Music has been a big part of my life ever since I started dancing as a little girl. I strayed away from the all too typical bubblegum pop music when I entered high school, on a quest to be "different" and "cool." If you're into more alternative music, or pop punk, or indie pop, or synth pop, or anything in between - here is a list of ten artists I hope you'll enjoy just as much as I do.
1. Marina and the Diamonds
I'm sure you've heard some of her songs, like Primadonna or How to Be a Heartbreaker, but have you moved beyond Electra Heart? Her musical journey from indie outsider to bubblegum queen to being truly herself is simply beautiful. My favorite Marina song is from her first album, The Family Jewels, called Numb. Some other favorites are: Radioactive, I Am Not a Robot, Teen Idle, and I'm A Ruin.
2. Panic! at the Disco
The beginning chords of I Write Sins, Not Tragedies, are iconic. I'm not sure if anyone remembers really learning the words, but we all definitely know them. But this song is only from their first album (A Fever You Can't Sweat Out), produced when front man Brendon Urie was only 18 years old. Imagine how it feels listening to every other song sung by this magical, beautiful man. Some favorites include: LA Devotee, Trade Mistakes, Collar Full, and The End of All Things.
3. Fall Out Boy
Who can talk about Panic! at the Disco without mentioning the OG? Fall Out Boy, of course, with their infamous incredibly long song titles. Their hiatus before Save Rock and Roll was released was a very sad time in my life. Their album, Folie a Deux, has shaped me as a person. Some favorite songs include: Young Volcanoes, w.a.m.s., I'm Like a Lawyer With The Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off, and Jet Pack Blues.
4. Melanie Martinez
Okay, okay, I think a few people like to judge those who listen to Melanie, but she is creative and talented, a true entertainer. Her music is written as a character named Cry Baby, and her music videos are just as interesting as the songs themselves. Some favorite sonogs include: Mrs. Potato Head, Cake, Play Date, and Soap.
5. Lana Del Rey
First, let me be clear. I'm talking original Lana del Rey, her first few albums and the unreleased tracks you can find on YouTube (if you look hard enough). Her haunting voice and dark melodies are unique and indescribable. Start off easy with something like Video Games, then maybe you're ready for Gods & Monsters. Some favorites include: Dark Paradise, Cruel World, Without You, and Bel Air.
6. The 1975
I saw this band in concert last summer and I am so grateful that my friend suggested it. While I've always known who they are after they released Chocolate, I never really listened to all of their music. Relatable and honest, touching and catchy, The 1975 is anything but dated. Some favorite songs include: Somebody Else, Menswear, She's American, and Heart Out.
This one might seem a little out of place because they are much more electronic sounding compared to the other artists. However, CHVRCHES has created some stunning music, if you're willing to give it a listen. Their most recent album, Every Open Eye, is one that I listened to on repeat for days. Some favorites from the album include: Clearest Blue, High Enough to Carry You Over, Down Side of Me, and Follow You.
8. Sky Ferreira
I have to thank an old friend of mine for playing her music when I wasn't really listening, because now I can't get enough. She hasn't released new music since 2013, but what's out there is amazing. If you want to release your inner rebel, let Sky be your inspiration. Some favorite songs include: Everything is Embarrassing, Heavy Metal Heart, Boys, and Lost in My Bedroom.
9. 5 Seconds of Summer
Well, they aren't the reincarnation of original pop punk, but their music is still worth a listen. Don't peg them as a stereotypical boy band, because while they all are definitely attractive, they're also incredibly talented. Ash plays the drums, Mikey plays guitar, Calum is on the bass, and Luke also plays guitar, and the best part? They all can sing. Really well. Some favorite songs include: Try Hard, The Girl Who Cried Wolf, Out of My Limit (Live), and Outer Space/Carry On.
Last, but not least, is this incredibly strong woman, Halsey. She isn't just that girl who was featured in that Chainsmokers song - and if you hate that song as much as I do, don't hold it against her. Her own work is twisted and lyrically enthralling. The music videos are pretty great, too, if you have extra time during your day to give them a look. Some favorite songs include: Colors, Ghost, Control, and Is There Somewhere.