We all have those days where, despite an overwhelming desire to listen to something, the endless number of songs in your music library just isn’t cutting it anymore. It happens to the best of us, and it’s on those days that the importance of finding new music that you haven’t already heard a million times is most clear. So, for the times when every once-perfect playlist is too dry, too dull, or too mainstream, here are five awesome and very underrated bands to add into your Spotify rotation and save you from further suffering.
5. The Japanese House
If you’ve listened to this band already, you probably discovered them one of two ways — either you’re really into British radio, or you’re really into The 1975. Produced by Matty Healy and George Daniel of the aforementioned renowned indie act, The Japanese House is the epitome of chill. Written and co-produced by singer Amber Bain, the music is more electronic than the 1975, but is equally as nostalgic and easy to get lost in. Every track is full, synthy, and sporadic like the waves on the ocean. With a debut EP already under their belts, the band released two excellent new singles last month, Clean and Cool Blue, off the forthcoming EP Clean. Advertised almost exclusively through Healy and Daniel, The Japanese House had their debut live performance on BBC Radio 1, and is about to begin a small tour throughout the UK. The EP Pools to Bathe In is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud.
Marsicans, a promising 4-piece from northern England, have the type of music I like to refer to as beach pop. With a debut release full of bright, energetic songs, they have a certain air of sophistication and crispness that is rare in really young bands. The Chivalry EP doesn’t sound like it was written by a group of teenagers, but the members are only 21, and formed the band while still in high school. Their sound is quite similar to that of Wild Party, Cheerleader, and hometown favorites Hippo Campus. My personal favorite track is Terrapin, the short-and-sweet first single off their EP. Check it out along with the rest of their music on bandcamp.
3. Future Teens
Though Gabe Goodman and Daniel Radin are now beyond their teenage years, the former Magic Man bassists and current members of Photocomfort and the Novel Ideas, respectively, couldn’t have picked a more fitting band name. With their basement-demo sound, you’d never guess these guys were in one of the biggest new synthpop bands to emerge last year, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Their angsty lyrics and pining vocals, though not all that crisp or professional sounding, will get stuck in your head and hit home because let’s be honest: your teenage years are full of angst and suffering. A perfect example of this is their tune “Jennifer Lawrence,” which is possibly the most relatable song about a celebrity crush ever written. Another standout track, “Casual Dating,” is like the quieter, dorky younger brother of “First Date” by Blink-182 (and again, I mean that in the best way possible). It’s like these guys just have a lot of pent up teenage emotions that they never got out when they were actually teenagers, so they’re doing it now. Their debut EP, Still Afraid of Allston, came out in April, and you can get it on Soundcloud or stream it on Spotify.
2. Look Out Love
Dubbed as music for fans of the 1975, Look Out Love has a significantly poppier sound, but definitely follows the same vein. At least, you can clearly hear the 1975’s influence in the vocals, and see it in frontman Jordan Benker’s striking resemblance to Matty Healy. After debuting in 2014 with mini-album It’s 11:11 Somewhere, the Chicago-based band released a follow-up EP, Oh Boy, just last month. While they’ve maintained a consistent sound, it’s clear the band has matured both musically and lyrically since It’s 11:11 Somewhere, and have proved to be a band to watch out for in the coming year. Their music is available on iTunes and on Spotify.
1. Lux Lisbon
Lux Lisbon have the type of music you want to fall in love to. Perfectly crafted rock/pop reminiscent of The Killers and Florence and the Machine, their songs are easy to dance to, cry to, and feel alive to. Their lyrics are effortlessly cinematic and poetic, revolving primarily around the wild, stupid, triumphant carelessness of youth and young love. Outstanding songs include “Bullingdon Club” and “Your Heart Is a Weapon the Size of Your Fist.” If there’s one band off this list that you decide to listen to, it should be this one, and you can even download their 11-track extended EP for free right here.