About a month ago I had a total meltdown over how much I love Spotify. It’s one of the few things I pay for on a monthly basis that doesn’t piss me off to the core, (like buying gas). So here’s an exhaustive list of my favorite artists I wouldn’t have discovered without the help of Spotify.
This rapper/singer/songwriter/drummer/everything under the sun artist slid into my Spotify’s recommendations with the album Malibu. After rocking out to it for a few good months, I saw he was featured on the Black Panther soundtrack. The Austin Chronicle credited him with an “effortless, unhurried groove as he slides from the disarming grit of Nineties hip-hop in “Without You” to Sixties soul on “The Bird” and honey-dripped R&B with “Am I Wrong”. Uhm, yes.
I tried to resist the unique charm of this California-based boy band at first, but “BLEACH” caught me off guard. If anyone makes a boy band work in 2018, it’s these guys. And they’re taking off. They signed with RCA earlier this year and appeared on Jimmy Fallon June 20th. Let’s go.
I fell in love with these guys just in time to catch them at the Uptown Theather in Kansas City. They’re just as good live, but doubly infectious. The four-piece, LA-based band draws from a mix of genres ranging from psychedelic soul, funk, indie, tropicalia, and rock. They showed up in full-on 70s ruffle suits and rocked the house. They also threw in a generous amount of mariachi, which proved to be a real crowd-pleaser.
This Dutch-duo’s soulful sound will melt you. I first heard “Sink Into the Floor,” and that’s exactly what I did. Drowned in reverb and dripping in soulful melodies, their sound will transport you to the 60s and 70s, but with better basslines.
This D.C. rapper The album art of At What Cost (2017) caught me off guard. It looks like Edvard Munch if he were painting a strip club on fire in the 90s. The album’s lead single, “Crew“, has peaked at number 45 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as earned him a Grammy nomination. However, “Some Girl” turned out to be my gateway song to the artist.
This Montreal-based singer-songwriter is best known as the former guitarist for Mac DeMarco’s live band. He’s been delivering silky, sexy lo-fi tracks since his first album in 2013 titled, The Homeshake Tape. If you feel like getting funky, check out my personal favorite, “He’s Heating Up” from his second album, Midnight Snack.
This English indie solo pop artist, Amber Bain, magically sounds like 1,000 angels singing together. She produces most of her tracks, but sometimes enlists the help of George Daniel of The 1975. Her layered synth pop and dreamy melancholic sound has been critically acclaimed, and her cover of Landslide will have you in enough tears to drown Stevie Nicks.
Jorja Smith has been launched into fame this year winning the Brit Critics’ Choice Award and released her debut studio album Lost & Found in June. Her effortless R&B sound feels like swimming in honey. “Where did I go” has been stuck on repeat all summer long.
Yet another English artist makes the list, as King Krule’s music introduced me to the idea of darkwave, which is kinda like a softer goth rock with a synthesizer. That sounds heavy, but King Krule blends the genre with jazz and hip-hop for a unique sound.
This hip-hop beatmaker from Canada rides out head-bobbing lo-fi beats that sound perfectly balanced between fresh and familiar. His album, Fresh Squeezed, is perfect for chill background music when you have guests over, or just enjoying some quality headspace on your own.
Phew! Okay, now that we’re through all 20 artists, be sure to check them out on your own Spotify account and totally f^ck up your algorithm. You’re welcome.