It has been reported that 99 percent of all music streaming activity comes from just 10 percent of all available songs, meaning that the most popular tracks are pretty much all most people listen to. Even if those reported numbers aren’t completely accurate, that still feels true. That’s great for those artists, but what about everybody else? What about the folks who don’t have as much promotional firepower in their arsenal but are still releasing terrific material that ought to be heard? Well, this is my small attempt to help level that disparity: A list of this week’s finest indie albums that you may not have heard, or even heard of.
There were some solid releases this week, so check it all out below.
SONTALK — Stay Wild
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Singer and multi-instrumentalist Joseph LeMay debut is full of soul, even if “The One Who Breaks Your Heart” is driven by a sequenced drum beat, it’s otherwise a natural rock track. LeMay has a knack for combining the artificial with the organic, proving that rock can survive in 2019 if it adapts.
Dexter Story — Bahir
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The Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist has a colorful history in the music industry: At one point, he was the product manager for artists like Snoop Dogg and LL Cool J. His new album, though, is a tribute to the music of East Africa, and he borrows the rhythms and grooves from the area on enrapturing tracks like “Electric Gurage.”
Cave Twins — Best Friends For Now
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Abby Rose quit her job as a mapmaker, then she met Grammy- and Emmy-nominated musician and producer David Mayfield, and thus, Cave Twins was born. The Americana act play off each other with a smooth grace when they trade lines back and forth on songs like “Keep On Singing.”
Hello Yello — Love Wins EP
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The members of this Oakland group are all 22 or younger, but they’ve already proven their tremendous versatility. “Feel That Again” is downright groovy, while “I Don’t Care” is a dark grunge track.
Julia Rakel — indie fEElz EP
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This Swedish up-and-comer captures the intimate energy from the golden era 2000s bedroom pop, like on “PDFILWM,” which she describes thusly: “This song is a sad one, with happy wrappings. A celebration of friendships yet also a lament about the hardships of losing someone dear. All in E major. With quite lame wind instruments and anticlimactic choruses I’ve tried to create something beautiful out of something difficult.”