While the airwaves remain the domain of music legends, indies find a safe and accommodating haven on digital streaming platforms. With hundreds of millions of audiophiles filling their playlists with anything from love songs to grunge rock, independent artists are whipping up their musical creativity.
If you are on the lookout for something new and more in tune with your musical preferences, an indie artist might have what you want. Here are 11 underrated indie artists you should be looking out for in 2021.
The son of a gospel singer, Jamaican-born Beam is one of the most electrifying indie artists on the popular YouTube channel A Colours Show. His ‘2×2’ rendition is one of the platform’s most impressive performances. This Grammy award-winning indie artist has been making music since the age of ten.
Beam consolidates reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, and snare music infused with a signature Jamaican flair to create songs like no other. If you love reggae with hints of hip-hop and techno twist, Beam’s music will surprise you.
This band has been making the radio rounds for almost a decade. Unfortunately, they remain under the radar of mainstream music fans. People who follow them love the band’s synth-pop creations, integrating electronic dance, indie pop, and indietronica in their pieces.
Do not discount Lauren Mayberry and the rest just yet. Chvrches may not have the nod of millions, but they are growing strong. To date, the group already has three records, releasing the latest in late May this year.
3. Victoria Monet
If you are into rhythm & blues with its addictive beat and a hint of funk, you should include Victoria Monet’s creations in your playlist. This babe’s Jaguar record is full of songs enough to get the crowd on their feet and bring the roof down.
Every month Monet impresses close to 3.7 million Spotify listeners with her sultry voice. Monet also has four Grammy nominations and has written songs for Nas, Chloe x Halle, TI, and Brandy. This indie artist is worth checking out this 2021.
Like Chvrches, Weezer has been in the indie music scene long enough to make a name for itself. What differentiates it from other indie artists is that Weezer breached the mainstream airwaves, landing their Beverly hills in the Billboard Hot 100’s Top Ten in 2005.
Established in 1993, Weezer’s popularity waned over the years. However, they refused to give up making great music. As of 2019, the group already has 13 albums under their belt, worth over 10 million record sales in the US alone.
With a name as unique as Bananagun, there is no denying this eccentric group is one of the indie artists to look out for in 2021. The song intros may sound dull and unappealing, but try extending your patience for a few more seconds and their music will grow on you.
Pleasantly surprising, Bananagun’s funk music is a blast from the past, complete with globetrotting psychedelia and Kinks-like pomp. The group’s The True Story of Bananagun album features a lot of tracks with an Afrobeat vibe.
It is not easy to describe this beautiful South African songbird’s music. For beginners, Lordkez’s songs may sound experimental with a sense of moodiness. There is also a hint of neo-soul mixed with the vibe of pulsating hip-hop music.
While it is easy to dismiss Lordkez as nothing more than a rocket spaceship with a half-filled booster, Lordkez is one of the rising indie artists who can cover various genres. She applies her wit and talent to produce smart lyrics that keep listeners intrigued.
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Pensive and sad, Celeste’s songs have the makings of an Aretha Franklin great. She is your go-to indie artist if you are still figuring out what music you want. Baby boomers and Gen-Xers can relate to her classic-inspired songs, while Gen-Zers and Millennials can welcome Celeste’s take on Nu-jazz.
This year, Celeste promises to expand her musical repertoire, ditching the melancholic mood for something more upbeat. With her exceptional voice injecting a cinematic tone to the song’s emotion, there is no doubt this lady deserves everyone’s attention this 2021.
8. Easy Life
Known for their addicting swagger and fascinating choruses on strings, Easy Life’s songs make for effortless and enjoyable listening. This parka-wearing Leicester-based boy band sprinkles their laid-back rhymes and funk motifs with plenty of mellowed reverbs. It is fascinating music worth listening to this 2021.
You might want to check out the group’s Houseplants, Spaghetti Hoops, and Sangria. While these songs remain under the radar, they are fascinating pieces for Jamie T fans.
9. Arlo Parks
Gen-Z’s next poster girl, Arlo Parks is fast becoming one of the most celebrated stars in the indie circuit. This South West London lass is as empowering as any big-name songwriter, relying on her French mastery to concoct magical melodies.
Parks chooses her songs pretty well, reflecting the influences of Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, King Krule, Jim Morrison, and Otis Redding. She is your go-to indie if you want to listen to confessional pop, stirring your soul to its very depths.
10. Death Cab for Cutie
With their emotive lyrics, the Death Cab for Cutie is perfect for audiophiles who prefer soul-touching music. The songs can be emotional but never overflowing with sentimentality. The vocals are hard-edged, although with a certain smoothness so pleasing to the ears.
DCFC is not your run-of-the-mill indie rock band. Ben Gibbard’s voice is something that can awaken the senses. However, it is the group’s surprising mix of gentle chords and powerful bass lines that can win any music-loving folk to their fold.
11. Band of Horses
Rounding up our list of i11 indie artists to listen to this 2021 is Band of Horses. This group makes well-supported acoustic music, including atmospheric and tender sounds and rock-oriented ballads. They can play almost any rock sub-genre you can imagine.
You can always listen to the group’s ‘Infinite Arms’ and ‘The Funeral’ for a better understanding of BoH’s style of play.
Indie artists are as musically gifted as big-name label recording artists, perhaps even more. Supporting their music, independent artists can create more songs and tunes that color your world. These 11 underrated indie artists you should be looking out for in 2021 are just the tip of the iceberg. More are waiting in the wings.