NEW INDIE POP FOR CANDLELIT LISTENING
Photo by Rebecca Peterson-Hall, Unsplash
I just got a new candle. It’s called “Woodfire” and it makes me feel like I’m hearing scary stories in a forest back in Nebraska. It smells like a bite in the air, I swear. I watched Harry Potter while it burned. All these songs lend themselves so well to having a candle burning. So pick up that lighter, light your new candle, maybe clean your room, and ponder your life with these new indie pop releases.
RENEÉ RAPP - DON’T TELL MY MOM
Reneé Rapp can’t stand her own emotions weighing on her mom, even when she’s falling apart on “Don’t Tell My Mom.” The video will put you all in your feels as home videos play, mixed in with Reneé showing her vulnerable side in a sweatshirt at home present day. This song had a moment on TikTok, so clearly Reneé is not the only one who doesn’t want to upset her mom.
CAUTIOUS CLAY - BURNING UP SLOW
This one is a little more upbeat for candlelight, but it goes right along with the candlelit-introspection we’re going for. Cautious Clay is an R&B singer from Cleveland, Ohio and currently based in Brooklyn, New York.
CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS - RIEN DIRE
Christine and the Queens are simply the coolest. Even though I don’t speak even a little French (despite taking French in high school), this song gets to me. Something about the melody and the light synth makes a perfect soundtrack for my day. Somehow it manages to feel like a love song, without me even knowing if it is.
ANSON SEABRA - 18
Anson wants to be 18 again. I can’t say I wholeheartedly agree but I understand the sentiment so well. He misses his ex and the purity of the beginning. His hometown feels different and he wonders if they got out or not. He’s making me wonder too.
TRIPPIE REDD - SAVE ME, PLEASE
A particularly haunting guitar picking pattern floats under this sad song from Trippie Redd. Trippie is calling out for someone to save him from himself. The guitar echoes under his rougher-feeling voice to make for a beautiful contrast.
FIRST AID KIT - TURNING ONTO YOU
No one sounds quite like the First Aid Kit. “Turning Onto You” sounds like the song that would play on a road trip you’re taking to find yourself. It reads like a love song but it feels like self-exploration to me. Their signature harmonies are as crystal clear as they’ve always been.
ADAM MELCHOR - CRY
Adam Melchor has really hit his stride. His voice sounds familiar to me now, along with the cool production. “Cry” isn’t quite as sad as it sounds. Something about it is hopeful, even though he’s singing about his fear of vulnerability. Adam’s ready to let down his guard.
HOTEL FICTION - MONSTER
Another more upbeat one for candlelight, “Monster” is Hotel Fiction’s introspective moment. Hotel Fiction is made up of two best friends and it shows in the writing. The girls are based in Athens, Georgia. Both girls have been playing music for a decade.
CHRISTIAN LEAVE - WHY NOT?
Christian Leave is one of my favourite new artists. His music is comforting when I’m feeling like a particularly lost early-twenty-something. On “Why Not”, Christian plays with layered vocals and deep, far away “Oh’s.”
SARAH KANG - END CREDITS
We’ll end with “End Credits” by Sarah Kang! Sarah said this may just be her favourite song she’s written so far. She wants to sit through the end credits, she doesn’t wanna get up too fast! She wants to live in the ending for a bit and try not to forget. Sarah’s beautiful harmonies will be perfect with a new candle lit.
October is time for candles and soft synths and crystal clear harmonies so add these to a new playlist and let your thoughts wander. These artists are singing some big thoughts at you and it’s your time to ponder them in warm, glowy light.
Mary Ruth is a Nebraska-native currently studying Songwriting and Music Business at Berklee College of Music. Right now, she’s probably reading about the Beatles, creating her new aesthetic (with a corresponding playlist, of course), or explaining what Taylor’s Version means to someone who didn’t ask.