With the indie music scene on the rise, new and independent artists are releasing some of the best music we’ve heard in a long time.
With more bands and artists than ever, there are endless amounts of fresh tracks for us to listen to — but with so many choices it can be hard to find what you’re looking for.
With this in mind, we decided to create our own special playlist of 12 folk-pop songs that will make you fall in love with the indie scene.
Indie folk music is often overlooked and dismissed by listeners who are more into popular genres like EDM or hip-hop.
But if you’re an indie folk fan hoping to discover the best new acts of the week, you’ve come to the right place! You can listen to our entire playlist which contains the artists’ music, and know more about their work by scrolling down the page.
1) NICHOLAS ROWE – I Wish That I Could Sing It For You
NICHOLAS ROWE is a singer-songwriter from Columbus, Ohio. His sound can be described as Americana Folk Rock, with a dash of indie rock thrown in.
He has a voice that is easy on the ears and can be quite soulful at times. His single “I Wish That I Could Sing It For You” is a folk and soft rock fusion, a tune that will have listeners humming along to the catchy chorus.
“I Wish That I Could Sing It For You” is the first single from the upcoming album, The Circle Remains Unbroken. This song is about finding the right words to convey your feelings, but when you can’t find them, you just have to go with what you know works best—your voice and music.
The song is easy listening with an indie rock edge. The instrumentals are minimalistic but effective; they support Rowe’s vocals well without overpowering them or distracting them too much. Check it out now, visit his website and follow him on Spotify.
2) CHRIS ST. JOHN – When Dreams End
When Dreams End is the debut album by singer-songwriter Chris St. John, and it’s a journey through the world of Americana and alt-folk that has you feeling like you’re right there with him on his travels.
From the very first track, “Lost Without Your Love” you can tell this is an album that will take you on a journey. The song opens with a simple strumming of a guitar and some piano chords, but then builds into something much more complex—and powerful—as the drums kick in and the vocals begin to soar, making it all very smooth to the ears like magic.
It’s an exciting start to what turns out to be a compelling 8-track album as a whole. While most of When Dreams End is comprised of acoustic-based tracks that fit well into the folk genre, there are some tracks that have more pop influences, like “Her Name Was Lilly”.
These tracks are still very much rooted in Americana music, but they do add some extra energy and brightness to this otherwise mellow collection of songs.
Overall, I think this is an excellent debut album from Chris St. John. His voice reminds me of Dave Matthews (in his early days), so if you’re at all into acoustic rock or folk music, then I highly recommend checking this out! Visit his website and follow him on Spotify too.
3) LORRAINE KLAASEN & MONGEZI NTAKA – Ukubonga [Gratitude]
Ukubonga Gratitude is an album that’s hard to ignore. The 13-track record is a journey into the world of LORRAINE KLAASEN & MONGEZI NTAKA, songwriters and guitarist-producer who bring a new sound to the Canadian music scene with their unique blend of acoustics and contemporary soul.
The album opens with “Sekusile (Kikirikiki)”, a track that’s both catchy and fun—it will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time, especially because of the farm vibe it gives with the “kikirikiki” sound since the first second.
This is followed by “Fiela”, which showcases Lorraine’s vocal range, as well as the duo’s knack for writing bangers.
The rest of the album follows suit—it’s full of upbeat tracks that are easy to listen to on repeat. Some favourites include “Ntaka”, “Kilimanjaro” (our favourite track on the album), and “Insizwa”. But really, there isn’t one bad song here—they’re all spectacular!
4) VISHAL NAIDU – Reveries In Grey
Vishal Naidu is an independent artist from India. He’s been making music for years and has just released one more piece of art, the single Reveries In Grey. It’s a beautiful blend of traditional folk with contemporary instrumentation and production techniques.
It’s hard to pin down Vishal’s sound because it’s so unique—but I’d say it’s a mix between “classical,” “Asian-based culture,” and “cinematic” sounds, with an emphasis on instrumental music.
The overall effect is relaxing and meditative, but also dramatic in its own way—you could definitely imagine it being used as the soundtrack for some kind of love scene (or maybe even as part of it).
If you’re looking for an easy listen or something to play while you’re working or in a special moment with your loved one, check out Reveries In Grey by Vishal Naidu! Visit his BandCamp and follow him on Spotify.
5) STEVE POINTMEIER – Even In A Bar
Steve Pointmeier‘s Even In A Bar is a track that I can’t stop listening to. It’s an anthem for the Americana and Country music fans out there, but it also has hints of Folk and Soft Rock—making it a song that many people will be able to enjoy regardless of their personal taste in music.
The single starts off with an acoustic guitar riff that immediately draws you in, followed by some soft vocals from Pointmeier himself.
The sound continues like this for a few seconds, which is just enough time for you to get comfortable with the melody before he switches things up with a louder chorus and some power chords from his electric guitar.
Then, it all calms down again as the soft vocals return and end on another chorus that you’ll be singing along with by the time it’s over.
6) OLIVER MAVILIO – Distant Sound
If you’re a fan of alt-country, Americana and country music, we have a recommendation for you: check out OLIVER MAVILIO‘s single “Distant Sound”.
This UK-based artist is the definition of what it means to be a singer-songwriter with a fusion of country and soft-rock sound. His music is cinematic and reminiscent of the folk tunes of yesteryear. He is a master at crafting catchy hooks that will stick in your head for days after listening.
Mavilio’s work can be classified as fusion, because above the music genres mentioned, you can find in his art a hint of dark pop or post-punk as well as rock.
The single itself has an edgy quality to it that makes you want to listen again and again until you’ve memorized every word. It’s easy to see why this artist has been compared to contemporaries like John Mayer, Amos Lee, and Ryan Adams—he has a unique voice that shines through in all his songs.
If you’re looking for something different than what’s on the radio right now but still want something that feels familiar, then we highly recommend checking out Oliver Mavilio’s work. You can find his music on Spotify or visit his BandCamp for more information about upcoming shows in Norwich and beyond!
7) LEO NAZZ – It Feels Like
LEO NAZZ is an Australian-based artist. He has been active in the music industry for a while now and his latest single, It Feels Like, is a great example of his work.
This song is full of acoustic sounds and catchy melodies that will make you want to listen on repeat. This is a great song for those who enjoy folk rock music but also for those who want something that is easy to listen to without all the complicated instruments or lyrics.
If you have not heard of Leo Nazz before then this would be a good time to check him out. This is for music lovers who like upbeat songs with a calm aspect, and who like a mix of country and folk, so if you’re looking for an easy-listening act with classic tunes, then this is the artist for you!
His music can be found on Spotify or on his website where you can also follow him and find out more about what he has been up to lately!
8) ANDREW AKINS – I-25
Andrew Akins, a singer-songwriter from Amarillo, TX, released his single “I-25” on Spotify weeks ago. The song is an anthemic folk rock tune with a classic country sound and super catchy lyrics.
The song starts off with a soft guitar riff and Akins’ voice comes in with a chorus that will have you singing along before you know it. It’s classic Americana at its finest—perfect for a road trip or any time you want to feel like you’re driving down an open road.
There are some interesting things going on in the background of this song that make it stand out from other artists in the alt-country genre. For example, there’s a strong emphasis on American culture in this single.
This makes the song feel like more than just another one-off indie release: it feels like an anthem for American country music and the folk scene itself.
9) JOSHUA KETCHMARK – Tazewell County Line
I am a huge fan of alt-country, and when I found out about this singer-songwriter, JOSHUA KETCHMARK, I was excited to listen to his single Tazewell County Line.
When the song started playing on Spotify, I was immediately drawn into the music because it sounded like a classic country song but more romantic than a “country bar hit”. The guitar playing is amazing and the vocals are so soothing. This is definitely a song that will make you want to be with your loved one!
The lyrics are extremely catchy, so if you’re looking for something original then this is your guy. He has a very unique sound that separates him from other artists in this category. His voice reminds me of John Mayer’s style but with more grit and soul.
I highly recommend checking out his website where he has much more information available for fans as well as an upcoming tour schedule for those who would like to see him live!
If you’re looking for some good music to listen to while driving around town or just hanging out with friends on a Friday night then check out JOSHUA KETCHMARK’s new single Tazewell County Line! Don’t forget to follow him on Spotify.
10) NUMBERS DON’T COUNT – Any Love At All
Numbers Don’t Count is a German-based pop/rock band that has quickly been making waves in the indie music scene. Their single, “Any Love At All” is an instant banger.
It’s impossible not to be drawn in by the track’s classic power pop sound, which is reminiscent of artists such as The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac. The lead singer has a voice that is both rich and powerful, but also mellow and soothing—a combination that makes for an incredibly catchy tune.
The lyrics are also extremely well-written: they’re relatable and touch on themes like loneliness and self-doubt. They’re also poetic without being overly flowery—the perfect balance between intimacy and accessibility.
If you’re looking for a song with a timeless sound but with modern vibes, “Any Love At All” is definitely worth checking out. You can find it on Spotify by searching “Numbers Don’t Count”. Visit their BandCamp and follow them on Spotify.