best emerging indie artists

Best Emerging Indie Artists: Summer 2023 Wrap-Up

Did you find your song of the summer? Do you have a list of your favorite albums of 2023 so far? Maybe you caught onto Del Water Gap if you watched The Summer I Turned Pretty. Or if you followed along with the New Music Friday trends, you probably checked out Olivia Rodrigo, The National, and Morgan Wallen. If you’re still searching for some of the best emerging indie artists of the year, stay tuned for a breakdown of new music discoveries. Our summer 2023 wrap-up will put some new artists on your radar as we head into spooky season.

best emerging indie artists

Best Emerging Indie Artists Summer 2023

Amanda Cross: Folk/Acoustic/Alt-Country

Amanda Cross’s music blends several genres, from folk to Americana, country, and rock. Her summer single “Desert Rose” has a haunting aspect that undoubtedly captures the atmosphere of the desert. The song comes to a powerful height, demonstrating Amanda’s vocal range and talent. “Desert Rose” sparks a similar feel to “The River” by Daisy Jones & The Six. Amanda Cross followed this single with “Tennesee,” a more stripped-down folk ballad.

ANI: Soul pop

ANI is a soul-pop artist whose music is pure, calming, and heartfelt. Her single, “Miss U,” is an easy-listening earworm and a perfect addition to any chill-out playlist. The bassline on this track drives the song but pauses for the listener to focus on the vocals and lyrics. The chorus is memorable and soothing as it echoes in your head. ANI most recently released “Waiting Game,” which features more of her soulful vocals and sultry sound.

Lucius Arthur: Pop/Rock/Punk

Lucius Arthur is a pop-rock/punk artist from the U.K. His summer single, “Bad Trip,” proved to be a success for his audience. “Bad Trip” creeps into your head and instantly has you singing along in an angsty way. The vocals are inviting and unique, calling upon fans of Måneskin or The Struts.

Lucius recently followed “Bad Trip” with “Scarlet Tears,” a 90s-inspired single with a guitar style similar to Radiohead. He shows an array of emotions in his voice and a wide vocal range to keep the atmosphere captivating. After hearing these tracks, fans should be enthralled with the surprises in Lucius Arthur’s music.

Luther Clayton: Folk/Acoustic/Pop

Luther Clayton is an emerging singer-songwriter from the U.K. His recent single, “It’s Amazing,” showcases his songwriting talent and acoustic influences. The slow-building progression of this song keeps listeners eager to hear the story unfold. Moreover, the lyrics are eloquently written and delivered by Luther’s unmistakable vocals. You can hear musical inspiration from Luther’s influences, Ben Howard, Bon Iver, and David Gray. “It’s Amazing” is a heartbreaking track with an unexpected yet relatable ending.

Elijah Delgado: Indie rock/Singer-songwriter

Elijah Delgado’s music is for fans of Gary Clark Jr., John Mayer, Young the Giant, or Paulo Nutini. His latest single, “Pipe Dream,” draws listeners in with a minimal introduction focusing on the vocals and lyrics. “Pipe Dream” has many layers that play to Delgado’s depth and ability to blend genres. The structure of this song continues to give as it builds to a culminating high.

Best Emerging Indie Artists Summer 2023

Del Water Gap: Indie pop

Del Water Gap (Samuel Holden Jaffe) is the most recognized artist on this list. His music became more prevalent with the second season of The Summer I Turned Pretty. His infectious singles, “All We Ever Do Is Talk,” “Losing You,” and “Coping On Unemployment” have infinite plays.

As a follow-up to his 2021 debut, Del Water Gap released his sophomore LP I Miss You Already + I Haven’t Left Yet. This album includes indie pop bops that will carry you into the end of the year. Standout tracks apart from the singles include “NFU” and “Glitter & Honey.” Del Water Gap’s second album is certainly gearing up to be a contender for AOTY.

Edgar Everyone: Electropop

Edgar Everyone is a French artist living in L.A. His most recent single, “Time is a nonlinear joke,” merges electronic, pop, dance, and funk. His style of music would resonate with fans of Tame Impala, Gorillaz, or Thundercat. “Time is a nonlinear joke” is psychedelic, melodic, and particularly transcendent. This track makes a great addition to any festival or concert pump-up playlist.

Cati Landry: Indie pop/Dream pop

Cati Landry is a Canadian singer-songwriter who fuses indie, alt, and dream pop sounds. Her latest track, “Mind’s Eye,” is undeniably memorable and melodic. The chorus flawlessly achieves the goal of being catchy within the first few seconds. The combination of romanticism alongside poetic lyrics encourages you to dig deeper. Cati’s vocals seem to float as they carry the atmosphere of this song. “Mind’s Eye” is full of dreamy melodies and longing expressions that will stick in your head.

LiketheAstronaut: Alternative

LiketheAstronaut is a new project from John Glenn of the band Stellar Young. Together with Dave Parker (Weerd Science producer), Josh Eppard (Coheed & Cambria drummer), and Kyle Hatch (Stellar Young guitarist), they released their debut EP. The EP, Moments Before, covers grief, new life, and reflection presented in an organic blend of soundscapes.

“A Part” is the lead single from this project, which holds a scope of deeper emotions masked by upbeat elements. “Slumber Still” is a favorite from the EP that pulls in every direction of life when you explore the lyrics. “Slumber Still” has layers of despair, vulnerability, and hope. The contrast of the ethereal instrumentals and significantly personal lyrics will have you listening repeatedly.

PRIMOVERE: Indie pop/Altnernative

PRIMOVERE is an 8-piece Italian group that combines influences of indie pop, post-rock, new wave, and classical music. Their two most recent singles, “Funeral” and “Dopamine,” both hit with an abundance of emotions.

On “Funeral,” a glimpse of hope shines in the chorus of a mostly subdued and melancholic track. The song starts soft and focused, gradually building to a more amplified sound. The feelings of “Funeral” pierce the audience both musically and lyrically. “Dopamine” follows a similar suit, with flawless vocals and a clearly communicated message. The style of PRIMOVERE echoes the likes of The National with their ability to evoke a goosebump feeling from a ‘never-before-heard’ song.


Other best emerging indie artists of the summer include Holly Humberstone, Babe Rainbow, Shak SYrn, Anthony Ortiz, Nation of Language, and Cannons. All of these artists and more are featured in a selection of playlists below.

BEST EMERGING INDIE ARTISTS PLAYLISTS

NEW MUSIC EMERGING NOW

// SPOTIFY // APPLE MUSIC //

WOMEN TO WATCH: EMERGING FEMALE ARTISTS

// SPOTIFY // APPLE MUSIC //


// PREVIOUS PLAYLIST POST //

Matt Duncan

Now Spinning: Matt Duncan ‘Soft Times’

Soft Times, the 2013 debut soul-pop record from Matt Duncan, gets a third pressing from Soul Step Records this weekend. The ever-popular LP drops in time to make the perfect gift for music and vinyl lovers this holiday season.

Local Lexington, Kentucky singer-songwriter and soul artist Matt Duncan has a long resume of lofty accomplishments in the indie music scene over the past decade. You may recognize his captivating music featured on several hit TV series such as “Private Practice” and “Vampire Diaries.” Soft Times holds a library of eleven timeless tracks eluding to Motown, The Beach Boys, and blue-eyed-soul artists (i.e., Hall & Oates, Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse, etc.). Big horns, transcending vocals, and anecdotal songwriting round out the highs of this alluring record. We are thrilled to be introduced to this hidden gem via Soul Step Records.

Subscribe to Soul Step and get early access to the Soft Times Yellow Sun variant HERE!

Matt Duncan
Album artwork by Robert Beatty

// Favorite Tracks //

“The Keys” is a vacation getaway jam to start your soulful, poetic listening journey of Soft Times. Cure your winter blues and take a mental trip “down to the Keys.”

Soft Times” embraces big band-style brassy arrangements by Ryan Moore and Evan Belt. Smooth vocals and poignant lyrics from Duncan make for an ideal title track.

“The Horn of Plenty” is a stunner track reminiscent of “Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters with its similar steady bass. A vast blend of piano, bass, horns, and guitar surrounds classic soul and profound vocals.

“Sparkle and Fall” has rock-esque guitars and vocals, leading to a jazzier outro of horns. “Sparkle and Fall” displays Duncan’s range of several genres on Soft Times.

“Summer Song” contains Beach Boys-like lyrics, arrangement, and a signature doo-wop feel. Pair this A-Side closer with “The Keys,” and you’ll have yourself celebrating Christmas in the tropics.

“Lost Boys” is a standout outro to Matt Duncan’s gorgeous collection of songs on Soft Times. The final track combines nostalgic elements of Motown and older pop vocal groups with a modern-day feel similar to MIKA or Allen Stone.  

*Soul Step Records upfronts the cost of vinyl production for new artists. For more information on Soul Step Records and their mission, visit their website or follow them on Instagram below.

// FOLLOW SOUL STEP RECORDS // FOLLOW MATT DUNCAN //

// PREVIOUS NOW SPINNING POST //

Parker Louis

Now Spinning: Parker Louis ‘All Good Things’

Soul Step Records brings the heat for the end of the year with a stunning repress of the 2019 LP All Good Things by Parker Louis. The independent record label in Nashville launches two hypnotizing vinyl variants, Jungle Swirl (pictured below) and a limited edition Wax Mage beauty.

Parker Louis, of Columbus, Ohio, can be compared to soulful songwriters Sam Cooke, Raphael Saadiq, Anderson East, and Allen Stone. Louis’s smooth, bluesy style ranks him high among R&B and neo-soul fans of today.

All Good Things is now restocked and available for excellent audiophile listening on wax. From “No Love, Lately” to “Waiting,” listeners absorb jazzy instrumentals and raspy alluring vocals. Not only does the album sound exquisite on vinyl, but Parker Louis has recently shown off his vocal range on the road, opening most recently for fellow Columbus, Ohio, band Caamp. All Good Things is a timeless R&B gem to add to any collection.

Pick up the Jungle Swirl variant HERE!

Parker Louis Soul Step Records

// Favorite Tracks //

“No Love, Lately” is a first-listen showstopper the minute the needle hits the groove. The overall bones of this track go deep in classic R&B with relaxed instrumentals, choir-like backing vocals, and a sweet-singing guitar.

“Vibe” is a smooth, sultry track to accompany your romantic dinner or evening party. One-thousand percent not lying when we say these songs sound superb on vinyl.

“Gemini” is our favorite of the 8-track LP. Louis’s vocals shine brighter than ever on this slowed-down confession of love. The guitar-driven outro calls for some wine and slow dancing in the dark.

“Lights” has a highly reminiscent vibe of Anderson East, which is a lofty compliment in our book. While listening to this side B opener, fans will quickly realize that Louis’s incredible songwriting talent is not letting up.

*Soul Step Records upfronts the cost of vinyl production for new artists. For more information on Soul Step Records and their mission, visit their website or follow them on Instagram below.

// FOLLOW SOUL STEP RECORDS // FOLLOW PARKER LOUIS //

// PREVIOUS NOW SPINNING POST //