Drum roll, please…! We are so excited to be launching the newest Indie Top 39 feature, Late to the Party! Every week, we’ll be celebrating 9 artists whose music we should have been shouting about ages ago.
There is so much new music out there that it’s easy for many a talented songwriter or musician to be overlooked. So, with that said, let me introduce you to this week’s nine wonderful artists.
Chantel Van T » Rumble and Crawl
Where do I begin? Chantel Van T’s voice hits you like a ton of emotionally charged bricks, but instead of dying on impact, you are reborn, lighter, wiser and more grateful than before, because now you have her music. Listening to ‘Rumble and Crawl’, you get the sense that this woman might have been plucked straight from 70’s Laurel Canyon where, perhaps, her good friends Joni Mitchell and Neil Young were listening on when she got zapped into the god awfulness of 2020 modern-day. I know I’m gushing, but discovering this artist was kind of the catalyst for ‘Late to the Party’ and I just hope that some of you fall as deeply into her sonic world as I have in the past week. Ya welcome.
Better Person » Something to Lose
Another artist whose musical palette draws upon times of yore (i.e. round about the time of 80’s synth-pop) is Berlin-based, Better Person. There’s no getting away from it, this song is just a jam. The infectious beat, beautiful melodies and simple lyric mean that even before you’re aware of it, your head is gently nodding in time with the music, not unlike the artist’s own exemplary head bopping in the video for the song. I got genuinely excited when I discovered the music video for this track as it epitomises an artist who has utterly embraced every unique facet of themselves and artfully packaged it up in a simple invitation to join them on this patch they’ve claimed. Well, I accept, I would love to be a Better Person.
Petter Carlsen » Good News
Is this prog-rock? Jazz? A new genre? Whatever it is, I am 1000% here for it. Petter Carlsen, oh how I wish I’d known about you in time to fly to Norway and see you perform this song live, back when that was a thing. ‘Good News’ had me hooked as soon as that stilted first vocal melody comes in and you realise you’ve just been launched into the centre of something, of someone who very much knows what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. I doubt that Carlsen has many people attempting to offer him advice on his music as it would be like trying to tell Picasso that the nose in his cubist painting of ‘The Weeping Woman’ was slightly off. Typically I’m not someone who listens to more guitar leaning music, but Carlsen manages to combine the best of those old school rock elements with, at times, the most hauntingly beautiful harmonies and melody lines that means he’s able to grab the attention of fans who, like me, wouldn’t normally find themselves in this space.
Drexler » Lightness
All I need a track to do for me is capturing my imagination. ‘Lightness’ immediately transports you to a place where your imagination can run wild. Running through a forest, exploring a new city and generally just winning at life are all scenes that come to mind whilst listening. It’s a hopeful, inspiring and beautifully simple piece of composing. Whatsmore, watching the video for ‘Lightness’ gives you an up-close and personal view of the composer’s journey through the track as you witness the ebb and flow between the literal light and shade in the film. Drexler’s talent at combining elements from electronic music and the attention to detail in the organic sounds of the classical piano, such as the rhythmic effect of the keys hitting the piano strings, make for an immersive listening experience. Knowing that I can dip into this uplifting world of cinematic sounds over the colder months to come fills me with great comfort indeed.
Chase Perez » Broke Days
I can’t say that we’re particularly ‘late to the party’ in discovering Chase Perez, as he’s a brand new artist who only just started releasing this year. However, I was deeply moved by the story he shares in his first release, ‘Broke Days’ and as he’s already on to his third release, I think it’s time we highlighted this artist’s talent. Again, no matter what kind of music you typically listen to, there’s no escaping cold hard truth and honesty as a way of connecting with an audience. That’s what Perez does in ‘Broke Days’. He doesn’t shy away from the reality of his past and by sharing his journey so movingly in this song, he’s surely going to connect with so many more people out there who can relate to what he’s been through. Even if your experience is nothing like this artist’s, simply by listening to this track you become a little bit more open, understanding and empathetic towards the hardships that some people come up against in this life. Get some inspiration into your day and listen to ‘Broke Days’.
Forgotten Garden » Snowflakes
I don’t know why, but this song is giving me massive ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ vibes. Believe me, as a BTVS fan, that is intended as a compliment of the highest order. If they ever plan on a reunion, Forgotten Garden needs to get in there and soundtrack the whole thing, in my opinion. Perhaps it’s the gentle 90’s feel that hangs over the drums, bass and synth and the rocky edge paired with those beautiful, folksy vocals that give it a nostalgic feel. ‘Snowflake’ is just one of those songs that, by the end, you’ve got a kind of half-smile on your face of contentment. It’s just really nicely done, a complete oasis of goodness: good vocals, good kit, good instrumentation, good harmonies, resulting in a properly good song you can slay vampires too. I’m a fan, what more can I say.
SWiiMS » Let You Down
Who would like a great quality indie band bop to get them through to Friday? I see a few hands raised. Well, let me introduce you to SWiiMS, a 4 piece indie-rock band from good old Canada. It’s true I’m a real sucker for harmonies and there is some artful use of vocal harmonies in here, not to mention the fact that the general push and pull of ‘Let You Down’ is blooming glorious. To pull off something so seamlessly like that takes great skill and understanding and is a clear demonstration of a cohesive group of musicians that truly knows how best to serve the song. These guys have masterfully brought this track to life and you just feel in very safe hands listening to SWiiMS. With a debut EP on the way, this is more a case of saving you a seat at the party early so that you can tell the cool kids that you ‘found them first’.
Bernard Hollinger » Fly
Discovering Bernard Hollinger’s music is like finding a hidden treasure, not just because it’s actually pretty hard to find if you don’t already know about it (he’s not on the major streaming platforms), but because of what a unique and rare musical perspective he seems to hold. I didn’t know if I’d entered into a perilous jungle, a bond theme track or the soundscape to an especially wondrous scene in Jurassic Park. The enchanting and yet somewhat disturbing bird samples draw you in as you let your ears adjust to the detailed sounds before you’re thrown into what can only be described as an epic tornado of strings, drums, guitars and otherworldly vibrations of tone and texture. I would seriously love to see this piece of music paired with film or images as the idea of being able to create a visual experience to even remotely match up to the listening experience this composition provides, would be pretty extraordinary.
Fiskur » You Know Me So Well
There will be many people within the Scottish music scene who are more than familiar with Fiskur’s music, but I admit I am definitely late to the party with this one. ‘You Know Me So Well’ is such a simple line but delivered with such a punch that I felt myself become deeply entranced by the lyric of this song. Fiskur guides you through a landscape that he is extremely adept at navigating, easily going between what you might expect to be the start of an indie-rock number, but which deftly expands into an intricate indie-electro chorus filled with sonic detail and craftsmanship. I know it’s a cliché, but this track really does get better and better the more you listen. Fiskur’s talent seems to lie in delivering what appears to be a simple and direct message, but it’s his uncanny delivery of such a simple message that gives you the sense that there’s something more, waiting under the surface, to be uncovered.
Make sure to follow our playlist on Spotify as we will be updating it and adding more hidden treasures every Thursday.