It feels like it’s been at least ten years since the Billboard chart wasn’t full of the exact same song redone with 100 slightly different auto-tuned voices. With a pop-ified country song thrown in for good measure every few months.

It’s no wonder that so many people are turning to indie bands and musicians to fill the void in their musical souls. And with youtube seemingly churning out as many good tunes as record labels, we’re living in a golden age of independent music. Here are a few acts you should be on the lookout for this year. These upcoming albums are deserving of your hard-earned money, we assure you.

Towards by We Were Evergreen

Okay, fine. We’re cheating just a little. The debut full-length album from We Were Evergreen technically came out in 2014. Obviously we know that. We just typed it. But other parts of the world have had this album since May 5, 2014 so we were behind the times anyway.

Towards is a nifty little album full of the folky, poppy, electro jams We were Evergreen have become known for across Europe and Asia thanks to their tireless touring and appearances at festivals the world over. Daughters is a standout track, as are the peppy False Start, the moody Quicksand and the ukulele-heavy Best Things.

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Play for Keeps by The Elwins

This is the album for those of us that unabashedly love our pop-rock. Hailing from a small town in Ontario, Canada, the Elwins are aiming to make you dance your pants off with their sophomore LP. If you were at all into previous singles Countdown, Stuck in the Middle, or Forgetful Assistance, you’re going to get right down to So Down Low, the debut single from Play For Keeps. The Elwins will be supporting their album with a cross-Canada tour that will spread to the UK in April.

The Park Avenue Sobriety Test by Joel Plaskett

So you’ll have about one week to crank The Elwins in your car before that disc inevitably gets replaced by the latest offering from indie great and guitar hero Joel Plaskett. Plaskett garnered his first commercial success in 2003 with the album Truthfully, Truthfully but reached major acclaim in 2011 with the release of Three, a set of three discs containing 9 songs apiece that saw him selected as an opening act for Paul McCartney.

Scrappy Happiness was the follow-up album in 2012, but it’s felt like a long wait since then. Avid Plaskett fans have already heard many of his new songs in concert, but we’ll finally get them all packaged up in early March.

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