BEST INDIE SONGS - WEEK 2
World War III is upon us, but at least I may finally get to see Frank Ocean before being drafted into Donald Trump's Space Force.
— Coachella (@coachella) 3 January 2020
Between the President going psycho at Iran and Coachella dropping its lineup – not to mention Australia* and the return of Justin Bieber (Is this what the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse look like?) – it goes without saying this 20s is very much roaring. So, let's listen to some music, shall we?
Featuring Wild Nothing, Bombay Bicycle Club, Gesaffelstein, and more, this edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs has something for everyone.
WILD NOTHING – FOYER
Now, THIS is how you get a new year started! Following on from the release of Indigo in 2018, Wild Nothing returns today with “Foyer.” It's an epic, expansive piece of technicolor indie-pop, with flaring, 80s-style synths and groovy basslines underpinning Jack Tatum as he levitates several inches above the ground in a kind of a disconnected, danceable haze.
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB – I CAN HARDLY SPEAK
Bombay Bicycle Club just keep on delivering the slappers. Following on from the release of “Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You),” “Everything Else Has Gone Wrong,” and “Racing Stripes,” the British indie stalwarts are back today with another future classic “I Can Hardly Speak” – a slow-burning ode to expression that has “festival anthem” stamped all over it.
ROSALÍA – A PALÉ (GESAFFELSTEIN REMIX)
“A Palé” introduced us to a darker side to ROSALÍA's sound in November, and today, the song is getting an even darker remix courtesy of Gesaffelstein. Listen as the French bassmaster anchors ROSALÍA's lilt in a growling quagmire of electronic beats on the cut, resulting in a sinister techno banger that'll send quakes through countless club basements.
GREAT GOOD FINE OK – 2020
Brooklyn's Great Good Fine Ok are ringing in the new year in rapturous style with the aptly titled “2020.” “I felt like my life was out of focus/But now I'm seeing crystal clear/It's 2020,” sing the duo over gurgling low-end blasts on the cut – an exhilarating listen about finding clarity as we enter a new decade that deserves pride of place on any Roaring 20s playlist.
TYLER, THE CREATOR – BEST INTEREST
Not content with having dropped the most brilliant hip-hop album of 2019, Tyler, the Creator kept the music rolling in December with the release of leftover IGOR cut “BEST INTEREST.” Built around a pitched-up vocal line before segueing into a deliciously smooth rap verse, “BEST INTEREST” is the latest in a long-ass line of excellent loosies from Tyler.
COUNTERFEIT. – THE NEW INSANE
Having signed to Republic Records last year, London's COUNTERFEIT. are ready to make themselves heard this 2020 with “The New Insane.” It's a thunderous industrial banger that basically sounds like Nine Inch Nails as fronted by YUNGBLUD, with gargantuan grooves backing Jamie Bower as he explores neurosis with his equal parts soulful and spiky voice.
REYKO – SURRENDER
REYKO are offering a lover an olive branch on the hypnotic “Surrender.” “The song talks about leaving our egos aside and asking ourselves if it is really worth continuing to fight,” write the London-based synth-pop duo of the cut, which manages to hit hard thanks to its thudding low-end, while smoothing out the edges with frontwoman Soleil's captivating coo.
STRØM – LAST TRY
It's been a while since we last heard from STRØM, but the Swedish act returns today with the entirely mesmerizing “Last Try.” The song is the aural equivalent of a late-night drive through the city lights, when you need to quieten your never-ending intrusive thoughts, with synths throbbing like red-hot neon signs beneath STRØM's utterly engrossing vocals.
MADE OF STONE – NEVER AGAIN
And suddenly I'm covered in goosebumps... Introducing Made of Stone, the Los Angeles-based post-rockers who are making quite the entrance with “Never Again.” It's a moving, emotional heft of a song about falling for someone who fails to commit to you back, with the cut evoking a mixture of Mogwai and Daughter as it strives for its stunning crescendos.
FIELD MUSIC – DO YOU READ ME?
On Friday, Field Music will release Making a New World, a concept album about the after-effects of World War I, and today, the British act return with “Do You Read Me?” It's four minutes of urgently tangled art-rock that feels more pertinent than ever, with a military-style drum beat driving the cut forward as David Brewis pleads: “Do you read me down there?”
Until next time, why not follow We Are: The Guard's Weekly Chart on Spotify for more?
Happy New Year, everyone. x
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.