Free-Range: An Unsigned Round-Up from Bandcamp

I have spent the last week or so digging through recent releases on Bandcamp to find deep cuts and sleeper hits in all genres from across the world. By some crazy coincidence (wink wink), I have them all here for you today just in time for Bandcamp Friday. For those not yet in the know, Bandcamp Friday is the first Friday of every month, when the site waives normal revenue fees and gives all profits directly back to the artists you want to support. Without further ado, here are my picks for under-the-radar tracks worth investing your expendable, musical income in:

Farrago by La Battue
Starting strong, the one album I definitely will be picking up myself this Friday is coming from France and the band La Battue. How to even describe the sounds on this… Very rarely does a self-described pop band feel so elusive. That said, there are definitely some pop earworms on here, just the kinds that have unique harmonies and sudden beat shifts. Tracks ‘Caroline’ and ‘Arisaig’ are particular standouts.

Hyacinth by Yellow Alert!
Grungy, 90’s style rock – does any more need to be said? This album is a little rougher around the edges than a lot of the others in this list, but tracks like ‘Edgar Allan’ and ‘Stampede’ have enough attitude and grit that the whole thing comes together.

Another Blue by Crosslegged
Full disclosure, this isn’t one I found just by scrolling through Bandcamp. I saw some excitement around the new release on social media, but as soon as I started listening I knew Another Blue was perfect for this. Keba Robinson delivers here an album of stripped back and hauntingly beautiful pop songs, without a dull moment. Far from the deepest cut on this list, but worth checking out all the same.

Discography by alright (okay)
While alright (okay) might have not officially released an LP or EP yet, their collection of singles currently available could easily be an EP and what an EP it would be. Their most recent release, ‘idle and motivated,’ features an explosive chorus, something that sounds amazing in their style that blends post-punk elements with more traditional indie rock sensibilities.

Bifurcations by Sun Picture and Donkey Basketball
This split single between a father and son featuring two absolute bangers was one of many electronic releases I listened to for this list, but these songs here managed to stick with me much longer than many of the others. dx/dt (stable) is more downtempo and chill while r<0 (unstable) is an absolute barnburner, but both share an experimental edge and create soundscapes just begging to get lost in.

Indian Miniatures by J.G. Dhiraja & the Kaimur Trio
The first word that comes to mind listening to this release by a “short lived and secretive ensemble” is ‘groovy’, but thinking of a second word is a lot harder. This album blends sounds together in a way that feels totally unique and weirdly familiar at the same time, and in the process creates tunes that will get stuck in your head for weeks. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get the bass groove in ‘Vikram’ out of my head.

Border by Since Torino
While this band might only have two songs, that’s enough to get me interested. Everything here is laid back, the understated drums, the quietly plucked guitars, and the breathy vocal performance. Normally I’d like more than 10 minutes of music to decide if I like a band, but I’ve heard enough in the roughly seven here to keep me engaged.

平​和​構​築​、​知​恵​、​無​知 by Spirit Aristocrat 
Could I tell you how to say a single song title on this album? No, but I can tell you that there are some absolute vibes throughout the whole thing. It can be a little all over the place, but often that works to the album’s advantage as it never lets the listener get bored like some other vibes-based electronic projects can.

bug’s world by bugfan!
Self-described as “bugrock” and “bug-gaze,” this short EP is very silly but also perfectly scratches that lo-fi itch, at least for me. Don’t expect anything world changing, but for what seems to be a silly project there are some inspired moments on these five songs.

Dream Life i & ii by Ghost Pop
I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so comfortable recommending a yet unreleased album from an artist I hadn’t heard even just a week ago, but wow. The two tracks from the album that can be heard right now have totally won me over with their utter devotion to the lofi sound and aesthetic. Dream Life really does sound like a perfect name for this album, because right now it is promising to fulfill all my analog dreams.

Lycaphobia by The Cliffords
These types of finds are what make digging through the pages and pages of releases that come out every day on Bandcamp so worth it. The Cliffords are another band with like three songs, but a unique vision, clever songwriting, and surprisingly excellent production make this a band worth keeping an eye on.

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