As students shuffle back into the routine of lectures, assignments and club activities, relieve some stress this fall semester by jamming out to the upbeat sounds of these four artists.
Canadian singer-songwriter Alessia Cara first shared her smooth R&B sound on her own YouTube channel at age 13, where she covered everything from The Neighbourhood to Amy Winehouse. Now 19 years old, Cara released her first EP, Four Pink Walls, on Aug. 26 with EP Entertainment and Def Jam Recordings. Her most popular track, “Here,” debuted as a single in April and was named a “can’t-miss track” by SPIN Magazine. With lyrics such as, “But really I would rather be at home all by myself, not in this room with people who don’t even care about my well-being,” the song expresses her dislike for loud, meaningless parties. After Jimmy Fallon heard the song and insisted she appear on “The Tonight Show,” Cara made her television debut performing the hit track. Her EP’s catchy, alternative pop sound paired with honest lyrics prove she’s a rising powerhouse.
Artists you might like: Lorde, Ellie Goulding, Marina and the Diamonds
Singer-songwriter, producer and rapper Jon Bellion combines clever lyrics with electronic beats in his three mixtapes and numerous singles. Bellion, who composes and produces his own music, released his first mixtape in 2011 on his Facebook page where it got over 11,000 downloads. Throughout his career, he has worked with numerous artists. Bellion wrote the chorus for “The Monster” by Eminem featuring Rihanna, co-wrote “Trumpets” by Jason Derulo and worked as a featured artist on Zedd’s May 2015 single “Beautiful Now.” In 2015, Bellion released three singles, including “Woke the Fuck Up” and “All Time Low.” His tracks mix R&B, hip-hop and indie rock sounds with honest, often-allegorical lyrics such as, “Such haunting nightmares from past loves that tried to screw me, but you were the preacher in an exorcism movie.”
Artists you might like: Robert DeLong, Zedd, Avicii
West London singer-songwriter Niall Galvin combines random-yet-catchy lyrics with alternative pop beats under the name “Only Real.” Galvin released his first EP in 2013 followed by a full-length album, Jerk at the End of the Line, in April 2015. With often-slurred lyrics and sporadic ideas, he takes a laid-back approach to his self-made songs. The Guardian said Jerk at the End of the Line “marks him out as his own distinctly goofy prospect: a fidgety child of the Internet intent on marrying ideas that shouldn’t really go together.” His sporadic approach to music proves successful, especially in the song “Cadillac Girl,” in which he supplements words such as “Froot Loops,” “Kool-Aid” and “high-five Martians,” with electronic and beachy rhythms. Filled with youthful and slightly mischievous themes, the album seeks to capture the feelings of easygoing afternoons followed by nights out partying.
Artists you might like: Wolf Alice, Mac Demarco, King Krule
The most folk-esque of the bunch, Saintseneca uses post-modern pop influences to complement their acoustic indie rock sound. The group incorporates various instruments including the mandolin, balalaika, dulcimer and Turkish baglama along with more mainstream instruments such as synthesizers and electric guitars. Hailing from a small town in Ohio, the group first began playing music in college in 2007, performing at house shows and releasing various EPs. After signing with Anti, they released their debut album, Last, in early 2013 and a follow-up album, Dark Arc, in 2014. “Happy Alone” and “Daendors” are two of the more upbeat tracks on the album, laden with heavy guitar and catchy choruses. The group released a single Aug. 18 entitled “Sleeper Hold,” which mimics the same catchy, foot-tapping beat as “Happy Alone,” their most popular track.
Artists you might like: Ages and Ages, Lord Huron, Yellow Ostrich