There are a lot of severely underrated artists who deserve more attention than they deserve, which is what we strive to focus on here at KZUU. To commemorate these artists, the music directors this week highlight one artist who they deem to be severely underrated, and deserves more love than they currently get.
ABEL: GOOD MORNING CLUB
Good Morning Club is a jazzy side project of EDM-producer-turned-singer-songwriter-over-trap-beat-and-sometimes-acoustic-guitar Ethan Bailey, a.k.a. soupandreas. He released one self-titled EP under the Good Morning Club alias, and currently has 145 monthly listeners on Spotify. So when I tell you that this EP has no skips and is easily a top 5 EP of all time (in my opinion, obviously), that’s my way of telling you (yes, you) to check it out.
If you’ve ever wanted to know what being in an industrial goth club is like, this is the music for you. Darkwave dance (aka the funeral party) is a relatively new genre on the scene, and is comprised of deep bass, synth, and haunting vocals. Sextile is music made for the modern goth, and transports you immediately to the 80s Los Angeles underground music scene.
Songs to check out: Visions of You, Hazing, Disco, Current Affair, Contortion, Crassy Mel, and Spun.
GAVIN: PUSHA T
Look listen, I know Pusha is famous and has gotten a lot of respect for his work, but I still do not think the man has gotten enough flowers for just how much he has done for music. Pusha sees music as an art-form and himself as the painter if that makes sense. Pusha is always making something to reflect his voice and his style, and he hones the craft so well that genuinely nobody has ever sounded like him. He has been making amazing music since the start of the millennium and therefore, needs to be heralded as one of the GOATs imo.
I think Laundry is underrated because not enough people know about them, and if they do, they likely only know their hit song, Lonely Mess. They have such incredible music beyond Lonely Mess and are such amazing performers with true, raw talent. They deserve so much more credit than they are given, and I can’t wait to see what they do in the future. Genuinely, I believe they should have a billion Spotify listeners.
Have you ever heard the song Didn’t I by Darondo? If you’re not sure go look it up, you’ve definitely heard it. The hit reached 69 million plays on Spotify however none of his other music received the same attention, rendering him ‘Criminally Underrated.’ His music sounds like Al Green, only a little rougher around the edges, with a touch of soulful jazz. So sick! With two solid albums and several more EP’s there’s plenty of clean groovy songs to choose from, it’s a shame only a couple million people have listened.
ZEKE: TAYLOR LEONHARDT
For many years, my notion of country music was the corporate pop-country being played on top-40 radio. It was only when I started listening to folk music that I discovered the indie singer-songwriter Taylor Leonhardt. The Texas-based artist had no major financial backing, and no Wikipedia-blue-name parents. Regardless, the few songs she had released prior resonated with fans so much she was able to crowdfund the amazing album Hold Still, an introspective record about coming to terms with your shortcomings.
Taylor Leonhardt is all but unknown, which is a crime in my books. Her often subdued and understated instrumentation is complemented by gorgeous lyrics that feel incredibly personal. I implore people who feel put off by modern country to try listening to Hold Still. It makes me incredibly optimistic about the direction of the genre going forward.
DANIEL: VIOLENT FEMMES
Violent Femmes is objectively the absolute greatest band on the planet. The fact that they are not recognized as such proves that they are criminally underrated. Each of their songs has so much heart poured into the lyrics, and so much soul poured into the music. To top it all off, their sound is unique and amazing, and you can’t get that quality anywhere else. Do yourself a favor and go listen to their music – it is the absolute greatest work of art on the planet.
PETAR: PIERO PICCIONI
Although Piero Piccioni has nearly a million monthly listeners on Spotify and stopped making music decades ago, he deserves more love. Piero Piccioni is a pianist, organist, conductor, and composer, who wrote the score for over 300 Italian films primarily in the ’50s and ’70s. Because of the nature of Porto’s music, I feel like there’s rarely a time his music would be inappropriate. Whether you need a soundtrack for doing chores, taking a walk, doing a puzzle, hosting a get-together, studying, unwinding, or simply trying to impress another music lover, Piero Piccioni is an excellent choice. His music has also been sampled by some of the greatest producers and rappers right now like Boldy James, Westside Gunn, Action Bronson, The Alchemist, Ghostface Killah, Don Toliver, and more. Additionally, artists like Piero Piccioni influenced entire waves of lo-fi and vaporwave artists. For those interested in giving Piero a try I recommend albums Camille 2000, Amore mio aiutami, and II Dio sotto la pelle.