London’s a melting pot for all musical tastes and seasonings, between...
...the rising grime scene led by pioneers Skepta and Stormzy
...the indie pop stars (fangirls included) like The 1975
...the BNOC’s of indie rock: Radiohead, Blur, Mumford & Sons, Arctic Monkeys, alt–J
Deal breaker: ‘Shut Up’ by Stormzy
Just because the music scene is minimal doesn’t mean that going to Italy just for the pizza/pasta isn’t legit. It is. But when the local cuisine and feeling like Lizzie McGuire won’t do it for you, there’s always Jovanotti. (Ed note: And Will Ferrell.)
Deal breaker: ‘Ti Porto Via Con Me’ by Jovanotti
Spain is home to arguably the world’s best clubbing scene between Barcelona and Ibiza (LCD Soundsystem can vouch for that), but not much is going on here in terms of rising indie talent with the exception of Crystal Fighters and Hinds. Don’t get us wrong though—we’d definitely still be down for a semester of flamenco with Enrique.
Deal breaker: ‘Bailando’ by Enrique Iglesias
While there’s no rap scene—unless you count Iggy Azalea (Ed note: we don’t)—some of the most off–the–wall artists are from down under.
Think Tame Impala, Cloud Control, Boy & Bear, RUFUS, The Temper Trap, Courtney Barnett and Architecture in Helsinki as the big indie names in both Australia and the rest of the world. There’s also the added bonus of kangaroos everywhere. And, if you need a little more convincing, let 5 Seconds of Summer, Betty Who, Sia or Chet Faker do the talking.
Deal breaker: ‘The Less I Know the Better’ by Tame Impala
Home of red wine, (real) champagne, Laduree and these guys: Phoenix, M83, Daft Punk, David Guetta, Soko and Lilly Wood and The Prick. Since M83 is releasing an album in the very, very near future, this could be a very, very good decision on your part. Au revoir!
Deal breaker: ‘Midnight City’ by M83
There’s a whole list of reasons that countries in this region are consistently ranked the happiest in the world, and it looks like this: Calvin Harris, Avicii, Tiesto, Alesso, Galantis, Seabear, Sigur Ros, CHVRCHES, Miike Snow, Sjowgren, Tove Lo, Zara Larsson...so whether indie rock is your jam or EDM gets you going, chances are the Nordic nations might just be your happy place.
Deal breaker: ‘Sjowgren’ by Seventeen
Why would you ever leave the home of epic indie rockers — Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, The Districts, Alex G, Dr. Dog, we could go on and on and on. If that doesn’t do it for you, then you might just be a lost cause.
Deal breaker: ‘Red Eyes’ by The War on Drugs
Expect a spiritual awakening in the holy ’hood of Jerusalem, where you’ve got a loaded lineup with Idan Raichel, Yosef Karduner and Moshav.
Deal breaker: ‘Mahapecha Shel SimcHa’ by Omer Adam
Do people actually go abroad here? Either way, Canada actually breeds a solid music scene—Carly Rae Jepsen, The Weeknd, Majical Cloudz, Crystal Castles, to namedrop a few—so no judgements if you choose homeland as your destination for a once–in–a–lifetime experience. Well, almost no judgment.
Deal breaker: ‘Run Away with Me’ by Carly Rae Jepsen
Ever heard of Dave Matthews Band? Cape Town. How about Troye Sivan? Johannesburg (kinda). While these might be the only mainstream names coming out of South Africa for now, you’ll be happy to hear that the local music scene is not dead, but actually pretty popping if we can say so ourselves. Try the likes of Native Young, The Rudimentals, Jeremy Loops and Jack Parow if you’re after an actually ~immersive~ abroad.
Deal breaker: ‘Down South (feat. Motheo Moleko)’ by Jeremy Loops