Sidney Gish/Bandcamp

I’ll level with you: there’s no real way to successfully escape the political hell scape reality we reside in, but there’s always room for joy, spaces to fill with ascending melody and hopeful sentiment. That’s why I’m pleased as punch to introduce to you Sidney Gish, a 20-year-old Boston-based singer-songwriter who specializes in dense, infectious indiepop about the most human experiences—imposter syndrome, not-so-successful attempts at getting healthier—and all that is magic and mundane: dogs, rats, rooms, memes, kissing, anxiety-inducing vulnerability masked as weakness. These are just some of themes on her new LP, No Dogs Allowed.

Currently an undergraduate at Northeastern University studying jazz guitar and the music industry, Gish’s virtuosity complicates songs that could be presented as simple and soft, giving them additional, undeniable dimension—she’s an incredible songwriter, there’s no doubt about it, one who has left us with an album’s worth of surprises to unpack.

If we’re being super freakin’ frank here, it’s rare to hear a debut this strong this early in the year. Please, heaven above, let it reflect the year ahead. We could use such delight.