“Raid,” by Madvillain & MED—MF DOOM has always presented himself in a theatrical fashion, playing character after character over ear worming samples and production (provided here by Madlib, the studio-half of the dynamic duo that is Madvillain). The boom-bap rapper DOOM uses “Raid” to paint a detailed and occasionally surreal picture of New York, achieving cult status as one of the most talented lyricists ever.
“Hasn’t Happened,” by Old Man Saxon & Cer Spence—Old Man Saxon, like many artists on this list, is a weird dude. After receiving significant press from the Netflix series Rhythm + Flow that fortified his already-established cult following, Saxon propelled himself forward with his unique take on cloud rap
“Hu Man,” by Greentea Peng—Greentea Peng, originally from Southeast London, is a neo-psychedelic phenom that capitalizes on a dichotomy of beautiful and introspective diction over deep and complex new wave production.
“Dawntown,” by Godford—Godford is at an interesting intersection between the bass-hits of deep house and the lulling lyricism of bedroom pop. Godford explains their approach in their Spotify bio: “Music in general is a non-binary place where everyone can express their deepest feelings.”
“Moments / Tides,” by Goth Babe—Goth Babe has always produced wide-reaching pop beats that compliment his sleepy yet spacey delivery. Overall, Goth Babe pushes the boundaries of vogue in his own way, claiming making music is more about free thinking and enjoyment than monetary success.
“Frequency,” by Sylvan Esso—Wisconsin duo Sylvan Esso, composed of Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, released another simple yet compelling glitch pop album recently, making them three for three in terms of successful and developmental long-play efforts. Probably soon to headline festivals everywhere, Sylvan Esso deserves all the success that comes their way.
“Japanese Pancakes,” by Fran Vasilić—After doing some brief research, I’ve personally concluded that Fran Vasilić is some weird hipster that records music in his bedroom, sitting comfortably on 16,000 monthly Spotify listeners and 1,000 Instagram followers. The most impressive part of Fran’s bedroom pop is his raspy vocal delivery. With more exposure, Fran Vasilić could fill a role comparable to Clairo or Gus Dapperton.
“BS,” by Still Woozy—The new Still Woozy seems to be moving away from his heavy abstraction of indietronica in favor of showing off his own musical talent as a vocalist and songwriter. Old fans may feel a little confused by this direction, but it may show an important shift in future projects. More importantly, it shows his promising growth as an artist.
“Better Distractions,” by Faye Webster—Faye Webster offers unique country-inspired twangs that rarely decorate bedroom pop lyrics. While some may be entirely opposed to country music, I would urge them to at least take a gander at Webster’s larger discography before making a final decision.
“Somebody New,” by Abe Parker & Paul Russell—The next logical step for pop music as a whole is some form that incorporates rap, independent production and romantic lyricism. Enter Atlanta-based, multi-instrumentalist Abe Parker and New York collaborator Paul Russell, who both bring something to the table for “Somebody New,” a clear effort by both artists to make the best of both of their respective skills.
“Money Up (feat Toro y Moi),” by MadeinTYO—MadeinTYO has remained on the cusp of relevancy for quite some time now, finally incorporating new blood into his production. Although guest artist Toro y Moi isn’t exactly the freshest face on the scene, he offers TYO a bit more versatility with his sound; insofar as this song has no clear depth, it provides a simple listen to anyone with spare time
“This Old House Is All I Have,” by Against All Logic—Against All Logic is haunting, enigmatic and unstoppably danceable. As a leading expert in outsider house—a genre that capitalizes on DIY production, static and anti-polish—IDM genius Nicolas Jaar created Against All Logic to bring his deconstructed style to the forefront of the deep club scene
“On GP,” by Death Grips—Death Grips are difficult to explain in any genre-based fashion, but “On GP” offers a unique experience for a new listener. Frontman MC Ride screams his heart out over heavy cymbal-crashing provided by legendary drummer Zach Hill. “On GP” breaks the Death Grips mold by showing the more emotional and vulnerable aspects of the group, including (but not limited to) their worries of success and their previous struggles before finally catching a break in the form of the most cryptic and indescribable industrial music group to ever surface from the Internet.