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Musical Matches: Find New Artists Based on Your Favorites

With so many streaming platforms boasting hundreds of thousands of artists, finding new favorites can be overwhelming. Still, I crave new, fresh music with which I can fall in love alongside the artists who are already staples in my day-to-day playlist. Regardless of your listening preferences, navigating the vast landscape of musical artists is a challenge. So, here's a curated list of musical match-ups to help you find your new favorite artist based on the ones you already know and love.

 

Harry Styles

Among the legends like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, Harry Styles is an international superstar who needs no introduction. Originally a part of the massively famous band One Direction, some may argue he rose to even further stardom upon his solo debut. With three studio albums and three Grammys to his name, his musical versatility has earned him a large dedicated fanbase that has taken him all around the world. His music channels indie, pop, and rock elements, and his live performance ability has been hailed by many as the greatest of our generation.


Song Recommendations:

  • "Fine Line"

  • "Satellite"

  • "To Be So Lonely"

  • "Love of My Life"

  • "Ever Since New York"


Luke Hemmings

Singing for a famous boyband isn't the only thing these two stars have in common. Luke Hemmings, while still being a part of the famous pop-rock band 5 Seconds of Summer, has begun to release his own independent music and it is fantastic. As the lead singer of his band, Luke's vocal ability was never hidden, but his solo music really allows him to shine with full creative control over songwriting and composing. His only album, When Chasing the Things we Turn Away From , is a 12-song LP full of beautifully composed songs with heartfelt lyrics. Luke and Harry definitely share the same vibe when it comes to their music: indie pop with instrumental twists and euphoric harmonies. If you love Harry's solo music, consider checking out Luke's!



Song Recommendations:

  • "Saigon"

  • "Starting Line"

  • "Place In Me"

  • "Baby Blue"

  • "Slip Away"


 

Khalid

Khalid is a six time Grammy nominated recording artist who has dominated the R&B sphere for nearly a decade. Born in Georgia, he began writing music in high school by posting his early works to SoundCloud. He has amassed massive celebrity since then, with eight of his tracks reaching over one billion streams on Spotify–a feat many artists dream of for even just one of their songs. With high profile collaborations with artists such as Kali Uchis, Billie Eilish, Halsey, and Alicia Keys, Khalid's wide discography certainly has a track for every music lover to appreciate. I have been lucky enough to see Khalid in live performance, and his smooth vocals and soulful instrumentals hold up to be just as beautiful in person as they are when streamed.



Song Recommendations:

  • "voicemail (ft. Kiana Lede)"

  • "better"

  • "shot down"

  • "open (ft. Majid Jordan)"

  • "present"


Pink Sweat$

David Bowden, best known by musical pseudonym Pink Sweat$, is a recording artist from Pennsylvania whose discography is full of groovy R&B beats and buttery vocals. His most popular track, "At My Worst", has amassed an impressive 605 million streams on Spotify. Another standout in his discography is "Honesty", which demonstrates his phenomenal falsetto and mastery of a simplistic R&B instrumental. The musical techniques used in his songs most definitely remind me of some of my favorite Khalid tracks, but Bowden still offers a special flair through his impressive vocal ability. His latest release, an EP titled Volume 3, is full of fantastic songs that will pique any R&B lover's interest.



Song Recommendations:

  • "17"

  • "honesty"

  • "guitar"

  • "At my Worst"

  • "Paradise"


 

SZA

Do I even need to introduce SZA? One of the most popular artists in the US right now, people all around the world anticipate SZA's musical releases. Solána Imani Rowe, who rose to stardom under the name SZA, is a blessing to ears everywhere. With works primarily in the pop, R&B, and hip-hop genres, SZA has racked up many accolades, including two songs that have placed at the number one on the Billboard Top 100 chart, 14 grammy nominations, and many more. With two studio albums and a plethora of features on other A-list musicians' songs, SZA's stardom continues to climb at a seemingly never-ending rate.



Song Recommendations:

  • "Prom"

  • "Normal Girl"

  • "Too Late"

  • "Snooze"

  • "Special"


Kiana Ledé

R&B and pop artist and actress Kiana Ledé has been blessing us with her musical talent since 2011. Her first musical role was for the iconic Kidz Bop empire, which demonstrated her vocal ability from a young age. She began to act in 2016 as a series regular in MTV show Scream, as well as being a main character in the Netflix original series All About the Washingtons. Shortly thereafter, in 2018, Ledé released her debut EP Selfless, which includes her most famous track to date, "Ex". The soulful ballad features beautiful riffs and harmonies paired with an equally as sonically satisfying instrumental. Since then, she has been recording and releasing emotional and absolutely breathtaking music. She is currently working on new music while headlining her tour, titled The Grudges Tour.



Song Recommendations:

  • "Ex"

  • "Too Far"

  • "If You Hate Me"

  • "Amazing."

  • "Closure"


 

The Backseat Lovers

One of my personal favorite bands of all time, The Backseat Lovers are a Utah-based musical group that focus primarily on indie rock. Their song "Kilby Girl" truly put them on the map and remains their most popular to date, but their other music is simply to die for. With two studio albums filled with indie hits spanning from slow and sensual to upbeat and joyous, their musical versatility within their genre is impressive. Composed of members Joshua Harmon, Jonas Swanson, KJ Ward, and Juice Welch, their ability to blend their instrumental talents is a gift. As a die-hard fan who has seen The Backseat Lovers live on multiple occasions, I can say with certainty that their vocal and instrumental ability is as incredible live as it is in their fantastic studio recordings.



Song Recommendations:

  • "Know Your Name"

  • "Pool House"

  • "Snowbank Blues"

  • "Davy Crochet"

  • "Follow The Sound"


The Moss

Another Utah-based indie foursome, The Moss, is composed of vocalist and guitarist Tyke James, guitarist Addison Sharp, drummer Willie Fowler, and bassist Brierton Sharp. With years-long friendships and family ties bonding the group together, their chemistry is undeniable both musically and personally. Their discography boasts two studio albums and a plethora of singles and EPs to enjoy; their musical repertoire is as vast as it is enjoyable. Their most recent single, "The Place That Makes Me Happy", is a personal favorite of mine and you can read my review of it here.



Song Recommendations:

  • "Willie's Song"

  • "Insomnia"

  • "The Place That Makes Me Happy"

  • "Fiftyshadesofhay"

  • "Celebrate"


 

Gorillaz

Gorillaz is an incredible virtual band with storytelling aspects that transform what could be a simple listening experience into an entirely new world. With four virtual members–2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle, and Russel Hobbs–their story is told through music videos, cartoons, and interviews. Their self-titled debut album released in 2001, and has been followed by a ridiculously impressive eight studio albums and three compilation albums (not even including the masses of singles and EPs they have also released). With such a vast discography, their musical versatility prevents them from being boxed into one category, but a lot of their music tends to fall into the art pop and alternative rock category. Their standout track "Feel Good Inc." has over a billion streams on Spotify, and their collaborations boast an incredibly impressive list of icons such as Stevie Nicks and Bad Bunny.



Song Recommendations:

  • "She's My Collar (feat. Kali Uchis)"

  • "Rhinestone Eyes"

  • "Feel Good Inc."

  • "Baby Queen"

  • "Skinny Ape"


Plutonian Maximalist

California Native band Plutonian Maximalist is an absolute hidden gem. Channeling one of my favorite genres, psychedelic rock and soul, their music is a true wonder to listen to. The band has less than 1,000 monthly listeners on Spotify as of right now, which is insane given the amount of talent they possess. Composed of threesome Andrew Thimmesch, Ryan Sill, and Andrew Strong, their band transcends just music production, as they have artistic visuals to accompany their music on their Instagram and YouTube channel. Having formed in 2021, Plutonian Maximalist's discography is limited, but with each new release, I enjoy their music more and more. While their musicality does slightly differ from Gorillaz, their creative storytelling and fantastic composition reminds me a lot of Gorillaz artistic work. "Cazimi" is my personal favorite of their tracks, and a must-add to anyone looking to listen to something that makes them feel euphoric.



Song Recommendations:

  • "Cazimi"

  • "Baby Don't You Understand?"

  • "Combustion"

  • "Never Gonna Be Me Again"

  • "I'm A Machine (But Only For A Little While)"


 

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