Have a listen to a couple of jams from well-known artists, and a few from ones you’ve likely never heard of before:
1. Alvvays — Dreams Tonite
In anticipation of their second featured album entitled Antisocialites, Alvvays has been trickling out some of their tracks to the public. After releasing the single “In Undertow”, the band dropped “Dreams Tonite” — a song squarely immersed in the dream pop genre. There’s been considerable hype surrounding the album (slated to debut in September). A darling within the indie music scene, Alvvays has the potential to eventually become a fixture within from a mainstream standpoint. While a bit withdrawn and somber, frontwoman Molly Rankin has superstar potential.
2. Fishbach — Un Autre Que Moi
The 25-year-old hails from a small town in eastern France. Though her voice holds richly deep tones, it works exceptionally well within a cocoon of electro-pop. This track — translated to ‘Other Than Me’ truly illustrates the vocal talent of Fishbach. She released her first EP in November of 2015. Since then, her debut album “A Ta Merci” dropped this past January. Regardless of whether you’re fluent in French or not, it’s not difficult to appreciate her ability as a vocalist.
3. Camera Obscura — Troublemaker
The Scottish group Camera Obscura is rooted in melancholy versatility. Lead singer (and predominant vocalist) Tracyanne Campbell is lyrically genius when emitting emotion. “Troublemaker” is more of an upbeat track — as it effectively conjures up memories of the 1980’s with its funky and colorful video. Kudos to bassist Gavin Dunbar for starring as both the director and the ‘Dr. Who-like’ character.
4. Erykah Badu — Window Seat
Erykah Badu has been a cornerstone within the subgenre of neo-soul since the early 1990’s. In fact, she’s been a pioneer in many ways — both via her music and her ornate fashion sense. Embodying her musical influences from the past, Badu is ethereal on stage. She’s also highly versatile, dabbling in a number of genres to form her own amalgam of auditory brilliance. “Window Seat” is representative of Badu’s ‘total package’ as an artist.
5. MC Lyte — Lyte As A Rock
The Brooklyn-based artist is a transcendent figure within the rap game. MC Lyte (born Lana Moorer) was a pioneer for women in the genre. She was the first solo female rapper to release a full album in 1988. Though Brooklyn was a fertile environment for male artists, MC Lyte rose up in the man-dominated profession and truly stood out among her peers. “Lyte As A Rock” is arguably her most popular and iconic hit. It was prominently featured in the 2000 film Love & Basketball.
6. Slowdrive — Sleep
Though Alvvays are a burgeoning force within the shoegaze/dream pop scene, Slowdive takes the cake as one of the giants within the genre. The English band had been highly popular during the late ’80’s/early ’90’s. However, the group broke up in 1995 after three albums and five years of playing with each other. The band shockingly reunited in 2014 — nearly 20 years after it had broken apart. A fourth album entitled “Slowdive” was released earlier this year. “Crazy For You” perfectly encapsulates why they’ve garnered such a cult following over the years.
7. Mazzy Star — Fade Into You
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of “Fade Into You” at some point. It’s been featured in countless television shows and films. “Fade Into You” is one of those songs that instantly puts the listener in a state of ease. It’s soft, melodic notes are woven beautifully against the sonnet-like verses. Lead singer Hope Sandoval’s painfully-shy aura pairs with the vulnerability of her voice. Simply put, this performance is exquisite.
8. The Strokes — Last Nite
The Strokes have put out numerous hit singles over the years. “Last Nite” is one of the more iconic of those songs. Lead singer Julian Casablancas brings a tangible energy and excitement to the track — which is further punctuated by lead guitarist Nick Valensi and famed drummer Fabrizio Moretti. To date, the New York based band has released six albums.
9. Arctic Monkeys — Fluorescent Adolescent
If you’ve got a fear of clowns, one would be best served not watching the music video shown above. In a strange post-apocalyptic world featuring a fight between local ruffians and demonic clowns, Arctic Monkeys manged to gift us with a 2007 tune entitled “Fluorescent Adolescent”. Lead singer Alex Turner yet again delights with his heavy northern English accent. While the song appears upbeat on the surface, the introspective and somewhat depressed lyrical construction about the aging of a young woman suggests otherwise.
10. Mary J. Blige Feat. Ja Rule — Rainy Dayz
When released in 2001, Ja Rule was a highly popular figure. Not only did he produce his own content, but he featured on many tracks with fellow big-name artists (such as Ashanti and Jennifer Lopez). With that said, this song is all about Mary J. Blige. It’s almost as if her soul seeps through in waves via this vessel of musical goodness. The range with which Blige sings is also on full display. Ja Rule was fine in a complementary role, but Blige could’ve easily carried this track without his presence.
Main Image Source: Metro Lyrics