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4 favorites: Smaller, alternative musicians I can’t stop listening to

Photo credit: Siena Ferraro
This image features four album covers from the highlighted, lesser-known artists I absolutely love. Covers include “Revealer” by Madison Cunningham and “Going Through It” by Eliza McLamb. Photo credits: “Revealer” album cover courtesy of Verve Label Group. “Going Through It” album cover courtesy of Royal Mountain Records. “Vienna (In Memoriam)” album cover courtesy of New Gold Medal. “Drunk on a Flight” album cover courtesy of AWAL Recordings.

In everything I do, I am completely and utterly consumed by music.

After curating playlists upon playlists apt for even the most esoteric settings, I’ve come across some brilliant artists who have stayed in my everyday rotation since their introduction.

That said, I thought I’d share the wealth and highlight four of my favorite, lesser-known artists you may not have heard of.

The Army, The Navy

Never did I think a song detailing the death of a rat would cause me to cry uncontrollably while prompting my discovery of a new favorite artist. I was terribly incorrect.

The culprit of my sob session is “Vienna (In Memoriam),” a song by The Army, The Navy, an acoustic duo comprised of Sasha Spitzgold and Maia Ciambriello. According to the pair, “Vienna” translates the tragedy of a perished rat into tender harmonization and lyricism. I’m quite keen on songs that frame simple moments of our existence through an explorative, deepened lens, so I was instantly hooked on the pair’s music.

Apart from “Vienna,” The Army, The Navy recently released “Play the Music.” Much like its rodent-focused predecessor, the song flows so sweetly, with effortless harmonization from Ciambriello and Spitzgold that simultaneously smacks of jazz-pop.

The duo are set to release their debut EP, “Fruit for Flies,” Mar. 8.

Eliza McLamb

There’s something angsty, yet eloquent, about Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Eliza McLamb’s music. She’s mastered the immersion of raw, human experience with deep-cutting lyricism that waxes modern poetic. Safe to say, I’m obsessed.

McLamb released her debut album, “Going Through It,” Jan. 19 — and it is certainly laden with the punchy eloquence hallmark of the artist’s discography. On the album’s 10th track, “Modern Woman,” McLamb recounts the trials and tribulations of womanhood in our current era, while purposefully lamenting on the subsequent numbness thereof.

She has a relatability to her music that is sure to resonate with many young women — I know it definitely hit me hard. Should you be interested, McLamb is embarking on her first headline tour this spring and is stopping in L.A. to play the Troubadour April 26.

Eloise sings “Pretend” at The Fonda Theatre. Her effortless rhythm and gracefully powerful vocals classify her as one of my top artists. (Photo credit: Siena Ferraro)


London native Eloise (yes, first name only) is an absolute force to be reckoned with.

I’ve been a fan of her catalogue for quite some time now, and my affection for her artistry was only strengthened after seeing her live. Amplifying even the subtlest of musical nuances when performing, she is a living, breathing manifestation of her songs. Eloise dreamily fuses R&B with pop; her songs have a rebellious yet composed aura to them that is entirely entrancing.

Eloise’s vocals are both buttery and twinged with rasp, making for an irresistible sound. I highly recommend giving her latest album, “Drunk on a Flight,” a listen.

Madison Cunningham performs “Broken Harvest” at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Easily one of my all-time favorite artists, Cunningham has crafted a plethora of rhythmic ballads that are sure to grace any playlist they appear on. (Photo credit: Siena Ferraro)

Madison Cunningham

If I was put on this Earth to be one thing, it would be a Madison Cunningham fan.

Okay, maybe that’s a tad hyperbolic. But in all seriousness, I’ve never felt quite as connected to an artist’s creations as I have to Cunningham’s — she has this esoteric twang and spunkiness to her sound that is so uniquely her. Her lyrics are complexly layered and metaphorical in their prose, and — at least for me — heavily relatable.

I’ve heard Cunningham’s live vocals described as akin to “a siren on earth,” and I concur entirely. I had the privilege to see her perform October 2023, when she opened up for Hozier on his Unreal Unearth Tour (do yourself a favor and cut me off before I go on an entirely separate, fangirl-meets-bibliophile tangent about him … please). Her performance was beautifully symphonic, with a pang of rock lacing her delivery.

A few of my favorite Cunningham songs are: “Death by Suspicion,” “Trouble Found Me” and “Broken Harvest;” however, I frequently complete full listens-through of her albums with absolutely zero skips between songs.

From tender ballads about the death of a rat to punky ruminations on entering womanhood, I assure you each of these spotlighted artists — as well as artists not listed in this article — has a song that will instantly grip you. When listening, I encourage you to look past popularity and lend your attention to these artists who you may not have heard of — you won’t regret it.

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About the Contributor
Siena Ferraro
Siena Ferraro, News Editor
Siena Ferraro joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022. In 2023, she became News Editor. Outside of reporting for The Oracle, Siena leads the annual Used Book Fair and popup events, volunteers for For Goodness Cakes and tutors students in writing, history and executive functioning skills after school through Power Hour. In her free time, you'll likely find Siena reading for hours on end.

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