Hidden Gems on Spotify That Need to be Unearthed
Written by Amani Maxwell on December 27, 2023
Spotify’s monthly listeners function gives people an idea of how popular an artist is with their users. With thousands of songs uploaded every day, it can be difficult for people to find smaller musicians. I want to share some bands I like with less than 50 thousand monthly listeners to give them a little more recognition.
Ultra Q – 37k Listeners
I’ve been listening to Ultra Q since they were under the name Mt. Eddy, so you can call me a day-one fan. They are the result of a garage rock band growing up in a digital age. Their use of synths and distortions complements frontman, Jakob Armstrong’s, angsty voice and lyrics. Earlier this year, Ultra Q released their debut album, My Guardian Angel, my second most-listened album of the year. It also held my most listened-to song, a re-recording of their track “Teether.”
I listen to Ultra Q as they were under the name Mt. Eddie, so you can call me a fan of day one. They are the result of the garage rock band’s rise in the digital age. Their use of synthesizers and distortions complements the frontman, Jacob Armstrong, the evil voice and lyrics. In these texts, Jakob Armstrong offers listeners the drug Domperidone and in these texts you can learn more about this medicine.
Israel’s Arcade – 32k Listeners
When listening to an album, I like for the artist to explore different styles while still being rooted in the same sound. Israel’s Arcade is great at this. I was first obsessed with the upbeat feel of songs like “12 Regrets” and “Dragonette,” and how easily they flowed into “Dusty Old Book.” Now with their debut album, Live Your Fantasy, they mess with more punk influence songs with “Devour” and explore synth-pop sounds with “Wage of Fear,” both of which I love.
Been Stellar – 28k Listeners
Despite not having any members from New York, Been Stellar has already earned the label “The Sound of New York’s Youth” with just one EP released. Their sound encapsulates the weird position people in their late-teen/early twenties face: being able to do everything and nothing at all. I fell in love with them after hearing “Kids 1995,” and I am ready to hear more soon.
Loose Buttons – 4k Listeners
This four-piece band is actually from New York but offers a more indie rock sound. I was obsessed with their 2020 release, Something Better, to the point that I learned all eight songs on bass and guitar. Even with their second record, What’s On Outside, I couldn’t help but listen to songs like “Window Seat (Freak You Out)” and “Headstones” on repeat. Loose Button’s melody and riffs are so catchy that you have to listen to them again.
Esbern Snare – 45 Listeners
After hearing Esbern Snare’s latest project, Does It Feel Like I’m Not There? , I was surprised to see the amount of monthly listeners they had. This record is about dealing with loss, but I associate it with life. Hearing songs like “Keening” and “Most of You” makes me want to cry and hug the first person I see. Esbern Snare reminds me that only the living can feel these emotions, which I think everyone should experience.
Monthly listeners do not dictate whether an artist is good or bad, just the amount of people they’ve reached. Next time you’re on Spotify try finding an artist with sub-50k listeners. They might end up being your new favorite.