Five Songs On Spotify You’ve Probably Never Heard

I spend a lot of time finding weird music. In fact I’ve been doing it for longer than Spotify’s been around – but there’s a particular joy to seeing just how few people listen to particular songs and artists on Spotify.

Here’s a few of my favourite little gems that I’ve found while trawling Spotify and other music sites. They vary immensely by genre, and many of them don’t even have publicly available lyrics or band information. Still, it’s a little bit of fun.

1. Actors by Seven Ages

A significant amount of this album, I’ll admit, is standard less-than-inspired metalcore/screamo. It’s an obvious debut effort with some interesting mix choices…

And then there’s this track: https://open.spotify.com/track/02mgIeYTVvszHfa1Vhi4At?si=c4RbrwJiTMWlMN3JlO2qWA

I can’t pin down exactly why I like Actors so much. Is it the raw emotions in the screaming mixed with the breakdown chords in the back? Or is it the lyrics, which I’ve only ever found once but never forgotten? Probably a mix of everything.

I’ve provided the full lyrics below, because they’re so hard to find – and to hear!

So take off your mask and show me your teeth
Today is beginning for me
So take off your mask and show me your teeth
Today is beginning for me

I will approach the world
For I am done waiting for this

This mask was made to fit your face
For today has begun for me
No lies dear
Shall we trip and choke on all your lies
Are you ready for this life?

I will approach the world
For I am done waiting for this

So take off your mask and show me your teeth
Today is beginning for me…

It also ends with one of my FAVOURITE instrumental breakdowns I’ve ever heard.

Seven Ages, if you’re still out there…. call me.

2. Some Say by Megan Heise

In an almost complete reversal, Megan Heise’s soft emo-pop song Some Say is one of those sweet heartbreak lullabies that I wish had made it onto the radio waves. Somewhere between Death Cab for Cutie’s I Will Follow You Into The Dark and Plain White T’s Hey There Delilah, it’s the kind of song that Grey’s Anatomy would have made famous about five years ago.

Heise originally released this song on her MySpace account, where it accrued a decent amount of hits. However, on Spotify, it’s languished a little in relative obscurity. It’s gotten 2,000+ hits, which is more than some, but Heise has only 9 monthly listeners, probably due in part to the fact that she doesn’t seem likely to put any of her other songs on Spotify.

I’m just a sad little heart
Beating alone in the dark
Waiting for the day that I can forget your face
Love’s making a fool out of me
It’s not how it’s supposed to be, oh no

See? I got sad just reading that! Eat your heart out, Conor Oberst.

3. Believing In (Awaken on the Run) by the Goodluck Assembly

Continuing the sappy indie rock trend, the Goodluck Assembly are a Canadian outfit that I got a CD of at some point and really can’t remember when. All I know is that they’re fun, a little strange, and that kind of earnestly positive that you listen to on days when you want to stick your head out of the window like a happy little cocker spaniel.

Don’t believe me? Check out one of their songs here: https://open.spotify.com/track/2ZLJrCxVwKwmlAAGvgRadL?si=Qu_0Fk6rQyu4gF-uCSHBvA

It’s like pure, distilled nostalgia and it’s not even ten years old. That takes skill, my friend. Of course, it’s not for everybody. For some people, that level of sap is a Bit Much. But that’s where the next few entries come in.

4. Shattered Dreams by Raphael Weinroth-Browne

How does one characterize Raphael Weinroth-Browne? Well, you don’t, for one. There’s very few cellists alive today who can make a cello sound like the most metal instrument in the world, and he makes Apocalyptica sound like a bunch of try-hards.

Basically, if you love the wedding of prog-metal and classical, you’ll love Raphael. Check out Shattered Dreams here: https://open.spotify.com/track/7FPjnBYjzDYYdygXN2sqiI?si=vVzyGq9nQ2-ZsygbML3AwQ

Unfortunately, like so many other underappreciated artists, Raphael is Canadian, which means that getting heard and discovered is a chore. The upside is, he’s a currently active artist. So what are you waiting for? Go, listen to him, go see him in concert if you can! Because. Damn.

5. Bright Lights by Yonder Hill

…Okay, OKAY! One more drastic genre swerve and then I’m done!

But, listen, bluegrass is criminally underrated. Yeah, there’s a lot of wailing banjos and weird country whiners out there. But Yonder Hill is another band I encountered live – a couple lasses from Montreal, harmonizing over gentle banjos (yes, I get it, everybody hates banjos, but just listen-) about lost love, self-identity, and a little bit of regret. They only released the one album in 2008, and to this day I’ve never encountered them anywhere else.

So imagine the utter sound of glee when I found their album on Spotify, including my favourite song Bright Lights here: https://open.spotify.com/track/0cNPWooSDuUV6lk9hTVcpO?si=VriCgRbxRieISPCYapbtQg

We don’t need the bright lights tonight
The honky-tonk angels can wait on the side
We don’t need to make all the memories fade
We don’t need the bright lights tonight…
The drinking causes shame, and the struggles cause pain –
we don’t need the bright lights tonight.

Venture out of your comfort zone, and give Yonder Hill a shot tonight. I guarantee that even if’s just for a one-time listen, you won’t regret it.

That’s my five little treasures for you – there’ll be more, I’m sure. And if you find some jewels with less than 200 listeners or 1000 listens, send them my way. I’m willing to listen to anything, and I’m always curious. You know what they say. “Curiosity killed the cat… but good indie music brought it back.”

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