Staff Picks: 6 LANDR Distribution Artists We Loved in 2021
Thousands of artists trust LANDR Distribution to get their tracks on streaming platforms worldwide. But did you know we listen to every single submission?
Here’s a taste of some of the incredible talent that comes through our distribution community.
We’ve been through a lot together this year: from music production, to music theory to getting your music out there for the world to hear.
And it shows: we’ve released so many tracks in 2021—tracks that we’ve taken the time to listen, approve and deliver to streaming platforms worldwide.
From Steely Dan influenced jazz rock, to groovy minimalist dub-electronic to reverb laden shoegaze here are some of our favorites, cherry-picked by our staff.
Michael Hahn’s Pick:
State Cows – Challenges
One artist grabbed my attention this year and simply wouldn’t let go—in fact, they featured prominently in my 2021 Spotify Wrapped.
I’m talking about the bizarrely-named Swedish soft rockers State Cows and their irresistible take on 70’s AOR.
Call it yacht-rock, sweater disco, or jazz-inflected pop, I’m a complete sucker for this critically maligned genre. Think Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, Boz Scaggs and other adult-oriented FM heroes of the late 70s and early 80s.
State Cows take on this sound is pitch-perfect with plenty of Purdie shuffles, jazzy turnarounds and harmonically literate solos.
Learning they distributed their releases with LANDR blew my mind, so naturally, they’re my staff pick for this year.
If you need a modern ambassador for the smooth and sophisticated sound of the 70s, you really have to check them out!
Favourite track: All Over
RAI Highlight pick: Hazelsoja – Bigger Better
Introducing our most recent Rising Artist Initiative winner: Hazelsoja.
The Denmark-based R&B group leans heavily on reggaeton themes in their newest track Bigger Better.
The bouncing track is radio-ready with its incredibly catchy chorus where the group shares their excitement about growing as artists—getting bigger and better.
We were excited to see this artist pop up in our distro catalog and were proud to support them through LANDR’s Rising Artist Initiative (RAI).
RAI gives handpicked LANDR Distribution artists a ton of support with $5,000 worth of Spotify advertising credits, mentoring and support through LANDR Network and free access to all of LANDR best tools from samples, to mastering to Chromatic.
If you’re an emerging artist that’s looking for support with finishing and marketing a release, definitely apply to RAI!
Favorite track: Bigger Better
Alex Lavoie’s Pick: On Situ – Room02
The artist that stood out to me most this year was On Situ a Japan-based electronic producer with interesting takes on dub and house.
In particular, I really enjoyed On Situ’s Room02 release—I appreciated how the minimalist arrangements were recognizable as dub but very different from traditional dub music.
“Bound It” from Room02 was a standout that, to me, was a complete example of where the artist was going with this release—funky bass lines, cool synth sounds and that psychedelic vibe that dub music is known for.
Overall I appreciated On Situ’s well-considered minimalist aesthetic that does a good job of landing across the music, album art and general vibe.
If you’re looking for some relaxed but interesting minimalist dub deep cuts, definitely give On Situ a spin!
Favorite track: Bound It
Nikki Celis’ Pick: Otom – Novel
Tokyo-based otom, a veteran of the Japanese shoegaze scene brings some nostalgic optimism with his 2-track single Novel.
The single’s eponymous track, “Novel” serves as a great counterpoint to “Brilliant, Sky Pt. 2” (2020).
While the latter is built on layers of guitar overdubs, swinging drums and more natural-sounding vocals deep in the mix, “Novel” has otom changing pace. What makes the single even more amazing is that the tracks are reworks of an old 2007 release!
Bouncy drums, layered vocal harmonies and iconic shoegaze guitar riffs all come to a crescendo during the chorus, with intense percussion that’s mellowed by sustained vocal lines that make “Novel” an adventure.
Pulsing. Cathartic. Ever-changing. “Novel” is the perfect track to symbolize youthful days gone by.
Favorite track: Novel
Alex Lavoie’s Pick: 8BIT WZRD – Good Morning
I’m always happy to see Austin, Texas-based indie rockers 8BIT WZRD come through our distribution with new releases.
The group seems to be pretty active with a handful of releases coming out just this year.
Personally, I enjoyed Good Morning, a four-track EP with a handful of sunny and nostalgic lo-fi jams—it’s a mature release with clear influences from indie acts like Alex G and Of Montreal.
It makes sense to hear this level of pedigree from 8BIT WZRD—the band is led by ex-Dayglow member Reece Myers who does most of the songwriting and production.
We’re definitely watching to see what this excellent indie rock group has in store for 2022.
Favorite track: Through That Door
Lyndsie Alguire’s pick: Naohiro Hara – One Day
Ambient artist Naohiro Hara’s crystalline minimalism shines in this solo piano piece.
“One Day” evokes expansive landscapes, quiet mornings, and soft snowfall. At under two minutes in length, the song is unassuming, like a note left at the breakfast table by someone you hold dear.
Hara’s simple approach (this isn’t your drenched-in-reverb, 8000x stretched ambient) is captivating. Another win for the “leave them wanting more” camp.
Favorite track: One Day
Become a LANDR Rising Artist
We love what we hear from all our LANDR distribution artists. That’s why we want to set our artists up for long-term success.
Each month, one Rising Artist will receive a comprehensive Promo Kit that includes a custom-built Spotify ad campaign, $5,000 of Spotify ad credits, and 1 year of LANDR products.
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