Take a Breather from Top 40 Radio with Local and Alternative Music

Every time I turn on the radio, I’m stuck listening to the same songs and the same artists that are played year-round. If you are as disheartened by the radio as I am, here is a list of some lesser-known artists that can be heard on alternative radio stations like UCI’s own station KUCI:

The Lemon Twigs (Rock): If you’re a fan of old school rock like The Beach Boys, Wings and The Beatles, this band is for you. A mix of ragtime piano, stripped-down guitar melodies, rugged vocals and a fun pop sound, brothers Michael and Brian D’Addario founded the band last year. It was recently announced that they would perform on day one of Coachella this coming April. The band’s aesthetic and overall retro style is a refreshing throwback to classic rock.

The Alley Crabs (Alternative): Irvine is the home of a lot of great talent like Young the Giant and Will Ferrell. Formed at UCI, The Alley Crabs are Irvine’s latest entertainers. Self-described as “progressive beach scum,” the Alley Crabs’ music brings a much-needed interruption to the monotony of Irvine. They combine that Southern California vibe that make bands like Sublime so unique with a late 2000s British alternative sound to make them one of the catchiest bands in SoCal right now. With guitar heavy melodies and the perfect amount of rebellious angst, this band is going places.

Mashrou’Leila (World): There are tons of international bands that need more recognition on the US music charts, but Mashrou’Leila is making waves for many reasons. From Beirut, Lebanon, this Middle Eastern indie rock band has taken over the Middle Eastern and European music scene. Selling out shows from Dubai to France, Mashrou’Leila has managed to modernize traditional Arab music in a way that has never been seen before. As a strong advocate for climate change and the LGBTQ+ community in the Middle East, this band has made unprecedented strides in music and activism.

Hsin-I Huang (Classical): Quickly becoming one of the most sought-after collaborative pianists, LA-based musician Hsin-I Huang has played all over the world. Her captivating renditions of classical pieces enthrall listeners, even ones who don’t like classical music.

Luna Shadows (Pop): Singer, writer and producer Luna Shadows is one of the best artists in LA right now. Her haunting, melancholy lyrics matched with upbeat melodies gives the pop genre a whole new dimension. It’s not just her music that’s engaging, however. Her artful music videos and black-and-white aesthetic take sunny Southern California and make it a bit more emo — all while maintaining that fun pop feel. As her Facebook page states, “she’s running her own show,” and she does it well.