The Lineup: The Best 6 Artists of August 2023


There seems to be many songs dedicated to the fleeting nature of the month of August. Riddled with mystery, nostalgia, and heat – the same thing always seems to happen every year, you blink an eye and bam, it’s September and everybody is counting down to the pumpkin spice haze that is autumn. So, in the name of commemorating the end of summer, here’s a lineup of six artists that will always remind us of our last summer days.


Hometown:  Toronto, CA

Recommended Tracks: “Still” and “Hate”

Spotify Monthlies: 239,103

Hailing from Toronto by way of Somalia, Idman (Id-mun) is definitely an R&B singer. A child of immigrants, the non-binary Somalian artist & activist Idman (Id-mun) is on my watch list of emerging R&B acts. Upon diving into their world, reading other articles & watching videos on youtube, Idman’s unwavering resolution to carve out narrative space & representation for communities that are underrepresented but often essentialized, reminds me of why I pivoted in music myself. Of course, Idman delivers in vocals and stage presence–the ingredients for a star in the making–but the viral-ability & potential for success does not take away from the substance of their music. From singing from the heart about their vulnerabilities in relationships as a non-binary person to battling her depression, Idman embraces the inevitable challenges of life and normalizes often overlooked & hyper-essentialized narratives.

If you like Tanerelle, Savannah Ré, or Bellah, I’d definitely give Idman a listen. Super excited for what’s to come for them! - Erica Wei

Casper Sage

Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK

Recommended Tracks: “Flow State,” “U4EA,” “is this real life?”

Spotify Monthlies: 193,900

Casper Sage is a stand out artist among today's rising alternative R&B stars. Often making music surrounding his personal experiences exploring themes of love, life, and inspirations. His experimental alt-indie sound blurs genre lines and produces an overall feel-good sound. His latest release, an EP entitled Synthesis+ is a perfect example of just how he’s pushing boundaries. The stand out track on the EP for me was “U4EA” with a psychedelic rock leaning production and high energy vocals that felt like a fresh sound from Casper. Alongside track “Flow State” that taps more into the indie R&B side, it gives us something to listen to when we need a little escape from reality.

Overall Casper has been steadily building a well curated catalog of experimental R&B sounds. He’s still at the early stages of his career but the talent has been in the works for some time now. Based on the quality and attention to detail of this recent EP, I’d hope for Casper Sage to start getting the recognition he deserves very soon. He’s embarking on tour with midwxst this fall, the perfect opportunity to showcase his live talents and spread his sound across the country! - Milly Wensley


Hometown: Scotland, UK

Recommended Tracks: “Into The Wild”, “Two’s a Crowd”, and “Devil In Me”

Spotify Monthlies: 21,797

Although Cartwright may only have three songs out in the world, I've still felt moments of musical infatuation with each release. I first discovered his music when "Into The Wild" dropped, and it was made wholly about a trip to the Scottish Highlands where he was seeking a reason. On this trip he coincidentally stayed at a place his late father used to visit, and in the process of creating this song he left us listeners with an overwhelming feeling to pull a Thoreau right along with him.

To continue the evolution, his latest release "Two's a Crowd" dips its toes into the world of relationships, and it made me happy to see that he didn't put himself in a box early on and is exploring the multitude of experiences that life is composed of. Cartwright is only three songs in, but I can assure you there is even more quality to come from the Scottish singer-songwriter. - Riley Furey

Richie Quake

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Recommended Tracks: “That’s Not Love,” “Dog,” and “Crawl”

Spotify Monthlies: 58, 258

If you’re looking to become more familiar with quintessential artists that make up today’s New York scene it is only a matter of time before you stumble upon the alt-rock genius that is Richie Quake. Around this time last year, Richie released his debut album, I Want Some and it was a hit. A more electric take on his signature sound, I Want Some propelled Richie and his discography to another level.

Now returning in the spotlight with his recent single, “Dog,” seems ready to usher his listeners, and future stans, into his new era. Dreamy and atmospheric, adorned by a sweeping string arrangement, “Dog” is the perfect tune to soundtrack the few summer sunsets left before we stumble into autumn. - Olive Soki

Liang Lawrence

Hometown: Exeter, ENG

Recommended Tracks: “(not) a love song,” “unposted letters”, and “Santa Cruz”

Spotify Monthlies: 192,701

Singer and songwriter Liang Lawrence possesses a remarkable ability to evoke profound emotions through her music, and her August release took this talent to new heights. Following the success of her hit single, "(not a love song)," she effortlessly met and even exceeded the high expectations with her EP, "letters to myself." One of the standout tracks from this project is "stuck," which encapsulates everything that makes her artistry exceptional. Her mellifluous vocals harmonizing with a raw guitar riff create a perfect fusion of her emotionally charged music. Another noteworthy moment on the EP is found in its opening track, "growing," where beautiful chords provide a solid foundation for her ethereal singing. This song sets the ideal tone for the entire collection. As the EP concludes with the track "the pilot," a more upbeat and grungy approach is embraced, and Liang Lawrence delivers it with absolute precision. August has undoubtedly propelled Liang Lawrence to new heights, and I eagerly anticipate what lies ahead in her promising musical journey. - Ian Hansen

bloody white

Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA

Recommended Tracks: “Congrats,” “JACKFISH.”

Spotify Monthlies: 46, 407

A string of promising singles led to the release of Disgust, bloody white’s debut album that puts his talent and range on full display. Whether the mesmerizing romance of “Betty Boop” or the moody pop balladry of “Congrats,” the Santa Barbara-based artist seems equipped to handle whatever emotion is at hand and turn it into your favorite song. Disgust has moments of blinding lightness and descending darkness, a clear contrast that plays well with his tempered approach to each song. While it is his most recent release, bloody white’s talents are well-documented – the past couple of years have provided an abundance of projects to display his artistry, from new music to animated shorts and more.  - Kieran Kohorst

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