As a college student, it can be hard to take or even find the time to discover new music, especially when your days are equally divided between social and educational pressures. Even if you listen to the radio on your time off, many popular stations fail to offer anything new. To say the music industry is quite big is an understatement and because of that, it becomes increasingly harder for many smaller and lesser-known artists to make any headway. Despite this there are still lots of artists whose music offer something new and fresh to the palette. Here are 7 such artists:
1. Half Moon Run
This Montreal based group takes indie music to an entirely new level. Although lots of indie artists focus on the more atmospheric and ethereal facets of music, Half Moon Run makes this the main idea behind theirs. The band has currently released two full-length studio albums and has even managed to land a Spotify Session in which they absolutely prove their musical prowess. Some of their best songs include Full Circle and Call Me In The Afternoon off of their Dark Eyes album as well as Turn Your Love and Sun Leads Me On off of their 2015 album of the same name.
Augustana is, in many ways, extremely similar to Counting Crows and other bands in that same vein. Having started in the mid-90s the group has been around for quite a while. Despite their long tenure in the industry, the band is still producing stellar music to this day. What makes Augustana's music so special is that it takes a more secular approach to many of the musical concepts and theories that are often seen in modern day Christian music. With this in mind it isn't surprising to find out that a majority of the band did in fact attend a Christian university in Indiana where they studied music theory before deciding to form Augustana and divert their attention to a more mainstream route. Some of Augustana's best songs include Sunday's Best and Boston. In many of their songs you can expect poignant piano melodies, impressive guitar riffs that carry the song, and memorable lyrics.
3. The Band
Although this group was incredibly popular in the 60s and 70s, more so amongst music critics and less so by the public, few people today have ever heard of The Band despite their massive contributions to the industry as a whole. Although what many would deem today as roots rock, at their height The Band was technically classified simply as rock. The group, which existed for many years under different names as well as different members, officially adopted the name of 'The Band' after serving under the tutelage of Bob Dylan himself who's influence is very apparent in much of their work. Instruments including harmonica, banjo, and mandolin give The Band an extremely distinctive and ironically Southern sound considering much of the band members hail from Northern states such as New York. Some of their best songs include ballads such as The Weight and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down as well as some faster songs such as Atlantic City.
Although more commonly known for her features and collaborations on numerous tracks with artists such as Diplo and Major Lazer, the Danish artist MØ's solo work is often highly overlooked. Although she has only released one solo album by the name of No Mythologies To Follow, every song on the album is a pop masterpiece. MØ uses a combination of heavy synth along with catchy beats and even catchier lyrics followed by heavy post-production to create songs that seem almost magical and inhuman. Picking which of her songs are the best is hard as they are all excellent however Don't Wanna Dance, XXX 88, and Glass stand as some of her more profound pieces that truly show off all that MØ is capable of.
5. Mick Jenkins
The rap industry is in the spotlight right now and yet there are thousands of rappers that fail to get the recognition they deserve. Mick Jenkins is one such rapper. Whereas many popular rappers put little to no thought behind double meanings in their lyrics, Mick Jenkins' attention to detail in just what his audience takes from his music is evident from the first listen. Similar to artists like Kendrick Lamar, Mick Jenkins is incredibly good at making bangers and other party anthems but equally as great at making slower songs with more meaning and purpose. Some of his best songs that express these qualities include Jazz, Alchemy, and Piano.
6. Cœur De Pirate
Although incredibly popular in Canada and France, Cœur De Pirate's music has yet to gain as much traction in the United States. Regardless, her music is simply stunning. Although Cœur De Pirate (which means Pirate's Heart in French) has been releasing music since 2008, her lack of popularity within the US can be attributed to the fact that until her most recent album, which was released in 2015, her music was only released in French. However, her latest album was recorded in English as well as French, greatly expanding her audience. Although the work of previous years failed to bridge the gap into the American mainstream, Cœur De Pirate's older music is just as good as her newer music. An astonishing pianist with a haunting voice, Cœur De Pirate uses these qualities to entrance and captivate her audience. To gain a greater sense of this listen to her songs Adieu, Oceans Brawl, and Carry On.
7. Tesla Boy
Tesla Boy is the modern day epitome of every stereotype surrounding 80s music and yet this Russian band succeeds by making their music catchy, light, and addictive. Based in Moscow, Tesla Boy's music consists almost entirely of synth driven melodies, beats, and accompaniment. Listen to any of their songs and it's almost guaranteed you'll feel an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for a time you may not have ever even visited. Amongst a massive genre of relatively mediocre retrowave artists Tesla Boy shines bright. Some of their most iconic songs include Spirit of the Night, Rebecca, and Avoid.