Barry can’t swim, but he’s flying to the top!

The vibrant new EDM producer has gone from strength to strength providing so many of us with this summer’s soundtrack.


The London-based DJ Barry Can’t Swim (real name Joshua Mannie) is without doubt one to watch in the electronic scene. Barry‘s groovy samples and jazz-infused melodic house tracks have already built him a sea of fans desperate to see his sets and I am certain this is just the beginning.


The Scottish born producer blends a variety of dance music sub-genres, including disco, garage and jungle. Barry‘s sound has a unique feel, as he is heavily inspired by traditional jazz music. Interestingly, his appreciation for jazz music started from an early age, as he learnt to play the piano at age 9 and then worked in various jazz bars during his teenage years, purposely surrounding himself with the more traditional style of music.


Barry Cant Swim started creating his own dance hits in 2020, working hard to produce a number of extended projects and singles and he has been unstoppable ever since. His newest EP ‘How it feels‘ is currently on repeat for me with it’s emotive feel, colourful samples and refreshing energy.


2023 has already been an incredibly successful year for Barry Can’t Swim. This year, the producer has massively increased his exposure, attending a number of festivals as well being invited to do a set with the notorious Boiler Room in his hometown of Edinburgh.

Barry can’t Swim – Boiler Room – Edinburgh (2023)

Despite his newfound fame, Barry seems to be remaining humble, telling 10magazine that the greatest highlight of his career so far is simply “seeing people you’ve never met before in places you’ve never been before singing along” telling them “it’s still so surreal”.


Barry‘s rise in popularity is not surprising due to the EDM scene in the UK booming in the last couple of years. A report by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) revealed that electronic music is the most popular genre at UK festivals overtaking rock – which has dominated for decades. In the last year, similar British EDM artists have had wider global success for example Fred Aagin.. and Fourtet have quickly risen to the top even headlining the iconic Coachella with fellow producer Skrillex.


Barry is set to release his debut album ‘When Will We land?‘ on the 20th of October.

“it’s a huge personal milestone for me, after 10 months of solid writing plus a whole 20+ years of dreaming about it. I’ve poured every thing I have into it, and really hope yous like it”

– Barry via Instagram on his upcoming album

Personally, I’m very intrigued about the new album as the young DJ has recently taken his sound in a new direction by releasing more chilled, melodic downtempo tracks for example ‘Sonder‘ and ‘God is the space between us‘. So, I’m excited to see what it will be like and how it will be received.


Check out his music below and please comment any other underrated similar artists.

Melodic rap single ‘War and Dior’ shows real promise

The new track is short but very sweet with rich vocals being paired with smooth sound production to create a high-quality rap tune.


For this record, the South-west London based rapper and songwriter Mxlode (pronounced ‘Melody’) collaborated with Teeqro, his life-long friend, fellow artist and producer. The duo’s vocals compliment each other well to create a more complex sound.

The lyrics of ‘War and Dior’ reflect Mxlode‘s dreams as an artist as he manifests a successful future “see I never did a show but when I blow I’ll tour arenas with millions”. The chorus also highlights the hate Mxlode received about his music in the early stages. He goes on to suggests that some of those around him switched up after his music career began taking off.

Due to the eclectic mix of sub-genres on this track, there are a number of artists that come to mind who I think will have influenced Mxlode‘s music style. Personally, I hear similarities with UK rap trio D-Block Europe as well as America’s 6LACK. This was echoed by Mxlode himself as he said he looked up to a wide range of artists including Akon, XXXTentacion as well as the king of pop – Michael Jackson.

Mxlode kindly allowed me to listen to the unreleased EP that will be out later this year and it’s definitely a project to get excited about! It’s multi-layered, honest, strongly-produced and flows cohesively, so be ready for the release!

“This EP is 100% my best work yet. It’s the most honest I’ve been about my experiences. I really leaned into a strength of mine which is my vulnerability on this project and I hope it’s able to resonate with people the same way it does when I listen to it”

– Mxlode

Let me know what you think of the tune and please suggest other similar underrated artists in the comments below!

Listen on Spotify here:

Five Indie Artists You Need to Listen to This Summer!

The last decade has shown a decline in the popularity of the British indie scene in comparison to the love that Britpop music received in the 90s and early naughtiest. But that does not mean their is a lack of talent in modern day indie-rock music – it’s just harder to spot. I handpicked these five artists as I believe they are all underrated and deserve more appreciation and exposure. Let me know what you think in the comments!



The fourtet that formed in 2019 has since tried their best to grow Nottingham’s indie scene one gig at a time. This year they released their first EP, ‘Buck Rogers Time’, consisting of five singles, with the strongest in my opinion being ‘Cotton Wool’ and opener, ‘Porcelain’. Lead vocalist, Bowley, told NME that the band’s sound developed as a result of the pandemic, “We couldn’t actually do ‘band stuff’, so we just talked about and shared music instead”.

The band are now making waves further than hometown, Nottingham, and in fact across the continent, as they’re being invited to play at smaller festivals across Europe. Additionally, the band has been named in NME’s Top 100 Essential Artists for 2023, highlighting the respect and belief the band already has from mainstream music media.

Cucamaras on Spotify:


Danny Mellin

The Oxfordshire-based singer songwriter has released a total of ten singles so far, with themes including the importance of good mates, girl trouble and everyday life struggles. Danny told ‘The Bucket Playlist’ blog that he plans to keep releasing singles because he believes it’s a better way to distribute music. In lockdown, Danny developed his sound from mostly acoustic guitar songs to indie rock, with the help of newly formed band. Danny became influenced by heavyweights of the modern indie rock scene, Sam Fender and Arctic Monkeys – inspiring him to make a “bigger sound”.

Using TikTok to promote his singles and reply to fans, with his great vocals and hard hitting lyrics, Danny is slowly but surely building his own fanbase. The recent single, ‘Ordinary Day’ is already a personal favourite, with its high tempo, classic indie rock guitar rifts as well as perfectly unrefined vocals. This year Danny and his band completed a headline UK tour – I think this is just the start!

Danny Mellin on Spotify:


Ora Violet

Ora Violet are a band trying to break barriers within the indie rock scene. The band that formed in 2019, consists of five members, each with a different nationality, allowing them to create a culturally diverse sound drawn from their different backgrounds. Everything from their music to their song cover art is ambiguous, unique and artistic.

This year, the band released their first full project with EP, ‘Have You Met Me’ consisting of five guitar heavy tracks. Ora Violet said on Instagram: “We are so proud of this, so much work went into it, this is us now”. The standout tracks for me are ‘Feel the Same’ and ‘Last dance’ with the second being about frontman, Tommy’s struggle with addiction and coming to terms with his sexuality.

Despite being so new, the group have already had some success, as they were chosen to support Duran Duran at Hyde Park in London last year as well as having upcoming headline shows in the UK.

Ora Violet on Spotify:



This London-based garage rock trio are an exciting group and you should give them a listen! The all female line-up and intricate yet rocky beats gives them a new and individual sound. In terms of their songs influences, they told ‘Gigrader’ that: “it can totally vary sometimes we write songs about different moods or a feeling rather than an actual topic”.

BERRIES return with their first release since their debut album last year, with new track. “Control”. The new track is certainly one of my favourite of their songs, with it’s grungy guitar and layered melodic vocals it stands out as a great single all round. The band is currently going from strength to strength as they have just successfully completed a headline UK tour and announced a string of smaller UK festivals that they will be playing at this summer.

BERRIES on Spotify:



CVC also known as Church Village Collective are a Welsh psych-rock band that are working hard to showcase their music not just across South Wales but worldwide. The band have gained popularity with their debut album ‘Get Real’ as they received a very decent review from NME (one of the Uk’s leading music magazines) as well as having over 63,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. The album sounds well put together and all the songs fit together excellently whilst having a variety of subgenres. For me, the standout tracks were the beautifully melodic and effortless ‘Sophie’ along with the catchy and authentic ‘Docking The Pay’.

The band have just finished a North American tour, including massive festivals and the fun doesn’t stop there as they will be completing a UK headline tour with many venues already sold out in the next few weeks.

CVC on Spotify:

Glastonbury – The best unexpected collaborations of the weekend

The world’s biggest greenfield music festival has come to a close after 5 days of incredible performances and a collection of unforgettable moments. An electric atmosphere filled the Worthy Farm fields as Glastonbury celebrated it’s 50th year and a successful comeback after a 2-year break during the pandemic.

Glastonbury has had some unbelievably iconic moments over the years and some of the most memorable are the surprising duets and collaborations between performers. Over the years, the festival has brought together the likes of The Killers and The Pet Shop Boys, Dizzie Rascal with Florence and the machine as well as Miley Cyrus and Lil Nas X. Personally I think the more random and weirder the collaboration, the better.

Let’s take a look at some of the best unexpected crossovers of artists this year…


Paul McCartney the Beatles legend had the Saturday headline spot, and he did not disappoint. His 38-song set was full of great moments including: breath-taking fireworks, a heartfelt tribute to bandmate John Lennon, and the crowd singing Paul happy birthday to celebrate his 80th! But the moment that has had everyone talking is when he surprised the audience of over 100,000 people with icons Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl. The appearance of the Foo Fighters’ frontman made the performance even more special as he played for the first time since the death of fellow bandmate and friend Taylor Hawkins. The trio of Rock n Roll royalty performed Springsteen’s ‘Glory days’ followed by Beatles classics ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ and ‘The End’ with both guests taking part in an epic guitar showdown!


Perhaps the most random out of all my picks, making it one of my favourites, is when Blossoms invited pop legend Mel C from the Spice Girls on stage. I think it’s safe to say it was the crossover nobody was expecting. Frontman Tom Ogden asked the audience of The Other Stage, “Do we have any Spice Girls fans in the house?” before introducing sporty spice and asking her to excuse his poor attempts of the dance moves. Together they performed the Spice Girls’ classic ‘Spice up Your Life’ and the fans enjoyed every minute of the all-English modern indie rock and 90s pop crossover.


A collaboration I really enjoyed was during Lorde’s magical Sunday set, when she invited special guests Arlo Parks and Clairo to sing ‘Stoned at the Nail Salon’ with her. The New Zealander star described the song as “the ultimate comedown anthem” and joking that her set is the perfect place to do this after a heavy few days. As somebody who is obsessed with all 3 singers, I can only describe them as the holy trinity of alternative indie vocals. The trio did not disappoint as they harmonised beautifully creating a wonderful moment for the audience to reflect on the whole weekend.


The duo that has caught the most attention from the weekend and a highlight for many attending was when American pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo invited British icon Lily Allen onto stage. 19-year-old Olivia stole the headlines as she sang Lily Allen’s notorious tune ‘F*** You’ directing it towards members of the Supreme Court that voted to overturn abortion rights in America. Rodrigo spoke aggressively, “so many women and so many girls are going to die because of this. They clearly don’t give a shit about our freedom”. The teen then named all 5 judges before giving an unforgettable performance alongside Lily who is known for her outrageous comments and controversies. The singing itself was far from perfect but the chaotic energy captured the beautiful raw emotions of anger and vulnerability.


Leave a comment down below telling me your dream Glastonbury collaboration!

TikTok – Is it a blessing or curse to the music industry?

Without doubt TikTok is the biggest influence on music right now! From launching ‘nobody’s’ to stardom, to controlling the charts to reviving old songs from the grave, TikTok has complete power over the music industry and what is popular.

TikTok has retained its spot as the most downloaded app in 2021 with now over 1 billion users. So, it is no surprise that the content creating app is hugely influential on the music business. The power of TikTok makes it easier than ever to propel artists to fame overnight, simply with a viral video or trending sound that gets reused and becomes popular. The app released a report revealing that 75% of it’s users say they have discovered new artists via the platform.

An example of this incredible sudden popularity is 20-year-old BENEE. The indie pop singer from New Zealand shot to fame after the most followed TikToker (with over 100 million followers) Charli D’Amelio danced to her song “Superlonely”. The song is still the 17th most streamed song in the world! In my eyes it defines TikTok culture during the lockdown period of summer 2020 and the sound will always instantly remind me of sunbathing in our gardens with homemade banana bread and Greek iced coffee.

An obvious advantage of TikTok’s influence is how quick it can help small artists gain listeners, as before many aspiring singers would take years to gain a following and even then, only the lucky persevering few. Also, TikTok has made advertising easier than ever, the short videos and algorithms can be more influential than thousand-dollar marketing campaigns.

Satan Dave’s Viral TikTok sound “Starlight”

In terms of charting, it is astonishingly obvious that popular TikToks affects the charts. When I check the current Official Top 40, I find that the first 5 songs are all huge sounds on the app! UK rapper Dave was reluctant to use the app at first, but his single “Starlight” reached number 1 and now has over 300,000 videos after a trend displaying pictures went viral.

Although some people criticise the changing state of the music industry suggesting it is “ruining the charts” and claiming artists purposefully make “catchy” songs to go viral. In my opinion, Drake’s hit song “Toosie slide” was made deliberately to be a viral TikTok dance as it includes the lyrics, “Left foot up, right foot slide” and it was successful as it became the fastest trend to hit a billion views. Although I understand why artists are going down this route, it is clearly damaging to the industry and making lots of music feel meaningless and less authentic.

I know at one time we have all been guilty of wanting to gatekeep our favourite underrated artists and songs, and as much as it infuriates me to hear “this is a TikTok song” while listening an old favourite, I understand that this is inevitable as the app is so big.

The Rise of the Alternative British Rap Scene – Why you should be listening!

The alternative UK rap scene is booming as artists such as Loyle Carner, Bakar and Slowthai are reinventing UK rap.

Often called ‘chill’, ‘jazz’ or ‘lo-fi’ rap, the sub-genre feels refreshing as it moves away from the well-known UK Hip-Hop Drill and Grime scene pioneered by Heavy weights such as Stormzy, Skepta and Giggs. Instead, the aggressive beats and fast lyrics are swapped for easy-going jazz-inspired beats paired with a conversational tone and often London accent.

In the last 5 years, the genre has taken off, I believe it’s because each artist has individual creativity, and because they focus less on charting and marketability. I think this music category will continue to thrive due to the relatability of the storytelling as it strays away from gang culture and violence found in grime that not many can relate to. This new wave of rappers use everyday life experiences and personal anecdotes to speak to an impressionable young generation.

Many start off on the platform SoundCloud, the interactivity features are why I think it’s so widely loved, artists can communicate with fans on each individual track. Also, artists can upload music without help, allowing them to be completely experimental and free of restrictions. Lausse The Cat first grew on this platform and despite not releasing music since 2018, he remains influential as he is one of the best storytellers. His ability to create vivid imagery through natural sound bites of real life coupled with his very real but poetic lyrics, allows listeners to go on a journey through his projects.

Another way songs take off is through the power of TikTok for example SL’s ‘Tropical’ and Bakar’s ‘Hell N Back’ that both ended up charting. This is not surprising as the songs are both aesthetic and catchy, making them perfect for short TikTok clips, allowing the artists to gain free recognition.

Although this genre is relatively new, I would suggest it has taken inspiration from old classic British artists from the early 2010’s. I strongly believe that Rizzle Kicks walked so that Loyle Carner could run, as they share a similar conversational tone and jazzy samples despite the difference in maturity of lyrics.

Here is my list of underrated alternative UK rappers that you need to check out and put on your playlist:

  • Knucks
  • Bennadict
  • Spencer Elmer
  • Collistar
  • Sainte 
  • Ashbeck
  • Ayrtn

Check out this playlist to explore the genre more:

Rex Orange County’s ‘WHO CARES?’ – Unexpectedly Uplifting!


Alex O’Connor, known famously as Rex Orange County has just released his much-anticipated 4th album, ‘WHO CARES?‘, but it is not the sorrowful breakup album most fans were expecting. Instead, Rex focuses on healing and self-reflection through enjoyable melodies.

Listen to ‘WHO CARES?‘ here:

It feels like Rex has perfected his own sound, dominating the genre of bedroom indie pop. Similar artists include: Easy Life, Wallows and Mac DeMarco.

The short but sweet album of only 35 minutes is the perfect alternative summer album. It presents difficult themes such as stress, lack of motivation, depression and not fitting in, that noticeably contrasts his amiable soothing style. This contrast is what allows listeners a form of escapism as all songs have a nostalgic comforting feel, paired with the relatability of the heartfelt lyrics.

However, despite personally loving most the tracks, I can understand why fans are confused or in some cases disappointed. In comparison to his last album ‘Pony’, the new album lacks the same depth and variety of tracks.

As although Rex is famous for his catchy jazzy pop hits, his real fans know he makes some of the best sad songs in modern music and after his breakup fans expected at least a few tear-jerking ballads they could relate to. However, it seems like the singer songwriter is in a happier state of mind now, so it seems wrong to wish for sad songs for my own gain.

The albums simplicity and Alex’s charmingly awkward persona makes it a very enjoyable listen, and I am confident that it will only get better with every listen. However, there is definitely some stand out songs.

  • Firstly, one of the singles ‘AMAZING’ as it is annoyingly catchy! I have found myself adding it to my Spotify queue and singing it randomly in the kitchen way too many times to be ignored.
  • Next, ‘OPEN A WINDOW’ featuring Tyler the Creator as it has a nostalgic almost 80’s vibe paired with modern lyrics. The fact Tyler is the only collaboration song feels oddly wholesome as he was the artist that helped Rex rise to fame in 2017 when Tyler featured him on the now platinum album ‘Flower Boy’ – so it feels like a full circle moment in their friendship.
  •  ‘SHOOT ME DOWN’ is already a personal favourite of mine as it weirdly feels like a Bond theme song but in the best way possible.

(Posted:13th of March)

About the writer…

Hey, I’m Maddy Pigott, I am currently studying journalism at the University of Lincoln and I thought it was about time I started a blog.

I chose to focus on music because it’s my favourite thing, sometimes I prefer it to people. You will never see me walking without my wired earphones, in my room without blasting my portable speaker or sitting in silence without humming a song that is stuck in my head.

This blog will consist of anything and everything music related: writing reviews, features on new underrated artists and hopefully some interesting interviews.

I love live music and go to concerts whenever I can , it’s definitely the reason I have no money, but it is 100% worth it. My first concert was when I was 8-years-old and watched the Kaiser Chiefs on my dad’s shoulders and ever since then I have been obsessed with the feeling. I am beyond excited for the concerts and festivals in 2023 and I will make sure to document and write about each one.

My music taste is quite varied so expect many different genres and music from all decades. To get a better idea, follow my Spotify:

I am very open to new ideas, contrasting opinions and finding new artists so feel free to comment on any post. I hope you enjoy your time reading, please share if you do : )

I am ALWAYS looking for new artists to review, listen to, or promote so please drop me a DM or email me if you want me to hear your music!

To contact me directly for enquiries please email: