Updated: Nov 1
Like all forms of art, we are often attracted to those that we find comforting and familiar to us. Music is no exception to this rule. But, finding new music is always a chore when streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music are seemingly endless voids filled with music to discover.
So, if you’re looking for new music to add to your next playlist, here are a few smaller underrated artists that are worth listening to based on some of the popular artists in the industry.
Dominic Fike → Malcolm Todd
With the release of his most recent album Sunburn this past summer, Dominic Fike has gained a massive following since he released his debut album Don’t Forget About Me, Demos in 2018. Entering the music scene not far behind Fike is Malcolm Todd. Like Fike, Todd transcends multiple genres — from alternative to hip hop to rock. Todd has since released his first EP titled Shower Shoes in March of this year. The EP encapsulates the same nostalgia and dreamy energy as Fike and most definitely solidifies Todd’s status as a rising star in the industry.
Faye Webster → Whatever, Dad
Indie folk artist Faye Webster is another popular name in the music industry who has risen to stardom as a result of her charming vocals and melancholy lyrics that could easily make anyone cry. If you’re a fan of Webster’s most recent album I Know I’m Funny haha, which was released in 2021, the alternative grunge pop solo-artist Whatever, Dad is right up your alley. Although Whatever, Dad has not released any new music since 2015, their album Grade Pending is perfect. Each song is characterized by soft vocals, reminiscent of Webster, and overlaid with sentimental sounds of childhood that culminate a sense of longing and homesickness in every lyric.
SZA → Orion Sun
Sza is undeniably one of the biggest artists out there right now with over 67.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and two hit alternative R&B albums, Ctrl (2017) and SOS (2022), under her belt. Orion Sun has been releasing music 2017 and her “neo-soul” sound is akin to Sza’s songs like “Hit Different” and “Love Galore” in her tracks “dirty dancer” and “celebration” — both which come from her most recent EP Getaway, released in 2022. Like Sza, Orion Sun brings a unique and transcendent voice to the industry that is completely distinctive from other soul artists entering the mainstream.
Noah Kahan → Field Medic
After the recent success of his album Stick Season, which he released last fall, indie folk artist Noah Kahan has embraced his brand built on authenticity about mental health, growing up, and homesickness. Specifically in his title track “Stick Season,” Kahan embraces the painful nostalgia that plagues the transition from adolescence to adulthood. However, Kahan is not the first indie folk artist to embrace these feelings — and he certainly isn't the last. Back in 2015, indie folk artist Field Medic released his first EP Me, My Gibberish, & The Moon and has gone criminally underrated since. Field Medic perfectly encapsulates the emotional journey of growing up in his track “FULL GROWN” as he reminisces on past love and regret, and comes to terms with leaving home behind. As indie folk becomes increasingly popular among younger generations as we’ve seen with artists like Noah Kahan and Sufjan Stevens, Field Medic should be no exception.
boygenius → buffchick
boygenius, the love-child of indie rock artists Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker, has taken the world by storm after the release of their first album, the record, at the beginning of this year. Someone worth an equal amount of attention is indie pop artist buffchick whose recent songs like “Walk Away” and “Show You Something” have gone criminally unnoticed. Both boygenius and buffchick explore love in all forms — romantic, unrequited, plutonic, etc. — as each of their songs build the same tension and release that are exclusive with falling in love. As she plans to release more music, buffchick is undoubtedly on the path to breakthrough the indie realm and into the spotlight.