Best New Indie – nellie, The Max Headroom, Loria Boban, Sophia Alexa, Glad Sisifus

NYC based songwriter nellie is charming on her recent Acquaintances.  Her quivering vibrato is magnetic, pulling you into her music narratives with humble appeal.  Her vocal delivery on the recent release is delicate, as she’s careful to deliver the imaginative phrases with sincerity and pure intention.  Acquaintances charts a familiar story of friends who’ve strayed apart.  It’s the kind of relationship that shared milestone moments but now you’re received like a stranger.  It hurts to have to remind someone of the importance of those moments, and nellie’s performance emits big girl hurt.  It sounds like she can handle it, but she’s embracing it’s ironic nurturing, how its making her better knowing she can be strong.  The poetic pictures recall genuine moments like when she shares “Remember when we dressed up for Halloween, or the time we spent the weekend in Boston, taking pictures together going wild on a bender…”.  Oh to be young and innocent, nellie captures the vibe on this elegant tribute.  

Her vocal performance is enough to seal the deal, but with help from producers Daniel Alvarez de Toledo and Jordan Dunn Pilz, she dressed it in a colorful indie pop package with notes of Nashville crossover pop.  We also hear drips of Girlhouse and Samia in the melodic intellect and sad girl appeal.  nellie shares their crossover potential, with a proper single that could win her a mainstream following a la Musgraves and Swift.  We’re fans. 

Hear Acquaintances now on our Best New Indie Playlist

The Max Headroom

Adelaide five piece The Max Headroom shine on their recent Days on Days.  A refreshing raw performance collides with thoughtful songwriting on this dynamic release.  There’s a lot of influence packed into this tight release.  Coming in just over 3 minutes, its all killer no filler from start to finish. Filled with compositional variation, as songwriters they keep it interesting and never hang around a section too long.  We hear elements of My Morning Jacket and The War On Drugs.  There’s also a heavy semblance of Brit Pop, and the singer emits a swagger and attitude known to Bends era Thom Yorke.  

Admitting their love for the Kooks and 90s grunge icons like Pearl Jam, the group pushes their inspirations forward with a style that reflects their influences in the spirit of the masters.  Reviving the era of full group efforts, they’re bound to make a splash on a live music scene wary of EDM’s recent decade long takeover. 

Say you knew them when. Dig into Days on Days now on our Best New Indie Playlist

Loria Boban

Loria Boban is majestic on her recent So Far Away.  Drenched in graceful echo, the vocals are immersive as they engulf you in her heavenly soundscape.  Her delivery is slightly smokey and filled with depth, with a whispery affect like she’s singing in your ear.  The abstract dreamy arrangement is slightly unconventional, but roams within an approachable melodic framework.  The abstract design could draw art pop comparisons, with elements known to trip hop as well.  We found similarities to the XX, with a minimalist design, but an abstract composition known to Dirty Projectors or Radiohead.  

Inherently beautiful, the lyrics have a deeper meaning.  Boban was recently a victim of Imposter syndrome, as figureheads within the industry strapped labels on her without her approval.  The situation appears complicated, and the intentions mostly good.  Regardless, as Journalists we have to be careful not to label people in a way they have not prescribed.  A London based artist, Boban was born in Sweden with parents from former Yugoslavia.  She honors the legacy of her culture, artist like Marina Abramović and Mladen Stilinović who pushed their mediums forward.  Boban shares their penchant for innovation in her collective catalog, and on her recent So Far Away

Hear So Far Away now on our Best New Indie Playlist.  

Sophia Alexa

Sophia Alexa is charming on her recent Going To California.  She brings a rare vocal delivery like slightly tarnished silver hitting varnish for the first time, the trademark rust fits the songs dusty design.  As a writer there’s a subtle alt-country flare in the vein of Gregory Alan Isakov or Courtney Andrews, but dressed in an indie pop production akin to Phoebe Bridgers or Clairo.  The attack is mixed out of the trailing ride to form a chimey atmosphere beneath the pomp of snare and bass, as the initially present acoustic melds into the melded atmosphere. 

Sophia sings with sneaky power, elusive enough to blend within the songs initial folky affect before displaying a bellow strong enough to carry a band.  The song is instantly catchy and universally soothing, but its her impassioned performance that will stand out among her field.  She definitely caught our ear, and currently has our attention as an artist on the rise.

Hear Going To California now on our Best New Indie Playlist

Glad Sisifus

Glad Sisifus knows Lows Have Higher Ceiling.  The clever sentiment serves as the title of their new single.  That glass half full mentality is needed now more than ever.  We’ve really been through it over the past few years.  Slovak producer Nathan Mikletic knows how to write a catchy indie pop song to pull us out of our pandemic doldrums.  Lows Have Higher Ceiling has compositional clues that could draw similarities to The National and TV On The Radio.  It’s undoubtedly rooted in the post punk legacies of bands like The Cure, updated in a modern indie package with synths and tempo pickups known to indie.  

With a name inspired by Albert Camus, the bedroom producer has existential appeal.  His growing catalog is catching on, with an impressive list of suggested similar artists on Spotify that mark Glad Sisifus within an envious emerging Dream Pop Scene.  Nathan brings a dose of truth and genuine intention to the scene.  

Hear Lows Have Higher Ceiling now on our Best New Indie Playlist

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