By Sarah Jack
Being one of the more overlooked of the European pop scene’s producers, Italy is not the first country that springs to mind when compiling a playlist of recent indie rock and pop hits. But for those looking beyond the countless techno sets, Bocelli’s operatic hits, and Beiber-knockoff teen sensation Fedez, a whole host of Mediterranean-rooted recent pop artists are waiting to be unearthed.
Single-handedly stealing Italian hearts since the release of his first album in 2009, Brunori Sas has spent most of the last decade charming the country with his trademark round glasses, and plaintive recounts of love, fear and everyday human relations.
Dente’s laid back love ballads span across five albums, culminating in 2016’s Canzoni per metà (literally: Songs Cut in Half), and have earned him the reputation as the king of Italian indie rock. Meanwhile, Italy’s answer to Ed Sheeran, Calcutta, hails from Lazio and has created a nation-wide buzz through his ability to laugh at his own popularity whilst mocking pop culture and Milanese lifestyle in his second album, Mainstream, released in June of this year. Stemming from the same fanbase, Motta perfectly embodies the moody teen boyband member topos, peering out from his mop of dark hair to croon “ma sei bella davvero…” (‘you really are beautiful’).
Moving into more electronic territory, I Cani and Cosmo create sounds reminiscent of the synth pop heyday. Iosonouncane is fiercely patriotic of his Sardinian background, using his music in Die to represent the sounds and atmosphere of the island.