The pandemic has not put a damper on the growing community of upcoming music artists and their craft quality. Since the start of the pandemic, my music taste has been ever-changing and evolving as I discovered new artists through social media and in Spotify’s “Made for You” and Discover Weekly playlists. After careful consideration, here are four artists you should be listening to right now.
Spill Tab, stylized as spill tab, is a French-Korean artist named Claire Chicha. For years now, Chicha has been working to carve her own space in the bedroom pop genre. After landing a straight-out-of-college gig as merch manager for Gus Dapperton, Chicha decided to focus on her own music. She teamed up with producer and principal collaborator David Marinelli for a series of singles leading up to her debut EP, “Oatmilk.”
The “Oatmilk” EP was my first introduction to Spill Tab. With a total of four tracks in less than two minutes, Spill Tab cements a new flare in the bedroom pop genre with a new infectious and distinctive sound across a multitude of modes and styles. There’s a common thread between the dreamy, playful, and forward-thinking aesthetic of the EP that many emerging and mainstream bedroom pop artists are using. Spill Tab manages to use these existing styles to her advantage and mix it to fit her own personality in a unique matter.
If you enjoy listening to Clairo, Girl in Red, or Rex Orange County, give Spill Tab and her EP “Oatmilk” a listen.
Aminé is an Ethiopian-American artist best known for his commercial debut single, “Caroline,” released in 2016. After this success with his debut single, Amine went on to sign with Republic Records and be named one of the ten members of XXL’s 2017 Freshman Class in the summer of 2017 alongside notable artists such as A Boogie wit da Hoodie, PnB Rock, Kyle, and XXXTentacion. That same summer, Aminé released his debut album “Good For You” in July.
Aminé’s presence in the music industry caught my attention with the release of his 2020 album “Limbo,” with his song “Compensating.” “Compensating” showcased both Aminé and Young Thug’s vocal range as rappers, and it made me want to look into Aminé’s work more.
With his “Good For You” album receiving praise for its lead single, “Caroline,” I decided to give the album a full listen-through and ended up enjoying his debut album. “Good For You” managed to balance playful and cheerful verses and wit with revealing moments of introspection. The songs flow smoothly, and the melodies have a sunny-like atmosphere to them, especially “Spice Girl,” “Wedding Crashers,” and “Caroline.” Despite the album’s lighthearted mood, he does not shy away from making serious statements with one song, “Money,” critiquing how material obsessions do not make people happy.
If you enjoy listening to Jack Harlow, Jaden Smith, and Tyler, The Creator, give Aminé and his album “Good For You” a listen.
Kali Uchis is a Colombian-American artist most notable for her appeal of moody hopscotch pop take on the sounds from her youth such as reggaeton and Latin soul. She has been active in the music industry since 2012 gaining attention from her mixtape, “Drunken Babble.” Her mixtape was later followed by the 2015 release of her debut EP, “Por Vida.”
Uchis’ “TO FEEL ALIVE” EP made me fall in love with the singer’s music abilities and craft, especially her song “i want war (BUT I NEED PEACE).” Her voice caught my attention with her vocals morphing from track to track with a mixture of thick and sultry to light and sweet vocals. This moody aesthetic of her soulful music led me to listen to Uchis’ earlier works, “Isolation” (2018) and “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞” (2020). Uchis has solidified a permanent place on my playlist with my personal favorites being “telepatia” and “de nadie” from her 2020 album and “Your Teeth in My Neck” and “Feel Like A Fool” from her 2018 album.
If you enjoy listening to Jorja Smith, SZA, and Sabrina Claudio, give Kali Uchis and her two albums, “Isolation” and “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞,” and her EP “TO FEEL ALIVE” a listen.
UMI, or Tierra Umi Wilson, is a Japanese-African American singer and songwriter who attended the University of Southern California but dropped out in 2019 to pursue her career in music full time. She is best known for her 2018 song “Remember Me,” but since then, Umi has gone on to release a multitude of singles, two EPs, and an album in her career.
I discovered Umi back in early 2019, with my favorite song being “High School.” The sound was reminiscent of the bedroom pop aesthetic much like Clairo’s “Pretty Girl” with a hint of R&B and soul to sweeten the mixture. Since then, I have started listening to her much more especially with the release of her “Introspection” EP in the summer of 2020.
Her “Introspection” EP reflected on the give-and-take in relationships with others and ourselves. The six-song EP ate away at its previous bedroom pop aesthetic and emerged into a more mellow ‘90s R&B and folk-pop with an ode to long summer drives and daydreaming. Though her EP never became mainstream, the Internet welcomed the EP with praise for its ability to encapsulate the ups and downs of relationships superbly.
If you enjoy Omar Apollo, NIKI, and Pink Sweat$, give Umi and her “Introspection” EP a listen.
For a playlist with all these artists, click here for the Put You On playlist!
Artists Students are Listening To Now
DePauw students were asked what artists they'd began listening to between both 2020 and 2021, and here are the artists that students have recently started listening to.
Sophomore Mariam Lobjandize said, "I have started listening to Emily Vu and NF. I like Emily Vu because her music has a good mix of pop rhythms and R&B melodies and her lyrics are based on her true-life experiences that most young adults can relate to. NF's music is authentic too, and his style resonates with Eminem and Logic and his raps are calm and angsty but his lyrics are meaningful."
Sophomore Claire Portfolio said, "I have started listening to Leon Thomas and Briston Maroney. Leon Thomas is really good at mixing music that is slightly poppy but also R&B. Briston Maroney's music has a chill vibe to them but her lyrics can be weird."