Hard to believe that it’s already May, huh? I saw quite a few noteworthy concerts over the course of April, but I feel that I’ve found a decent balance between bigger, well-established acts and lesser known local acts still on the rise. In fact, all four of these latest picks are artists I was first exposed to at a live show in Indianapolis sometime this past month. All of these artists’ live performances stuck with me, enough for me to want to check out their music. Interestingly enough, when I did, I found that many of them had also just released new tunes, making it quite easy for me to refresh the playlists (available for stream on both Spotify and SoundCloud). So, without further ado, here is my April edition of Hoosier Highlights.
Double A – “Dead Flowers”: I try to stick with releases new to the year (or to the month even) for these, but this song from Double A’s 2017 album, Delawhere, is just too fantastic not to share, especially since my first time hearing it was when I saw him live last month. A driving bassline and pulsing drum groove hold everything together. Double A once again showcases his impressively quick flow, but it’s the subtle orchestral-like elements, particularly on the hook, that really push “Dead Flowers” over the top.
Ali Buckets – “Jello”: The newest single from Ali Buckets is the perfect jam for just vibing out. The laid-back beat has a sort of jazzy feel throughout it, while the simplistic, yet effective, boom-clap rhythm keeps things upbeat and moving. Though often branded as a hip-hop artist, Ali Buckets is much more multifaceted than that—with a melodic, smooth-as-butter singing voice more common to R&B than many traditional hip-hop artists, perhaps most prevalent on “Jello.”
Emily Morrone – “Used to Being Used”: Indianapolis-based singer-songwriter Emily Morrone released her debut EP at the beginning of the month, and while it’s essentially a collection of past singles, the lone new track, “Used to Being Used,” felt like a fitting inclusion. Morrone layers her own instrumentation over top of itself in a style of looping that will no doubt draw comparisons to Ed Sheeran. But rather than simply replicating something that’s already been done, Morrone does a nice job of finding her own lane.
Aares – “Roofie”: The slow trap beat on “Roofie” is almost hypnotic while Aares’ flow is catchy at some points and quirky at others—but always complementing his instrumental backing. The highlight of “Roofie,” though, is the similarly slow stomp of the track’s hook, where Aares employs some additional singing, both gruff and higher-pitched, to bolster the backing beat underneath it. It’s by far the highlight from his new EP, Stop Drinking 4lokos, which incidentally enough, just released on April the 8th.