Best New Indie – Fran Lusty, Am3r3, Victoria Dodson, Midnight Flowers

London based songwriter Fran Lusty has a voice that is smoky and seductive.  Her vibe is soulful and dreamy.  Her music is a blend of indie pop with a subtle touch of indie folk.  Fans of Feist and Phoebe Bridges will enjoy how she injects catchy songwriting into her indie aesthetic.  

  Fran moonlights as a songwriter, releasing music on indie label Indieshake.  By day she is working on her PHD in Literature.  Her new single I’m Blue is like a dreamy indie pop sonnet.  Coming in at just 2:20, she packs a lot into a little package.  Every meter is carefully puzzled in as short phrases pass in hypnotic evolutions.  Fran could have literally double downed the arrangement but she opts to keep it short and concise, as the track is one fleeting feeling that demands a repeat after the initial listen.  The appropriately named Lusty is soothing and seductive.  Like Bridges, she has sneaky soft power beneath the smooth delivery.  Her vocal abilities are exemplary, and perfect for this indie pop vibe.  

For this young songwriter, I’m Blue is a revelation. The track is mixed to perfection, with a crisp clean finish ready for FM radio. It serves as a snapshot of what this budding songwriter might be capable of given the proper platform and support.

  Hear I’m Blue now on our Best New Indie playlist


Toronto based songwriter Am3r3 makes infectious pop with catchy melodies and sultry soul.  Their new single Don’t Be Afraid gets under your skin.  It has the night drive appeal of Synthwave greats like Kavinsky, the pop appeal of Drake’s vocal selections, and the hush vocal aesthetic of artists like Rhye and James Blake.  The artist admits he is a fan of Daft Punk and wrote the song after hearing about their break up.  Their influence can be heard in the textured vocal production.  The song is auditory pornography, as Am3r3 stimulates with interesting sounds, effects, and pan alignments.  

  Am3r3 is tapped into the electronic ethos of pop.  He sees the gear and its possibilities from a different perspective.  Every aspect of its potential is utilized on this rich production.  You can get hooked into the heady atmospheric layers or simply lost in the repetition of the main melody and pumping kick, a multidimensional approach to embellishing a song trademarked by icons like Radiohead and embraced as the heart of the experimental pop aesthetic.  

  With this kind of sexy soul falcetto, through Am3r3 one might imagine what Marvin Gaye might have sounded like in the vein of modern indie pop.  Get lost in the sultry sound of this indie pop magic. Hear Don’t Be Afraid now on our Best New Indie Playlist  

Victoria Dodson

Victoria Dodson makes intriguing lofi bedroom pop.  As a producer she has orchestral instincts.  On her new single Homesick she displays her breadth of influence and lays a path for her musical trajectory.  We believe this is just an introduction to what could be a very exciting music career as it blossoms to fruition.  She falls into a category with other undiscovered Indies we have covered such as Jackie Marchal and Natalie McCool, who combine imaginative production with equally fascinating song ideas.  Dodson, however, is more lo fi in her approach, but its not a crutch.  Like indie darling Alex G and the early works from Bon Iver, It brings personality and character to her pieces.  

  Homesick feels authentic and in the moment.  The emotion builds like a roaring thunder.  Dodson pulls the drums away for a break to reflect before bringing them back and then bigger for the climactic heavy outro reminiscent of Arcade Fire’s signature big finishes.  

  Dodson is truly an undiscovered gem, flying way too far under the radar, she deserves a bigger platform to celebrate these abilities.  Take note, Victoria Dodson is for real.  Hear Homesick now on our Best New Indie playlist

Midnight Flowers

Philly duo Midnight Flowers recently released a 6 song EP, We All Seem Fine.  Considering the latest wave of Omicron I think we can all relate with that sentiment. The collection kicks off with the inspiring Shades of Blue.  The dissident progression brings a dark indie vibe to an indie post-punk-pop sound familiar to bands like Alvvays and Best Coast.  There is also a hint of late 90s emo from undergrounds like The Anniversary. 

Hailing from Philly, it’s no wonder Midnight Flowers references the indie punk aesthetic.  Mostly everyone from Philly comes up in some variation of the punk or hardcore scene before morphing into an indie project, and we suspect Midnight Flowers may have been bred out of that cycle.  You can also hear the 80s influence of goth pop icons like The Cure, and the MFers admit that they have an affinity for 80s synth pop.  

 A driving bass leaves room for jagged synths and dirty guitars to roam around the songs framework as singer Tatiana’s vocal settles beneath the melody.  Underneath the shoegaze style contemplative vocal is immense power, as hard hitting drums suggest that this band might pump in a live setting.  Philly likes it loud, and the MFer’s can bring a big sound to the right venue.   

  Though the underground will embrace this dark dissonant vibe, Midnight Flowers has mainstream appeal. These melodies are catchy and ripe for national recognition.  Enjoy Shades of Blue now on our Best New Indie playlist. 

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