THE 10 BEST INDIE SONGS IN THE WORLD THIS WEEK
JUST CANCEL 2020, ALREADY!
Chadwick Boseman singing "Grandma's Hands" by Bill Withers who also passed this year. Y'all pic.twitter.com/thSYNyCjW4
— Hendrix Monae (@HendrixMonae) August 29, 2020
RIP to a king.
Check out this week’s edition of We Are: The Guard’s Best Indie Songs, featuring girl in red, Fenne Lily, The Smashing Pumpkins, and more.
GIRL IN RED – RUE
Norway’s girl in red is unleashing the darkness from within on her inky latest single “rue.” “I wrote this song for my loved ones who are affected by my mental health. I will always try my best to get better for them, and I am forever grateful for their presence in my life,” writes Marie Ulven Ringheim of “rue” – an ode to the Euphoria character of the same name – with girl in red’s haunted vocals rising like the spires of a gothic cathedral.
FENNE LILY – SOLIPSISM
Rising rocker Fenne Lily dispatches an anthem for outsiders everywhere on her latest single “Solipsism.” Produced by Brian Deck with audio assistance from the legendary Steve Albini – whose presence is particularly felt in the muddy grunge guitars wading throughout the song – “Solipsism” is all about disconnection, with Fenne’s weighty, Nico-esque croon landing with startling melodic punch.
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS – CYR
Coinciding with the announcement of their 11th album, The Smashing Pumpkins have shared “Cyr. “‘Cyr’ is dystopic folly. One soul against the world sort of stuff, set against a backdrop of shifting loyalties and sped-up time,” writes Billy Corgan of the song, which explores more new-wave territory than what we’re used to, with big, shiny synths and female vocal harmonies coming together to form a kind of glossy apocalyptic groover.
SHAMIR – RUNNING
Following on from the release of “On My Own” – one of my favorite songs, if not my favorite song, of 2020 so far – Shamir returns with the utterly gleaming “Running.” Written about a set of toxic friends that pushed Shamir into a crippling bout of gender dysphoria, it’s a truly effortless piece of power-pop that comes complete with a blinder of a chorus that proves music and melody are firmly built into this young artist’s DNA.
MCCALL – NOTHING EVEN WRONG
21-year-old McCall takes a deep dive into the turmoil of her mind on the lush, fragmented “Nothing Even Wrong.” If you’ve ever experienced depression, then you’ll know the chaos that comes with battling your inner demons with all of your brilliance and might, with McCall giving life to this fight on “Nothing Even Wrong” – a song that glows like a neon artifact amid a cavern of darkness.
SAMIA – TRIPTYCH
Samia continues to build on her thoughtfully knotty breed of indie-rock with “Triptych.” Inspired by The Black Triptychs – a series of paintings created by British artist Francis Bacon following the suicide of his lover George Dyer – “Triptych” is a gutting breakup song that builds from balladic beginnings to a distorted, orchestrated finale as emotionally smothering as Samia’s heart.
CASSIA – DON’T MAKE A SCENE
The season of Pumpkin Spice is almost upon us, but Cassia are squeezing out the final few drops of summer with “Don’t Make a Scene.” Featuring lo-fi, dappling vocals and flowering, Mac DeMarco-style guitars, “Don’t Make a Scene” is the audio equivalent of a taking a top-down convertible along the Pacific Coast, with the song lyrically touching on the importance of pursuing your dreams and standing up for what you believe in.
VÉRITÉ – YOUNGER WOMEN
VÉRITÉ stands amid the ruins of a crumbling relationship on “younger women.” “If you don’t want me/Just say it/Open your lips and lay it on me/Don’t delay it/Look me in the face/And tell me you don’t want to lie anymore/I’m not that good, good kind of love you want, love,” sings Kelsey Regina Byrne over tectonic sub-bass on the cut – a funereal lament that hears VÉRITÉ discovering an inner power in the face of rejection.
CIRCA WAVES (FEAT. ALFIE TEMPLEMAN) – LEMONADE
When life gives you lemons, make “Lemonade.” Just ask British band Circa Waves, who are helping us to see the bright side of it all on their latest single featuring Alfie Templeman. With boom-bap beats and sun-saturated acoustics meeting the kind of sing-along vocals that bring a sense of union to these times of isolation and division, “Lemonade” is a joyous, uplifting listen that demands multiple plays.
CULTS – MONOLITHIC
Ahead of the release of Host, their forthcoming album that tells the story of a parasitic relationship, Cults have shared the cinematic closing cut “Monolith.” As the song title suggests, it’s an imposing structure of sound that hears Madeline Follin’s vocals riding atop a crest of strings, with the lyrics focusing in on a moment of catharsis and realization that borders on what Cults describe as a “happy ending.”
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Jess Grant is a frustrated writer hailing from London, England. When she isn't tasked with disentangling her thoughts from her brain and putting them on paper, Jess can generally be found listening to The Beatles, or cooking vegetarian food.