In Earshot: April 14

Grace Pearson-Thompson, Contributing Reporter

graphic of guitar with in earshot written
Emma Vaughters

“In Earshot” is a column introducing you to the best new releases and artists you need to have on your radar. From glittery pop to gut-wrenching lyrics, these musicians should be in your rotation. 

Annie DiRusso

Annie DiRusso’s music is made for being blared through a car stereo. Her songs feature infectiously garage-y guitar and drums that can be perfectly described as cathartic. Her lyrics are written from raw emotion — her song “Nine Months” was written about staying in an emotionally abusive relationship, and it’s simultaneously rage-filled and pop-music catchy. She is a self-described indie rock artist blending the styles of her two cities, Nashville and New York City. DiRusso writes songs that feel universally relatable but just niche enough for it to still be her own — “Judgments From The World’s Greatest Band” was written about having a one-night stand under a poster of The Beatles. 

Arlo Parks

Arlo Parks has already been noticed by Michelle Obama and has worked alongside Hayley Williams and Phoebe Bridgers, so her music should already be on your radar. Her latest record, “Collapsed In Sunbeams,” makes listeners feel cool yet comforted. Her songs feel immersive, regardless of the emotional undertones. Parks doesn’t sugarcoat anything in her lyrics but maintains an atmospheric, floating feeling — especially in “Hurt.” Her music spans from indie rock to hip-hop to funk, and the entire album is worth a listen. 

Kate Stephenson 

Kate Stephenson found fame on TikTok by advertising her song “You” featuring Jordan Lebowitz, reflecting on their experiences of losing friends to mental illness. She has since garnered attention for her single, “Future Dropout,” yearning to be free from the shackles of college — she has now dropped out to pursue music full-time. Stephenson has an ongoing series on TikTok showing bits and pieces of her production process, demonstrating her sheer genius and widespread knowledge of musical instruments and producing. She most recently released “Exless,” describing the feeling of knowing heartbreak without having an ex, and the teaser went viral. 

Maude Latour

Maude Latour is giving her audience high-energy pop music filled to the brim with emotional glitter, disguising the heavy emotions that some of her songs surround. Comments on videos of Latour singing often note how similar her voice is to Lorde’s — not only is Latour’s music flawlessly produced and incredibly original on its own, but it can fill a Lorde-less void perfectly. Latour uses synths, transporting listeners into space in some songs, timeless bass lines on others and just unique enough sentiments in her lyrics for her songs to feel refreshing. Her latest release, “Walk Backwards,” is a love song to her friend and an ode to their extremely deep relationship. 

Laufey 

Laufey was raised to love classical music: her mother, a classical violinist, inspired her to learn to play the cello and piano. Since then, Laufey has mastered other instruments and perfectly blended her classical inspirations with a slow R&B. She has gained quite the audience by covering old classics on her social media pages, most notably “It’s Been a Long, Long Time.” Laufey’s most recent release is “Magnolia,” in addition to some other singles, with plans to release her debut Extended Play later in 2021. 

Jensen McRae

Earlier this year, Jensen McRae posted a TikTok about how a Phoebe Bridgers song about the COVID-19 pandemic would sound. After garnering an unanticipated amount of attention, McRae completed the song and released it, titling it “Immune.” The song was born from a tweet from McRae, reading “in 2023 Phoebe Bridgers is gonna drop her third album & the opening track will be about hooking up in the car while waiting in line to get vaccinated at Dodger Stadium and it’s gonna make me cry” — so she made a preemptive cover, imitating Bridgers’ indie-folk style and lyrical detail. McRae’s true alto register makes her music sound soft and suave while maintaining its emotional impact. Her most recent release is “Starting To Get To You.” 

Haley Heynderickx

Fans of Lucy Dacus or Julien Baker likely have already listened to Haley Heynderickx, a similarly styled indie folk singer-songwriter. Her debut album, “I Need to Start a Garden,” came out in 2018. The songs on this record seem to come from a place of loneliness and yearning, approaching those sentiments with a delicate voice and heart-wrenching fingerpicking. The most popular tracks off of this record are “The Bug Collector” and “Oom Sha La La.” While there are only six other songs on this album, Heynderickx also released an EP in 2018 in collaboration with Max García Conover.