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Under the radar: 10 artists below 100k listeners to watch out for in 2022

In the digital age of music distribution, overabundance is a blessing and a curse.

Listeners have no shortage of fresh, interesting music to listen to, but hidden gems are often buried, lost in the shuffle of weekly releases. What about under-the-radar artists, going unheard by the masses?

Small, independent artists make some of today’s most exciting and forward-thinking music, but a lack of promotion can keep their music from reaching the ears of potential fans.

In the spirit of friendly recommendation, here are 10 talented artists carving out their own unique stations in the music industry.

These artists come from disparate genres– you can find sounds you know you’ll like, and expand your palate along the way.

Angel Bat Dawid

Instagram: @angeltheoracle

Listeners: 31,000

Genre: Avant Garde Jazz

Spotify: Top Tracks

Angel Bat Dawid sings, speaks, and screams if she needs to, expressing herself over a bold, cascading soundscape of horns and drums.

She is unafraid to lean into abrasive sounds to convey the pressing need for black liberation, stirring and surprising her audience.

Mel Bryant and the Mercy Makers

Instagram: @melbryantmusic

Listeners: 39,000

Genre: Alternative Rock / Folk

Spotify: Top Tracks

Mel Bryant and the Mercy Makers are a three-piece group from Nashville, Tennessee, cooking up a fresh blend of folk, rock, and pop.

Their confessional lyrics release the frustrations of adult life over raging, insistent guitar lines. Their songs are cathartic and honest.

Honey Butter

Instagram: @honeybuttertheband

Listeners: 59,000

Genre: Indie Pop

Spotify: Top Tracks

An EP and a series of singles have established Honey Butter’s style: smooth, clean pop grooves, overlaid with bright vocals.

All in all, a glossy, promising beginning, smooth and clear as water. Catch them on the way up!

Blood Incantation

Listeners: 32,000

Genre: Death Metal / Dark Ambient

Spotify: Top Tracks

Shifting from their prior sound, which was death metal woven with strands of psychedelic rock, Blood Incantation’s recent record “Timewave Zero” unfurls a dark, subdued ambient soundscape.

This bold shift in sound might foreshadow a future untethered to the genre, which is all the more reason to keep an eye on them.


Instagram: @sobshaha

Listeners: 39,000

Genre: Dream Pop

Spotify: Top Tracks

Singapore-based trio Sobs showcases shimmering layers of sound on their debut “Catflap”, a collection of silky dream-pop tunes fringed with intricate guitar plucking.

The hazy vocals and laidback melodies are easy to drift through, but there’s plenty of complexity for the attuned ear to enjoy.


Instagram: @Maassai

Listeners: 1,700

Genre: Rap / Hip Hop

Spotify: Top Tracks

Maassai delivers a thoughtful, raw perspective on life with her 2021 album, “With the Shifts”.

The beats are fuzzy and faded, infused with jazz and grit; her rap is peppered with clear-eyed observations on generational trauma, spiritual growth, and activism.

Jane Inc.

Instagram: @janeincmusic

Listeners: 7,600

Genre: Disco / Electronic / Pop

Spotify: Top Tracks

Carlyn Bezic, known for her work with U.S. Girls and duo group Ice Cream, brings fans a new solo project with Jane Inc.

Her 2022 project, “Faster Than I Can Take”, offers meditations on post-industrial life through glitchy, glistening synths, with elements of disco and rock.

Blanck Mass

Instagram: @blanckmass

Listeners: 44,000

Genre: Dance / Industrial Electronic

Spotify: Top Tracks

Get ready for grimy, pulse-racing beats that border on gruesome. Blanck Mass’s electronic sound is explosive and packed with character, using chopped vocal samples and ambient basslines.

The listener can never safely know what to expect: the music has moments both overpowering and quietly unnerving.

Marquis Hill

Instagram: @mhillsounds

Listeners: 29,000

Genre: Jazz

Spotify: Top Tracks

Marquis Hill’s dizzying technical skill has brought him acclaim as one of the most talented jazz trumpeters alive today.

Most notably, his Modern Flows series catapults classic jazz structures and sounds into the contemporary landscape, bringing hip hop and R&B influences to post-bop beats.

Royal Coda

Instagram: @royal.coda

Listeners: 81,000

Genre: Post Hardcore

Spotify: Top Tracks

Kurt Travis, the vocalist of Dance Gavin Dance fame, has lent his talent to Royal Coda’s expanding catalog of work.

These post-rock songs are driving, exciting, and packed to bursting with memorable riffs. The group shows great coordination and each layer of sound fits together seamlessly.