The last few months of my life have been hectic to say the least. I haven’t been able to sit down and write as often as I’d like, especially when I’ve been writing on short deadlines for other places (did you read my Twenty One Pilots series on Billboard?) But the one thing I’ve been doing a lot is listening to new music. I turned my SubmitHub submissions back on for a week or two and out of the 600 submissions I got (I get dizzy just reading that)…. these are the best of the best.
If you’re looking for a new band to love and support, you may just find them here.
You can listen to them all — plus some other tracks I’ve been obsessed with — on the playlist above, or listen clips of each one individually below!
Toledo – Hot Stuff
I swear after putting together this post, I should score my own indie movie. This song would be perfect for a movie montage of like… I don’t know, I picture the two kids in “The End Of The F***ing World” having little adventures while the dude tries not to casually stab her and they eventually fall in love while this song plays. It’s a little spooky and spacey, it feels like leaves falling off of the trees.
Isaac Dunbar – Freshman Year
I love this song, and I’m totally convinced Isaac is gonna be the next big thing. This song is wise beyond his years while still being about being 14. I don’t have enough nice things I can say about this song to do it justice. The production is fantastic, his voice is SO incredible, the lyrics are *chefs kiss*. I love how this song almost feels like a dream. Something about the acoustic verses turning into more fully fleshed out choruses and then dialing back to just piano for a moment… I don’t know, it just feels magical.
Dead Space Age – This Changes Everything
Always a sucker for a good bass line, I got pulled into this song immediately… but hang in there for the hook, it drags you in even further. I love music that feels like it’s taking up a lot of space at this time of year, if that makes sense? This song feels like it’s echoing through an empty arena, you can just feel the space around you when you listen to it.
Fade Awaays – Get Along
Say hello to some Toronto boys!! I need to see them live to hear this song because every time it comes on one of my Spotify playlists, I involuntarily yell “oh hELL YEAH”. It feels like I would have discovered this band at Reading Festival 5 years ago, so it’s even cooler that they’re from my own backyard. If you want some sick rock n roll, this is your best bet.
Foreign Sons – Head(ing) Home
Woohoo, time to get into some real sad hours!! Acoustic music and fall go together like the winter and a sweater. When the strings start coming in around the 2 minute mark, you start to feel real cozy. I’m not kidding. Listen with headphones and you can feel the warmth of the music on your face. November is here and this feels like November music.
The Living Strange – Wax Museum
Keep the spooky Halloween energy going throughout the fall with this one. My brain automatically sees skeletons dancing to this one (although I’ll admit… that happens a shocking amount). I almost feel the energy of Ghost but in a less aggressive way, like their indie rock counterpart. The first verse is stuck in my head at least once a day, and I don’t mind at all. The second verse doesn’t get as stuck but it hurts my heart more, so it’s probably for the best!
The Rifle – Kill Your Darlings
This song makes me want to walk down a busy street without moving out of the way for every person that walks towards me. For once, they can move for ME. I feel POWERFUL. If you’re a fan of SWMRS but also like things that skew more indie, this might be perfect for you. It’s got that surf rock vibe but in a more laidback way. You’re gonna love it.
Chris Ayer – Stranger
I feel a little bit of an OG Ed Sheeran vibe here, which is amazing because I haven’t connected with any of his music since +. However, one thing this song has going for it that Ed never did is that I can totally dance to this song (especially once the chorus hits). I love the combination of the electronic beats with the ~singer-songwriter~ vocals, it feels more grounded and down to earth than I would have expected based on the beat alone.
Paul De Leon – Kings
I’ve been having trouble summarizing my thoughts on this song because every time I try to write something, I just fall into the song and forget to think. Which hey, for someone who is constantly anxious about literally every aspect of daily life, it’s really nice to just… forget to think sometimes. This song has a strong beat and is mixed perfectly, but for some reason it’s so soothing. It’s like a lullaby but without any of the qualities of a lullaby. It just makes me feel at peace. Definitely overriding the Spotify filters to put this onto each playlist multiple times to keep me sane.
grandson – Blood // Water
Y’all definitely know this one. I found it in my SubmitHub from the last time I was on there and had to throw it in here. As the kids are saying these days, this is a BANGER. I want to make them play this at Emo Night so everyone can mosh to it because honestly, it could work. I can’t put this on any playlists I listen to in the car because my foot turns to lead and suddenly my car is transcending space & time. I love songs that make me feel this kind of energy, but maybe not when I’m operating a motor vehicle. To each their own.
Tangie Town – Wounded Sky
The drums really drive this song, but there are so many layers to discover. Every time you listen, you’re gonna hear something totally different. It’s like looking at the blue/black white/gold dress. You listen a bunch of times but then your ears just tune into a different frequency and suddenly you hear something completely different and you can’t imagine how you didn’t hear it before.
The Exits – Press Repeat
I want this song in a bank heist movie, play it while the two lovers are escaping in the getaway car. The one is Uma Thurman. The other, I’m not sure. But this is definitely the song. Loose $100 bills are floating out of the windows while they laugh and drive through the desert. I’m honestly as shocked as y’all must be that my brain is constantly trying to score films when I am a Person Who Has Seen No Movies, but I feel really passionately about this. Trust me, we’re gonna make millions.
Vanderocker – Driftwood
Again, going back to my obsession with a good bass line… this song is ticking all the boxes. It makes me think of those teens swaying at the Smashing Pumpkins concert in The Simpsons. I haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly what this song makes me feel… it makes me feel like I’m forgetting something. Like I know there’s something in my life this song feels perfectly suited for, but it remains on the tip of my tongue. Maybe that’s the whole thing, maybe that’s just the magic of the track.
Dan Romeo – The Boat
The artwork for this one pulled me in immediately because it reminded me of a paranormal story that happened within my family. The song itself is fortunately nothing like it, it’s beautiful and bright… and then it just ENDS. Every single time I reach the end of the song, it jolts me out of my daydream. You’d think I would have figured it out by now. It’s so perfect, so jarring, I love it.
morgxn ft. Walk The Moon – Home
I had this one submitted to me and I liked it, and then I went to LA and my friend Taryn played it every day in the car… so now not only do I like it, but I attribute it to a great memory. The combo of the bassline, drums, and “ahhh”s hook you right in… but holy smokes, the chorus makes me want to scream it out loud every time. Also Walk The Moon is a perfect addition to this track, it’s a PERFECT fit. There’s nothing like it.
Fever Days – What’s Your Problem?
This song instantly reminded me of Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” which is (if you didn’t know) probably one of my all time fave songs/videos. However, past the intro it totally switches up. But that initial hook was all I needed to realize I love this song for what it is. It’s like a Justice/Arctic Monkeys hybrid — something I never knew I needed, but now that we’re here… how did I live without it? If iPod commercials were still a thing, this song would be everywhere while silhouettes dance around a brightly coloured screen.
Jesper Jenset – Bad Vibrations
The boyband part of my soul has been lacking lately. This song is by a solo artist but it fills the void, it just sounds like a cool song One Direction would have put on their next album if Zayn was still in the band… and they didn’t fully abandon us. Every part of this song is so catchy and wonderful. I feel like there’s always a line to walk where you’re catchy in a fun way or catchy in an annoying earworm way… this song is so 100% the good kind. Add this into your day, it’s such a good pick me up.
Ben Laver ft. Vian Izak – Save My Heart
I think about this song 12 times a day. It’s so beautiful, it hurts me to know this song exists and I’m not listening to it 24/7. When we finally get surgical implants of our cell phones and whatever, I’m getting this song put in my brain like “hold” music. I can’t even fully explain why you’d like this song or what it sounds similar to… it’s just so beautiful it brings me to tears.
8 Graves – OK
Hey do you like Twenty One Pilots? You’re gonna love 8 Graves, don’t question it. Just press play. I find not a lot of bands fall into their sound so it’s hard to find variety within that specific niche… but here we are. It just fell straight into my lap. A little rap, a little rock, a little electronic. Some interesting Pentatonix vibes as well, honestly it’s just like a potluck of everything cool. Highly recommend! Press play!
The Dream Eaters – Crucifix
Love when a song starts with backwards lyrics, nothing makes me feel more like I need to start unraveling my “Paul is dead” conspiracy theories. But honestly, that plus the title made me think this was gonna be real spooky… but then the chorus hits??? And suddenly I’m in an Of Monsters And Men song?? It’s such an interesting combination. And maybe based off of that description you’d think it was weird, but it WORKS. And it works WELL. I really love the whole tone of this song, I’m gonna be listening to this for a long time.
Mint – Hypoallergenic
This track is the perfect mix of upbeat pop and a little something that tugs at the heartstrings. It’s exactly what you need for fall. A little bit of surf rock, a little mysterious element that makes me feel solemn for reasons I can’t explain. Whatever it is, it’s the perfect combo here. It reminds me just a touch of 2AM Club, and I am always searching for bands to fill that void.