Indie Artists to Put in Your Queue


Sophia Elizondo-Bean (she/her), Staff Writer

With such a big spotlight on the latest Tik Tok sound or radio hit, smaller artists with equally introspective lyrics and catchy tunes often get buried in musical chaos. Fortunately, here are recommendations for four more indie artists to add to your playlists. 


Kevin Atwater

Kevin Atwater is an Indie Folk singer-songwriter with a catalog ranging from bittersweet tracks about growing up in a Christian household as a queer teen to the pressure put on boys not to show emotions. Atwater’s most popular track is “Star Tripping” a song that is catchy yet heartbreaking as he tells a story about love that is unrequited due to religious trauma. In an Instagram reel, Atwater described it as a “song for the boy who thought I was the reason he was going to hell.” In the song he sings “you think He made you wrong, I think you give Him way too much credit” to help put his mind at ease but by the end, it becomes clear that it didn’t work. 

“Star Tripping” was the lead single on his new EP, Downers Grove, which was released on April 26th. Other notable tracks include “Caleb” a song about being taken advantage of by an older man and “Christopher Street” which touches on the difficulty of visiting what was once a special place with someone you cared about. Atwater’s songwriting is phenomenal. The way he weaves in descriptive details and heart-wrenching stories creates vulnerable lyricism that is unique and relatable. 



Calling all musical theater folks, Jhariah is a New York City-based musician who describes his music style as “no genre all drama,” according to his Spotify bio. Jhariah’s vocals sound like those out of a musical creating a contagious sound unique to his music. His top streaming track is “Flight of the Crows.” The song describes wanting to leave someone after feeling you’ve overstayed your welcome. There is a theme throughout the lyrics of wishing for the other person to forget you so that fresh starts can be made. 

A popular fan favorite is “Debt Collector,” a track that touches on karmic justice. The song describes a ‘debt collector’ coming for someone who has done bad things in the past. This song is the perfect example of Jhariah’s storytelling skills coming to life. Each lyric can be pictured like a movie scene. One standout lyric is “you scammed your way into heaven, till the angels realize you’re not one of them.” His attention-grabbing vocals and ability to paint a picture make Jhariah an artist that belongs on everyone’s Spotify playlist.


Isabelle Pless

Next is Isabelle Pless, a singer-songwriter from Vermont who releases a mix of witty callbacks and stories of mental health struggles. Pless’s highest streaming track is “Bechdel Test,” a song about feeling stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of anxiety and lack of motivation. The title, Bechdel Test, originated from a test done on pop culture to determine if a piece of media has a good representation of women. The Bechdel test even played a role in the guilt Pless felt for being inactive. “I’ve been watching too many movies that do not pass the Bechdel test. And that makes me feel like I’m a bad feminist. But I pirate them so that makes it better I guess.”

Pless’s most relatable song is by far “More to Give” a track about people pleasing and always wishing to have more to give yet still feeling burnt out. The single cover art includes a woman dressed in 1950s clothing gazing out the window at a bridge referencing Pless’s lyric “I keep burning my own bridge, whether I lose or win.” Another favorite is “Little Life,” a delightfully petty track full of giggle-worthy disses. Pless’s emotional vocals and painfully relatable songwriting make her a must-listen-to artist for those in their sad girl summer era. 



Next is Boywithuke, an anonymous singer-songwriter who loves his ukelele. Boywithuke is unique because he produces all of his own songs using Garageband and wears a mask to keep his identity secret. His most highly streamed track is “Toxic” from his sophomore album Serotonin Dreams. The song touches on knowing when you need new friends but don’t want to be alone. He uses the lyric “avoiding opposites, chewin’ on chocolate” to describe his own coping with friendship dynamics. 

Boywithuke’s most recent single is titled “Out Of Reach,” a song about wishing someone could see all that you’re willing to give them without saying it yourself. The catchy chorus will have listeners singing along in no time. Another standout is “Two Moons” a track from his debut album full of mental health struggles proven with lyrics such as “I can’t feel happy in my head.” Boywithuke’s honest lyrics and delightful ukulele instrumentals are what make his music so unique that it should be in everyone’s Spotify Wrapped. 


Next time you’re in a music slump or scrolling through the endless catalog of your chosen streaming app, keep a look out for these artists. No matter what genre you listen to, you’ll have a good time.