B-sides: 5 Songs By 5 Emerging Female Artists
"The B-sides record store is now open." Illustration published on May 24, 2018.
Every so often, reporter Jessica Myers finds rising artists that students might want to tune in to.
It can be hard to find new artists whose music is relatable, catchy and offers more than your typical mainstream sound, so this week I have compiled a list of five emerging female artists worth giving a listen. These five artists' discographies are unique to their own sound and give insight into the minds of young women living in this modern world.
1. “i wanna be your girlfriend” by girl in red
Marie, 19-year-old who hails from Norway and goes by girl in red, has created an epic indie rock unrequited love track with “i wanna be your girlfriend."
This song is bingeable. It's about falling in love with an unknowing friend — an LGBT+ anthem of seriously falling for your BFF. This confession of unrequited love is about going out of your way for someone whom you want to be more than friends with, but the moves you make could pass as actions of just a good friend.
“Oh Hannah / I will follow you home / Although my lips are blue and I'm cold.”
This song is the first track off of Marie’s latest five-song EP, "chapter 1", released earlier this year, and it's a perfect introduction to the spontaneous, fun sound of the EP.
2. “A Letter to My Younger Self” by Ambar Lucid
This heartfelt track is a message to Ambar Lucid’s younger self. Her lyrics wrap around the memory of her, engulfing her past in a warm embrace, and her sentimental message rings through harmonic guitar picking and attention-grabbing vocals.
The 17-year-old New Jersey-based Latina artist transitions between English and Spanish phrases when directing her attention to her past self, constructing an intimate and genuine message.
“Ya no quiero que llores / The universe is gonna give you muchas flores / Quítate ese miedo / You’ll be a lot more trust me, yo te entiendo...”
As she reflects upon a past life she once lived, she overwhelms listeners with a sense of belonging and understanding. She understands, “Quítate ese miedo,” take off that fear, you’ll be ok, I understand you.
"A Letter to My Younger Self" is one of three tracks that form Lucid's discography and is a manifestation of the great potential the young musician holds.
3. “Coffee” by beabadoobee
This track is the indie bedroom-pop equivalent of Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes."
Pop artist beabadoobee's London-based charm rings through her somber, soft tunes. Formerly known as Bea, her music is sort of sad — perhaps it’s just calming to some — and feels filling despite the simple production of it all.
“Coffee” is beabadoobee's most popular track, and her third most popular on Spotify is “Moon Song," a cover of one of her musical inspirations, Karen O.
This track consists of sweet, innocent vocals, paired with simple, imperfect guitar strums. This song sounds like it was recorded in one-take, which makes it seem very sincere, like she's just propped next to you in bed, singing you to sleep.
"Don't stay awake for too long / Don't go to bed / I'll make a cup of coffee for your head / I'll get you up and going out of bed ..."
This soothing, gentle low-fi track, released in 2017, is a nice peek into her gentle mind and the equivalent of slipping into a thick, fluffy sweater.
4. “True Blue” by Elsa Lester
Netherlands' finest DIY Macbook artist Elsa Lester, whose birth name is Lisa van Kampen, started releasing music in 2016.
“True Blue” is a slightly angsty ode to the classic act of miscommunication that eventually unravels and burns a relationship.
"I left for the sunny side and the sun was / Beaming down at me but I still don't feel all right / Now can you tell me all the things you never said ..."
This is Lester’s most popular track, and with a less than 600 monthly listeners on Spotify, she's the most underrated of all the artists. Her vocals are a nice, more raw switch-up from popular light indie female vocals, and her garage-rock sound is exciting.
5. “When You Die” by Lala Lala
"When You Die," is the second to last track off of Chicago-based artist Lala Lala’s latest album, "The Lamb" which was released on September 28th.
I heard this track for the first time blasting through my earphones as I walked down ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. As I passed by students hurrying to get somewhere important, I watched the sun crack through the leaves of trees next to the Cronkite building, and I felt the song as the chorus hit and the calm, yet warm Arizona autumnal breeze washed over me.
This is just one of those songs that when listened to at the right time and place, feels like a peek into your own life. This chaotic track is reflective of the feeling of leaving something important at home, but not knowing what.
Everything is going wrong in this song, but all Lala Lala cares about is keeping her friends safe, something some college students face every once in a while.
This song makes me miss the friends I do not see anymore, but makes it feel like it's ok — all is ultimately ok despite the chaos.
“Keep my friends safe keep my friends close / Keep my friends safe night and day / Keep my friends safe now and always.”
The track is a nice dip into Lala Lala's ruthless, evocative sound and showcases the singing and songwriting talent she holds.
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @jessiemy94 on Twitter.
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