THE 10 BEST INDIE SONGS OF THE WEEK
Photo by Sunflower Bean
Before I begin this week's column, I'd like to pay tribute to a legendary member of the indie community who we, unfortunately, lost on Wednesday: Snacks the Cat, album-cover-starring kitty, and Bethany Cosentino's loyal feline companion for over 14 years. After debuting on the front of Crazy for You, Snacks genuinely became a beloved mascot for the indie scene, and We Are: The Guard sends their love to Bethany and Best Coast during this time. An icon among icons!
You better believe my son got his own pitchfork eulogy. What a fucking legend. https://t.co/1q8Wk5Kuwq
— Best Coast (@BestCoast) February 10, 2022
Check out the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs, featuring Sunflower Bean, Shamir, Jordana, and lots more!
SUNFLOWER BEAN – WHO PUT YOU UP TO THIS?
The social and economic impacts of COVID-19 caused a bunch of us to reevaluate our priorities in life, with Sunflower Bean questioning everything on their latest single, "Who Put You Up To This?" Featured on the New York City act's forthcoming third album, Headful of Sugar, "Who Put You Up To This?" is an ode to starting over that hears Julia Cumming soaring grandly atop hammered piano chords. Sunflower Bean: "Sometimes you have to let go of who you have been so that you can become who you want to be."
SHAMIR – CAUGHT UP
Shamir's Heterosexuality is finally here, and it's already shaping up to be my own personal Album of the Year. A purgative, revelatory exploration of trauma and how this relates to our identity, Heterosexuality very much reaches an emotional apex on "Caught Up." The centerpiece of the album, "Caught Up" is a commanding expression of the search for freedom from toxic people and situations, with the Las Vegas singer-songwriter's countertenor reaching cathartic levels in the synth-drenched chorus.
JORDANA – CATCH MY DRIFT
In 2021, Jordana released a couple of incredible singles with Ryan Woods and Magdalena Bay, as well as teamed up with her tourmate, TV Girl, on the excellent Summer's Over EP, but this year, the New York City act is back in album mode with "Catch My Drift." Featured on the forthcoming Face the Wall, "Catch My Drift" is a knotty blast of noughties nostalgia about letting go of a toxic lover. "Go home, it's no mistake/No mistake to be alone," she sings, her pure voice ringing out over angular riffs.
CAROLINE POLACHEK – BILLIONS
Caroline Polachek is "stepping out of the page into the sensual world" on her sublime latest single, "Billions.'' Produced by PC Music associate Danny L. Harle, "Billions"' is a tribute to embracing pleasure, with Caroline's multidimensional voice singing of abundance and nourishment with fleshly majesty. "Twisted, manic/Cornucopia/Yeah, my cup overfloweth/Oh, billions," declares Caroline, with Danny's cosmic beats bending to her every word, before "Billions" closes out with the Choir of Trinity College. Cambridge.
BIG THIEF – RED MOON
It feels like it's been a long time coming, but Big Thief's double album, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, finally dropped on Friday. As the five-star reviews have already established, there's a lot to love about the 20-song collection, with a notable highlight coming in the form of the album's centerpiece, "Red Moon." A collaboration with Twain fiddler Mat Davidson, "Red Moon" is a thrilling barn burner, with Adrianne Lenker singing of big city dreams amid a sweeping country stomp.
THE GREETING COMMITTEE & BRISTON MARONEY – SORT OF STRANGER
Ahead of the release of the deluxe edition of the brilliant, fantastic Dandelion, The Greeting Committee has shared the devastating "Sort of Stranger." A collaboration with Briston Maroney, "Sort of Stranger" is a song about the surreal sense of purgatory that follows a breakup. "If you're gone/Who get the toothbrush ready?/If you're gone/I'll watch too much TV/If you're gone/How do I go on living?/If you're gone/How do I go on?" sing Addie Sartino and Briston over gentle acoustic plucks. Crushing.
SHARON VAN ETTEN – PORTA
She recently announced the Wild Hearts Tour with We Are: The Guard favorites Angel Olsen, Julien Baker, and Spencer., and today, Sharon Van Etten is back with the booming "Porta." According to Sharon, "Porta'' was written a couple of years ago while she was going through a particularly rough period of depression. Sharon ended up turning to her friend, Stella Cook, for help during this time, with the punching "Porta'' acting as a beacon of hope through deep despair: "I wanna be myself, wanna be there."
J SOLOMON – MONA LISA
Featured Find j solomon captures the overwhelming experience of growing up and coming of age in the city on his latest single, "Mona Lisa." Having relocated from Drexel University to New York University, "Mona Lisa" describes in vibrant detail the act of becoming an adult amid a capitalist metropolis. "But you know that it would take some money to make more money/You gotta get some money if you wanna get outta here," sings j solomon atop energetic riffs, his exhaustion tangible from the very first note.
BARRIE – JENNY
Barrie Lindsay continues to establish herself as one of the greatest indie songwriters of her generation on her swooning latest single, "Jenny." The follow-up to "Dig," "Frankie," and "Quarry," "Jenny" is a darling lullaby that Barrie penned after meeting her wife, Gabby. "Jenny, I don't know where to love from/Never had to hold myself true to someone," sings Barrie in the beautiful chorus, with Americana guitars chiming softly behind her as she evokes the fragility that comes with falling head over heels.
THE GOLF CLUB – FUNNY LIL THING
There are a few weeks to go until the temperature starts to rise, but dare I say, we already have a Song of the Summer contender in the form of The Golf Club's danceable latest single, "funny lil thing? Having won the blogosphere over with "soda stain," "dirt," and "Hello," the City Terrace duo is once again flexing their funkiest muscles on this grooviest of offerings. With The Golf Club's falsetto vocal harmonies forming like a sultry, humid heat wave over upbeat licks, "funny lil thing" is a pure summer bop.
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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.