If you liked Billie Eilish's bedroom pop you might enjoy these 5 fresh artists

Clairo (Photo: Getty Images)
Clairo (Photo: Getty Images)

It might sound strange to anyone born after the mid-90s but for a long time, music was dominated by large conglomerates pumping out highly engineered pop stars.

From boybands to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera there is a long history going back to beyond Tiffany's I Think We're Alone Now. It's a bygone world that welcomed 11-year-old me in, with open arms and I loved it.

It all started for me when my parents installed a tiny TV in my bedroom (because they got over me begging for the remote), and I started watching hours and hours of music videos.

I became obsessed with these sleek artists who hardly ever had a hair out of place in their multi-million-dollar videos, tour specials and behind-the-scenes doccies.

Then, in the blink of an eye, the world moved on, and so did I. The word pop became a dirty thing for a while, and the charts became a lot darker. From synthetic pop to heavier rock and then to commercial hip hop. 

Now the wave of change has crashed again, and there are personalised streaming services that give subscription holders the chance to delve deeper into genres that they love, away from big label releases into previously unreleased songs and more.

Of course, a big part of this is obviously because music orientated TV channels don't play videos as regularly or for as long as they once did, choosing instead to focus on reality shows. 

As The New Yorker wrote in their overview of this DIY music trend: "This insular form of music eventually crystallised into a scene called 'bedroom pop' — a digitally connected cohort of musicians with its own stars, styles, and dedicated playlists."

A prominent example of this is Billie Eilish, who recorded a lot of her music with her brother Finneas in her childhood bedroom. Of course, now with a Bond theme under her belt, it is hard to imagine that she didn't create her idiosyncratic sound in a large, plush, expensive studio but her beginnings were a lot more humble. 


1. Clairo

In their overview of this genre, The New Yorker also cited Clairo as a prime example of one of its most prominent artists - despite, they note: "[she] resists the bedroom-pop designation" - and I must agree.

Claire Cottrill (aka Clairo) recorded her first music video, Pretty Girl, in 30 minutes and (at the time of writing) it has over 47 million views. Her unique music career began at the age of 13, when she taught herself to play the guitar from online tutorials, and began posting music to streaming platforms, as well as maintaining a YouTube channel where she posted covers and short films. Of course, the American songwriter humbly attributes that her astronomic success to YouTube's algorithm but the critical acclaim for her debut EP Diary 001 in 2018 and the follow-up Immunity in 2019, prove that her talent is no viral fluke. 


2. Mikhaela Faye

Newcomer Mikhaela Faye's debut single Body is a sultry and sexy indie pop gem written by the singer herself. This is the first song from her upcoming debut EP titled Not Now. Later. which is set to be released on 24 April.

She's known in the local music scene because of her collaboration with a slew of artists from PHFat to Ryan Murgatroyd and more. But, her musical background runs much deeper than that. She is one part of dream-pop duo, Floors and about her upcoming record, she said: "This EP represents a screenshot of my life on somebody else's phone."


3. Claud

Claud's debut EP was made in their college dorm room under the name, Toast.

The artist then dropped out of Syracuse University to move forward with their music career after getting lots of buzz online. In fear of being sued by Wonder Bread they changed their name to Claud and are now working with various collaborators. They film their own music videos in a very DIY manner and have toured with Clairo. 

My favourite song of theirs right now is If I Were You.


4. Beabadoobee

Beatrice Kristi Laus aka Beabadoobee was born in Iloilo City, Philippines on 3 June 2000 and moved to London with her parents when she was three years old. In London, she grew up listening to OPM (original Pinoy music) as well as pop and rock.

She attended the prestigious Hammersmith Academy and spent seven years learning to play the violin, before getting her first guitar at the age of 17. She then taught herself to play the guitar through YouTube, like many of the other people on this list. She has toured with The 1975 and impressed crowds far and wide. 

My favourite song by Beabadoobee is called She Plays Bass.


5. Benee

Stella Bennett (aka Benee) was born on 30 January 2000 and began her music career by posting covers to SoundCloud.

Her uploads caught the attention of Josh Fountain, a producer with whom she worked two singles: Tough Guy, released in 2017 and Soaked released in 2018. The tracks now have millions and millions of streams on various platforms.

About this period of recording, the artist who is dyslexic and struggled in school, said in an interview with The New Zealand Herald: "Songwriting for me was this place where I don't have to be grammatically correct. Learning the craft with Josh, when he was sharing all his knowledge – something clicked, and I was just like, I love this. It's a great emotional outlet for me; I just love splashing what I feel onto a track."