Soundclouds of the Underground: Going Solo Edition
ABOVE: BEDROOM, AKA NOAH KITTINGER.
These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures—some of the most new and exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes deep into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
With the way things constantly appear (and disappear) on the Internet, one can only hope a song has a long, fruitful life. Even more difficult is becoming an artist deemed worthy of a second look! Nevertheless, there is, of course, still hope for hard-working music makers who wish to get the dedicated listeners they deserve. After all, some people simply stand out in the crowd—they emit a certain light, an energy that draws eyes and, in this case, ears. This week, we’ve gathered a collection of solo artists with that special little je ne sais quoi.
Bedroom: “In My Head”
Who: Nashville’s Noah Kittinger is the sole force behind Bedroom, a lo-fi, dream-pop project that implies a sort of teen-angst escapism in its sound and moniker. This makes sense, given that Kittinger is still in high school—which, if we remember correctly, can provide plenty of motivation to get a little reclusive. Lucky for us, the young talent continues to share his sound, one that sits nicely alongside artists like King Krule and Gauntlet Hair, with the outside world.
The Song: Soothing and melancholic, Kittinger’s singing (straightforward and pure) floats over picked guitar strings and a subtle drum rhythm. The echo of synth adds another element of quiet pleasure (and pathos) to the well-designed track.
Ian Isiah: “Can I Hit It In The Morning [Interlude]”
Who: Not much web dirt can be uncovered about this elusive up-and-comer, but some YouTube footage shows him singing at perma-cool boutique Opening Ceremony’s 10th-anniversary bash to much acclaim. One thing we do know for sure is that Isiah’s alluring palette of sounds is distinct in the most wonderful way, and could very well mark him as one of R&B’s most innovative faces (although we’d hate to plague him with a genre assignment just yet).
The Song: This track may share its name with a J.Cole and Drake collaboration, but it takes a different turn entirely—unique vocal phrasing, a knocking beat and high-pitched ethereal harmonies incite both sex and soul, a combination rarely explored on such a unique plane.
Current Project: Isiah will be performing at New York’s Westway this Sunday, with producer Hot Sugar also on the evening’s bill. If you can’t make it but want more, be sure to explore the iartist’s short but effective Soundcloud catalogue.
Elle King: “Good To Be A Man“
Who: Recently signed to RCA, King is a singer-songwriting, banjo-wielding wild woman with a sweet, scratchy tone that has snagged her gigs touring with big-time acts like Train and Of Monsters and Men.
The Song: “Good To Be A Man” is comically odd in its approach (sarcastic yet singsongy lyrics and a zippy, blues-pop vibe), but the format ends up working wonders. When King quips that her only worry as a male would be a “receding hairline,” it’s hard to deny the cut’s hit potential.
Current Project: The video for “Good To Be A Man” is really what seals its fate as a breakout track. Give it a peek, and afterwards, head over to King’s Soundcloud page to hear a whole bunch of material she’s made over the past year.
Soundclouds of the Underground runs every Thursday. For more, click here.