These are the facts. Women have been dominating indie pop for the better part of the last decade. It’s no secret that our Best New Indie Playlist tends to include more female artists. This is not up for debate, their contributions have just been better from every aspect of the game. Whether you’re drawn to innovation or raw talent, the Girls have you covered.
Get lost in the chill electro pop of Lightleak, the new single from Oakland based project There’s Talk. Lightleak is a combination of atmosphere and minimalistic charm. Instead of leaning on an abundance of sonic layers, it utilizes just a few sounds to create an unassuming fullness. It combines the dreamy shoegaze of Beach House with the minimalistic pop of The XX. The projects founder, Olivia Lee, has a diverse production palette. She can inject a whispery ethereal vocal affect without over-complicating the reverb effects. At times the vocals resolve to dry, while at others they are expansive, with an echoey angelic underlayer. Appreggiating synths graduate in tandem with the musical builds, as the players constantly tweak the faders, pulling expressive tones that shine with crisp analog warmth.
There’s Talk brings the sad indie vibe of artist like Sufjan Stevens to the world of chill pop. Lightleak is an intoxicating combination of both vibe and songwriting. Lyrically poetic and sonically enchanting, it conjures visions of musical cinema. These vibes were first transmitted in unsuspecting 80s new wave hits, and indie pop will alway be tinged with a tint of nostalgia. Lee recalls the musical intellect of some of the 80s most innovative writers, including Peter Gabriel and Talk Talk. Lightleak evolves like an abstract dream, as Lee brings variation whenever the arrangement threatens predictability. The band has enjoyed some success and notoriety, having already opened for heavyweights like Glass Animals and Baths. With it’s catchy melody and innovative design, Lightleak should lead There’s Talk to even more exposure.
Enjoy Lightleak now on our Best New Indie Playlist
Alex Beck drops an infectious hook on the compelling new single Tunnel Vision. Indie pop can be contrarian, with vibe heavy verses being the main draw to the song. Alex Beck resurrects the classic design, injecting an epic chorus to lift story heavy verses.
The verses to Tunnel Vision are all about a setup. They groove with modern indie sensibility as percussive palmed guitars and minimal electric drums groove beneath Beck’s picture perfect vocal. Its the chorus that grabs you completely, enamoring you with its curiosity and unanimous appeal.
Brining innovation to pop, Beck could draw similarities to indie pop buzz artists Holly Humberstone, Kacy Hill, and Charlotte Day Wilson. Beck brings her own blend of sentimental affect and retro spirit. She has mainstream appeal, connecting with artists like Madonna and Florence Welsh who maintained their cult status while simultaneously burgeoning to superstar.
Beck admits she’s hooked on nostalgia. She’s got the songwriting chops to break through in a generation thats suddenly addicted to the 80s. Still, Beck just graces the influence, as there are heavy doses of modern indie colored into her sound as well. Only her 5th single since 2020, Tunnel Vision is a big leap for the rising star.
Enjoy Tunnel Vision now on our Best New Indie Playlist
Get crazy to Sane, the new single from Michelle Limanjae. Highlighted by an innovative arrangement, Sane is ripe with unexpected variation and flavor. Limanjae disrupts the indie rock formula with interjecting ideas converged into one sonic package. The sections in Sane present like multiple musical movements, puzzled together by the experimental producer. Whenever you settle into a moment Limanjae pulls away like a playful dancer. A constant struggle between dark and light, vibe and pop, collected or disoriented. Sane is insane, but presentable.
Melodically it always makes sense, with the main brain twist coming from the sporadic drum part. Michelle’s soft vocal delivery and the rich harmonies she employs throughout give Sane sweet contrast. The artist conjures comparisons to innovative art pop producers like Mitski and Japanese Breakfast. There’s also evidence of classic experimental alternative works by REM and Kate Bush. Limanjae wrote, recorded, and produced Sane herself. She display an impressive palette for cinematic musical designs. Just the third single in the past year, Limanjae is an artist to watch in the world of art pop.
Enjoy Sane now on our Best New Indie Playlist
Charlotte Hall brings dreamy nostalgia on the infectious new single Plastic Heart. Dressed in a catchy indie pop package, it recalls alternatives first venture out of new wave. There’s still bright synth leads littered around the songs main foundation, but Plastic Heart is built around the songwriters swift acoustic.
Classically there’s evidence of 80s hits by the likes of Tom Petty and George Harrison, mainly when they teamed up with Jeff Lynne to reimagine their rock pop productions. There’s also a hint of 90s alternative icons like The Cranberries, with production notes reminiscent of recent acoustic rock Springsteen hits like Working On A Dream. All dressed with an indie sensibility, Plastic Heart is undeniably charming.
Charlotte catches you with emphatic vocal swells and an overall performance that reeks with joy. It personifies the theory that you should sing like you’re smiling. It connects with Plastic Heart’s lyrical meaning. Charlotte celebrates her new emotional freedom, releasing herself from the perils of a toxic relationship. Plastic Heart is equal parts celebration and condemnation, sometimes it just feels so good to call someone out on their crap.
Get free to Plastic Heart now on our Best New Indie Playlist