Independent Music Discoveries, Issue #13

Another week, another round of indie artists- recommend any of your faves in the comments and check out more from our continuing series!

The Layaways - Indie / Rock / Alternative - Illinois, USA
Chicago band the Layaways have recently released their 3rd LP, The Space Between, available for free download in full on their official site. Described as a “collection of bittersweet pop morsels”, the band offers up dreamy sort of melodic rock that’s nearly aquatic in its sound…that is, you could picture yourself drifting along in a little boat towards a pleasant island retreat with this lovely album as your soundtrack. Check out these choice selections- highly recommended!: "Keep It To Yourself" and "All Around the World"

Jessie Evans - Pop / Electronica / Afro-beat - Berlin, Germany
Is It Fire?, recorded in Berlin and mixed in Mexico, is the first solo album from Jessie Evans, an artist that previously figured in the Vanishing, Autonervous, and Subtonix. Is It Fire? is a potpourri of what might best be described as “psychedelic-electro-salsa-jazz” it’s danceable, sure, but with heaps of trippiness and Evans’ unique flair. Oh yeah, and she’s had live percussion from Tony Dammit (Iggy Pop, Swans) and guest appearances from Budgie (The Creatures, Siouxsie and the Banshees), Martin Wenk (Calexico), and Namosh- how much cooler can she get?! Take a listen to "Let Me On (Sonido Desconocido Remix)"! Is it Fire? is available on iTunes and to stream in part on

Surukei - Electronic / Chiptune - California, USA
This is music from a personal friend of mine, Max / Surukei, who creates music via his MIDI keyboard and Propellerhead Reason; some of his influences including Zero 7, Air, Frozen Silence, and a variety of chillout/trip-hop and video game soundtrack artists. Surukei has a knack for making minute-length catchy and cinematic pieces, with all of his releases thus far available on for free. Check out my fav tracks of his, "Roast" and "Chippier"!

aboombong - Ambient / Trance / Dub - Washington, USA
This is one of the many musical projects of icastico (from the fabulous Pen & Mallet). aboombong has a downtempo/drone-ish feel throughout, with each track building upon the last in an eerie, anticipation-filled manner. You can stream the tracks at and Bandcamp- have a listen to "aboo" and "aboom" (with samples from Waltz Bop Shop).

A Brief Smile - Rock / Indie / Shoegaze - New York, USA
New York shoegazers A Brief Smile are a five-piece group who have released free EPs in May and June, Be Mine and Restaurant Airport, respectively, with one more due to come in July (Sunshine State)- check these out at their official site and Bandcamp. Upon listening, it’s no wonder they’ve been tagged as “shimmery indie goodness” on A Brief Smile construct a web of sparkly sound around hooky vocals, as best exemplified in "Motorcycle"!

Adam Balbo - Folk / Acoustic / Lyrical - California, USA
Adam Balbo is a San Franciscan solo artist that has released a string of albums since 2001 in the vein of humrous, sometimes melancholy, anti-folk. Balbo is able to paint witty lyrical portraits in tracks like "Obligatory Highway Analogy", "The Girl at My Pity Party", and (my personal fave) "Convenient Dinner" in small track lengths with minimal acoustic (and occasional keyboard) acommpaniment. You can stream tracks from his latest album The Fix via (including his previous release Big Kid Now and the rest of his albums) and get it at CDBaby.