Looking for new music? Here’s the Black & White’s top mainstream alternatives


Eliza Raphael

Here’s a guide to help avid music fans discover something new.

By Katelyn Leonard

It’s not surprising that in the past decade, streaming services have dominated the music industry. From Spotify to Soundcloud, music is more available now than ever before. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped the same 50 artists from dominating the charts, so here’s a guide to help avid music fans discover something new.


If you like Harry Styles, listen to:


Greer is an indie pop band with an uplifting, optimistic vibe and discography perfect for Styles fans. Their catchy choruses and twangy instrumentals perfectly align with Styles’s fan base, and Greer’s lead singer Josiah has an electric voice that brightens each track. The band’s songs are full of unpredictable rhythms and instrumental breaks that keep listeners guessing. Their songs “Little Echo” and “Aeroplane” are perfect for setting a positive mood.

Japanese Breakfast

Japanese Breakfast is a pop band that also produces cheerful songs. The band’s album “Jubilee” has intricate instrumental backing paired with the beautiful, comforting voice of Michelle Zaune, resulting in a silky smooth listen. Where Styles’s songs normally have simpler sounds, Japanese Breakfast experiments with the layering of different instruments, creating sonically complex songs. Some songs to check out are “Be Sweet,” “Kokomo, IN” and “Rugged Country.”  

Declan McKenna

Declan McKenna is an indie pop artist that skyrocketed into fame with his hit song “Brazil.” He is known for his politically charged lyrics, appealing speedy rhythms and complex guitar riffs. Styles’s music is also filled with these attributes, so Declan McKenna is a great alternative. McKenna’s music is refreshing, and his songs “Make Me Your Queen” and “Why Do You Feel So Down” are a perfect gateway into his work. 


This indie pop band has a fluffy, fun sound. Crisp drum beats, trebly guitar rhythms and 80-synth sounds, combined with the high-pitched voice of Sloan Struble, create a summery, light-sounding discography. Harry Styles fans would enjoy Dayglow’s snappy melodies and upbeat rhythms. Their album “Fuzzy Brain” is a summer must-play with notable songs like “False Direction,” “Can I Call You Tonight?” and “Hot Rod.” 


If you like SZA, listen to:

bLAck pARty

Malik Flint, also known as bLAck pARty, is responsible for the outstanding R&B albums “Mango” and “Hummingbird.” Flint combines electronic experimentation with groovy beats and layered vocals to put together new wave R&B music. Flint uses background vocals and melodies similar to SZA, adding a similar dimension to his music. Both artists also use synthesizers to add a psychedelic feel to their tracks. “Summer Love” is a flawless song to start a bLAck pARty binge.

The Internet

The Internet is an R&B band made up of many acclaimed musicians like Steve Lacy and Syd Tha Kyd. Instead of being lyric oriented, the band provides a sonically untraditional approach to music. Through drumming and other mediums, jazz influences their techniques and adds depth to their music. Their combined use of trippy guitar sounds and dramatic steady beats are similar to SZA’s while remaining fresh. Some of their best songs are “Palace/Curse” and “Girl.”

Blood Orange

Blood Orange is a band that uses simple beats blended with synthesizers and electronic piano to create a sound similar to SZA’s backing tracks. Every one of their songs exudes comfort and calm energy, especially “I Wanna C U” and “Champagne Coast.” The use of voice memo samples and sounds from daily life add to the familiarity and comfort that SZA’s music exudes.


If you like Lana Del Rey, listen to:

Alexandra Savior

Alexandra Savior is an under-the-radar artist with a moody, haunting voice similar to Del Rey’s. Her dramatic voice engages listeners in her incredible lyrics, often tackling themes of love and heartbreak. Lana fans would enjoy hearing her songs “Soft Currents” and “Girlie.”


A creative project by artists Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, this band specializes in crushing lyrics and ethereal harmonization. Their powerful vocals are something Del Rey fans are bound to enjoy. “Me and My Dog,” “Salt in the Wound” and “$20” are perfect songs to start listening to. 

Weyes Blood

Natalie Laura, also known as Weyes Blood, has a mind-bending style and astounding voice that create otherworldly songs. Laura’s voice inherits a dreamy effect similar to Del Rey’s. Songs “Movies,” “Wild Time” and “Andromeda” are stand-out tracks on the album “Titanic Rising.”


If you like Arctic Monkeys, listen to:

Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice is a British indie rock band that dips into many different music styles. On their album “Visions of Life,” they have both pure rock songs and slow, lyric-oriented songs, similar to the Arctic Monkeys’s stylistic diversity. Each member of the band is notably skilled at their instrument, and their new album “Blue Weekend” is an extraordinary combination of dreamy songs with hard rock rhythms. “Formidable Cool,” “Space and Time” and “How Can I Make It Okay” are must-listen songs.


This late 90’s brit pop band has a disco-influenced pop-rock style. Their lyrics, pacing and intensity are similar to those of Arctic Monkeys. Their use of different instruments, such as violins and synths, adds a three-dimensional backing, which is particularly prominent in their album “Different Class.” This band sounds like a mix between The Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen and other glam rockers like David Bowie.


This alternative, indie band has a spooky vibe with a distinct music style. Their eerie lyrics, quick rhythmic changes and fingerpicking skills of guitarist Avshalom Weinberg, when combined with the whispers, screams and mumblings of lead vocalist Olivia Osby mesh together to create unique songs. They capture the essence of the teenage experience in a similar way to some of the Arctic Monkeys’s earlier works. Lowertown’s album “The Gaping Mouth” sounds like an experimental version of the Arctic Monkeys album “Humbug.” “The Gaping Mouth” and their song “Debris” are amazing listens.

Hello Mary

Hello Mary is an up-and-coming New York rock band consisting of lead singer and guitarist Helena Straight, drummer and vocalist Stella Wave and bassist Mikaela Oppenheimer. Rolling Stone magazine recently released an article titled “Say Hello to the Next Great New York Rock Band.” They use distorted guitar chords over soft lead vocals, explosive drum progressions and complicated bass riffs, which are very similar to the Arctic Monkeys’s style. Their songs “Apple” and “Sink in” are explosive songs that Arctic Monkey’s need to hear.


If you like Kendrick Lamar, listen to:

Dangermouse and Black Thought

These two artists collaborated on the albumCheat Codes,” which has raw vocals similar to Lamar’s. “Cheat Codes” has an old-school feel with a hip-hop-oriented style. They fuse quiet static noise to mimic radio and vinyl listening in songs, and the album mixes the vocals of one artist with the rapping of the other. “Cheat Codes” is an album that deserves a full listen.


Femdot has a 90’s New York sound that prioritizes complex lyrics over catchy beats. His most recent album, “94 Camry Music,” uses the mixing of voices and samples of conversations to create unique and fascinating songs. This album plays like a story as Femdot reflects on his memories in his ‘94 Camry. The instrumentals of Lamar’s and Femdot’s music are very similar, with some songs sounding old school and others containing more electronic beats and fast-paced rapping. Songs “Snuck to Matty’s,” “Happy Break up Song” and “94 Camry Music” are all attention-grabbing songs that will be playlist essentials.

Freddie Gibbs

Freddie Gibbs’s music has an authentic sound, taking heavy inspiration from underground hip-hop and gangster rap. He uses samples from movies and jazz as well as funk sounds to tell his story of growing up in Atlanta. The jazz inspiration would be greatly enjoyed by fans of Lamar. Gibbs has a great collaborative album with The Alchemist named “Alfredo,” which has a more relaxed feel to it. “Babies & Fools” and “Look at Me” are great songs to explore off of “Alfredo.”