12 Underappreciated Songs to Check Out Immediately
12 Underappreciated Songs You Need to Hear Immediately
Twelve great songs you may not have heard yet that deserve your ears attention.
By: Brandon Sims
Sometimes, artists release great albums backed by flashy hit singles that top the charts for weeks, even months. For a large portion of audiences across the world, they’ll only ever hear those chart-topping radio hits, while completely disregarding the rest of the artist’s work. Too often do people assume they know what an artist is all about based off one or two singles.
This is a list devoted to underappreciated songs that deserve more love and attention. Some songs on the list have over 1 million views on YouTube, some have less than 100. It’s not about songs no one has heard - it’s about tracks that are so good that they deserve more attention than perhaps other songs by the artist have garnered.
12. Rival Sons
There are way too many songs to choose from when it comes to this band and the incredible discography they have put out over the last 10 years, but in light of the recent release of their major-label debut album, Feral Roots, it seemed fitting to bring some attention to one of the tracks from the record.
Simply put, “Shooting Stars” is an epic rock n’ roll tune from one the world’s best contemporary rock bands. As the final song on the album, it is a brilliant way to cap off their debut on Atlantic Records. Everything about this track delivers on everything music fans of any genre love to hear. From the acoustic intro, layered beneath the always impressive vocals of lead singer, Jay Buchanan, and coupled with the choir support on the chorus and driving guitar, “Shooting Stars” is further proof that Rival Sons is a band poised to take their spot at the forefront of the rock music scene.
K.Flay is one of those artists who you either know or you don’t. Her 2017 album, Every Where Is Some Where, continued to show off the multi-instrumental artist’s diverse style. The album explores themes of drug use and self-reconciliation, to name a few, and the genres range anywhere from hard rock to electronic synth-pop.
While “Giver” is one of the singles from the album, it largely goes unnoticed, which is why we believe it deserves more love. The song can be seen as a coming-of-age song for many individuals in today’s modern society, an anthem for everyone struggling to make it in this screwed up world, one day at a time.
10. The Glorious Sons
"Sawed Off Shotgun"
Speaking of anthems for the common struggle, “Sawed off Shotgun” by Canadian rock band, The Glorious Sons, might be the type of sing-a-long confession every tax-payer needs.
Just read the lyrics to the chorus for yourself:
“Yeah, they sent the taxman,
I lost my job, and
You got hooked on oxycodone
They shut the lights off
They took the car, and
I bought a sawed-off shotgun”
That’s pretty much enough said right there. Judging by the YouTube comments alone, it’s safe to say this particular song rings true for people across the world. Not to mention, it’s guaranteed to get stuck in your head for at least the rest of the week, potentially forever. It’s that catchy!
9. Grand Am
"Center of the Circle"
Grand Am is a project consisting of composer, producer and engineer James Panepinto and singer/songwriter David McMillin. The band’s sound is an electrifying fusion of rock, soul, blues, funk and pop influences that create a 70’s vibe with a fresh, 21st century feel.
“Center of the Circle” is a pretty remarkable track from the duo. It really is a tune for fans of any music genre. It’s one of those songs you put on in the car when you’re not sure about your passengers taste in music, so you put on something that no human can dislike. Driven by spacey, melodic keys and synthesizers mellowed beneath McMillin’s soulful vocal presence, “Center of the Circle” is jam you’re going to want to add to your playlist.
8. Dan Auerbach
In 2017, The Black Keys’ lead singer Dan Auerbach released his second solo studio album, Waiting on a Song. The album was generally well received, and showed off a more complex songwriting style from the blues rocker. Singles from the record, including “Malibu Man” and “King of a One Horse Town” quickly garnered most of the attention, but the true gem comes with track nine, “Undertow.”
“Undertow” is the cool, calm, and collected cousin of the singles on the album. Throughout Waiting on a Song, Auerbach consistently and beautifully finds ways to intertwine sounds of disco, funk, and soul while still maintaining this sort of early 70’s mellow rock n’ roll vibe. “Undertow” is a masterpiece that largely goes unheard even by much of Auerbach’s, and it’s one that should be a staple on your car playlist.
7. Kali Uchis
"Feel Like a Fool"
“Feel Like a Fool” by Colombian-American singer and songwriter, Kali Uchis, is another one of those songs you can put on for anyone, regardless of their music taste. If you don’t like this song, chances are you’re a bad person and no one wants to listen to music with you anyways.
The Amy Winehouse-esque Kali has a way of singing, carefully guiding the listener through the story while commanding the spotlight. “Feel Like a Fool” shows off a more vulnerable side of the singer by highlighting her own ability to perhaps trust others too easily. Some of the lines seem too personal to be fiction:
“My heart went through a shredder, the day I learned about your baby mothers”
Regardless of its sometimes borderline raunchy lyrics, “Feel Like a Fool’ is a song that deserves more appreciation from all music fans due to its wonderfully fresh twist on a classic style. There are not too many artists around these days who put out music like this and it deserves to be celebrated.
6. Kurt Vile
Kurt Vile is the man! So, naturally one of his songs had to appear on this list. In the fall of 2015, Vile released his breakthrough album, b'lieve i'm goin down, which provided rock n’ roll fans with his most popular single to date, “Pretty Pimpin’.”
“Dust Bunnies” is another incredibly solid track off the album. The song delivers on everything fans of Kurt Vile love him for. Right from the beginning, it kicks off with a bang through that classic, twangy, Americana type of chord progression, coupled with his carefree signing style and rock n’ roll guitar leads. “Dust Bunnies” is undoubtedly one of Vile’s best song and was a sure bet to make our list of underappreciated songs.
A copious amount of bass producers have attempted the fusion of metal and dubstep in recent years, but none have succeeded quite like RIOT. “Overkill” is the perfect blend of shredding metal solos, 80’s bass synths, and face melting dubstep drops.
One of the more impressive EDM releases in the last few years, “Overkill” is a robust 5+ minutes long, and grips your attention with ridiculously intricate and action packed moments. Every bar is filled with incredible production, wailing guitars, and yes, dubstep wobbles. This track is the new standard for the metal-meets-dubstep genre moving forwards.
4. Foxy Shazam
“Count Me Out”
Before Eric Nally was helping Macklemore disseminate the audio-garbage they call music, he was the wild and eccentric frontman for one of the most exciting (and largely unknown) rock bands over the last 10 years. To be fair, Nally’s part in that Macklemore song is pretty catchy.
Foxy Shazam was, essentially, a rock n’ roll circus. Each member brought something different to the table and each looked like a character out of their own version of DC Comics’ Suicide Squad. While their first two albums are literally filled with incredibly distinct and energy-packed rock tunes, “Count Me Out” is one of the ones that has gone under-appreciated since its 2010 release. Eric Nally and his band of misfits really show off their diverse capabilities in this one, including Nally’s ridiculous vocal range.
If you haven’t checked out Foxy Shazam’s first two albums, get on it immediately. You will not be disappointed.
3. Alabama Shakes
Alabama Shakes are no music industry secret, nor are they new to mainstream notoriety and success. Having won multiple Grammy Awards for their second record, Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes has cemented themselves as one of today’s best rock acts.
In 2012, the band released their debut album, Boys & Girls. From which, the singles “Hold On” and “Hang Loose” garnered most of the attention. Little do many people know, one of the best tracks of the album is buried deep down on track 9 (we’re noticing a trend).
“Be Mine” is, again, one of those tracks that’s just impossible to hate. The sweet, soulful guitar riff that provides as the backbone of the song sounds all too pleasing the second it hits the ears, and Brittney Howard’s consistently beautiful vocals immediately remind you of not only everything you love about music, but also everything you love about life.
2. Hippo Campus
The indie-rock band from St. Paul, Minnesota, known as Hippo Campus, have had a lot to be happy about over the last two years. Since releasing their debut album in 2017, the quartet has been on an upward trajectory while putting out two albums and one EP in just two years.
The lead single from their EP, “Warm Glow,” is a brilliant piece of songwriting and really demonstrates the group's ability to take listeners on a ride from start to finish while maintaining their attention throughout. This is a song that needs to be listened to literally from beginning to end. If you skim through it in search of its climax, you simply won’t get it. It’s designed to build suspense, slowly, but when it punches, it delivers in exactly the fashion you find yourself longing for.
Briston Maroney is young – both in his musical career, as well as his time spent on Earth.
In 2014, he tried out for American Idol, where he made it passed the first round before taking an early exit at the ripe age of 15. At the end of 2017, he released his first solo EP, Big Shot, which gave the world its first real taste of the young artist’s songwriting abilities.
In “June,” Maroney provides one of the catchiest, yet most underappreciated hooks of the last half-decade. The soft, delicate intro does a great job of building suspense while maintaining the attention of the listener until finally unleashing a pretty epic chorus and hook. With only 7,000 views on YouTube at the time of this article being written, this is definitely a song that deserves more attention.
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