Browsing Tag

Indie Hip Hop

Captain Lo-Fi reached the serotonin-spilling pinnacle of feel-good music with his genre-fluid hit, ‘Joker’

With eccentrically sweet vocals that will instantaneously steal the hearts of any Modest Mouse and Grandaddy fans over some of the most genre-fluid instrumentals that you have ever heard, Captain Lo-Fi’s seminal single, Joker, is almost tear-jerkingly sweet.

The Germany-hailing musician and producer has been fine-tuning his sound in his own studio since 2013, working with artists from various genres and producing beats for artists and companies, including Loopmasters.

This goes a fair way in explaining the organic ease of the experimentalism in Joker, which throws all sense of pretence to the wayside to deliver funky, indie hip-hop-meets-pop instrumentals that his sunny-side-up vocals drift above. Creating authentically ‘feel-good’ music is no easy feat, but Captain Lo-Fi’s willingness to let his endearingly pure soul spill across his productions allowed him to reach the serotonin-spilling pinnacle.

Stream Joker on Spotify and follow Captain Lo-Fi on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mych reached the pinnacle of UK rap with the intimate candour in ‘Heart of Mine’

After a smooth neoclassic piano prelude, the beats and grimey rap bars in Mych’s latest single, Heart of Mine, kicks in. Finding the middle ground between George the Poet and Stormzy in his high-calibre performance that is locked and loaded with wit-rife deliverances of hard truths and bold introspective honesty, Heart of Mine makes no bones about being delivered from the soul.

It isn’t every day you hear of an up-and-coming rapper that opts for candour over ego and pretence. Slip into Heart of Mine and find comfort in the emotional complexity that absolves the guilt for not having it all figured out. I, for one will be staying tuned for more cutting expositions on identity.

Stream the official music video for Heart of Mine on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Indie hip hop artist, PUre MX wore his heart on his dial tone in his seminal single, PHONE

Independent hip hop artist, PUre MX, has been racking up the streams with his melodic bitter-sweet feats of alt-hip hop since making his debut in 2020. His seminal single, PHONE, softens the blow of the raw confessionally introspective lyrics with the mellifluous indie guitars and gently jarring glitchy electronica motifs.

Evading the typical break-up tropes, PHONE gets right to the crux of the entropy and dejection by capturing the aching feeling of knowing a relationship has moved to the point when they only need you when they need to use you, but despite it all, you’re still a caring confidant. On the basis of PHONE, we all need a PUre MX in our lives; lucky for you, you can add him to your Spotify playlists.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ukrainian indie art-hop duo, Polyvoda meets perpetual torment with unfaltering resilience in ‘Never Ending’

From the war-torn city of Kyiv, Ukraine, the duo, Polyvoda, has released their latest melodic art hop single and music video, Never Ending. Singing of hard times, doing their best to get by and their commitment to authenticity, the duo consisting of Vinovishi Klavino and Basey Naiado gave us a glimpse of the resilience that has become necessary in this needlessly tragic chapter of history.

But independent from the situation that Never Ending was born from, it’s a stunning exhibition of Polyvoda’s deeply humanist expression, which gives you a panoramic view into their strength, pain, and tangible grace. With Radiohead-Esque percussion, there’s an elegantly artful edge to the fusion, which pulls together organic indie textures and hip hop tones. The vocals also contain their fair share of evocative kryptonite as they make their way through the semi-spoken word verses and harmonised choruses.

Watch the bleakly mesmeric official music video for Never Ending, which premiered on October 4th, on YouTube. For each view of the video, the duo will donate one Satoshi coin to a charitable organisation helping rebuild Ukraine.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ky Woods’ words cut deep in his new wave rap track, Mentally Wasted

Raw wounds bleed in Ky Woods’ latest confessional indie new wave rap track, Mentally Wasted. Between the juicy vocal hooks and the ensnaringly deep lyrics, it hits hard, but there’s some comfort in the dark narrative the up-and-coming artist weaved through the relatability and the sticky-sweet sensibility of the angular guitar lines against the rattle of the 808s.

The Indiana-born, Dallas-based emotion-driven artist takes complete control over his tracks after he learned how to mix and master before his debut single, No Where, which was released in 2021. Between his determination to make it in the industry and the clear talent in his sound, it is easy to see that he’s not going to be on the underground for long.

Mentally Wasted is available to stream across all platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

VANES speaks for the diehard romantics in his indie rock meets hip hop sophomore single, can’t feel your love

Indie rock, pop, and hip hop converge in the latest single, can’t feel your love, from the earworm raconteur, VANES. The Wolverhampton, UK-based British Caribbean poet and singer-songwriter is one of the few artists unafraid to wear their visceral vulnerability on their sleeve to enrich the emotional intelligence of their listeners.

The self-proclaimed unashamed embodiment of tenderness takes influence from everyone from Arctic Monkeys to N.E.R.D, but his guitar-driven indie sound is undeniably his own. The funk that permeates through the choppy licks made a radio-ready anthem out of can’t feel your love, which traverses the frustration of unfulfilling romantic dynamics that leave you reeling every time you extend affection only to feel idiotic for your diehard romanticism.

Can’t feel your love was officially released on September 30th; catch it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Pluto Mars proved that casual relationships can be a lifeline in his RnB hip hop single, 3 AM

Richmond, CA rap luminary Pluto Mars poured romanticism into booty calls in his latest single, 3 AM, which captured the intimacy of the late-night connections by proving that insomniacs need love too while feeding the soul through his seductive amalgam of hip hop, pop, and RnB.

Every artist in the industry attests to having a unique sound; Pluto Mars is one of the only innovators with stake to that claim. His deep and sonorous rap bars that bleed gruff smooth alchemy against his distinctively melodic instrumental flows prove to be a hypnotic combination in the track that subverts usual toxic tropes around casual relationships that can be a lifeline in these isolated times.

The official video for 3 AM is available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

MUNBOI walks us down Memory Ln. in his latest stoically philosophical hip-hop aural installation

With his philosophy-laced rap flows, the UK alternative artist MUNBOI is becoming one that an increasing number of fans turn to for stoic poetry. Fresh from the release of his 12-track debut album, EUDAIMONIA, the producer, engineer, and artist is well on the way to the 1-million streams club.

The standout single, Memory Ln. unfurls as an intricate organic amalgam of hip hop, pop, RnB, and experimental sonic textures while MUNBOI looks to the past for answers in the present. His vocal energy truly becomes the epitome of stoicism as he twists common tropes to deliver lyrical sanctity through lines such as “I was sitting on the edge, I just needed a little push”, and “nothing really matters so we be risking it all now”.  Update your chill indie playlists accordingly.

His debut album EUDAIMONIA is now available to stream in full on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

UK RnB Hip Hop Crooner SAMO Turned Up the Heat in ‘STEEL’

Slovak-born, Sheffield, UK-raised SAMO has given UK hip hop a brand-new indie RnB flavour with his sophomore single, STEEL. The short and sweetly melodic single starts with simple acoustic guitar strings before bringing in the bass-heavy beats that flow to the dynamic progressions under SAMO’s vulnerably crooned vocals.

With the anticipation of the producer, singer and rapper’s debut album that is due to drop later this year, there are few names in the urban UK arena that are as synonymous with commercial potential as SAMO, who takes inspiration from the likes of XXXtentacion, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Brent Fiyaz.

STEEL is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Young Swavey lit a fire with his fervent rap track, BAPE

With his seminal single, BAPE, hip hop artist Young Swavey lit a fire with his fervent rap bars that blaze across the trappy, slightly psychedelic indie instrumentals.

The up-and-coming artist professes to make his own way in the music industry, and BAPE affirms it. Any and all reminiscences to hip hop icons and contemporaries are extremely fleeting in the short and immersively sweet track, which is fresh enough to take Young Swavey up from the underground. There is plenty of personality written between the convictive lines that almost flow with freestyle energy. Get in on the hype.

Check out the official music video for BAPE on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast