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Three up-and-coming indie artists to keep on your radar

Stuck in a musical rut? Check out these artists and freshen up your playlists

Between the laid back melodies, traces of psychedelic pop and catchy guitar riffs, The Grogans embody the essence of surf rock.
Between the laid back melodies, traces of psychedelic pop and catchy guitar riffs, The Grogans embody the essence of surf rock.

With classes starting up again, everyone’s in need of new music for their walks through Grounds, late night study sessions or just chilling out on the Lawn. Give these artists a listen as they establish their place in the indie-rock scene. 

The Grogans 

Between the laid back melodies, traces of psychedelic pop and catchy guitar riffs, The Grogans embody the essence of surf rock. Emitting audible serotonin through every track, this Australian trio provides peak potential for escapism. Vocalist Quin Grunden, guitarist Angus Vasic and drummer Jordan Lewis started as high school friends who loved to jam in their free time between skating and surfing. 

The boys quickly turned this hobby into a legit band, putting out their breakout EP “Grogan Grove” at only 19 years old in 2018. The success of “Lemon to my Lime” off this EP has allowed them to steadily gain popularity ever since, putting out three studio albums, “Just What You Want,” “Day / To / Day” and “Which Way Is Out.” These records opened new doors for the group, touring with popular indie-rock band Hockey Dad across Australia last year.

With their new album “Find Me A Cloud” releasing this October, now is the perfect time to experience the perfect musical getaway that The Grogans so effortlessly create. 

Momma 

Mixing the nostalgia of 90s indie rock with 2000s punk pop references and more modern twists, Momma has developed a unique sound defined by the dual female leads’ tangible chemistry. Founding members and high school best friends Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten immediately bonded over their shared obsession with music. Having both picked up the guitar at 13, they began writing music together after their first sleepover. 

In the early days they split songs between them by verse, patching together two sets of lyrics, each reflecting their unique life experiences. As their music has matured, however, they write every song together, marrying the vocals and guitar to form a “symbiotic” relationship throughout each song. 

After graduating college, moving to New York and gaining popularity, Momma released their third studio album — “Household Name” — last year. Drawing on the 90s rock influences that bonded the leads to begin with, namely punk-rock band Pavement, Momma utilizes clean guitar and drums in an attempt to build an intimate sound. Exploring themes of fame, the album touches on the fortunes and tragedies of the rockstar, alluding to, and sometimes directly mentioning, influences like Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins. 

If you want to mindlessly listen to cool guitar riffs and spacey vocals, or sink your teeth into a complex lyrical experience, Momma won’t disappoint.

Dehd

Dehd’s origin story may not be the most conventional, but it mirrors the themes around which their music constantly revolves — love and loss. In 2015, singer Emily Kempf and guitarist Jason Balla were merely a musically inclined couple looking to travel. So, they started a band and went on tour. After gaining a small fanbase and attention of local critics, the couple added drummer Eric McGrady, and Dehd was born. 

While the romantic relationship has not stood the test of time, Dehd certainly has, releasing four studio albums and embarking on nationwide tours. Mixing surf-rock, post-punk and garage rock, Dehd creates an immediately recognizable sound. 

Kempf’s uniquely ambiguous vocals define this sound. Consisting of shouts, whispers, cracks and the occasional screech, a comprehensible thought is rarely formed, yet every syllable is filled with emotion. Balla’s reverb-heavy guitar and McGrady’s steady drums form simplistic melodies which support the vocals, rather than distract from them. 

While “Flower of Devotion” shot Dehd to new levels of popularity in 2020, they have perfected their sound on the latest album “Blue Skies.” The album takes the listener on a rollercoaster of heartbreak and hope, pierced by a steady sense of optimism. 

Whether you’re finally free from “Bad Love,” mourning the “Memories” of lost loved ones or feeling “Lucky” to be falling in love, Dehd has a track to match your mood. 

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