top of page


The Very Best In Underground Music

Here at SMPM, we pride ourselves on recognising the best underground music in the world. Forget big artists with huge Spotify numbers, these are the best new songs from the cutting edge of independent sounds.

Today, read a collection of reviews on some of the best subterranean releases we've encountered in the past month. Spoiler alert: they're all sick.

- make sure to follow our monthly spotify playlist to hear these subterranean singles and even more of our favourite underground tracks on August 1st-



Ramya Pothuri: Spotify // Instagram

As the latest step in what is an already impressive discography, ‘dream of us’ sees Ramya Pothuri take a turn towards dream pop, and I’m absolutely here for it. There's so much to celebrate about this beautifully mixed track (courtesy of Mathias Durand). Glittery synths; inviting guitar riffs; the warmth in Pothuri’s voice as she sings “I know you well.” This is a song that exudes a dreamy yet familiar kind of nostalgia, one born out of a pandemic that can make us miss places and people that were once perfectly within our grasp.

It's a feeling perfectly encapsulated by ‘dream of us’ and its accompanying music video: a collage of iPhone photos and short video clips that look back on something lost not with sadness, but with the joy that comes from re-living good memories. Sonically beautiful and atmospherically contemplative, ‘dream of us’ is a particularly exciting release from Pothuri, and it should serve as the perfect soundtrack to creating new summer memories as we all begin addressing a year of lost time.




Lyena: Spotify // Instagram

Everyone's sleeping on Lyena and it makes me sad. This band needs more ears in their direction, and you're doing yourself a disservice by missing out on what they have to offer.

After the stellar release of 'Keep Swimming' in January (still one of my favourite songs of 2021) Lyena have returned to their roots with 'Lucy.' A recording of the first song the band ever wrote together, the group has again stepped up the production into a whole new dimension of quality. Lyena have always been a band ready to make the leap into the popular consciousness, but now their music is starting to justify that confident ambition.

'Lucy' has Lyena sounding like the big boys, and just like 'Keep Swimming' the song demonstrates a group only going from strength to strength. Immaculately grimy and gritty as fuck, this is an accessibly heavy sound that the UK underground has been crying out for. I've always felt a bit confused as to why I hear so much of Superfood in Lyena's music, but with 'Lucy' I think I've figured it out: this is Superfood, but with ten distortion pedals all fighting each other to see who can make the gnarliest tone. What you're left with is the sonic equivalent of a punch in the face, but in the best possible way. Listen to Lyena.

- BEN WHEADON (@wheadz)



Cooks But We're Chefs: Spotify // Instagram

The only explanation for this heatwave is that it was summoned by the neo-soul vibrations of Cooks But We're Chefs. It's always so hard for me to say impartial when writing about my favourite artists, but after falling in love with this Irish mega-group and their EP Sports Day last year, I'm so happy to hear 'Resting On Laurels' as a continuation of one of the most promising underground bands we've encountered since starting SMPM.

'Resting On Laurels' is summer vibes incarnate: laid-back, ass-on-grass, bask in the sunshine kinda music. Everything I love about the Chefs is here, but refined, somehow sounding even tighter than their last project. The production is expectedly pristine, with each instrument all afforded the space needed to be heard with total clarity. On top of it, Siofra Nolan channels the spirit of soul through an unsurprisingly faultless vocal performance. Lyricising "what a day, what a day" either purposefully quotes Ms. Erykah Badu, or unintentionally absorbs her energy in the creation of an enviably excellent contribution. Then Methembe Thabani Mafu arrives. Piercing through an unbelievably good whirlwind of background synth sounds, when Methembe starts rapping on Cooks But We're Chefs tunes, it's clear that you're in the presence of greatness. I can't express my enjoyment of Methembe's style. I mean it with total sincerity that he is one of my favourite hip-hop artists in the world, and though his verse here is short, it remains a real highlight. You need to hear this band.

- BEN WHEADON (@wheadz)



Mouth Breather: Spotify // Instagram

We only discovered Mouth Breather painfully recently, but it's become increasingly clear that we've missing out on an utterly brilliant creative voice. They are firmly on their way to becoming one of SMPM's favourite artists, and this newest tune only adds fuel to that fire.

If you know me, you know I love a song that tells a good story, and good lord does Mouth Breather’s ‘oof!’ deliver. An unassuming, upbeat melody masks a dramatic tale of love and heartbreak set in the town of Mississauga, Canada, where the song’s narrator wakes up to find his lover has left with all his money, leaving only a short note behind. Brimming with Mouth Breather’s signature wry wit, this track makes good on his promise to experiment with more guitar sounds while also creating a fun summer bop, complete with energetic claps and… are those maracas? Yep, this song has it all.

And I really can't say much more. It's honestly hard to distil the unique style of Mouth Breather into a review like this. Instead, consider this a forceful instruction to go listen to it. I promise it will cure any and all break-up blues.




moa moa: Spotify // Instagram

The first thought that hit me when I turned up moa moa’s ‘Coltan Candy’ for the first time was “Jesus Christ, this song is trying to murder me.” But, like, in a good way.

Absolutely electrifying, blood thirsty bass loops open up this alt-pop outfit’s latest single, but soon give way to a mesmerisingly hypnotic groove. In fact, this tropically-tinged track feels a good deal less intense than the band’s past two releases – relatively speaking, that is. Like all moa moa singles so far, ‘Coltan Candy’ surprises its listeners, glitches out, twists and turns on itself, perhaps not with the same extravagant fearlessness as their previous tracks, but certainly with a striking confidence and a sound already astonishingly distinct. Don’t get me wrong though: ‘Coltan Candy’ is still a very good song, and a great one considering it was put together in only 13 hours. A fresh find unlike any other this month, I encourage all of you to add it to whatever indie summer playlist you might be cooking up for sunny trips to the beach. Trust me, it will fit right in, and possibly save you a sunburn by jolting you up from one of those accidental naps in the sun. (Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us).



Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture website created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based at the University of Oxford. He is also a Fleet Foxes shill.

Ainhoa Santos Goicoechea (pronounced "I-know-ah") is a culturally confused Creative Writing postgraduate student from the Basque Country, Spain. She is passionate about film, music and politics, and she should probably know more than she does about all three.

Do you make music? Follow our Instagram and send us a DM. We’ll contact you if we like what we hear. In the meantime, you can like us on Facebook and subscribe to our mailing list below to stay up to date with our ramblings.

bottom of page