Best New Indie – Glass Lord, Maddisun, Cassandra Raffaele, Marina Laurendi

Vibe to the intoxicating neon pop of Moonlight, the new single from Glass Lord.  You can find obvious comparisons to modern retro pop contributions from The Weeknd, Drake, and Bieber.  But there’s more of an underground dark hue to the production palette and harmonic spectrum.  The LA based producer works in collaboration with ED.1T on the sonic design.  With indie sensibility it connects with artists like James Blake and JOJI. 

Moonlight features an impressive vocal appearance from singer Nys. Both Glass Lord and the vocal feature from Nys are ripe with raw affect.  The yearning sex appeal and sultry draw in this retro package hits like an indie pop Prince.  The tasty guitar leads only enhances the association.  

  The mid song feature by Nys brings an infectious cinematic appeal.  It’s a combination of blend and contrast, as the vocalists embrace a similar feel, emitting it in with their own trademark styles.  Nys and Glass Lord first connected as classmates at USC.  They bonded over their love for artists like Mac Miller, Kid Cudi, and Doja Cat.  It shows an affinity for artists who are inventive within Hip Hop, both with their beats and in their vocal creativity.  Moonlight grabs you with that same authenticity, though it leans more indie pop with a hip hop influence. 

  Front to back Moonlight is a solid release with an undeniable nostalgic feel.  In the vein of the iconic Miami Vice intro, the classic scene featuring Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight,” Moonlight comes soundtrack ready for that late night illuminated Drive.  Whether you’ve got the proper ride to facilitate the feel or you just need the music to trigger your imagination, Moonlight delivers.  

  Groove to Moonlight, now on our Best New Indie Playlist.  


Maddisun pens a motivational anthem on Don’t Say No.  Dressed in this infectious indie pop package, the vibing single gets you out of your seat with an undeniable backbeat.  There’s a subtle melancholy appeal to the chord design that hits nostalgic.  It’s reminiscent of recent releases from Sharon Van Etten like Seventeen. It could also draw comparisons to indie pop emerging artists like Holly Humberstone.  It’s a solid mix of classic songwriting and indie aesthetic, with a nod to the post punk retro vibes of artists like Billy Idol.  At its core is Maddisun‘s impressive vocal lifts, cutting through with each emphatic chorus.  Her voice is ripe with attitude and conviction.  There are vague familiarities in her vocal delivery, with high notes that recall the vintage treble of Cyndi Lauper and a wavering tremolo reminiscent to Stevie Nicks.  

  Stylistically fruitful and projecting her free spirit, Maddisun has star power.  Don’t Say No is infectious enough to break through the mainstream machine.  It should also appeal to underground music lovers hooked on nostalgic retro pop.  She offers something different to the wave scene, with vibes more reminiscent of solo Stevie Nicks and Madonna than synthwave. 

The insatiable driving bass and palmed guitars define the sonic design of the new indie sound.  Timely and expressive, Maddisun fits in with the sound of the moment.  In regards to the songs meaning, Maddisun explains that “Don’t Say No is a feel good, uplifting song about saying yes to life and all it’s opportunities.”  The new track is the first single in advance of her upcoming album “Home is Where the Music is.

  Get addicted to Don’t Say No now on our Best New Indie Playlist 

Cassandra Raffaele

Get lost in the dreamy orchestral soundscapes that makeup Camera Oslo, the new album from Cassandra Raffaele.  The prolific musical shapeshifter offers 10 eclectic expansive works, each embracing their own musical world. Between the yacht rock of Giovanna, the black leather slow dance of La Mia anarchia ama te, or the Jobim era charm of Camera Oslo (waiting for Ennio), Cassandra casts a wide compositional net rooted in an approachable aesthetic.  These soft sonic hues have soothing appeal.  The songwriter marries Jobim era pop with an indie aesthetic.  Significant nods to classical, traditional, and popular jazz could draw similarities to Andrew Bird.  There’s also the eclectic spirit of Badly Drawn Boy, who often wades between an indie and more cinematic orchestral style.  

  Altogether, Giovanna is the catchiest track in the collection.  This radio ready masterpiece draws you in with pop intellect.  A combination of melody and variation within the arrangement break the language barrier, serving up an uplifting musical vibe regardless of your lyrical understanding.  Produced in Italy by Roberto Villa, the production design recalls the classic 70s, utilizing psychedelic strings and old Hammonds like period stamps to place this dreamy vibe in this superior musical decade.  

  Cinematic and elegant, Camera Oslo is a stylistic gem.  With pro execution and careful consideration, every arrangement celebrates the impressive collaboration of artist and producer, as Cassandra’s voice is the perfect match for this sonic design. 

  Enjoy Giovanna now on our Best New Indie Playlist.

Marina Laurendi

Marina Laurendi captures small town charm with Gramercy.  Indie pop with country sensibility, it should inspire immediate comparisons to Kacey Musgraves, Phoebe Bridgers, and recent Taylor Swift.  What also grabbed us was our experience in how we received the track.  The first thing that strikes you is the albums art, Marina is a natural beauty.  Expressionless, she’s alerted for a candid shot while she sits on a pool table in a local dive.  It’s unfair to say it doesn’t change the way you hear the track, and how you receive the performance.  It gives it more of a Coal Minor Daughters feel, as Marina portraits the rural American small town princess.  Inhibiting and fleeting, you wonder if she’ll ever make it out.  The word Gramercy is used to express gratitude or surprise.  Marina justifiably wants love to feel incredible all the time.  Is it really such a bad thing?  The slippery slope of our new love movement, but a necessary transition when love runs cold.  Only the strongest make it out, and Marina has the heart to speak up.  

  “I’m your little village Queen, and it’s all for you.”  The prize of your hometown, Marina is the classic tragic starlet.  Gramercy is an anthem for anyone looking for love in all the wrong places.  Relentless in their pursuit to rekindle young loves flame, one occassional taste hits like romantic opium.  

  Marina’s sweet vocal delivery and melodic prowess carry the track.  The atmospheric production helps set a foundational vibe, and Marina reveals the story of Gramercy.  The new single was born out of fast, impressive love.  The moment now lives forever with this catchy indie pop tribute. 

Enjoy Gramercy now on our Best New Indie Playlist

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