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5 underrated musicians to follow

There are an overwhelming number of artists and bands in the music industry, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. This leaves room for exploration and discovery in the world of sound.

The following artists and bands all currently have less than 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and are gravely under-appreciated. These bands and artists mainly fall under the soul/rock/blues categories.

5. First on this list is an American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Samantha Fish. The 29-year-old from Kansas released her most current album, “Belle of the West,” in November 2017, and from there the album climbed straight to number one on the Top Blues Albums charts.

Fish has 89,871 monthly listeners and has performed with credible artists such as Buddy Guy. Fish has the amazing ability to combine classic blues with a bit of raw, scrappy rock-and-roll blended with a hint of folk. Through playing at different blues jam festivals, Fish has created a reputation for herself as a crazy talented blues guitarist with impressive solos and jams throughout her shows.

Fish has a variety of talents, which are portrayed in her songwriting, choice of covers, and live performances. Some songs of hers that are definitely worth a listen to are ‘Chills and Fever,’ ‘Lets Have Some Fun,’ and ‘Good Angels.’

4. Selwyn Birchwood is a 33-year-old blues artist from Florida with 7,623 monthly listeners. He writes, sings, and plays guitar.

Birchwood won the Blues Foundation’s 2013 International Blues Challenge and the Albert King Guitarist of the Year award.

Birchwood’s most recent album is his 2017 Pick Your Poison. Birchwood is a skilled powerhouse guitar player, but also has classic soulful vocals. He is a next generation blues man with songs that inspire a passion to dance and groove.

When performing live, Birchwood is known for his long jams and remarkable guitar solos. What sets him and his songs apart is the combination of the power from both his deep, soulful voice and remarkable guitar playing. Some of Burchwood’s best songs from his most recent album include ‘Even the Saved Need Saving,’ ‘Pick Your Poison,’ and ‘Guilty Pleasures.’

3. Yes Darling is a musical duo with 3,024 monthly listeners. The duet features Ryan Montbleau on guitar and Hayley Jane on vocals. Their two voices blend together perfectly to create a well put-together performance with playful songs. Their tunes are incredibly catchy in all of their theatre-styled glory.

The story behind their self-titled album is a bickering couple who, despite that, are madly in love. Their songs include some sexual innuendos, or sometimes just blatant dirty jokes, but these are done so tastefully, dousing the performance with a nice touch of comedy. Some notable songs include ‘Misplaced Anger,’ ‘The Things That You Could Be,’ and ‘I’m Every Better Man.’

Freshman Justin Siochi says, “Their sound is pretty unique. They combine rock, blues, and a sort of musical theatre style to narrate a comical story. The songs are well written and very catchy. The way they incorporate Pearl Jam’s ‘Better Man’ mashed up with Whitney Houstan’s ‘I’m Every Women’ in their own ‘I’m Every Better Man’ is very clever and adept.”

2. The Heavy Pets are a Florida-based jam band with 79,613 monthly listeners. Their sound brilliantly incorporates jazz, funk, and reggae into rock. This five-member band includes Jeff Lloyd, Mike Garulli, Jim Wuest, Jamie Newitt, and Tony D’Amato.

The band spends most of their time touring the music-festival circuits and have played over 1,000 shows nationwide since 2005. Throughout their numerous studio albums, The Heavy Pets have shown a wide range of musical capabilities, fusing different genres like folk, disco, and psychedelic into their already unique rock sound.

Their newest album, “Strawberry Mansion” (2018), is the first full-length album they have released in four years. This album is a reminder of exactly why they belong on this list. Their sound is inviting and refreshing as it makes their audience feel like they are living in the song. Try out these songs of theirs: ‘Higher,’ ‘Operation of Flight,’ and ‘Osyrus.’

1. At number one is Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds based out of Brooklyn, New York, a seven piece band with 44,297 monthly listeners.

Their unique sound combines soul and blues with an alternative indie twist. The band has received a lot recognition in 2017 from performing their hit song “Sugar” on “The Today Show” to having that same song featured in the hit Christmas movie “A Bad Moms Christmas.”

This large band features Dan Boyden on drums, Phil Rodriguez on trumpet, Josh Myers on bass, Jackson Kincheloe on harmonica, Brian Graham on saxophone, different substitutes on electric guitar, and Arleigh Kincheloe as their leading lady, Sister Sparrow, on vocals.

With the Dity Bird’s electrifying and collaborative playing and composing paired with Sister Sparrow’s unifying and spine-chilling vocals, the band exhibits great character and talent. Despite being so large, the band is able to highlight each of the musician’s talents individually while still working to create a strong, exceptional sound. Sister Sparrow’s sweet and sultry voice has incredible range and impressive runs. Their songs, as cliché as it is, make the audience just want to sing and dance.

All of their songs are worth a listen, but definitely be sure to check out ‘Mama Knows,’ ‘Borderline,’ and ‘Prison Cells’ from their most recent studio album “The Weather Below.”

“This band is honestly incredible. They have super good songs and the vocals and instrumental aspects are both top notch. Each instrument works so well with the others to create a playfully mature sound. The lead singer has such a powerful and sweet voice, and the songs make you want to get out of your seat to dance,” said freshman Fiona McIntyre.

Who is your favorite underrated music artist or band?

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