Indie Kids: Juliana Madrid, Jack Wakeman & The Dreamstriders, FRANKIE FLOWERS, Nikki White, Estherlivia

Our Indie Kids playlist celebrates everything on the indie spectrum, whether that’s rock, folk or pop, because we firmly believe in taking a little walk off the beaten track every once in a while.

It’s exciting to see Juliana Madrid release her first single ‘Afterlife’ from her upcoming sophomore collection. The song showcases her new expansive and deeper sound, and she reflects on her fears of not using her time to her best advantage. Juliana is a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas, who started in music at the age of nine and enrolled in a local program called School of Rock. Her self-titled debut EP was released in August 2022 and received critical acclaim, exploring themes of relationships, religion, and growing up. She has supported The Knocks and indie band Cannons on tour and is set to release her sophomore EP later this year.

Follow Juliana Madrid on Instagram.

Jack Wakeman & The Dreamstriders’ latest single, ‘The Witching Hour’, is a dark and brooding masterpiece that marks a change in direction for the Glasgow-based Alt-Indie/Art Rock/Prog-Pop band. The heavy, driving synth bass line in the verses perfectly sets the stage for the haunting lyrics about the horrors of the night, while the orchestral, ethereal, major key outro provides a hopeful balance to the darkness. This contrast is a signature feature of Jack’s songwriting style, which he describes as “apocalyptic optimism.” The single is accompanied by a cinematic music video and a live session recorded at Glasgow’s Oran Mor. With the release of ‘The Witching Hour’, Jack Wakeman & The Dreamstriders continue to prove themselves as one of the most exciting and innovative bands in the UK music scene.

Follow Jack Wakeman & The Dreamstriders on Instagram.

FRANKIE FLOWERS’ journey through heartbreak and working coat check at a Toronto concert venue has led her to discover her voice as her main instrument. She creates alternative music that merges dark-wave and post-punk to form a unique, genre-bending sound that encourages listeners to escape reality and experience the unknown. Her latest single, ‘BAD DREAM’, is a dynamic track that explores the aftermath of a vivid nightmare, questioning the line between reality and imagination. The whispered line, “We’re all gonna turn to dust in the end,” creates a sense of existential dread that adds to the overall atmosphere of the song. With ‘BAD DREAM’, FRANKIE FLOWERS showcases her ability to craft emotionally resonant music that leaves a lasting impact on the listener.

Follow FRANKIE FLOWERS on Instagram.

Nikki White’s new track and music video ‘Fairweather Friends’ offer a refreshing blend of dark lyrics and light production. White’s ability to weave personal experiences of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders into catchy pop melodies is a testament to her songwriting skills. With the help of her friends, Jordyn Kane and Aaron Blackmar, White’s lyrics about unreliable-yet-fun friendships take on a life of their own. The accompanying music video is a fun, nostalgic throwback to Much Music videos of the past, featuring White and her real-life best friend running around their hometown. Overall, ‘Fairweather Friends’ is a relatable, enjoyable track that showcases Nikki White’s immense talent and potential as an alt-pop artist.

Follow Nikki White on Instagram.

ESTHERLIVIA’s latest single ‘tickle your heart’ showcases the Stockholm-based artist’s unique blend of dark indie, Scandipop, and hyperpop. The track’s bubblegum-like melody is contrasted by its sharp taste and dark undertones, which perfectly complement the rush of emotions conveyed in the lyrics. ESTHERLIVIA started out as a producer in her childhood home, and her music has evolved from old school hip-hop beats to a more pop-oriented sound. ‘tickle your heart’ marks a departure from her earlier work, but fans of Purity Ring, Grimes, and Perfume Genius will surely appreciate the artist’s latest offering. This new single is an impressive showcase of her versatility and musical talent.

Follow Estherlivia on Instagram.

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