Indie & Alternative

I’m the first to say alternative and indie can be a little hard to pin down. Yet I’ve got a cluster here that are indicative of the genre in ways I didn’t think possible. Emotional, raw, breezy, whimsical, you get the full gamut of emotions these addictive genres have to offer. I’ve got one in particular I’ve been dying to share, so I think I’ll use it to start off the list…

If alternative and indie aren’t your thing, glance back at some of my previous Sharing The Goodness posts where I looked at soul and funk, R&B and chill-pop!

Yeah-Boy-x-Ryan-Keen-Guidance

1. “Guidance” by Yeah Boy ft. Ryan Keen

I am overdue for sharing this absolute gem of a piece. A song that makes your soul lift straight out of your body. Not in the ‘I’m dealing with secondhand embarrassment and I can’t handle it anymore‘ way, but the ‘God, I feel like I could touch the sky‘ way.

A breezy summer day somehow condensed into four minutes, this is the definition of bottling up some musical magic. The outro is nothing short of stunning and easily the most incredible part of a strong package. A soft chorus builds and builds and builds with a rolling guitar in the background that’s as grand as it is whimsical. Something I love doing is reading the comments on a video (don’t worry, I don’t read too far) and seeing if people feel similar emotions.

Judging by the amount of commenters saying the song makes them feel nostalgic or like they’re destined for something special…to that I say: yeah, boy!

I really need some guidance

It’s gone way too far

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Hip-Hop & Soul

Soul has a way of getting me into this perfect headspace. For a moment, everything feels all right. It’s not quite the romantic feeling I get from folk, nor the nostalgic sweetness that thrums through my veins with rock. It’s a little timeless, like it comes from another place entirely.

If hip-hop and soul aren’t your thing, check out my past Sharing The Goodness posts where I looked at indie and folk, instrumentals and chill-pop!

mila-j-hair

1. “D + G” by Mila J + BC KINGDOM

While Mila J is the more well-known Jhene Aiko‘s sister, don’t let it be said she’s piggybacking off of her sibling’s fame. No, Mila J is in a league all her own. She has the pipes, she has the style and I’m going to talk about two of my absolute favorite songs by her. …So far!

There are plenty of songs about the value of shiny rocks. ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ is probably the most famous Western example, though it certainly isn’t for lack of trying. ‘D + G’, however, gets a touch more artistic. While still talking about money, it goes a step further and uses precious stones as a metaphor for beautiful emotions. It certainly doesn’t hurt the production is buttery smooth and the atmosphere is nothing short of romantic. This is one collaboration that goes together about as well as…well, silver and gold.

Even amber and jade, it couldn’t make my memories fade

If I gave you every stone, could I keep you as my own?

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Childish Gambino Producer Ibra Ake Strikes Gold: ‘Best View’ By blAck pARty

Less is more. This is universal wisdom. But what happens when it’s…true?

blAck pARty (also blackxparty) is an up-and-coming hip-hop and funk artist whose recently released first album, Mango, is already catching the attention of prominent directors and photographers. First impressions are everything, particularly in artistic industries where that’s literally the bread and butter. blAck pARty has given it one hell of a shot with ‘Best View’.

The title speaks for itself. The first thing you’ll notice about the video is that it’s goddamn gorgeous. The first few shots alone are better than some entire music videos I’ve seen…and I watch a lot. You don’t just have people singing at the camera and gyrating in poorly-lit clubs here (though those have their time and place, don’t get me wrong). Right off the bat we’re greeted with lush forests, well-composed shots and some incredible lighting.

black party best view 1

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black party best view 3

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Indie, Folk & Soul

This one is going to be a touch unconventional. At least, for me! While I put a stronger emphasis on lesser-known musicians in this series (and there are still a few below!), we’re also going to be taking a look at more popular artists who have been doing music for a while and have gone in a new direction. I mean, at the end of the day…I just gotta share the good stuff. As always, there are links to the songs below with additional media, such as cheorographies and covers as I find them.

So without further ado!

If the cluster of indie, folk and soul isn’t really your thing, check out my past Sharing The Goodness posts where I looked at alternative rock and electronic and synth-pop!

Chloe-x-Halle-Drop

1. “Drop” by Chloe x Halle

Recently picked up by Beyonce‘s label after years of doing covers on their Youtube channel, the future is looking pretty bright for Chloe x Halle. This was the first original song I heard from them and I was temporarily staggered by their unique and eclectic personality. It’s actually hard to know where to start!

The visceral lyrics and moody beat make this one hell of a well-rounded piece. The instrumentation is rather simple, for contrast, to better put more emphasis on their strong vocal work. A deep bassline thrums alongside finger-snaps, transitioning smoothly into an unsettling hook that builds up and layers gradually, transforming into a chorus-then-rap-then-croon that’ll have you reeling. It’s just all over the place in the best way.

The video is a little on the surreal side, too, which is always an extra point in my book!

Baby, I get sick of you

You are the same old tune

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R&B & Chill-Pop

Been dealing with more panic attacks than I know what to do with lately. Heart palpitations, insomnia, chest pains, the works. When it comes to music, there’s nothing like a little R&B and chill-pop to soothe frazzled nerves. Whether you have a stressful workweek you’ve just got through with or you’re gearing up for a busy weekend, take a glance at this list and see if you can’t find something to put your mind at ease for a few minutes.

If R&B and chill-pop isn’t your cup of tea, take a gander at my past Sharing The Goodness posts, like indie and acoustic or soul!

sofi de la torre 2

1. “$” by Sofi De La Torre

Smoky and ethereal, this is a gorgeous example of the genre by newcomer Sofi De La Torre. Gaining a strong fanbase on Soundcloud and Youtube, she stands out amid the pack through a mixture of striking vocals and smooth, flowing melodies. When I’m eager to show off the latest songs I’ve found, I often like to first show ones that are really representative of what the artist has to offer on the whole. ‘$‘ is one of those songs.

Mere seconds in and I was taken aback by the contrast between the tender atmosphere and the incredibly blunt lyrics, not unlike something FKA Twigs or Grimes could’ve cooked up if they steered more toward R&B. They give the song a fantastic sense of style, even as you sweat under the collar and thank whichever god you pray to that you’re not on the receiving end of the singer’s dagger-laden disdain. With vocals that turn from conventionally smooth to breathy and delicate instrumentation, there’s plenty to like in this single. Don’t think you’re out of hot water yet, though, because her next one…

Fuck your money I don’t care about it

Forget your car, I’m gonna walk home

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Ambient & Instrumental

I’m back on the ball! The blog may have needed a few weeks to get its shit together (passive phrasing will get me places), but I needed approximately zero time to find yet more incredible music to share. Without further ado, check out the songs below if you’re looking to add a few new favorites to your playlists. The five below are a blend between ambient and instrumental, using vocal samples for flavor but being generally light on lyrics with more emphasis on melody and mood.

If ambient or instrumentals aren’t entirely your thing, check out my previous Sharing The Goodness posts. I’ve done funk and disco, rock and synth-pop, among others!

kasbo

1. “World Away” by Kasbo

Sometimes a song will all but pick you up with two hands and drop you in the middle of another world entirely. This isn’t even a nod to the title — Kasbo‘s ‘World Away’ is a genuinely artful, rich composition that conjures up all sorts of fantastical imagery.

Now, this song absolutely toes the line of what constitutes an instrumental. A single line is repeated ad nauseum throughout the piece, distorted for flavor and sometimes reduced to echoing notes that compliment the instrumentation. …But I could give less of a damn. This is easily one of my favorite instrumentals of the year. If you’re a fan of ODESZA or any other sort of arsty instrumental group that blends multiple styles together and to hell with easy categorization, you’ll love Kasbo.

Hey, baby

Hey, baby

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Rock

Nothing fills up my soul quite like some good rock songs. This goes for just about any sub-genre, too. Alternative rock, mathrock, soft rock, just flood my ears without mercy. While I’m going for more general rock with this list, don’t think I won’t have plenty more to satiate your rich, grinding tastes. Indie rock, pop-rock, psychedelic rock — you’ll have plenty to love over the coming Sharing The Goodness posts.

If rock isn’t quite your thing, check out my past Sharing The Goodness post where I looked at some alternative R&B and soul!

tv on the radio

1. “Wolf Like Me” by TV On The Radio

I once had a Zune (remember those?) and it came with some songs pre-downloaded. I listened to each one out of curiosity, deleting and saving as I went, and ended up pretty damn stunned when I hit play on TV On The Radio‘s single, ‘Wolf Like Me’. Not only was it rock, one of my favorite genres of all time, but it was downright bombastic. Every single damn thing about this production simmers and you’re incredibly right that I’m going to gush about it.

I mean, where do you even go wrong with an incredible rock showcase revolving around the mythology of werewolves? The lyrics are right colorful with their almost unsettling depiction of the classic curse and how it can be both an invigorating and terrifying experience for both parties. Now, you could interpret the lyrics as a metaphor for something else…but fuck it. I finally get a song about werewolves (well, a good one) and I’m going to celebrate!

With utterly shredding backing vocals and one whirlwind of an outro that builds and builds and builds to a screaming crescendo, this song all but snatches you by the hand and leads you on a journey. You won’t regret this ride.

When the moon is round and full

Gotta bust that box, gotta gut that fish

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