"My brother is too kind. He was eminent when my eminence was only imminent." -Niles Crane
Question #91895 posted on 12/19/2018 11:55 a.m.
Q:

Dear writers,

Who's your favorite obscure band/music artist and what are your favorite songs they do?
A list is also totally fine if picking a favorite is hard or you just want to.

Just to share and because they're on my mind, I'm putting my favorites here.

by Yellow Ostrich
"Bread"
"Ghost"
"I Got No Time For You"

by Winston Surfshirt
"For the Record"

-Not Jared Finch

A:

Dear NJF,

So there's this singer named Taylor Swift that has this song "You Belong With Me" that is pretty good. Maybe you've heard of her? She's pretty hipster though so I would be surprised if you did.

JK JK. I actually do know some artists that are less well known. Here are some of my favorite lesser known songs/artists:

  • "White Winter Hymnal" by Fleet Foxes
  • "Take a Walk" by Passion Pit
  • "For Elise" by Saint Motel
  • "Electric Love" by BORNS
  • "Too Much Time Together" by San Cisco
  • "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" by Cake
  • "Horchata" by Vampire Weekend
  • "1901" by Phoenix

Peace,

Hipster-rary,

(Who literally feels hipster for listening to anything other than Taylor Swift)

A:

Dear Jack Sparrow, 

I don't have a great understanding of where we draw the line for something to count as "obscure" but here's my list (Song Title - Artist)

  • "All the World" - Roadie *(I know her personally, she's amazing)
  • "Long Way Off" - Gungor
  • "Lake Michigan" - Rogue Wave
  • "Islands" - Hey Ocean!
  • "Hurricane" - The Likes of Us
  • "Colorado" - St. Eugene
  • "The World in You" - Sedgewick
  • "After Rain" - Dermot Kennedy
  • "Dear Wormwood" - The Oh Hellos
  • "Spirit Cold" - Tall Heights
  • "Hypnotize Me" - Taylor Berrett
  • "Suzie" - The Northern Empty
  • "Cherry Wine" - Jasmine Thompson
  • "The Night We Met"- Lord Huron
  • "The Only Boy Awake" - Meadows
  • "Elliptical" - Jumpmonk *(This is a band made of some of my high school friends, but they're really good. Hopefully they'll have an album out soon.)
  • "Call It Dreaming" - Iron & Wine
  • "When Will I Learn" - Kina Grannis

 Also, I think finding obscure/unknown songs by well-known artists feels almost as good as discovering obscure artists. So here's that list:

Jason Mraz

  • Beautiful Mess
  • 93 Million Miles 
  • Better With You
  • Love Is Still The Answer
  • Prettiest Friend (I've only ever found this on Youtube, but it may be on Apple Music?)

Hozier

  • Shrike
  • Movement
  • Someone New
  • From Eden
  • Like Real People Do
  • Nina Cried Power
  • Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene
Bon Iver (Though maybe this counts as obscure?)
  • Holocene
  • For Emma (particular fave)
  • Re: Stacks
  • Skinny Love 
  • 8 (circle)
Coldplay (yes, I know... I promise they have songs you haven't heard but really need to!)
  • All Your Friends (from the Ghost Stories EP) 
  • We All Fall in Love Sometimes (Elton John Revamp Cover)
  • Gravity (One of the best B-Sides)
  • Things that I Don't Understand (Speed of Sound EP)
  • Life is Beautiful (the only version currently available is a live recording from Mexico found on Youtube... but we're crossing our fingers for a new album with a feature.)
Anyway, I'm not sure if you're asking this question just out of sheer curiosity or because you're looking for recommendations, but for me, the "Coffeehouse" and "Autumn Acoustic" and "Indie Acoustic" Genres (and other such related ones) on Spotify are good places to look.
 
Cheers, 
Guesthouse
A:

Dear Definitely Not Jared,

Honestly, it's my fault that this question went so far over hours. I kept putting off answering until I was less stressed out with finals, but that day may never come. 

Anyway, I'm just gonna highlight one band: Coconut Records. It's a truly amazing band that is literally just Jason Schwartzman. Like, the actor. 

Bright spots include:

  • "It's Not You It's Me"
  • "West Coast" - probably their most popular song
  • "Saint Jerome"
  • "I Am Young"
  • and "Wires"

Go listen to this weirdo and his good music! It's so chill and calming!

-Quixotic Kid

A:

Dear Aziraphale,

Here a few of my recent favorites (though I also want to second "For Elise" by Saint Motel--that song is amazing).

  1. "Moscow" by Autoheart
  2. "Scorpionfish" by Beatenberg
  3. "Roses" by Lunatic Wolf
  4. "Elijah" by Matthew and the Atlas
  5. "Painting Roses" by Dresses
  6. "Monsoon" by Hippo Campus
  7. "Truly Madly Deeply" by Yoke Lore
On the topic of music, I just want to share a recent experience. Last week, I was looking at some of the suggested playlists and genres of music Spotify specifically recommended for me. The top result? Sadness: music for dark days. The first playlist under this heading was "Life Sucks". Thanks, Spotify, for that commentary on my music choices/current life state.
 
~Anathema
A:

Dear Fared Jinch,

Pssh. You want obscure? Try the Crash Test Dummies (I recommend "God Shuffled His Feet" or "Here I Stand Before Me"), or maybe Squeeze (listen to "Up the Junction" or "Cool for Cats"). You could also listen to "The Diamond Church Street Choir" by The Gaslight Anthem or "Famous" by Scouting For Girls. If you really want a throwback, try listening to The Band. 

Yes, The Band.

I am being serious, there is a band called The Band. They are good. Vienna and I found out about them from her grandpa, who has quite good taste in music if I say so myself (and Vienna agrees).

-Frère Rubik