Category: Indie

kid krow by conan gray

Album: Kid Krow

Artist: Conan Gray  

Genre: Indie pop, Bedroom Pop

Record label(s): Republic Records 

Recommended Tracks: Track 8- Affluenza Track 10- Heather 

Conan Gray is a 21 year old American singer, song writer, and social media personality. He was born on December 5th, 1998 in California and raised in Texas. His genre is usually pop and he plays the guitar a lot in his music and does a lot of vocals. Conan first started off as a social media personality by uploading videos to YouTube in 2013. His content were usually vlogs centered on his life in his small town in Texas. He demonstrated his music, art and videos on YouTube. Conan released his first debut single, “Idle Town”, himself in 2017. He got over 14 million streams in Spotify and 12 million views on YouTube. He has gone on to release singles and EPs. He released his first studio album in March 20th, 2020 called “Kid Krow”. Conan’s music is inspired by Adele, Lorde and other artists. This album is a “coming of age” type of record that is inspired by Conan’s life, rough childhood experiencing poverty, discrimination and abuse while growing up mixed race. I would rate this album a 5 stars out of 5 due to the theme the album, the messages behind the individual tracks, and the usage of amazing instrumentals throughout the tracks. 

The 8th track on the album is called “Affluenza” . This track deals with themes of money and how money doesn’t solve your issues. This song also reflects Conan’s life with financial issues and wanting money but realizing that money can not solve issues. The track begins with a slow bass beat with drums playing slowly in the back. The best slowly gets louder and faster as it reaches the chorus. A piano comes in with key words for the chorus. It slows down again for the second verse until the chorus again. The bridge is the best part of the track because all instruments are quiet but the piano and when it plays it is heavy and quick. The lyrics of the song are clever and refer to other songs. The use of the word “Affluenza” was clever since it was used as a mental issue thinking that wealth bought privilege and that there is no link between consequences and the rational mind. Also the rhythm of the song is amazing because it changes when the focus is on the rich people and their issues. 

The 10th track is called “Heather” is could be the saddest song on the album. This song is about having someone you love love someone else and hating that someone else Jaír because they have the attention of the on you love. The song starts out with a twinkling sound followed by a guitar solo which gives the song a sad essence. The song goes on with the guitar for the rest of the track. The lyrics also feel sad and heartbreaking. The bridge is a really emotional part since it has vocals that echo the main lyrics and it also has vocals shouting which give the song emotion. The lyrics show a sense of longing to be Heather just to be the one your lover loves. This song is really heartbreaking and emotional. Kid Krow is meant to be a diary of sorts that detail Conan’s life. Even though it’s meant to reflect his life, it also reflects the audiences life since many of his listeners have gone through issues similar to his in their lifetime. Conan shares a lot of his experiences from abuse to poverty. These issues resonate with a lot of people and this is a reason why this album is amazing. The instrumentals also played a role in making this album amazing. The use of the bass and piano were awesome and gave the tracks a really cool vibe. The use of guitar solos also gave some tracks that sense of innocence and more emotion. Overall, if you enjoy artists that follow an indie pop vibe then I recommend you listen to Girl in Red. If you also love music that deals with real life and personal issues, then I highly recommend you listen to Conan Gray’s album, Kid Krow.

The main thing by real estate

Album: The Main Thing

Artist: Real Estate 

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Record label(s): Domino Recording Company

Recommended Tracks: Track 1- Paper Cup Track 10- Sting

Real Estate is an American Indie rock band that was formed in 2009 and the members are from Ridgewood, New Jersey. The current members consist of Martin Courtney IV, Alex Bleeker, Jackson Pollis, Matt Kallman, and Julian Lynch, and they are currently based in Brooklyn, New York. The band members knew each other from their childhood and from high school and played together, with past members, in small events when they were younger. After leaving for college, they would reunite and play together seriously as Rea Estate. The name was chaos rn because one of the members was stuffing for his real estate license while the band was getting started. Real Estate their first studio album in 2009 and then released four more after, including their most recent one, “The Main Thing”, released on February 28th, 2020. This album contains guitar, melodies, and a warm vibe that defines the sound of the band, but a bit bolder. I would rate this album a 5 out of 5 stars because of the way the band pushed through this album and made good music, despite all the issues they faced, like kicking out a founding member.

The second track on the album is called “Paper Cup”. This track has soothing music and vocals. The guitar in the song feels melancholy and calm. “Paper Cup” has started with some keyboards that sound amazing and continues on with the bass and guitar with drums mixed in. The vocals kick in and they sound calm, not shouting, but not whispering. The lead vocals blend in well with the instruments. This song has an amazing bass solo that makes the whole song feel relaxing. 

The 10th track is called “Sting” and is arguably the best in the album. This song is entirely instrumental and is extremely relaxing and soothing. It starts off with nice guitar paying and then drums start to kick in quietly. The rest of the song continues with this calming tune of the guitar and drums playing harmoniously. At the end of the song, this tune fades out and the drums are the only thing left playing in a quick tempo. This song feels exactly what the album feels like, relaxing, calming, soothing, and it makes you want to sit back and enjoy the music, 

“The Main Thing” is a comeback by Real Estate after an issue with a past member. Even though the band went through a rough patch, they still managed to release a great album. The album contains their own sound that they are known for. The music is calming and makes you feel melancholy. The guitar instrumentals were the best part of the album. Overall, if you enjoy soothing music and makes you feel warm, then I highly recommend you listen to Real Estate’s new album, “The Main Thing”.

color theory by soccer mommy

Album: Color Theory 

Artist: Soccer mommy 

Genre: Alternative/ Indie 

Record labels: Fat Possum Records, Loma Vista Recordings 

Recommend Tracks: Track 4: Night Swimming 

Sophie Allison is a singer from Nashville, Tennessee and goes by the stage name Soccer Mommy. Color Theory is Soccer mommy’s way of singing about a color without naming it. She used different instruments and vocals to portray different colors. You can tell the color shifts after the sound changes. Songs that sound alike are the same color. I rate this album a 4⁄5 because of its creativity but I don’t like how it sounds like one color. I feel as though there isn’t much variation between emotions so it all feels blue. 

Track 4 “Night Swimming” is my favorite on the album because it reminds me of Lana Del Ray’s song “Radio”. The background music is calming. The lyrics “ I’m dancing with the current in my clothes” makes you feel blue. You can sense the ocean.

dreamland by coin

March 1, 2020

Album: Dreamland 

Artist: COIN

Record Labels: Columbia Records and Startime International 

Recommended Tracks: 4- “Crash My Car”, 9- “Nobody’s Baby”

Coin are an American indie pop band formed in 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. It currently consists of Chase Lawrence (lead vocals, synthesizers), Ryan Winnen (drums), and Joe Memmel (lead guitar, backing vocals). The band originally released two EPs in 2012 and 2013: Saturdays and 1992 respectively. They subsequently gained mainstream attention in 2015 with the lead single Run from their self-titled debut album, which was produced by Jay Joyce and released later the same year by Columbia. The group gained further success in 2016 with the lead single Talk Too Much from the band’s second studio album, How Will You Know If You Never Try, which was released on April 21, 2017. The song was their first to chart on Billboard‘s Alternative Songs chart. I will give this album a three out of five rating.

“Walk in like a wrecking ball. The way she moves make you miserable. All eyes on the golden girl. She’s gonna tell you, gonna tell you, gonna tell you. That you’re too sweet. Swan dive to the concrete floor. The pavement never felt so warm. One look and you already know. She’s gonna cut you, gonna cut you, gonna cut you. Cut you real deep.” This song is actually really really sad and deep. It is about a guy falling for a girl and she totally plays him. She leads him on thinking that she’s into him but then cuts him off at the end of the night. He says “You can crash my car tonight. Go out wasting all my time and money. I love the way you’re breaking my heart. And I can’t stand to see you leaving lonely.” This song is sad but has a nice beat to it. It’ll make you sad by the lyrics but keep you entertained by the beat. 

“Wake up, lying face up. I’m feeling like I found myself. I’m feeling like there’s something missing. I wanna shape up. Tryin’ to shake it up, yeah. Maybe I’m just bored to tears. Or maybe it’s in plain sight hidden.” This song is about changing yourself and being Nobody’s Baby. However, the song’s meaning confused me. I couldn’t really tell if the inner feeling they are trying to fight or change is within themselves or with someone else. The song goes on to talk about someone not moving closer to them. Anyways, the song has a very nice beat to it. If you love COIN, you will definitely love this song.  

The reason why I gave this album a three out of five stars is because some of the songs bored me. I would listen to them and they weren’t really catching my attention. The two songs that I wrote about and reviewed, were the only two that caught my attention. However, I did like the beat of most other songs. Even though some did bore me, they still had a great rhythm to them and were nice to listen to. 

man alive! by king krule

Artist: King Krule 

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Record label(s): True Panther Sounds, Matador, XL

Recommended Tracks: Track 11- Theme of the Cross Track 12- Underclass

King Krule, his stage name, was born Archy Ivan Marshall on August 24th, 1994. King is an English singer, songwriter, producer, musician, and rapper. He started his career in 2010 under the name Zoo Kid. He then continued his career as King Krule in 2011 and released many EPs and his debut album in 2013 and has released four total albums including his most recent, “Man Alive!”, released on February 21st, 2020. His music is described as being derived from punk jazz, post-punk, and darkwave. His lyrics generally deal with sex, romance, depression, and conflict. King has concepts of his misery and this album is said to turn sweet songs sour. “Man Alive!” has sounds of “punch-drunk neo-noir” that was also in his previous album, “ The Ooz”. However, this album focuses more on shreds of light and results in a more impressionistic album he’s produced yet. I would rate this album a 5 out of 5. This album is a different taste for me but it was an interesting experience. The references in the album, along with the music, makes you reflect on a lot and the style of impressionism really makes you think if this album was rushed or was a lot of thought put into it. 

The 11th track on the album is “Theme of the Cross”, possibly one of Krule’s best works. This track contains different sounds and the way they interact is interesting and soothing at times. The use of a saxophone really makes this track gorgeous. The sounds echo in your ear and they almost sway back and forth, making you feel relaxed and calm. The lyrics contain amazing imagery of a dystopian world that the album continues to have in it. The track also references his relationship as a father and how he felt overwhelmed, but he will still protect his daughters. This track is amazing both in its production and in its lyrics, showing his inner struggle and his feelings with the listeners. 

The 12th track is “Underclass”. This is a really romantic song on the album. The lyrics in this album are contemplative and romantic. The song refers to King’s wife and how he felt when they met. This song also goes back to more Jazz and Rock he has done before. The saxophone is amazing in this track and it feels warm when you listen to it. The way he sings his lyrics really show the emotion he has when referring to his wife. He also explains the place where they met and the state of mind he was in and his struggle with intimacy and trust at the beginning. He has not fully placed trust in his wife and this song reflects it. 

“Man Alive!” is meant to be more impressionistic than his other albums and seem to illustrate his recent life events and feelings after becoming a father and shifting into parenthood rather than into his career, and he loves his parenthood. This album reflects his feelings about his family and his recent life, the music gives his album an interesting sound. “Man Alive!” is more focused on the light and hopeful side of life rather than an of a downfall. If you enjoy music that is interesting and really focuses on a brighter side to life and has music that is soothing, then I suggest you listen to King Krule’s new album, “Man Alive!”.

no future by eden

Album: no future 

Artist: EDEN  

Genre: Alternative/Indie 

Record label(s): MCMXCV LTD

Recommended Tracks: Track 6- love, death, distraction Track 19- untitled

EDEN, born as Jonathon Ng, is an Irish singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and model. He was formerly known as The Eden Project until 2015. Ng started his music as The Eden Project with more electronic dance music, while his work as Eden saw him with more of an indie-pop style. Ng started The Eden Project in 2013 by independently releasing his tracks and reaching popularity through networks. He released his first EP and he then changed his style in 2015 and became known as EDEN. EDEN has released EP and studio albums since the change, including his most recent one, Np Future, in February 2020. This new album is in his Indie style, which is different from his older electronic dance style. If I were to rate this album, I would rate it a 5 out of 5 due to the sound of the album and the vocals. 

The sixth track on the album is “love, death, distraction”. This song opens with faint vocals in the background and leads into soothing guitar chords playing that continue throughout the track. EDEN’s vocals at the beginning are filled with emotion and feel welcoming. His falsetto makes the beginning even more gracious and heartwrenching. As the song goes on, more vocals come in to harmonize in the background, the vocals are subtle but still important. This song is calming and capturing, it ends with a few guitar notes and a silence that feels so melancholic. This song incorporates a message of the type of relationship people have with social media and how toxic it is. 

“Untitled” is the 19th track on the album. This song shows the ability that EDEN has to produce sad pieces of music. The song makes you feel heartbroken but hopeful inside. It makes you feel like you are being covered by a warm blanket on a cold night after having a sad day. The production is made up of guitar strings over the relaxing vocals. The song ends with a sample of children singing a Jamaican folk song. The sample really helps add more emotion to the song. “Untitled” is a sad song that makes you feel warm inside and it soothes you up in times of sadness. 

“No future” is an album in EDEN’s new style of Indie pop and different from his previous electronic dance style. The album has a more sad and depressing feel to it with messages that are greater than personal issues and more social-based. EDEN offers an emotional and tender style of music that is able to connect with his listeners more. EDEN’s vocals were so soothing and the guitar chords in the songs help the album feel more emotional and calming. If you enjoy indie pop and emotional music I’d recommend you listen to artists such as Billie Eilish, for the emotional music, and Girl in Red and Lana Del Rey, for the indie-pop music. Overall, if you like music that makes you sad and you need music to help you cope with sadness or music that is soothing and calming then I highly recommend you listen to “no future”, by EDEN.

Yuki by Flowershop

December 15, 2019

Artist: Flowershop

Album: Yuki

Record Label: Flowershop

Recommended Tracks: Track 1- “It Won’t Last”, Track 3- “It’s Now May” 

Indie-rock band, Flowershop, a four-member group based in Dubai, have put out some great music over the past year and a half. They’re a smaller band that are still finding their footing in the music scene, but they show a lot of potential in their sound and style. Their EP Yuki, released in 2018 and can be defined more specifically as having shoegaze influences reminiscent of British indie-rock from the 1980s. Yuki has four tracks in total and they’re all solid, earning it a four out of five rating, but the two that are most impressive are “It Won’t Last” and “It’s Now May.” 

     Track 1 opens with colorful guitars that immediately establish an upbeat tone that contrasts the lyrics but fits well with the overall theme of the song. It’s about fleeting moments and experiences that you know won’t last forever even though you wish it did. The guitar keeps a constant upbeat rhythm paired with the light and airy vocals that gives the song a sense of innocence and naïveté. Toward the end of the song, the vocals fade out and allow the bass guitar to become the center of attention. It’s low tone provides a shift in the overall softness in the song, adding depth to the song. 

     Track 3, “It’s Now May” has an infectious guitar right at the start. Vocally, I think it’s a cool addition to have spoken lyrics at the beginning before the pace picks up during the chorus. Toward the end of the song, there’s a soft fade-out allowing the soft guitar plucks to take over. I really enjoy the rhythm of the song and the quick shifts back and forth from slow to fast pace. 

     Flowershop is full of potential and I recommend giving them a listen. 

Pure Heroine by Lorde

Album: Pure Heroine
Artist: Lorde
Genre: Indie/Electropop
Record labels: Universal Music Groups, Lava Records, Republic Records
Recommend Tracks: Track 4-Ribs, Track 8-Still Sane

Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, goes by the stage name Lorde, is a singer-songwriter

from New Zealand. She first came on the scene with the song “Royals”. ​Pure Heroine​ is my favorite albums because of the diversity in each song. The is one of Lorde’s best album, lyrically. I can say every song on this album is my favorite.

Track four “Ribs” is my favorite because it makes me feel young again. I fell in love with this song in the seventh grade and everytime I hear it brings me back to that moment. My favorite line is , “we’ll laugh until our ribs get tired”. Track eight “Still Sane” is my favorite because it instills hope. My favorite line is, “I’m little but i’m coming for the crown”.

I love this album because I can listen to it in any mood; It is timeless.

Nothing Happens by Wallows

December 5, 2019 

Artist: Wallows

Album: Nothing Happens 

Record Label: Atlantic Records 

Recommended Tracks: Track 7 –  “Worlds Apart” and Track 10 – “I’m Full”

2019 was a great year for album releases, especially in the indie-rock genre. One of my favorite albums that came out this year was Nothing Happens by Wallows. It came out at the beginning of the year on March 22, 2019. It’s the band’s debut album and it easily became one of my top albums of the year. Now that it has been out for eight months, I’ve spent a lot of time streaming the album and digesting it. When you’re anticipating an album release, sometimes the build-up for it can overshadow how it actually makes you feel. But for Nothing Happens, as time has passed, I can confidently say that it still holds up as being an amazing album and one that I can always come back to without it beginning to feel stale. Sonically, Wallows show that they have grown by using cleaner production, rhythmic variety, and personal lyrics also driven by narrative elements. I rate the album 4 and a half out of five.

The first recommended track, “Worlds Apart” is one of the slower and more melodic songs on Nothing Happens. It has a ballad-like and dreamy feel to it stemming from the instrumentation which are paired beautifully with Braeden Lemasters’ vocals. The beginning of the song opens with soft drum beats underneath buzzing guitars. Then, Braeden’s vocals fade in. He has a big vocal range allowing him to sing high notes and low notes, and on Worlds Apart he keeps a consistent low-tone for the entirety of the song. His low tone and dragged out notes add a nice contrast to the dreamy effect that the instruments create. My favorite part of the song starts at 2:50, closing out the song with a long instrumental outro that slowly builds up tension, but it doesn’t overpower the overall sweetness of the song. I like the small detail of the last second of the song where it ends abruptly, almost as if someone suddenly detached their AUX cord. Lyrically, the song seems to describe a relationship that has ended and one person keeps thinking about the other and wonders if they still think about them too. “Do I exist in your heart? Or did the ship sail away?” 

The second recommended track, “I’m Full,” is one of the more fast-paced and high-energy songs on Nothing Happens. The bass guitar is one of the highlights of this song. It serves as the core instrumental piece for the majority of the song and adds a layer of richness underneath the guitars when they’re added. Dylan Minnette is on vocals and I think this song perfectly suits his vocal range. At the 2:28 mark, everything comes to a crescendo and there’s a burst of intensity coming from all angles. It’s definitely an album highlight on Nothing Happens. 

I’m looking forward to what Wallows will release in 2020 and I highly recommend everyone to check out Nothing Happens for a great listening experience!  

A Pill for Loneliness by City of Colour

Album: A Pill for Loneliness

Artist: City and Colour

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Record label(s): Still Records

Recommended Tracks: Track 6- Mountain of Madness and Track 11- Lay Me Down

City and Colour is a Canadian musician and songwriter, his real name is Dallas Green. Green was born in Ontario, Canada. Green started his musical career when he was part of a band called Helicon Blue and released several songs before breaking up. He then became part of another group called Alexisonfire, in late 2001, where they released four albums and two EPs before breaking up due to Green’s decision do focus on his own music career as City and Colour. From then on, Green started to release his music online for his fans to download, he eventually released seven albums. Within these albums, they included his most recent one, “A Pill for Loneliness”, on October 4th, 2019. Green’s new album continues to have the same themes of having dark songs, accompanied by beautiful music, which is part of only a few artists who do this on the radio today, it is unique. With Green releasing his own music under his own record label, Still Records, he is avoiding the control and restrictions that so many artists are in. Green also became a classic instantly. City and Colour stands out from other artists because of his concepts and themes in his music, with the mixing of folk melodies, that tell of different perspectives on life and experiences overall, including death, especially when accompanied by his clear voice that seemed to reach your soul, this made him quickly addictive to his listeners. I would rate this album a 5 out of 5 because of the themes this album presents and the types songs, that I find relatable, especially in this world, he has created, accompanied by the amazing, calming, and beautiful instrumentals that I think make the whole album come together gently. 

“Mountains of Madness” is the sixth song on the album and is introduced as a song that can relate to many listeners. Green is known for his lyrics hitting the listener’s souls and being highly relatable and this song hits the same way. This song explains how someone feels as if whatever t3hey do, they feel like they are not living up to their own worth, and questioning if the end goal is even worth the pain along the way. You can feel the intensity and loneliness in the instrumentals. The music makes you feel alone and it also makes you feel the pressure of not knowing what to do, whether to keep going forward or stop. The lyrics are also very soulful and digs deep into the feelings of many people and the stress of not knowing if their hard work will pay off at the end and if the end result was worth all the trouble. 

“Lay Me Down” is the last song of the album and it wraps up the entire album on a sad note. After many songs that talk about loving one another despite all the negativity and the effects of war, the album comes to an end with this song, “Lay Me Down”, and this song is kind of the last goodbye and wishing it all to come to an end because you know that nothing is going to change for the better, so you’d rather it all just end, thus, the song is called “Lay Me Down”, talking about how they just want to be put down and leave the negativity. The music is really slow and saddening, it helps give the song a sense of giving up and depression. The instrumental break amplifies the song’s effects and makes it even more saddening. This song is very much less hopeful than the others, but it closes off the album very well. 

City and Colour has a way of telling serious issues, from a personal to a societal level, that makes people listen, this is unique to himself and to a few artists today. “A Pill for Loneliness” has a serious feel to it but deals with different issues that isolate the individual listener, but connects to everyone in a way that’ll make you stop and take a look at the world today. If you like City and Colour, then I recommend listening to Billie Eilish and to Conan Gray. Overall, if you like music that deals with real issues, that everyone goes through, then you should definitely take a listen to City and Colour and his latest album “A Pill for Loneliness”.