9 Songwriters Reclaiming Indie Rock

These artists and bands are making guitars great again.

February 23, 2017
Jay Som

Who: Melina Duterte is the multi-instrumentalist behind Jay Som, shaping the sound of indie to come with '90s alt-rock influences.

Where: Oakland

Start with: "The Bus Song," "Turn Into"

Elaiza Santos
9 Songwriters Reclaiming Indie Rock BreakThruRadioTV / Youtube

Who: Her band Crying makes a lunatic slurry of prog, pop-punk, and video game soundscapes that juts into multiple dimensions at once.

Where: Purchase, New York

Start with: "Origin," "Premonitory Dream"

Cold Specks

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Who: Ladan Hussein has released two acclaimed solo albums since 2012 but it's not too late to get acquainted with her knockout sound that channels southern gothic and blues.

Where: Toronto

Start with: "Absisto," "Heavy Hands"

Mal Devisa
9 Songwriters Reclaiming Indie Rock Mal Devisa / Facebook

Who: Deja Carr's depth, musical range, and innate understanding of how to make her music spotlight itself help make her one of the most compelling new singer/songwriters in recent memory.

Where: Northampton, Massachusetts

Start with: "Daisy," "Honey Honey (Feist cover)"

Japanese Breakfast

Who: Michelle Zauner has cracked the code of progressive dream-pop on Psychopomp, even her saddest songs are places you can't bear to leave.

Where: Eugene, Oregon

Start with: "Everybody Wants To Love You," "In Heaven"


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Who: Laetitia Tamko's debut album Infinite Worlds is one of those auspicious first records that heralds the arrival of an important new voice with songs to stay with and mull over again and again.

Where: New York City

Start with: "The Embers," "Shadows"


~*tour prep cat dream*~ so hype for tour with @jbrekkie and @sophiesayshi!!!!!!! (Pic by @sophiesayshi)

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Who: Gabrielle Smith's latest EP Year Of The Rabbit is a culmination of years of glittering baroque-pop track and 24-karat melodies in a deceptively simple package.

Where: Brooklyn

Start with: "Power," "Sleeping Bear"

April Aliermo

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Who: Last year her band Hooded Fang released Venus on Edge, an album of shadowy surf-rock from the radioactive shores of Lake Ontario. They also did sunnier lo-fi indie rock really well on 2013's Gravez.

Where: Toronto

Start with: "Glass Shadows," "A Final Hello"


Who: Like an even more pared-down Prinzhorn Dance School, Eva Moolchan puts on for people who love post-punk that balances cheeky bounce with moodiness.

Where: Washington, D.C.

Start with: "Tough Luck," "Red"

Thumbnail photo from "The Embers" music video by Vagabon, directed by Zadie

9 Songwriters Reclaiming Indie Rock