Monday, June 17, 2013

Listen to It!: A List of Underrated and/or Indie Artists that You Need to Listen to Right Now

It has come to my attention that there are a great deal of people who aren't aware of indie music. And that's just sad! As an avid music listener, indie artists are some of my favorites to listen to. There are so many artists out there that are absolutely incredible but who barely get any recognition at all. There are some true poets out there who can sing more about sex and bling. So, in no particular order, here is a list of artists you need to listen to right now. I'll expand this routinely. Yes, the list is long but every single person on here is worth a listen. 
1) Angie Aparo 
Wow! What a voice! He's so truthful and full of meaning you can't help but love him. 
2) Heather Dale 
Heather Dale is definitely one of the more unique folk singers I've come across. Heather is a dork and proud of it. While many artists sing about their (modern) daily life, Heather Dale enjoys singing a bit more anachronistically. Her favorite topic seems to be Arthurian legend but she occasionally sings about other aspects of mythology and history too. I recommend this for anyone into world history. She teaches you so much and with an absolutely gorgeous voice. 
3) Emilie Autumn 
Emilie Autumn is one of the bravest artists I've listened to. Raw and real, Emilie Autumn writes out her pain through her songs. Her songs have definitely served as an outlet to me in my darker days and that's because she's so real (I suffer from depression; Emilie is bipolar); I'm sure she can also be helpful to anyone after a bad day. Her two albums Opheliac and Enchant are extremely different, the kind of difference that comes from being sent to an abusive mental hospital. Not everyone's cup of tea, I admit, but worth dipping your toes in the water.  
4) The Strange Familiar
A husband and wife duo, the Strange Familiar has created songs that are both beautifully written and sung. Heartfelt and introspective, these songs will leave you breathless. The group was first publicized when their songs were including on the show The Secret Life of an American Teenager. But their songs need even more recognition. 
5) The Mountain Goats
Only John Darnielle, the lead singer, can channel his demons into song quite so amazingly. He writes about all sorts of aspects in his life and his albums are a linear progression of his life with Sunset Tree all about his turbulent childhood. His songs have a very earthy folk vibe but also sing about some very important things. I was brought to them by John Green, I might add (another perk, among many, of being a nerdfighter.
6) The Decemberists
This band also has said earthy folk vibe that has become rather countryish in their new album The King is Dead. They sing about everything out-of-this world such as the story of a rake and "crane wives" to topics that really hit close to home like the discovery of a child's autism. Great stuff. 
7) Vanessa Carlton 
She's a sad case of a one-hit wonder, I'm afraid. No one seems to know any songs by her except "A Thousand Miles". But she's sung so much more! Her songs are real and you can tell she's really experimented as an artist through her albums. She sings about self-discovery and loss to new beginnings. 
8) Laura Marling 
An English folk singer, Laura Marling's songs range from cute and quirky to sad and soulful. With tongue-in-cheek humor and a pretty accent, Laura sings about her life. 
9) Regina Spektor 
Regina Spektor is definitely a singer who can really pack a punch with both her voice and lyrics. She can also play piano like no one else can. More amazing, English is the singer's second language!
10) Ani DiFranco 
Ani DiFranco is Maya Angelou in song form. Fierce and unapologetic, Ani isn't afraid to dish her opinions and in a truly poetic way. 
11) Serj Tankian 
Originally the singer of the better known System of a Down, Serj has made amazing progress while flying solo. His political commentary is sharp and true and his other songs are also the same. Regardless of whether you like him or not, you definitely will remember him. 
12) Automatic Loveletter
Punk rock and proud of it, Automatic Loveletter brings a new angle into topics many other singers have sung so many other times before. Definitely worth a look. 
13) Anna Nalick 
Anna Nalick is that middle ground between rock and pop. She's sadly faded out since her song "Breathe" but she is still just as amazing as ever. 
14) Basia Bulat 
I found her when I got a song of hers for free. Employing a wide variety of instruments in her songs, there's just something about her that's especially exotic. 
15) Bon Iver
You might know him from the Twilight soundtracks but he has other songs as well. And he's just as awesome in all of that. 
16) Superchick 
Superchick can rock like no one else can! They sing about rising above and being proud of yourself as well as some more important issue. Technically, they're Christian rock but make no mistake, they have quite a large breadth. 
17) Maria Mena 
This girl really bears it! She sings about it all and she sings in a way that makes you unable to help but admire her toughness and everything she's went through. Plus, she has such a pretty voice. Did I tell you she was Danish? 
18) Brittany Kwasnik 
I found her through YouTube before she's ever had anything released. But this girl is amaaaaazing! Sure, she probably should write about more than guys but, to be fair, she's only sixteen. 
19) Chris Pureka 
Chris sings her past for what it is. Her guitar and soft voice work so well together that it's almost like they were a match from heaven. 
20) Christina Perri 
Catapulted into fame with "Jar of Hearts", Christina has a beautiful voice 
21) Dar Williams 
Man, can Dar strum her guitar? Wise and straightfoward, her songs offer much-needed advice. It feels almost like she's speaking to you. 
22) Imogen Heap
Imogen Heap is definitely very cool to listen to. She often uses Enya's dream pop technique but not quite. In addition to that, her lyrics are also great. Her project as Frou Frou should also not be missed. 
23) The Dresden Dolls 
What can I say, these ladies are great. Again, they're not everyone's cup of tea but they can be very therapeutic to listen to. 
24) Of Monsters and Men 
I admit that I was just introduced to them by a friend but they're great! They totally keep up the folk. 
25) A Fine Frenzy 
A one-woman show, Alison Sudol (a.k.a. A Fine Frenzy) does it all herself. From shy and reserved to crazy and silly, she's definitely a blast to listen to. 
26) First Aid Kit 
More folk! Two sisters, I originally found them on the iTunes homepage where they promoted indie artists. A sister duo with some really haunting lyrics and metaphor, they can really sing. 
27) Fiona Apple 
Fiona is the Queen of Soul. Her voice sounds almost reminiscent of many a jazz singer and it has just as much heart. She's addictive. 
28) Flipsyde 
Yes, they're rap. But they're good rap. Flipsyde actually raps about real things and their song "U.S. History" actually helped me with my Social Studies final. So yeah. 
29) The Green Children
I first heard about The Green Children through a charity event they were doing. Their song "Hear Me Now", originally released as a single, was inspired by the charity work that they did. Their songs are really different, jazzy and exciting but also close to their pop roots. Pretty cool. 
30) Hannah Fury
Hannah Fury is definitely different and is definitely an acquired taste. She has the voice of a siren softly beckoning you to jump off the ship. She sounds like a ghost in a mansion. Most fans of Hannah Fury are also  Emilie Autumn fans. 
31) James Blunt 
A one hit wonder but amazing. His songs are thoughtful and his insights into the world fresh. Not to mention that alongside his thoughtful songs, he also has a few love songs that can really make a girl swoon (did I tell you he's British?). He was also the second concert I've ever been to and I can assure you that he's even hotter in person than he is in his pictures. 
32) Marie Digby 
Soft and sweet, Marie Digby sings with a girl-next-door reliability and her songs are a lullaby. You can't help but fall for her. 
33) Outcast Youth
Unfortunately, many of their songs aren't on iTunes but they're up on YouTube. This band sings about the issues that plague youth today such as eating disorders and addiction. They rap but their raps are always meaningful. 
34) A Perfect Circle 
Dark and gritty, A Perfect Circle is for any metalhead. Unfortunately, they are no longer together but their songs are still there. The lead singer is also in Tool. 
35) Blake Bliss 
Soft and sweet, he has the kind of voice that makes you feel like you're being serenaded to. I found him through his YouTube channel but his music definitely needs more recognition. 
36) Britt Nicole 
Okay, another Christian artist. But her music is incredibly feel-good and inspirational and she has a beautiful voice. Give her a try. 
37) Tori Amos 
Such a wonderful poet! And she has my name! Her songs are haunting and deep. To those who don't appreciate her, she sounds "creepy" but honestly, it's all a part of the metaphor. 
38) Flyleaf 
Flyleaf is the rock band of our time. Although they don't identify their music as Christian, their faith is deeply obvious in their work. It will really astound you how loud such a tiny girl can scream!
39) The Shins 
Um, isn't their band name cool enough? But seriously, their metaphor is amazing. 

That's it for now. If any of you guys have any music suggestions, list below! 
You're welcome :) 

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