1. Hurricane by Halsey
Halsey is a young rising artist, with ethereal vocals that continue to haunt you even after listening to her songs. “Hurricane” is by far the most upbeat song from her recently released EP, ‘Room 93.’ Not only does she write all of her music from either personal anecdotes or the stories of strangers, but she possesses an unapologetic quality, which demands respect and delivers strong lyrics. Look out for her debut album later this year.
2. Can’t Stop Now by The White Arrows
If you like to feel like you are on a trip without the help of hallucinogens, then the White Arrows are perfect for you. They recently released their second album, ‘In Bardo,’ and if they sound familiar, it may be because you saw them this past summer on tour, opening up for the Neighbourhood. “Can’t Stop Now” is the perfect song to blast in the car this spring/summer with the windows rolled down.
3. Break My Fall by Lana del Ray
Chances are if you have had access to the Internet this past year, then you consequently already know who Lana del Rey is. However, you may not have heard of “Break My Fall,” just one from her collection of unreleased gems. It is a little peppier than the darker, noir songs she usually puts out, and resonates more with the sound of her first album, ‘Born to Die.’
4. The City by Skizzy Mars (feat. Phoebe Ryan)
If you haven’t heard of Skizzy Mars yet, you will soon. Technically as a rapper, he doesn’t exactly fit the mold of an alternative artist, but there is something different about his sound. (So I’m breaking the rules on this list for you Mr. Mars) Collaborating with more unconventional artists, like Olivver, and soft-sounding female vocalists, like Devon Baldwin, his tracks have a placating vibe. He raps nonchalantly, without the ostentation that some rappers have a tendency to project.
5. D.T.R.T (Do the Right Thing) by Olivver
The former drummer for the Neighbourhood, Bryan Sammis—better known as Olivver—is making waves in the internet. He recently released the EP ‘Freak,’ which features “D.T.R.T,” and has collaborated with rappers including G Eazy. “Do the Right Thing” is a relaxed ballad with nostalgic lyrics, which makes it easy for the listener to connect with the speaker’s challenge to regret. His voice is smoother than a shot of Grey Goose, and more mollifying than your weekly visit to the shrink.
6. Hold Up Girl by NGHBRS
I may have stumbled upon this song from a few accidental clicks on Spotify, but it is a great anthem nonetheless. It certainly has a more alt rock feel, with a stronger guitar presence than other listed songs. I’m actually surprised this song hasn’t played on the radio, since it makes for such a great red light dance party. (Note: Red light dance parties may cause fellow drivers to look at you with apprehension)
7. We Must Be Killers by Mikky Ekko
If you know Mikky Ekko, it’s most likely from his collaboration on the song Stay with Rhianna, but the boy isn’t too shabby on his own. Let’s just say if I could have anyone sing me into sleep oblivion, it would be Mikky Ekko (I apologize in advance to John Mayer’s ego). Although it’s an older release, We Must Be Killers combines just the right amount of pep and that oh-so-beautiful eerie quality which Mikky is so great at producing.
8. Antichrist by The 1975
I know you all are probably sick of hearing about British people sing about chocolate and robbers—regardless of how beautiful they may or may not be—BUT there is no denying that these ‘lads’ are talented. The facedown EP which was quietly released months ago has some wonderful songs including Antichrist. There is something both so lovely and so disturbing about this song, with its darker lyrics and infectious, moody background organ. It’s sure to be the only time you profess love for the Antichrist.