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The term ‘indie’ in the music industry has become so ambiguous it has practically become as subjective as the meaning of life. Whichever way it is defined, it is still a massive part of the music industry in the UK and across the globe.

Originally, indie referred to how an artist distributed their music. Over the decades, it became a catch-all term for artists sharing the same sonic off-kilter edge; and, of course, the same moody yet inexplicably cool aesthetic. Indie, as a genre, only came around as the result of experimental artists in the 70s wanting to bring a new sound to the airwaves; instead of solely hoping for commercial success after appeasing one of the major record labels.

Indie artists adopted punk ethos they started to push the boundaries of pop. Instead of commercialising their sound, they pushed it into post-punk, shoegaze, synthpop, Britpop, avant-garde, noise rock and dream pop arenas. For all that separates bands such as Sonic Youth, the Cure, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Joy Division, Elliott Smith and Radiohead, there is still so much that ties them together, namely their attitudes and the loud discordant style.

Along with the bands, iconic venues such as the 100 Club in London, the Hacienda in Manchester, and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow had a pivotal part to play in the traction of independent artists and music. New Indie labels, such as Rough Trade and Factory Records, were amongst the first record labels to truly embrace and encourage experimentalism and authenticity in the artists they scouted and signed – taking New Order and Joy Division as a prime example.

It may have been a while since there was an indie breakthrough act as successful as the Arctic Monkeys, but indie music has far from lost its resonance. Besides, Monkeys won over 42 awards and sold over 20 million records, so that’s going to take some beating, and they’re certainly not the only indie artists currently thriving.

The Welsh indie rock icons, the Manic Street Preachers, celebrated their first number 1 album in 23 years with the release of Ultra Vivid Lament in 2021. The Tarantino-Esque Liverpool outfit, Red Rum Club, released their debut album in 2019, and got to number 14 in the official album sales chart with their album, How to Steal the World, in 2021. Perhaps most impressively, the world’s first CryptoPunk rapper, Spottie Wifi, made just under $200k in album NFT sales in 90 seconds this year.

South London’s Maria Manuel shows us the emotional pain that will cloud your spirit if you let it on ‘Find’

After enchanting us with the soulful gem from 2021 called ‘True‘, Maria Manuel sings with so much honesty and broken heart-packed vocals that will have you embracing those who you truly care for with her latest single ‘Find‘.

Maria Manuel is a South London, UK-based indie-pop singer-songwriter who is inspired by being alive and fearlessly strives to develop her sound constantly.

Music has always been an outlet and a way to express myself like no other. It’s been there for me through every mood and through every situation imaginable.” ~ Maria Manuel

With a sensually classy vocal armour that is such a calming experience to witness, Maria Manuel is at her outstanding best here and sings from her shattered heart that needs some deep consoling after being torn to pieces for a second time. Showing her fight and desire to find herself again, this is a break-up anthem for anyone who needs to know that everything will be okay again.

Find‘ from South London, UK-based indie-pop singer-songwriter Maria Manuel is one of those songs that will strike your whole body and take you to a place of deep thought. This is that true story which will have you wondering why some fake themselves into another relationship, when they have no intention of making it last.

Regaining your soul again after being let down is a tricky journey, but is ultimately worth it in the end if you can find the strength within.

Hear this lovely new single on Spotify and see more via her IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Daytona Beach rapper Tomoka Ryan shows us his fierce tenacity on ‘Swing Away’ (feat. Haden Carpenter)

Taken from his brand new full release called ‘Dad Bod’, Tomoka Ryan knows the home run is coming soon as he believes in his abilities enough to win at life no matter what the scoreboard says on ‘Swing Away(feat. Haden Carpenter).

Tomoka Ryan is a Daytona Beach, Florida-based indie Hip hop solo artist who has a likeable rap style that will have you pressing repeat for hours.

The state of Florida has notoriously produced artists who have built their identity around drugs and violence, but Tomoka Ryan has found success in selling the more positive attributes of his region.” ~ Tomoka Ryan

Guiding us to where he knows the promised land is, Tomoka Ryan raps with a self-assured style that is never too much, only relatable and furnished with impressive promise.

He is candid on a myriad of topics such as his wife’s feelings about the rapper lifestyle and the pressures of creating good music without the guarantee of a return on investment.” ~ Tomoka Ryan

Swing Away(feat. Haden Carpenter) from Daytona Beach, Florida-based indie Hip hop solo artist Tomoka Ryan is a reflective gem that we need to admire. Shepherding us through the internal battles that can halt your progress if you let it, this is a brave warrior who sees the winning line and isn’t stopping until he reaches it. Saucing his fire-lit flows with a dynamic approach that feels natural and totally real – we are entertained to the fullest – by a rising artist who knows what he wants.

If you keep on swinging, you will reach your goals if you put the work in and get that luck on your side.

Listen up to this terrific track on Spotify and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Skyler shows his outstanding vocal class on debut single ‘Throne’

With a style that will stop you in your tracks and an ambience that might have you putting the candles on, Skyler shows us he is ready for that gold with a stunning debut performance on ‘Throne‘.

Skyler is an emerging indie-pop singer-songwriter and Dresden, Germany-based ballet dancer who was discovered by the legendary Incubus lead singer, Brandon Boyd.

After first rising to prominince on American Idol Season 20, Skyler will educe your ears to glow rather radiently with a sumptuciously brilliant performance that will get your whole body in tune to that ultimate contentment again.

His smooth vocals and evocative lyrics portray a sensitive and thoughtful artist inspired by soul, RnB, indie, and alternative music.” ~ Skyler

Throne‘ from the Germany-based indie-pop singer-songwriter and music producer Skyler is a wonderful song made by a humble hero who has only just started releasing his undiscovered music. With a clear tone, intricate lyrics that guide you though this intriging single that is lathered in lucious gold, there is a real statement of intent here from a wildly talented creative.

Packed with quality and seducing our ears into the party with a glorious display, this is something rather expectional when we all needed it most.

Listen up to this new single on Spotify and see more via the IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Nigerian-born rapper Rins4 senses that his heart is rather broken currently on ‘Soul Cry’

Examining the reason he was cut out rather easily when his heart was so full and happy, Rins4 reflects on the moment when he knew it was over for good on his latest single about getting over a ruptured relationship with ‘Soul Cry’.

Rins4 is a Melbourne, Australia-based, Nigerian-born rapper-songwriter who started freestyling in High School and has never looked back.

Rins4’s songwriting is materialised directly from his everyday experience.” ~ Rins4

Gliding through the track like a truly promising musician who hasn’t even scratched the surface of what is possible, Rins4 sends the world a lyrically astute single to ponder deeply and wonder reflectively inside.

Soul Cry‘ from Melbourne, Australia-based indie rapper Rins4 is a catchy new track from a man who has felt the wicked emotional wrath of being tossed away like yesterday’s newspaper. There is a fiery intensity in easy-to-hear abundance that will stir your romantic senses alive to when they were burned away so cruelly, by someone who felt compelled to discard you so quickly.

Getting over that lover who left you alone without cause is always one of the toughest emotions to get over.

Listen up to this new single on Spotify and see more via the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Ben Edgar wants to keep those loving walls high on ‘We’re Still Young’

Knowing that everything will be okay if they keep their romance lit to the right temperature even when the weather is cold, Ben Edgar draws us a story that shall heat up your spirit no matter where you are in the world with, ‘We’re Still Young‘.

Ben Edgar is a New Zealand-born, Sydney, Australia-based indie singer-songwriter who naturally formulates an ear-pleasing blend of music that will surely make you smile.

His origins in percussive music and his love of folk led him to fuse the two styles, forging his own unique sound as a singer and percussive-guitarist.” ~ Ben Edgar

Leading us towards the door of contentment if the timing matches up with your ideal lover, Ben Edgar is in top form with a glorious single that is made from the heart and shall certainly set you free. He shows us the importance of building up that armour together so that nothing may come in the way of genuine romance being tested with the storms of uncertainty.

After spending time abroad in France, helping him realize writing and performing was his joie de vivre, Ben moved to Sydney in 2013 and studied music & songwriting for a few years.” ~ Ben Edgar

We’re Still Young‘ from Sydney, Australia-based indie singer-songwriter Ben Edgar is one of the most romantic songs you are likely to hear in 2022. With relaxing vocals, sweet lyrics, and an all-round ambience that might sweep you off your feet, this is a fantastic soundtrack that has been made with love.

Showing us that the time is now to speak up if you sense you can be with that special soul – this is a phenomenal release – that will have you grinning like a lucky cat.

Listen up to this new single on Spotify and see more via his IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Leicester’s Her Burden refuses to follow the fake sheep who have faulty morals on ‘Better Than Me’

After roaring into our lives with their terrific single from late 2021 with ‘Way Too Good for Me‘, Her Burden pumps up the voltage to giddy heights of brilliance with a feast of meaty drum-filled energy to savour on ‘Better Than Me‘.

Her Burden is a powerfully constructed Leicester, UK-based indie alt-rock/punk band who is known for their thunderously exciting live performances at local festivals.

Breaking the door down and dragging out those fake leaders who live two lives and prey on the less fortunate, Her Burden rips the masks off and leads us to happier lands. They are in guitar-smashing form here and take us on a thrilling ride that will surely exhilarate our taste buds and give us all something to rejoice in when we needed it most.

Better Than Me‘ from Leicester, UK-based indie alt-rock/punk band Her Burden is a marvellous single from a well-respected outfit who is only rising upwards. Blessing the airwaves with a rocket-fueled song that is all about showing they refuse to lower their morals to be cool or accepted, this is a purposeful message for many to learn from.

With a sledgehammer sound and breathtaking vocals, which seem to shake your core awake, a track with substance is on offer here for those who want to know that they have the right mindset too.

Listen up to his ear-pleaser on Spotify and check out more info on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

KIMMERLY shows us sweetly inside her beautiful disaster with exceptional debut, ‘Waterlily’

After taking a hugely fearless leap and moving from the safe confines of her hometown, KIMMERLY shows us the truth in a world that is often trying to deflect what actually makes you unique on her debut single, ‘Waterlily‘.

KIMMERLY  is a Southwest Florida-based indie singer-songwriter, guitarist, music producer and violinist who was inspired to take up music when she was in the sixth grade at middle school while in the orchestra.

I sing about being a beautiful disaster and a train wreck. I sing about how one can put together, when in reality we’re all like works of Impressionism.” ~ KIMMERLY

Showing us the authentic soul inside her inventive veins that cares about the earth and loves wholeheartedly like we all should, the classically trained KIMMERLY displays poise and love that is so rare in this instant gratification world that needs to rethink that mentality rather quickly. Here is a genuine artist who sings with such reflection in her own life, hoping that she can find a fellow mess to be happy together with.

While I am sometimes an artist, and sometimes a poet, I am above all a musician.” ~ KIMMERLY 

Waterlily‘ from Southwest Florida-based indie singer-songwriter/guitarist, music producer and violinist KIMMERLY  is an incredible first single from a truly astonishing creative who has made something rather special here. She takes her time and draws us the sketch of her picture that is filled with honestly, as we melt inside her gorgeously elegant vocals that will take you into a faraway place of ponder.

Made with a really classy style that hasn’t been rushed unnecessarily, this is the start of something rather remarkable.

Hear this graceful soul shine so brightly on SoundCloud.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Fading Out knows that his actions have been rather reckless lately on ‘Falling Apart’

Opening up his heart and showing us the truth that many would rather choose to hide away in a concealed cupboard, Fading Out wonders when everything will be normal again on the emotional new track to hold your lover tightly with, ‘Falling Apart‘.

Created by Evan Bieber, Fading Out is a Brooklyn, New York-based alternative singer-songwriter who makes anthem-sounding music that belongs in the movies.

Fading Out’s reflections on relationships, isolation, and growing up radiates through his direct storytelling.” ~ Fading Out

Performing with a magnetic blend of intensity that has you pondering if you are too much sometimes, Fading Out displays a really calming touch after all these wicked storms of recent times that have been rather rocky to handle.

I wanted it to sound like something I grew up listening to, without feeling like I was copying a sound that already exists. I grew up on pop-punk music and love the energy and emotion that it brings. I also love the feel of today’s indie music and especially songwriters who tell specific stories.” ~ Fading Out

Falling Apart‘ from Brooklyn, New York-based alternative singer-songwriter Fading Out is a wonderful single that has your mind thinking rather deeply about how relationships are held together. Showing us that he needs a rock right now while he works out a way to vanquish his inner demons – this is an apology for being difficult – to his loyal lover that he cherishes rather intimately.

Hear this honest new release on Spotify and see more via the IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Brazil-based artist Caroline Meksraitis drops mysteriously dark 2nd single all about that ‘Haunted Mind’

After soothing our ears with her lovely debut single called ‘Somebody Else‘, Caroline Meksraitis returns with her much-anticipated second release that might give you shivers with, ‘Haunted Mind‘.

Caroline Meksraitis is a Brazilian indie pop/rock singer-songwriter who has been on a mission to make music her full-time career since she was just 16 years old.

Caroline has always had a very special relationship with music and grew up under the influence of big names in the music industry like: Queen, The Beatles, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.” ~ Caroline Meksraitis

With her debut EP on the way soon, Caroline Meksraitis sends us into a whole new world of intrigue on ‘Haunted Mind‘ with a vocally superior single to truly get your tender teeth stuck inside.

Music has always helped Caroline go through different moments in life: making memories, feeling understood or even less lonely.” ~ Caroline Meksraitis

Haunted Mind‘ from Brazilian indie pop/rock singer-songwriter Caroline Meksraitis is a groovy single that shall unravel the nightmare that has engulfed this wonderful musician. Sung with a passionate intensity that shall get your imagination running wild, this is a track that shall have you turning it up all the way on full, to enter this creaking door story.

Sometimes we just need to get the darkness out, to let the light back in again.

Hear this new single on her Spotify and see her exciting life on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Orlando indie-folk singer-songwriter Faae spoke for us all in her Anthropocene-conscious single, summer song

Ahead of the release of their debut EP themed around derealization and identity in this smouldering Anthropocene, the Orlando indie-folk artist, Faae, has shared her gracefully haunting single, summer song.

In their own words, summer song is “shining a light at the end of the world”, and heartbreakingly, the lyricism gets even more profound as it explores the mental ties that get taut and tormenting when we try to make positive moves. “it is hard to be better when there is no one to account for you” is a lyric not easily forgotten.

In the style of Phoebe Bridgers, Mitski and Daughter, the instrumentals confound the expressive and vulnerable nature of single with the raw, ragged and still sublime acoustic textures that anyone with a pulse will want to surrender to. I haven’t felt this excited about Indie folk since I discovered Big Thief. And I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only one utterly captivated by Faae.

summer song will officially release on July 2nd as part of the artist’s debut EP, rudolph. Check it out on SoundCloud and follow Faae on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast