Criminally Underrated Artists: A Series

The thing about famous artists is that they come and they go; some are one-hit-wonders, and some have 18 albums and fall off. There will always be the new “it” musician. And while they are incredibly famous for good reasons, it can sometimes fade out the smaller, more independent artists who are talented and unique. I immediately think of Noah Kahan– there truly is no one like him. He came out of nowhere, and the rest is history. While he is getting his recognition, he was making great music far before his fame and most people had no idea. With that, this is the beginning of a new series: Criminally Underrated Artists. I will be listing a handful of artists that I think deserve more recognition, explaining why, and naming a few of my favorite tracks from them. 

You could argue that all of these artists are not underrated and do have recognition, but lucky for me you’re reading this so I can’t hear your wrong opinions!

1. Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice opened for one of the many legs of Harry Styles’ Love on Tour; he knows how to spot criminally underrated artists. However, I discovered Wolf Alice back in 2017 when “Visions of A Life” was released (a spectacular album).  From London, this rock group has been in the game (and killing it) since 2010. With a female lead singer and all male accompaniments, Wolf Alice gives an indie-rock, hole-in-the-wall, fishnet-stocking, grunge-vibe. 

Similar artists (in my opinion): Lily Allen, Faye Webster, Snail Mail, Wet Leg

Favorite tracks: Don’t Delete the Kisses, Delicious Things, Beautifully Unconventional

2. Arcade Fire

Okay, okay, hear me out. Yes, Arcade Fire is very famous…but WHY DON’T WE TALK ABOUT THEM ANYMORE?!?!?! I have been absolutely obsessed with Arcade Fire since childhood, so their music has been a part of my life for a long time. I am adding Arcade Fire to mark the beginning of a movement to re-fangirl over Arcade Fire!!! From Quebec, this band consists of a husband-wife duo joined by some talented friends. Their sixth studio album, “We”, was released in May of 2022, but there was not much talk surrounding it; this was shortly after member Will Butler had informally left the band, but the project had been completed before his departure. I’m not sure what the future holds for them, but for now, their indie-rock, swampy, messy-like vibe prevails. 

Similar artists (in my opinion): LCD Soundsystem, The Black Keys, Kings of Leon

Favorite tracks: Creature Comfort, The Suburbs, Wake Up

3. Slow Pulp

I was late to the game with Slow Pulp, but discovered them when they opened for Phoebe Bridgers in late 2022. They were SPECTACULAR, and from my college town (Go Badgers)!! They are unique, textured, and limitless with their music, which I picked up on after seeing them live. Ever since, their music has remained in my regular playlists. Slow Pulp is another female lead accompanied by men, similar to Wolf Alice. Their latest release, “Yard”, is simultaneously futuristic and vintage; I particularly like the cover. Slow Pulp has definitely been gaining recognition since they toured with Phoebe Bridgers, and I am optimistic that it will only keep increasing.

Similar artists (in my opinion): Alvvays, Djo, Big Thief

Favorite tracks: High, Slugs, Idaho

4. Spacey Jane

THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DEFINE MY LOVE FOR SPACEY JANE!! This Aussie band is extremely charming and is the perfect picture of a young, hip Indie-Rock band. Formed in 2016, Spacey Jane made their big break with one of my favorite songs of all time: “Booster Seat.” Their debut album “Sunlight” was the soundtrack to my 2022 summer. Released during lockdown, this album brought some sun to our storm. Their listeners mostly consist of Australians, so I am anxiously awaiting their arrival to the States.

Similar artists (in my opinion): Declan McKenna, Mt. Joy, Briston Maroney

Favorite tracks: Booster Seat, Hardlight, Lots of Nothing

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