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Bandcamping: The Best Underground Albums of May 2017

Bandcamping: The Best Underground Albums of May 2017

The first day of summer is only on June 21, but we don’t need a calendar to tell us that May was our first peek at the warms months ahead. Even if summer doesn’t mean time off from work, it still feels like a break, so in that spirit, take some time to take a break from your current musical lineup and try something new. We have a few candidates from Bandcamp vying for your attention, so check out some of the best albums we found in May on this month’s edition of Bandcamping, beginning with:

5. Modern Pressure by Daniel Romano
daniel romano

Genre: Americana, rock
If you like: The Beatles, My Morning Jacket, Wilco

Although they fall under the broad “classic rock” umbrella used to describe anything older than 25 years or so, The Beatles were a pop group with pop hooks and pop melodies, just played with guitars. Ontario’s Daniel Romano carries on that tradition, crafting delightful old-school choruses that are catchy as pop but read more organic.

4. Superheroes by Poetically

poetically

Genre: electronic, pop, hip-hop
If you like: classic Daft Punk, Justice

Hey: It’s summer, so let’s dance, huh? This new EP from Denmark-based artist Poetically will help you do just that, with its combination of French house and infectious throwback pop from groups like Chromeo. Don’t be fooled by the drab-looking album art: This is a real head-bobber of a release .

3. the brink by ghosts and leviathans

ghosts and leviathans

Genre: electronic, pop, hip-hop
If you like: Drake, Khalid

You might not expect high quality electro R&B from a pasty Irish kid, but that’s what ghosts and leviathans has made. The aesthetic might often read more indie electronic than Drake, but the vocal style and rhythms are pure modern, internationally-influenced hip-hop that could co-exist on a Spotify playlist with The 6 God.

2. I Owe You For This by Beasthead

beasthead

Genre: indie rock, ambient, alternative
If you like: Radiohead, Bon Iver

This offering from Minneapolis group Beasthead is a tough one to categorize, which is a good thing. Sometimes it comes off like reverb-heavy indie rock, while other times it’s more hip-hop or even trip-hop influenced, and sometimes it falls somewhere between those disparate ends. You can’t say this album isn’t interesting, and it could be one that takes a few plays to really unpack and discover what’s really going on here.

1. 2 by Saagara

saagara

Genre: jazz, world music, alternative
If you like: Four Tet, Sun Ra, Dan Deacon

Non-Western might sound unexpected to American audiences: The rhythms, structures, instrumentation, and musical theories are all different. Wacław Zimpel’s Indian orchestra Saagara attempted to bridge that gap on 2, though, and it’s a rousing success. This isn’t Americanized world music: It’s a meeting between the two that is by no means a compromised version of either.

Honorable Mentions

Primogeniti by YungSireTheBuddha
Genre: alternative hip-hop
If you like: Earl Sweatshirt

Glass Houses by Tablefox
Genre: indie rock, alternative rock
If you like: Coldplay, Mumford & Sons

That’s all for May, but until next time, let us know in the comments which of these albums were your favorites, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on April, check it out here (and the complete Bandcamping archives are here).

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