Now Playing is a blog highlighting three different emerging or lesser known artists each week that have released exciting new music in 2020. Each week will follow a specific theme varying from genre specific themes to artist characteristics. With every artist, I include a short review of their latest release, similar artists (denoted with RIYL, recommended if you like), genres they may fall under, and a couple of songs you should listen to!
For the first edition of Now Playing we are showcasing some promising solo female artists that have released full length albums in 2020.
Spotify Monthly Listeners: 449K
Latest Release: “The Baby”, August 28th
RIYL: Snail Mail, Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy
Genre: indie pop, lo-fi, indie rock
Samia is a talented lyricist with a powerful voice that often fluctuates in tone in a way that holds on to your attention throughout the song. Her debut album, “The Baby”, perfectly expresses the fears and emotions experienced in your early twenties in words that you could never come up with on your own. “I left you in life ’cause you don’t need my pen/To embellish your noteworthy parts,” and “I’m a patron dressed up like a person/I’m a creature instead of me,” are only two examples of the subtle yet poetic interpretations of love and life seen in her writing. Recently she has started to gain recognition through touring with several popular alternative rock bands including Hippo Campus, Remo Drive, and Cold War Kids. I only discovered Samia back in late April, however her incomparable vocals, relatable lyrics and the emotion behind every track has quickly made her one of my favorite solo artists.
Best songs: “Ode to Artifice,” “Is There Something in the Movies?,” “Someone Tell the Boys”
Location: Portland, OR
Spotify Monthly Listeners: 208K
Latest Release: “The Archer”, January 10th
RIYL: Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Lana Del Rey, Faye Webster
Genre: desert rock, dream pop, psychedelic rock
Alexandra Savior’s unique style blends desert rock with dream pop in a way that makes the genres seem like they were meant to be together. Her sophomore album, “The Archer” was released in January and is a vulnerable and emotional retelling of recent heartbreak and trying times in her career. “The Archer” is a very strong follow up to her 2017 debut, “Belladonna of Sadness,” which was co-written and produced by Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys and popular producer James Ford. “The Archer” is Savior’s defining album as an artist as she steps away from working with Turner to find her individual voice. Savior is my personal favorite solo artist of all time because her distinct sound and impressive lyricism leave you with something new to discover in every listen.
Best Songs: “Saving Grace,” “But You,” “Shades”
Location: Little Ferry, NJ
Spotify Monthly Listeners: 494K
Latest Release: “Garden of Lucid”, April 10th
RIYL: Girl Ultra, Orion Sun, Kali Uchis
Genre: Contemporary R&B, Spanish, indie pop
Ambar Lucid fits no single genre easily as all of her releases have elements of R&B, rock, pop and Spanish. Her genre defining debut album, “Garden of Lucid,” is a mystical yet moody take on R&B with occasional drums and basslines roaming through the piece. Oppositely, her EP “Dreaming Lucid” is an ethereal, lo-fi approach to R&B that even features saxophones and a harp. However, In all of her songs she effortlessly blends Spanish and English lyrics in a way that can be appreciated by native speakers of both languages. I was initially introduced to Lucid from the song “Garden” which I was hooked on for a couple of weeks in May particularly because of the amazing English to Spanish transition from the second chorus to the bridge.
Best songs: “Garden,” “Universe,” “A letter to my younger self”