Music, News

Underground artists dominate the end of 2022

   For the most part, the months September and October were slow for mainstream album releases, but packed to the brim with incredible albums from underground artists.

On Oct. 7, one of the most promising genre-benders in the underground, Jean Dawson, released his third album “CHAOS NOW*” with features from rapper Earl Sweatshirt and vaporwave kingpin George Clanton. The album follows a strong string of singles that built notable hype for the release.

Dawson is known for his uncanny ability to blend different genres to make his own distinct sound. “CHAOS NOW*” dips into alternative rock, hip hop, folk, emo, and more — and that’s just scratching the surface. This diversity in sound allows the listener to follow along and never feel like any one song sounds like another. The album’s sheer chaos is beautiful and impressive from beginning to end.

Alternative and folk artist Field Medic released his fifth studio album “grow your hair long if you’re wanting to see something that you can change” on Oct. 14, following his critically acclaimed 2020 album “Floral Prince.” Field Medic has a knack for catchy and at times heart-wrenching lyricism, which hasn’t changed a bit on his latest release.

Tracks such as “always emptiness” and “house arrest” are slower and melancholic, while songs like “weekends” and “i had a dream that you died,” though still bleak, are faster pace and feature instrumentation from guitar and live drums to harmonicas and drum machines. “Grow your hair long…” only emphasizes the quality of Field Medic’s work and keeps me looking forward to each future release.

   Swedish rapper and singer Bladee released his seventh studio album “Spiderr” on Sept. 30, making it his second album release of the year following his collaborative project with Ecco2k, “Crest” in February. “Spiderr” features the usually-subdued rapper with more vocal energy than he’s shown on a full length project yet. 

   The production from Whitearmor is loud and glitchy and builds a great atmosphere for Bladee to croon his way through his warbling melodies eloquently. The features on the record from Ecco2k and Wondha Mountain are brief but entrancing, and Bladee’s boyish auto tuned vocals are as on point as ever. From front to back, “Spiderr” is one of Bladee’s most complete feeling albums to date, as well as one of the most consistent. Check out the lead single “DRAIN STORY” below.

   On Sept. 30, avant-garde pop legend Björk released her tenth studio album “Flossora,” and it’s everything to expect from the musical provocateur at this point in her career. The esoteric production used to back Björk’s incredible vocals and storytelling prowess are just as hypnotic on “Flossora” as many of her earlier works.

   Björk strives in crafting projects that force you to pay attention for even the smallest chance to catch everything that’s going on, making “Flossora” one of the most impressive and abstract baroque pop albums of the year so far.

The last month was an exciting one for fans of underground music, and as the year comes to a close, the releases will only get more high-octane. Next week you can look forward to new albums from Smino, BabyTron and more!