The end of the year usually comes with a lull in the number of new songs coming out as artists are just finishing up their fall tours and not yet building up hype for their spring adventures. However, this lull usually makes up for itself in the proliferation of new DJ sets that provide a unique insight into how artists have been captivating their crowds for the last few months. These sets are fantastic ways to find new music – after all, these are professional DJs that are deeply embedded into the music scene. On top of all this, there are still plenty of new releases. After all, most musicians can’t help doing the thing they love: creating. The playlist below contains the best indie tracks that have come to my attention this December.
As always, we start with the best of the best. Chill vibes via Kidswaste, Pluto, Pham and Alison Wonderland begin our journey with a positive, playful vibe before we “knock it up a notch” with Bajillionaire. It’ll be a long time before we chill out again. Hex Cougar, Whethan and Krewella keep the energy up with a mix of future bass and moombahton beats until Autograf primes us for some hip-hop jams. After a brief flirtation with rap and trap we return to the familiar realm of future bass remixes of pop songs that provide some much needed ear candy before the heavy beats to come. After we enjoy a few funky house tracks, Eric Prydz’s alter-ego CIREZ D hits us hard with stunningly well-produced techno track. This is the first of several tracks that are extremely hype and would fit in well with a heavy deep house set by SNBRN, Dr. Fresch, or MAALA. Once past this gauntlet, it’s smooth sailing form here on out. Some upbeat, chill house will ease you through the end of the playlist. Here’s a rough map of the tracks for your convenience:
- 1-16: Upbeat indie EDM
- 17-21: Hip-hop and hip-hop influenced electronica
- 22-24: Trap
- 25-27: Progressive and experimental house
- 28-36: Pop-influenced future bass
- 37-42: Funk-influenced EDM
- 43-55: Techno house and trap
- 57-86: Chill melodic house, future bass, and funk
Merry Christmas, everyone. Enjoy my five favorite tracks from Jeremih and Chance the Rapper’s surprise Christmas mixtape below.
Another outstanding piece of work off of Illenium’s Ashes Remix album, Mr. Fijiwiji’s take on “Fortress” is downtempo and haunting. Bass constantly rumbles in the background creating an ominous energy. Joni Fatora’s vocals, passionate in the original, are now placed in a darker context. The nicest single touch that Mr. Fijiwiji incorporates into the remix may be the filtered vocal chops that slowly crescendo and recede into the background of the track, each one a musical accent that adds to the atmosphere of the song. Enjoy below!
Stockholm-based pop artist Elsa Carmona’s latest single “Run Baby Run” starts off dark and ominous but slowly comes into a passionate life of its own. An alternative take on a traditional pop song structure, Carmona’s track prefers dark distortions to catchy hooks and sultry verses to generic vocals. The chorus is where this track comes together – Elsa’s voice provides a light contrast to the industrial beat below it. Enjoy below!
Illenium’s Ashes Remix album is full of gems – fourteen aspiring indie artists got to take a crack at re-imagining some of the best EDM tracks of the last year. William James’ remix of “Without You” is one of the best. Softening the production elements of the original while leaving the vocals intact, William waits until the drop to showcase what he can really do. Heavy chords blast from your speakers in regular intervals, allowing the listener to soak in each one. Each verse comes as a welcome reprieve from the intensity of the chorus, but each subsequent drop is as satisfying as the first. Enjoy below!
“More Colors” is the first track off of Kidswaste’s first EP and it’s a beautiful example of how his downtempo style of electronica is simultaneously relaxing and inspiring. This young French producer is no stranger to hits – his ambient masterpiece “Free” has been played nearly a million times on Soundcloud and his remix of Chet Porter’s “tbh ily” effortlessly incorporates twinkling percussion and driving bass to create an air of carefree energy. “More Colors” is upbeat and ethereal. Soothing vocal chops are laid over soaring synths in a way that makes the sound exciting and reassuring. Enjoy the new track below along with other Kidswaste favorites, and pre-order Kidswaste’s EP here.