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The Underground Roundup: Instant Crush, Flowerovlove, Precious Pepala, Roe Kapara

Monotony is boring, especially when it's the same few artists on constant rotation on your Spotify. Let's change that and introduce four rising artists with less than one million monthly listeners to your daily listening.

Instant Crush

Instant Crush, a Seattle pop rock band, is breathing new life into the genre. Its sound incorporates various genres, with distinct fusions of punk, synth and alternative. The band is also making quite a name for itself, garnering the attention of Spotify, who added its song "Redemption Arc" to its "Best of 2023: Fresh Finds Rock" playlist. 

The band's roots in Seattle, the birthplace of grunge, shine through in songs like "Rinse & Repeat" and "Special." The classic angst of grunge comes on strong, creating a large dichotomy in their discography while showcasing the band's instrumental versatility. 

Best of all, the group has shown no signs of slowing down. The band announced that its single "A CINEMATIC EXIT!" will be released on Feb. 23. Its debut album will also be released sometime in 2024.


The teenage girl experience is captured in the discography of Flowerovlove. Her music toes the line between the innocence of bedroom pop and the more mature world of indie with touches of hip-hop, creating an ideal listening experience for teen and young adult fans. 

The South London artist's music greatly appeals to young listeners. The high-energy song "A girl like me" is about pining after a crush and was written with one in mind, as the singer explains on her TikTok

Other songs like "Next Best Exit" are about a universal experience: desperately wanting to leave a social situation you do not want to be in. Her relatability and bright, poppy instrumental style make for a fun soundtrack that will add a bit of life to a mundane day. 

Precious Pepala

Precious Pepala has found a niche and ran with it. The 19-year-old songstress blends gospel-esque sounds and religious influences with more mainstream genres to create a distinct style that is easily recognizable to fans. 

Also, much of her work lyrically focuses on religious traumas and issues. One of her most-streamed songs, "Eve," focuses on queerness in religious households, as well as the effect religious upbringings have on queer children. The song even contains an audio recording of her father, a preacher, as she explains on her TikTok.

However, her music is not strictly religious, as seen in her songs like "Pls Cheat on Me" and "Voices," which deal with more secular issues like relationships and mental health problems. That is also where her more mainstream influences come in, as both songs have a distinct alternative-rock influence.

Roe Kapara

Roe Kapara's music goes one of two ways: spooky and tongue-in-cheek. The spookiness comes through in songs like "Preacher which is full of images of doomsday cults, graveyards and ritual sacrifices. His song, "The Dead Come Talking," deals with the macabre and rich, visceral imagery of worms, ghosts and haunted houses deliver portraits of a gothic Americana style. 

There is also a level of fear in less traditional horror-esque songs, like "Employment Costs" and "Everything's Fine (Nuke Song)," explaining the dread that Kapara feels about the state of the world and the life he is destined to lead under a system that he fundamentally disagrees with.

His track "Fajita!" is chock full of euphemisms, adding a bit of lightness and fun to an otherwise relatively dark and dread-filled discography.


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