inspiration while putting thoughts we could not find words for into a beautiful display of sounds. It is only fair we do our part in helping artists transform their passion into a profitable way of life.
Another promising rising act that needs more recognition. Arimea create powerful post-hardcore/alt-rock with stunning sound and substantial lyrical content. Follow them on Spotify/YouTube/Facebook/Instagram, and stay tuned for their upcoming music.
Below is a list of six promising acts that I cannot get enough of. Despite the growing communities around them and the rapid progress of their art, I still think they need way more exposure and attention.
Those are some names you should give a chance to if you want something fresh, whether it comes to rock, metal, hip-hop, electronics, or a captivating merge of different styles.
Atwood is a Milan-based duo capturing the most charming elements of alt-rock, dark-pop, heavy and electronic elements in a beautifully orchestrated composition of heartfelt lyrics and powerful instrumental support.
Playing Atwood for the first time marked the start of an unavoidable love story.
With a confident start and a solid foundation of recognizable vibe and atmosphere, Atwood keep developing fast and steady. The releases following debut EP At Odds (2018) showed the band remain true to their core but grow in musical influence, lyrical content, and video production.
Atwood do not shy away from intimate themes and heartfelt emotions merged in with the powerful alt-rock/post-hardcore sound. The additions of pop elements and electronic influence make up for addictive choruses that will stay in your head for quite some time. The genuine lyrics delivered by Alice’s heartfelt vocals contribute to a feeling of inclusiveness and support that will make you feel secure and understood.
Latest single – the most emotional and transparent track by the band so far. Pre-save the upcoming EP Parallel Lines here (out 26th of July)
The band recently announced their second EP. Parallel Lines comes on the 26th of July and is sure to reveal the next level for the charming duo.
The title track is already out and stands as Atwood’s rawest and most vulnerable piece revealing the skeletons of a huge trauma with long-lasting effects. The song radiates love and support despite the heavy topic. The message of being able to overcome the issue and get better remains the focal point.
Halflives became a soul-consuming obsession in the past few months. Discovering the band and getting into their music was not just a good experience but an empowering, motivational, and refreshing phenomenon.
And so the addiction begins
Based in Paris, Halflives are a trio of dedicated musicians whose lyrics focus on vulnerability and real-life issues with one’s mind, relationships with others, love, obsession, pain, being left out, and discovering your strength and uniqueness.
Draining inspiration from their own experiences and combining that with musical influences of alternative rock, pop-punk, and electronics, Halflives are a band that will surely take over the scene (and your playlist) quick enough.
The band started putting their mark on the scene with power and confidence. Early releases secured a solid foundation of trademark elements and allowed them to cultivate a dedicated fanbase during impressive support and headline tours.
Latest release V shows considerable development in terms of concepts, lyrical content, and musical influence. Energy-filled riffs and smashing drums support each track telling intimate but relatable stories of betrayal, pain, love, and confident claim of ground.
Tell me you did not chant with Linda Battilani on the chorus if you want but I won’t believe you
The EP is an absolute delight from start to end, including powerful riot-starters and heartfelt confessions. Regardless of the theme, each song is filled with genuine emotion, perfectly executed vocals, and addictive instrumental support.
Join the hype before the band takes over the world if you want to get the best out of this magnificent journey and loving community.
Since their entrance into the scene in 2016, UK rock breakthrough Yonaka never stopped growing and expanding their scope. They quickly swept away a major part of the alt-rock community with their distinctive style using powerful instrumentals uniting classic neometal with modern pop-rock.
Theresa Jarvis’ splendid vocals deliver stories of emotional ruin followed by a rebuilding into a strong, independent entity. Other songs touch on pressing issues of mental health awareness, lack of confidence and self-love, abusive relationships, and various struggles of the mind.
The consistent growth of their music, themes, and lyrics reached a new level with latest release Seize The Power.
The mixtape consists of eight songs united under the concept of reminding people of the power within them, the importance of self-love and acceptance, and the liberation coming after shaking off toxicity and external or internal pressure.
My review of the mixtape will be out very soon, stay tuned!
Seize The Power includes next level instrumental build-ups, powerful vocals, reassuring messages, and heartfelt stories. It reminds us that we are all unique, strong individuals, and we should celebrate that every day.
This power is yours for the taking
Scandinavia is a breeding ground for quality metal music. Denmark-based four-piece Feather Mountain are a great example of the powerful stuff that comes from those lands.
The band creates immersive progressive rock/metal that takes you on a journey through hardship, excruciating pain, triumph, and hope. They tell stories using sound, lyrics, and imagery, inspired by real-life events. The first time I heard the band, I was impressed how they transmit states and emotions impossible to describe in any other way.
Feather Mountain’s members play as one entity carefully coordinating each small element of a song (even a full album sounds as a coherent whole).
The debut Nidus shows the potential burning at their core and unveils a strong entrance in the scene. It does not end there – the music is just one part of the experience. The band takes the stage shows, lighting, video, and imagery as additional mediums to continue their story and give extra details around it.
The band is currently working on new music and recording the tracks for their upcoming record. Several live shows are on the way as well, making things as exciting as possible.
Stef G is a Milan-based master of guitar and an upcoming producer working wonders with rock-based drops and build-ups.
His early work with SouLost – a breakthrough rock/post-hardcore act with a short but impressive repertoire of thought-provoking, emotion-inducing tracks, shows his quality songwriting and guitar-playing skills well enough.
You can recognize Stef with his distinctive gritty guitar solos. He uses those as a foundation of next-level earth-shattering drops in his electronic and remix tracks.
Stef’s recent work with Kill Monday – Night Of The Undead and Welcome To Night City accurately displays his imminent abilities to produce party-starting, energy-boosting tracks with thunderous build up and unexpectedly hard drops.
Stef knows how to create quality music, and he is not limited to one genre. That, together with his approachable and inspiring personality, makes him an artist you would be wise to keep a close eye on.
His remix of We Are Pigs’ Pulse Queen came out on the 23rd of July and gave a new breath of life to a song with already demolishing energy. Stef’s signature production gives it extra strength – listening to the song once is equivalent to three cups of black coffee, scientifically proven fact.
PS beware of the last drop!
Stan Hope is a hip-hop rising star based in the Netherlands who I discovered thanks to a very good friend of mine. His music is with me since that day, and most of his tracks make frequent appearances in my daily listening habits (two of them were also in my top five most-streamed songs for 2020).
Start your day with this song, you will thank me later
Stan is a humble but extremely talented, hard-working musician. His early work uses lo-fi beats and thought-provoking verses promoting unity, understanding, peace, and mental comfort in a soothing mash of quick verses and witty wordplay.
Stan’s latest music shows a new set of inspirations, themes, and music production. He gradually steps up his game with a variety of new beats, sharper lyrics and delivery, and an even stronger and more confident depiction of his values and beliefs.
Another Day focuses on mental health and spirituality, leading to soul and mind cleansing. It contains small but powerful details reinforcing the message and making it impossible not to trust his words.
Singing My Song makes simple but hard-hitting remarks towards the importance of love and respect, keeping your head up, and taking care of your mind and body. The manifestation of those simple things in life make him a dangerously charming artist you won’t be able to resist.
Play his tracks with your morning coffee for a good start of the day.
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