10 New Indie Pop Artists You Should Know

10 New Indie Pop Artists You Should Know

But you probably won't know until you read this
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With all the buzz about The Weeknd, Drake, and Fetty Wap hitting the top of the charts song after song, sometimes we forget about the brand new, ultra talented, but still little, artists in pop music. There are countless fantastic musicians that have yet to hit pop radio simply because they aren't signed to a large recording company or a well-known producer.

So next time you have a pair of headphones while strolling to class, or you're in "don't talk to me" mode whilst traveling via public transportation, give a couple of these fresh, new artists a chance:

1. X Ambassadors

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Sounds like: Imagine Dragons, The Neighbourhood

Most popular songs: "Renegade," "Jungle"

X Ambassadors is an indie rock band out of Ithaca, NY (home of Cornell University and The Moosewood Cafe) who just released their debut album "VHS." Immediately, their songs have taken off in the indie rock world, racking up over 70 million listens total on Spotify over the last few months. Their music is reminiscent of Americana rock mixed with a more modern, analog electronic sound, creating a very interesting and unique sound. Combining electronic production with semi-acoustic rock, this four-piece band is pure alternative pop.

2. Alessia Cara

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Sounds Like: Lorde

Most popular songs: "Here"

While she's much more into the R&B spectrum than most of the other artists on this list, Alessia Cara is definitely worth noting. Releasing debut EP Four Pink Walls via Def Jam Records, Alessia Cara has taken the pop music world by storm with her overnight hit single "Here," which has garnered much attention from MTV and big-time remix artists such as Lucian. "Here" is a song that resonates with " all the antisocial, awkward, and miserable party-goers of the world," or those who just secretly hate going to parties. In fact, each of the five songs on her EP is geared toward introverted, nostalgic, and artsy young adults. If you're looking for some songs to relate to, Alessia Cara has your back, and she sounds damn good doing it.

3. MØ

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Sounds like: BANKS, Grimes

Most popular songs: "Say You'll Be There," "Don't Wanna Dance"

You may recognize Karen Marie Ørsted, a.k.a., from the global super hit "Lean On" by Major Lazer. While "Lean On" has definitely been her big break-through, MØ has released a ton of great electropop music since 2013. Her sound ranges from contemporary pop to borderline club bangers. Such a wide range of music provides a ton of differentiation when it comes to MØ, her music doesn't get tiring because each of her songs is something different.

4. TOWER

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Sounds like: OK GO, Duran Duran

Most popular songs: "Teenage Miracle"

This is my personal hella-underground, indie pop band pick of the year. The LA-based duo TOWER is Derek Coburn and Darin Green, and they specialize in upbeat, electro-rock songs with a distinctive lo-fi, tropical feel. They only have two singles released officially, but I can see these guys growing in popularity as they release more and more tracks. They're already off to a great start, their distorted pop sound is strangely catchy in "Teenage Miracle," and you may find yourself subconsciously humming the melodies even after the first listen.

5. POWERS

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Sounds Like: The Knocks, Walk The Moon

Most popular songs: "Beat of my Drum," "Loved By You"

POWERS is Mike Del Rio & Crista Ru, an indie pop duo from LA/NYC influenced by funk and soul to create songs to the likes of which you've never danced to before. The steady beat will encourage a ton of head bobbing while the switch off between Crista and Mike's vocals makes each song sound a little different. Their catchy sound has allowed them to rise in the ranks due to alternative radio airtime. If you're feeling the funk, check out their feature in The Knocks' single "Classic," also featuring Fetty Wap.

6. KOLAJ

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Sounds like: CHVRCHES, Clean Bandit

Most popular songs: "The Touch"

Surging onto the scene, Teesa and Mighty Mike teamed up to create the indie pop duo KOLAJ, who've already been featured on Kaskade's ninth studio album in a song called "Whatever." If that backing doesn't say something, I don't know what will. Both of these artists have worked with countless current pop stars including Katy Perry, Maroon 5, etc. They've taken their years of production and song writing experience to create this electronic rock duo. If you're looking for more than their sole released song, they have a delightful cover of The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" for free download via Soundcloud.

7. XYLØ

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Sounds like: Lana Del Ray, The XX, Florence and the Machine

Most popular songs: "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," "Afterlife"

Gearing up for the release of their debut album, this edgy duo combines arid electronic production with dissonant vocals to create an unrivaled ambiance. With dark instrumentals and lyrics, this mellowed electropop band has stormed into the angst-ridden hearts of fans very quickly. Their haunting, sultry lyrics are full of lost love and emotion. If you like what you hear, act quickly and grab all three of their released tracks as free downloads via Soundcloud.

8. Transviolets

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Sounds like: Charli XCX, Lorde

Most popular songs: "Girls Your Age," "New Bohemia"

This awesome indie pop band preaches social progressiveness like nobody's business. Creating pop anthem after pop anthem, this new band has achieved a decent following after releasing only an EP and handful of singles. Katy Perry and Harry Styles have even given this group shout-outs over the last few months. I can absolutely see this LA-based, four-piece act breaking out in a big way very soon, they have an incredible amount of support by big names in the industry.

9. Years & Years

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Sounds like: Clean Bandit, Felix Jaehn

Most popular songs: "King," "Shine"

I deliberated on whether or not to include this synthpop trio based on their current worldwide super popularity, but the fact of the matter is that American pop music audiences don't know Years & Years, and they absolutely should. Reaching the first two spots on the UK pop charts with their two most popular tracks, Years & Years is the British equivalent of Walk The Moon in terms of indie pop success on the radio. This group combines a classic house-style beat with very catchy tropical synth-based melodies and even catchier lyrics. This is music to dance to, and once you listen to these guys, you'll see why they've taken the rest of the world by storm.

10. BØRNS

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Sounds like: MGMT, Walk The Moon

Most popular songs: "Electric Love," "10,000 Emerald Pools"

Of all the artists on this list, BØRNS is one of the most likely to achieve massive success. His various singles have already amassed millions and millions of listens, and even a bump from Taylor Swift herself. BØRNS perfectly combines pop vocals and production with a classic alternative rock style for the instrumental, giving us a refreshingly unique sound. At one point, every single song he's released has been stuck in my head. Keep an eye out for his debut album "Dopamine," set to be released Oct. 16th.

Naturally, these are just ten of hundreds of rising indie pop artists. The hunt for the next big thing is ongoing. In the meantime, here's a Spotify playlist of all the artists mentioned above, happy listening!


Cover Image Credit: Mathew Parri Thomas 2014, Years & Years Facebook page

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Things To Do When You're So Bored All You Want To Do Is Cry

Do something artsy

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Everyone has times when they have nothing to do and boredom strikes way too hard. From experience, I have found some top things to do when you literally have nothing else to do!

1. Clean

Not super fun, but will keep you busy.

2. Netflix

Find a new show to binge watch. Watched them all? Rewatch something you haven't seen in a while!

3. Shopping

Retail therapy can always keep you busy.

4. Make a home cooked meal

Spend some time in the kitchen and make something yummy! Even invite some friends.

5. Visit friends/ family

Pop in on some people you care about that you haven't seen in a while!

6. Write

Writing is something we all do and is a great way to express ourselves!

7. Exercise

Hit the gym or go for walk, do something to keep you nice and fit.

8. Volunteer

Go to an animal shelter, food bank, museums, or anywhere in your area that needs help.

9. Look for a job

If you're bored, maybe getting a part time job will keep you a little occupied. Plus it's extra money in your pocket.

10. Draw/ do something artsy

Even if you think you're a bad artist, drawing is something fun to do! You'll get better in time.

11. Join an Odyssey Team!

Writing articles through the Odyssey is an amazing experience and can always keep you busy!

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