Lately, times have been tough. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and many staying isolated in quarantine, the world has been spinning in a new state of “normal” that has been challenging for most of us. Luckily, we can always count on music to help us through. With the increased use of social media, independent artists have been connecting with fans and releasing more music than ever… their contribution to the world. Below are 15 of these beautiful gifts, each with their own message. Some were created to be encouraging, some just to make you feel relaxed, but all by independent artists with a message to share and a voice to be heard.

1. Blair Lee – “Less or More”

– An ethereal folk-pop track highlighting Blair Lee’s floaty vocals, “Less or More” is a driving single that embodies a mellow and echoing soundscape.

2. Onsen – “Be There”

– An upbeat, contemporary electro song about the one that got away, “Be There” finds a unique niche somewhere between Tame Impala and The Beach Boys amidst its layered vocals and driving beat. “There’ is a confession, that I took them for granted and realized foolishly late that I’m on board and want to make it work. That admission is delivered with a sense of freeing catharsis…” – Onsen

3.  Jarrod Jeremiah – “Coffee”

– This 17-year-old singer-songwriter boasts a hard-hitting, catchy, vibrant sound in his new single “Coffee.” The musical soundscape perfectly matches the “happy chilled vibe” of grabbing a cup of coffee with someone you enjoy spending time with. Jarrod Jeremiah has created a song that can easily live on a repeat loop and you’ll be bopping the whole time.

4. Francesca Louise – “Out of Site (Out of Mind)”

– “It’s a funny feeling when you feel you’ve lost your mind” are the lyrics that begin this beautifully poetic, haunting single. Filled with simple guitar melodies, warm vocals, and an undeniable gentleness, Francesca Louise showcases herself as the new generation’s Carole King.

5. Carmanah – “Best Interests”

– Landing somewhere among roots, rock, and blues, Carmanah’s new single “Best Interests” is a lush example of the band’s vintage vibe intermingled with contemporary sonic soundscapes and soulful – yet edgy – vocals. Carmanah’s sultry sound has us eagerly anticipating their next album release.

6. J-Calvin – “Doesn’t Make Sense”

– “Doesn’t Make Sense” is the latest installment from Colorado-based neo-soul band J-Calvin in collaboration with Reymon Murphy. Sharing the stories of three different relationships, all with unexpected endings and beginnings, with a special highlight on the personal story of the death of Murphy’s baby girl, this song is sure to encourage you that despite life’s challenges and heartbreak…all will be okay.

7. Raquel Lily – “Mary”

– Indie soul artist Raquel Lily has graced us with a laid back single full of chill 4/20 vibes. Filled with smoky vocals and hazy melodies, Lily’s “Mary” is akin to the soulful soundscapes of Marvin Gaye and sure to put your mind at ease after one listen.

8. Bethany Ferrie – “Stayed”

– “Stayed” is an honest, vulnerable song that rips into your emotions from the first verse. Bethany Ferrie’s voice is confident and her words are intimate, leaving the listener piecing together the fragments of what Ferrie has left behind. “We were living in a moment, never thought I’d have to let you go” is a small snippet of the haunting lyrics and heart-wrenching story that is told through this song.

9. Silk Cinema – “I’m Found”

– Dream pop meets yacht rock is the newfound musical vibe of Silk Cinema’s latest single “I’m Found.” An uplifting song about getting the guy you thought you never would….. this one is an easy-going single that’s irresistibly catchy.

10. Raynes – “Come My Way”

Raynes has been a favorite of ours since they first stepped on the scene and their new single “Come My Way” is no exception. Dubbed as “expensive folk meets cinematic pop,” Raynes’ new single is a simple and straightforward song narrating the desire and feelings you have towards a loved one.

11. Kyler Tapscott – “Fire”

Kyler Tapscott’s debut single “Fire” is a sultry mix of deep grooves and catchy hooks backed by horns and intricate guitar work. Jazz/funk elements shine in the background of the musical soundscape lending a bluesy feel to this emerging new artist.

12. Midnight Vesta – “I’ll Have Another”

Midnight Vesta’s folk-rock sound takes shape in a laid-back new single titled “I’ll Have Another.” Embodied by strummy acoustic riffs and easygoing vocals, “I’ll Have Another” is mainly marked by its intimate lyrics that tell a sweet story of love.

13. T. Thomason – “King of Spades, Pt.2”

T. Thomason’s new single, “King Of Spades, PT.2” is originally a track from his self-titled album. It’s slow and spacey with an enveloping white-noise element. This is a reimagined version with Rose Cousins adding a brand new second verse, and wonderful vocal interplay throughout.

14. Hannah Johnson – “Love Letters”

Hannah Johnson’s newest single is an encouraging, spiritual song in the midst of these trying times as it sees Johnson looking to the heavens for guidance, peace, and reassurance. Incorporating traditional Hebrew into the lyrics, Johnson is an emerging Christian artist that embodies a contemporary sound to bring traditional worship music to the next generation.

15. Alex Winston – “Here Kitty, Kitty” (Cover of Joe Exotic)

– If you haven’t heard of Tiger King yet, you might be living under a rock. The Netflix docuseries has taken the internet by storm in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic and has led to musical inspiration for indie-pop singer Alex Winston. “Here Kitty, Kitty” is Winston’s sultry, sensual version of Joe Exotic’s song of the same name…. take a listen and let Winston tame the tiger in you.

Dawn Jones is the curator of the V13 imPRESSED Column. Previously known as imPRESSED Indie Music Blog, Jones and her team joined forces with V13 in 2020 to collaborate on an exclusive column on V13's site (imPRESSED) to bring a niche focus to the rapidly evolving indie music genre. Dawn is also the founder of Pressed PR - a boutique PR agency that focuses on PR for independent creatives. Pressed PR’s team works on a variety of campaigns partnering with independent filmmakers, independent artists, and independent labels. Pressed PR’s music clientele has landed in the pages of Billboard, Atwood Magazine, EARMILK, HYPE Magazine, and many others.