Arts, Column

Your New Favorite Artist: Landon Conrath Elevates Pop

Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of Landon Conrath—you’re not alone. With just over 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Conrath is still in the early stages of building a fanbase. But Conrath seems to be on his way to bigger and better things in the music industry. With his genre-melding sound, bright electric guitar riffs, and chord progressions layered with nostalgia-inducing lyrics, Conrath is the up-and-coming artist to watch.

Conrath offers something for every listener. He’s a can’t-miss artist. His lyrics are just the right amount of personal and abstract. Add in Conrath’s bright and free-flowing guitar riffs and chord progressions and his driving drumlines, and you get the perfect music for those hazy summer afternoons. 

Hailing from Minneapolis, Minn., Conrath released his first song, “Pieces,” in 2020. He followed his debut single with “Acetone,” which is now his most popular song on Spotify, having amassed over four million streams. On “Acetone,” Conrath introduced his uncanny knack for creating a nostalgic tone with his lyrics. 

As he describes a doomed relationship, he pairs lines that evoke specific images with lines that contribute to the general mood of the song. In the chorus, Conrath sings of feeling as though the world is dulled around him as he listens to a Bon Iver song. 

“‘Skinny Love,’ ‘Skinny Love’ in my headphones … / Livin’ life, livin’ life in monochrome / I’m past it, closed casket,” Conrath sings.

Later in 2020, Conrath released his first EP, Paperbacks & Perfume. The song “Jericho” headlines the tracklist. Much like the rest of Conrath’s discography, the song’s genre is hard to pin down. The alt-pop category doesn’t do Conrath justice, as his guitar skills are more refined than an ordinary pop song. “Jericho” overflows with sweet and catchy guitar riffs, while a bright and crisp electric guitar brings the chorus to life.

But it wouldn’t be a Conrath song without short turns of phrase followed by bouncing rhymes and lyrics that are both moody and wistful. “Jericho” finds Conrath in the process of moving on from a past relationship. In the song’s first few lines, he sets the tone by singing about being unable to escape feelings of heartbreak. 

“Baby I know / That we’re through / My mind’s been overcast / The dream could never last with you / Nothing new / You’re leaving me for Malibu,” Conrath sings.  

Just like on “Acetone,” Conrath sets up images that are distinct to his own memory, while also allowing his listeners to create their own interpretation of and connection to the lyrics. 

Because Conrath has been a longtime drummer, his percussion is yet another facet of his style that contributes to his rising popularity. His drumlines and beats pace all of his songs and keep the tempo high, elevating them to a level beyond your average alt-pop track. 

“Papercuts” showcases Conrath’s flawless percussion choices as the ever-present bass drum begs listeners to tap along with their feet or hands.

Conrath released a new single, “Last Week,” on Feb. 4, showing no signs of slowing down in his music career. On his latest single, Conrath reflects on an unhealthy relationship in which he didn’t feel supported. 

A crisp lead guitar riff takes center stage as he sings “Maybe this ain’t healthy / I’ve been up since last week / Walking on the concrete / Staring at the palm trees.”

Featured Graphic by Annie Corrigan / Heights Editor

March 27, 2022