81355 – “Tidal Wave”: 81355 (pronounced “bless”) is the brainchild of some of Indianapolis’ most talented names, so when the trio announced they had been signed to 37d03d, the collective spearheaded by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner, before even releasing their debut single, it made waves but didn’t necessarily come as a shock. This is even more evident after hearing the electro-banger that is “Tidal Wave.” Here, alt. hip-hop veterans Sirius Blvck and Oreo Jones trade off verses over top of a funky guitar groove, while producer Sedcairn Archives holds everything together with this eclectic yet ethereal beat. The song’s true highlight, however, is its vibey outro, one that keeps me coming back again and again.
Keyze AriZona – “Geese”: Although many of the artists I feature hail from Indy and its surrounding areas, TUNED UP colleague Nathaniel Fitzgerald showed us earlier in the month that there’s a whole lot of talent in and around South Bend as well. One such act is hip-hop up-and-comer Keyze AriZona, a rapper and musician who has been steadily cranking out content nonstop over the last few years, with his latest single “Geese” having dropped just a few weeks ago. The smooth, bouncy ode to money and means is refreshingly retro, a nod to the golden age of the genre.
Fifth Lucky Dragon – “I Keep Seeing People I Don’t Want To See (In My Dreams)”: The newest track from Indy alt trio Fifth Lucky Dragon is an upbeat lament with electronics galore and this driving percussiveness. With lines like “I feel betrayed when my psyche reminds me of people I thought I forgot about,” it strikes me as this quintessential sort of sad boy anthem, perhaps best enjoyed while out on a late night drive.
Shadowalker – “Honor (Eastern Bloc)”: While it may be a while before we hear any more music from his band Dream Chief, artist and DJ John Tuttle has stayed busy with his latest project Shadowalker, a digital-oriented act that melds unconventional electronic beats with catchy pop hooks. Every song released so far by Shadowalker has been slightly different from the last, “Honor (Eastern Bloc)” included. This party rocker commands us to “dance all night,” but perhaps most notable here is the ensuing EP soon to follow.
Zachery Le’on – “Keep It G”: The first of several projects slated to see the light of day throughout 2021, Zachery Le’on’s latest EP How You What, Vol. 1 is four songs’ and twelve minutes’ worth of triumphant, slapping hip-hop. The EP shines brightest though on its closer “Keep It G,” a fast-paced, effervescent tune with burgeoning saxophone that calls back the smooth jazz of the 1980s and ‘90s.
THE WLDLFE – “Blood Orange”: After releasing nothing but singles over the past two years or so, indie pop quartet THE WLDLFE is back with the first taste from their forthcoming sophomore full-length album. The result is “Blood Orange,” a guitar-heavy pop rock singalong that feels like it belongs on the soundtrack for one of the countless Disney Channel Original Movies released over the course of the 2000s.
You can find all of my Hoosier picks in one place, whether you use SoundCloud or Spotify, each with its own set of exclusives, updated monthly. Be sure to go follow the playlist if you like what you hear, and feel free to let me know of any up and coming Hoosiers you think I should feature for the next month.