I came to Tampa from Michigan and did not know a whole lot about the city prior to beginning medical school besides the fact that they love their lightning down here and it is literally paradise. Since arriving, I have been curious about the alternative and creative scene. Something near and dear to me is music, and I wanted to explore this city through learning more about the local talent around us. To get invested in a musician’s early music is a special feeling, and potentially getting to see them at a local venue sounds like an ideal night out. For those of us new and old to Tampa, I wanted to share some of the artists I came across. I highly encourage checking them out and I will keep this updated with new music or performances.
Big Baby Scumbag
Big Baby Scumbag has possibly one of the best names I have heard for an artist. His music is all over the place and yet it fits together and flows like a symphony. Many artists have tried to rap on unique samples, and I appreciate the attempt every time. Big Baby Scumbag succeeds at this tremendously. It is worth listening to “To The Moon,” where he raps over an indie beat. His delivery over it from the bars to the perfectly timed adlibs make for a very fun listening experience. On the outro, he completely switches up the vibe to hushed and pensive, once again displaying his versatility to dictate the speed and vibe of his music. On “Trappin Out The Krusty Krab,” Big Baby Scumbag skillfully delivers what may be the funniest bars I have ever listened to. “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy I Pull up in that ghost,” he says, alluding to the Rolls Royce Phantom, is absolutely hilarious and a stroke of genius, especially on a sample of the signature Hawaiian music in SpongeBob. Big Baby Scumbag simply makes very good music and may have a career as a comedian as well. The bridge between comedy and music allows for many artists to express themselves in unique ways, most famously thinking recently of Zack Fox, who’s hit single “Jesus Is The One (I Got Depression)” paved the way. All in all, it is easy to see why Big Baby Scumbag achieves such a cult following.
Similar Artists: Zack Fox, Lil Nas X, A$AP Ferg, Saba
To The Moon by Big Baby Scumbag
For fans of new age chill synth pop/Hip-Hop, Weiland will hit the spot. You may have heard his most popular single, “Dangerous Woman,” which features a catchy hook with Weiland’s signature spacey vocals. He raps less on this track compared to his older discography, which may catch some of his earliest fans off guard. This showcases his versatility. Working with famous synth focused producers such as Mike Dean, Weiland seems to be carving out a niche within the new hip hop industry. His music carries an energy that allows you to feel hyped up while having some of the slower vocals in the background, such as on “Blaming Myself.” For my fellow students, everyone is always looking to change up their study music and I can assure you Weiland is worth a slot in the rotation in and out of the books.
Similar Artists: Matt Ox, Ken Carson, Destroy Lonely, Don Tolliver
Dangerous Woman by Weiland
Glaze is a Tampa band that released their self-titled EP in 2019, and has followed it up with multiple smaller projects, most recently “Could You Stay Around a While.” Glaze’s music draws you in first with the lead singer’s truly mesmerizing voice. It is spacey (a trend in music I seem to love for those who notice) and calm with the ability to suck you in. The instrumentalists are amazing, and together they create a vibe like the bands Beach House and Turnover. They are the type of band that if I strolled into a local establishment and heard them playing, I would abandon the rest of my night’s plans and stick around to listen. Luckily, I can! They perform at many local Tampa Bay and St. Pete venues, most recently at Hooch and Hive according to the band’s Instagram. While I sit here patiently waiting for new music from them and a date for their next show, I highly recommend checking them out.
Similar Artists: Turnover, Beach House, Mild High Club, TOPS
Wasting All Your Time by Glaze
If there is one genre of music that I am always looking to hear new artists from, it is new age indie / bedroom pop. Laverty’s vocals and ability to inflect her voice really lends to super easy to listen to music. She says she draws influence from artists like Lorde and it is easy to hear it in the style of music she creates. Laverty’s most recent single, “Such A Shame,” is worth raving about. She describes the song as a Dance-
, yet feeling alone with your thoughts. One can also tell from listening to the lyrics that the song comes from a place of deep reflection and that power is evident when listening to the track.
Similar artists: Lorde, Kacey Musgraves, Kate Bollinger, Men I Trust
Such A Shame by Laverty
Sally and Mike, the guitarist and drummer, respectively, of other Tampa indie band Charles Irwin, have really found a niche in the lofi indie melancholy songs department through their band, Bedsite Kites. Their songs are growing in popularity on Spotify. Their most popular single “A Sad Song About a Girl I No Longer Know” has over 18 million streams. Their skillfully delivered vocals over an extremely consistent instrumentation throughout their music make for pleasant listening. Their 2019 EP is aptly titled “Songs to Pass Time.” It is easy for one to imagine themselves folding laundry and accomplishing every task they have been putting off and not realizing they had been vibing to Bedside Kites the entire time. They produce “soundtrack to life” music, if I can coin that phrase. So pass the time and listen to Bedside Kites and check them out at local Tampa venues.
Similar Artists: The Backseat Lovers, Del Water Gap, Rex Orange County
Deep Brown Eyes by Bedside Kites
The Hip Abduction
They have been around for a decent time but given the irony of their name combined with their beautiful music, they had to be included in this list. If you have ever listened to Goth Babe, you will be ecstatic to hear The Hip Abduction are a Tampa version with their own uniqueness. The phrase “sunset music” may be thrown around a great deal, but it does apply here. The Hip Abduction will make you feel like you are out in nature exploring the second you begin listening.
Similar Artists: Goth Babe, Mt. Joy, Magic City Hippies
We’ll Be Alright by The Hip Abduction