Five Alternative-Indie Artists to Watch in 2013

Indie-alternative rock music is fast-becoming popular on the music scene–even under hipster protest. The historically elusive genre, or rather bucket of genres, just can’t help itself. We blame/thank all the fabulous music festivals, like Coachella, for shedding some light on some undeniably talented indie rock artists. We would be remiss not to thank skinny jeans, facial scruff and bohemian fashion as well.

To keep you in-the-know and musically educated, let’s take a look at some hot alt-indie artists to watch this year

The Lone Bellow

the lone bellowThe Lone Bellow hails from Brooklyn, but they have the heart and soul of a country-made band. They’re a unique trio with an indie-folk sound and a peaceful, earthy essence. They sound as if they’ve been playing together for years, and have a beautiful melodic symmetry. Brought together by academia, bonded through tragedy and solidified through their love of music–we just can’t get enough of this band.

Check out their newly minted self-titled album ‘The Lone Bellow’ for some hauntingly delicious tunes. A few noteworthy songs include “Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold,” “Teach me to” and “You Never Need Nobody.”

The Neighbourhood

img-the-neighbourhood_111130656135The Neighbourhood is now under the Columbia Records label. They’re an indie-alt-pop group from Newbury Park, California. Their moody sounds, mechanical drum beats, and retro-swagger have perked our ears and melted our hearts. And it doesn’t hurt that lead singer Jesse Rutherford has a marshmallow-y soft textured voice and the brooding handsomeness of a modern-day James Dean.

We’ve already added their Hallmark-card titled EPs and album to our music repository: ‘I’m Sorry’, ‘Thank you’ and ‘I Love You’. Check out their newest single from ‘I Love You’ “Sweater Weather.”

Alt-J

alt-j-456Alt-J hails from the UK–but have already won critical acclaim internationally. Their sound is eclectic and wholeheartedly unique–a blend of indie-rock, alt-rock, psychedelic, folk and experimental.

When listening to their music, you’re taken on what we can only describe as an unforgettable musical space odyssey. We imagine their soundtrack was playing when Alice fell down the Rabbit Hole into an alternate reality–but we digress.

Check out their most recent album ‘Awesome Wave’ which pulls together seemingly contentious musical categories (indie-rock, trip-hop, electri, synth pop, folk, hip-hop) and pieces them together masterfully. We can’t stop listening to “Breezeblocks” and “Mathilda.”

Gold Fields

Gold+FieldsGold Fields is a breath of fresh air for the indie-pop category. Hailing from Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, the group is comprised of five talented members with a singular vision–to entertain the crap out of you. Their music is well-layered with percussion, tribal drums, synth pop beats and textured vocals–and their stage-presence is infectious.

Their newest album ‘Black Sun’ reflects poise and maturity for the young crooners with deeply moving tracks like “Dark Again” that eloquently delves into the world of post-breakup turmoil. Although unique in sound, the band is reminiscent of bands like Friendly Fires and Temper Trap.

 

Atlas Genius

Atlas-Genius_Frank-MaddocksAlso hailing from Australia, Atlas Genius is another hot indie-rock band to watch this year. Recently signed to Warner Bros. Records, the band has already received critical acclaim abroad and beyond. Their 2011 hit “Trojans” propelled them into the spotlight–deservedly.

Their music is the mellow blend of indie-rock and indie-pop that your summer playlist has been waiting for. Although rather new to the music scene, the band already has four singles that are positively infectious–we can’t wait for the full album. Check out their newest single “Back Seat”–on repeat if you’d like.

 

Want more? Make sure to check out Slacker’s New Alternative First where all the brand new music goes as soon as we get it – from emerging artists, seasoned veterans, new releases, and cutting edge music.

Insiders Guide to Coachella 2013

Coachella 2013We are officially a week away from Coachella and the air is electric with excited anticipation and spastic preparations. This two-weekend festival (April 12-14 and April 19-21) is nestled in the heart of Palm Desert, California. And yes, temperatures typically net from sweaty to Ian Somerhalder smoldering. (Nothing a little deodorant, hand-sanitizer and breathable fabric can’t champion!)

Despite the unforgiving heat, this is one for the books. Coachella brings together a multitude of characters from strung-out celebrities to aristocratic hippies to desert vagabonds. There’s much to be heard and seen; like newly minted bands and the entire Urban Outfitters clothing line.

Insider tips for a good festival experience:

Shuttle it. The shuttle lines run across the scant desert streets and only cost $50-$80 for the weekend. Driving drunk is a rookie mistake. The shuttle wait times are minimal, and even if you decide to cuddle a cactus past pick-up time, you can always taxi back or enjoy the campground twilight festivities.

carpoolchellaCarpoolchella. In an effort to promote sustainability and such, GoldenVoice has a Carpoolchella giveaway with prizes like VIP tickets to Coachella for life. So, amass a group of festival goers, paint your Nissan with DayGlow pride, and be sure to write “CARPOOLCHELLA” for all to see.

10for1. This program lets thirsty but impoverished festival goers turn 10 empty water bottles into a free bottle of H20. Awesome.

Coachella The Do Lab The Do LaB. This attraction is a festival in and of itself. The Do LaB is an immersive music and art experience with a collection of underground artists streaming sick beats all day long. Water misters and hoses will cool you off while you rock your face off. This year’s lineup includes fan favorites like Gaslamp Killer, Lucent Dossier Experience, Goldrush and Kastle.

Plan it out. Coachella is a massive festival. Brush up on all the artists performing with the Coachella 2013 station and create a plan for who you want to see (but keep it flexible!). Pre-pick your meeting times and use landmarks like the Ferris Wheel for your meetup location. There’s nothing worse than missing an entire concert because you were searching for your friends the entire time. Also, reception is spotty, so timestamp your texts.

Who to see:

Headliners

Coachella 2013 lineup Coachella wouldn’t be Coachella without some monumental headline-age. This year mainstage monopolizers include Blur, The Stone Roses, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Prepare your thirsty ears for some epic tunes and major surprises thanks to these well-respected artists. (It’s even been rumored that Daft Punk will make a long overdue appearance during Phoenix’s set). As these bands need no introduction, let’s delve into some of the lesser known performers.

New Music

Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a newbie whose proverbial musical balls have yet to drop, you should leave room on your agenda to see some bands you’ve never heard of. Aside from experiencing fourth degree sunburns, Coachella is about celebrating music–new and not-so.

C2C – Not so new but relatively unknown, this french turntable group is legit. The style is a mix of funk, disco and electro. The group are 4-time winners of the Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Championship. If you like Glitch Mob and Pretty Lights, you might fall in love with these frenchmen.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBzO3yxSfOU

Jamie XXJamie Smith, aka Jamie XX, is an English music producer , remix artist and also ⅓ of the band The XX. His melodic tracks will leave you completely spellbound. His handiwork includes remixes for artists like Glasser, Florence + the Machine and Nosaj Thing. If you like the XX and Jamie Woon, be sure to check out Jamie XX.

Janelle Monáe – If you’re lucky enough you might just fall under the seductive entrapment of Miss Janelle Monáe. An American R&B and soul sensation, Monáe gained critical acclaim at the 53rd Grammy Awards for her The ArchAndroid (Suite II and III) album. She also lent her vocal acuity to Fun.’s smash hit “We are Young.” If you like Erykah Badu or Prince, be sure to check her out.

 

The NeighbourhoodWe can’t wait to see the Neighbourhood grace the dusty desert stage at this year’s Coachella. Part indie, part urban, part pop, this native Californian band shows a lot of promise. Lead singer Jesse Rutherford’s voice is as smooth as velvet. Check out their single “Sweater Weather,” we dare you to not listen to it on repeat.

 

Aesop RockAn underground hip hop legend, Ian Matthias Bavitz aka Aesop Rock, is a lyrical beast on the mic. Do yourself a solid and further your musical education with the thoughtful articulation of Aesop Rock. Never one to be predictable, he even paired up with folk goddess Kimya Dawson for the charming and evocative single “Delicate Cycle.”

Portugal. The ManThis Alaskan-grown band has been around for a fortnight, but hasn’t really hit the mainstream as hard as they should. Best described as psychedelic-rock, this innovative band definitely deserves a listening to. Check out their hauntingly delicious single “All Your Light” from their most recent album In the Mountain In the Cloud. If you like MGMT or Minus the Bear you’ll probably dig this ensemble.

Make Slacker’s new Coachella 2013 station your soundtrack over the next week to get in the Coachella frame of mind. Featuring all the headliners and artists performing at the festival all in one place- consider it homework.