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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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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Soul & Funk

Last week we rounded up some good ambient and R&B tracks. Now we’re taking a look at soul and funk, my go-to genres if I want to feel both chill and inspired. Considering art anxiety is an emotion I still haven’t quite gotten over, these will make the rounds on my playlists when I pull out my tablet pen and get ready for a few hours of sketching. This list is going to have a double-feature, followed by a few artists you may of heard of and may not have.

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1. “Inhale, Exhale” by Nao

First impressions go a long way and I’m still pretty peachy over this one. I’m a huge fan of any piece that immediately hooks you in by sheer force of personality, so ‘Inhale, Exhale’ shoots to the top of the list for being characteristic right off the bat. I love the brisk pace, the punctuated back beat and halting delivery. The hook comes in with an entirely different swing and it’s just oozing funky goodness. You can’t help but bob your head to it.

Nao’s vocals are sweet and a little odd, hard to pin down and making you all the more grateful for it. I initially thought the lyrics were discussing a relationship with another person (the default assumption, no doubt), but upon repeat listens I’m actually thinking they’re describing a troubling relationship with alcohol. Even as she recognizes the foolishness of her actions, she finds herself falling back into the spiral of metaphorical oceans and rivers with every ‘inhale and exhale’. A stylish melody with abstract lyrics. I like it.

Glass empty or full

Quench my thirsty tongue, I’m drinking it

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Indie & Folk

This marks a new weekly segment: Sharing The Goodness! It’s exactly what it says on the tin — I’ll be sharing songs I’ve come across and feel could use a little more attention. Whether it’s a bouncy disco track I heard a week ago or an obscure acoustic number I’ve been bobbing my head to over the past month, I’ll be rounding them up five at a time every Saturday to help these artists get more exposure and to help you get some inspiration for the work week. Better yet, I’ll be grouping these up by genre(s) so you’ll know what you’re getting into. Not too fond of rock? Want to see more electronica or synth-pop? Just keep an eye out for my next piece.

After all, I want to share the goodness!

Starting off the list: indie and folk. Considering I’m a huge fan of this sound, expect me to re-visit these a lot in future posts. I’ll also occasionally put an artist on the list twice, if I feel their repertoire is just too damn grand to be confined to one suggestion. (Links in the titles!)

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1. “Sing To The Moon” by Laura Mvula

I was indirectly introduced to Laura Mvula by a mutual on Twitter, who then told me she’d make me cry, no less. Well, they weren’t wrong. British-born folk and neo-soul musician Laura Mvula is a tour-de-force, tugging on your heartstrings even as she sweeps you off your feet and ignites your imagination. ‘Sing To The Moon’ is the very definition of a showstopper — a gentle chorus and tender vocals initially draws you in, only to wrench at your heart with fanciful violins and harp strings. Even better? The lyrics are beautiful.

They hearken to a friend or a family member holding your hand through hard times, invoking hope when life is pushing anything but. Too many songs attempting to relate to a ‘general and impersonal audience’ can come off as overly vague or corny, but Laura Mvula knows exactly who she’s talking to and why. The despondent and the depressed, the hopeless regularly beaten down by reality yet turning their faces to the sky for one last look nonetheless.

Sing to the moon and the stars will shine,

Over you, lead you to the other side

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