B-Sides: 8-Track

A series highlighting up-and-coming artists that are worth checking out

Each week reporter Jessica Myers finds rising artists that students might want to tune in to.

Introduction:

With the ability to publish a music blog on such a source as State Press, I am taking the opportunity to share eight songs from underrated artists that I tend to listen to too often and get me incredibly emotional as they are.

So, here’s my mixtape, similar to what your on-and-off boyfriend would give you in the ‘80’s. I hope it’s not as cheesy as Brad’s “Songs that remind me of your eyes” tape. My mix to you consists of eight underrated tracks that you need to listen to. 

1.”Life + You” by infinite bisous

Let’s start off slow… and build up, shall we? 

That’s what happens in this incredibly intergalactic track, "Life + You." 

This track is in no rush, and begins with twisty, ringing synth sounds. It gradually builds up, like you're on a spaceship preparing for liftoff. 

At one minute and thirty seconds the song blasts into spacey electronic sounds. This track covers the struggle of taking one day at a time to battle the emptiness of loneliness and loss. This song sounds like you're floating alone in space. It's sobering, yet dizzy sprit makes this psychedelic, electro-pop track send chills down your spine. Infinite bisous ends the song with an ominous, elongated extension of the sound "ah," turning it into almost a yell, which is a haunting ending to this great track. 

2. “Suddenly” by Drugdealer

I’m all for new music sounding like it’s made from decades back and this song gives you major old-school vibes through airy vocals and whopping instrumentals. 

There are some nice, funk feelings throughout this track and there is a tasteful touch of saxophone used. This song has different transitional layers, keeping this soothing, chill number naturally easy to listen to all the way through.

This tune is great for any '70s themed party you have, so queue her up and get ready to boogie.

3. “12:34 AM” by Billy Lemos, Maxwell Young and Amar Opollo

I found this track on Spotify's "Discover Weekly" playlist and was hooked by the smooth R&B vocals in the beginning. As I continued listening to this song, I became incredibly excited by the club break half-way through the short track and Gambino-esque vocals. 

This is a shorter song, but I’ve put it on all my party playlists. It’s r&b, club and has a little alternative edge to it.

This song is perfect for any late-night highway drive.

4. “Eclipse” by Inner Wave

This track is not the most upbeat number, but when I saw Inner Wave by chance at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix a few weeks back, people were surprisingly moshing to this song. It has this low-key, catchy energy to it, but when you think about it, you could definitely bop to it. 

The high-in-the-register vocals paired with a catchy flow makes this track super rhythmic. You'll want to tap your feet, wiggle your shoulders and maybe even go see the band live and throw your body onto your neighbors. 

5. “Star Destroyer” by Jonah Renna

When a good friend of mine sent me a link to this song, I was immediately interested due to the name of the track — I have a weird fascination with space if you can't already tell. As the journey that is listening to this song for the first time began, I came to the realization of how much I needed this in my life, and maybe you need it too. 

Not only does this song use an incredible amount of synth and has a great tempo, the lyrics sting, capturing the struggle of trying to grasp onto something that no longer exists. This song sums up the feeling of holding onto the past and clinging onto distant memories.

The line “You don't love me no more,” is repeated throughout the song, a repetitive recognition of a harsh realization.  

There’s also a rap break. I’ll leave my favorite lines here: 

"But if the end is near imma need someone to spend it with / 'Cause love isn't infinite, but death is inevitable / And if heaven does exist, I hope it ain't different / Than how it is with you..."

6. “Chariot” by Beach House

Really, Jess, a Beach House song? Beach House isn’t underrated.

To which I reply, stop right there. It’s my blog and I’ll add a Beach House song if I want to. 

Beach House released a “B-Sides and Rarities” album last year and it was extremely overlooked. As a huge Beach House fan, I became extremely overwhelmed by the release of new-ish Beach House music and listened to the whole thing through immediately… 

I could not tell you how many times I have listened to the song “Chariot” for the sole purpose of hearing the lines, “But you said, ‘Angel's wings, time we spent ’/ Nobody knows how close it will come / The rite of the sands / My heart in your hands.” 

Every single time Beach House's lead vocalist Victoria Legrand sings these lines, my heart breaks a little, in a good way. This track also has an infectious cadence, and, of course, has high points that Beach House songs tend to have that remind you that you are a tiny speck on a spinning ball endlessly floating through space. 

7. “Flirting in Space” by Brad stank

Did someone mention space? This jazzy track is filled with low, smooth vocals and creamy guitar solos. Musical artist Brad stank seduces you with his reflective tune and and laid-back charm. 

This song’s slow rhythm paired with high-chimed guitar solos makes this number, dare-I-say-it – undeniably groovy and charming. 

If I was flirting in space with some intergalactic being, I’d want this song to be playing. 

8. “Otherside” by Perfume Genius

Mike Hadreas, the legend behind the name Perfume Genius, gently placed this insanely poetic and stunning number at the forefront of his 2017 album “No Shape.” This track is reminiscent of a rainy day epiphany. 

This song deserves my favorite space on playlists, albums, anything – The. Last. Song. You know an album is truly great when the last song sums up the spirit, emotions and overall feeling of the entire album. Hadreas switches it up and does this in the beginning of his album with this track.

It opens with this chalky, sad little piano number, ringing in gentle feedback sounds. I like to think of the feedback hums as soft, almost inaudible rain, especially here in Arizona. The sound is comforting. His layered vocals wave over the instrumentals, blowing past you like a gentle wind. The contrast of layered vocals and stand-alone vocals add emotion to this powerful track. As he sings the line “Rocking you to sleep / From the Otherside” for the very first time, the mood immediately lifts you into a whole new realm of existence as there is a ringing explosion of sound and vision. 

This song is a startlingly, eruptive welcome to Perfume Genius’ fourth album, and an extremely emotional goodbye to this playlist. Give it a listen and you’ll understand it all. 



Reach the reporter at jlmyer10@asu.edu or follow @jessiemy94 on Twitter. 

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