BEST INDIE SONGS - WEEK 15
Music. It can seem enormously trivial when the world is falling apart around us – like it's detracting attention from the stuff that's really important in life – but you could also argue that it's as vital as ever that we continue to make and consume art during these intensely uncertain times. After all, as cliché as it feels for me to to type it, if art can't unite us, then what can?! And, please, don't say Pepsi... No, music MATTERS, and it's for that reason that we keep on keeping on this Monday morning with the latest edition of Best Indie Songs featuring Al Bairre, Novo Amor, IDER, WebsterX, Ric Rufio and more.
AUTOGRAF (FEAT. LILS) – YOU MIGHT BE
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm almost certain that Chicago dance producer trio Autograf are yet to release a bad song. Their latest original “You Might Be” continues to build on their artful approach to house music, with the scintillating, iridescent dulcet tones of former The Voice contestant Lils (Lily Elise) paired with tropical-inflected electronic guitars, resulting in a profound summer anthem that's set to make its live debut at Coachella.
SYD – TREADING WATER
“Treading Water” may've not made it to the final tracklisting of Fin, the debut solo album from The Internet's Syd, but that doesn't mean that it's any less worthy of a place in this playlist. Produced by Steve Lacy and Flip Colson, “Treading Water” is a supple, low-key R&B-meets-soul groove that hears Syd's wispy voice paired with funky bass and clinking percussion. “This was my favorite song on Fin before I had to cut it,” writes Syd. Listen.
AL BAIRRE – DON'T SAY/GO AWAY
Their breakup may be imminent, but Al Bairre leave us fans with smiles on our faces with their parting gift – the aptly titled “Don't Say/Go Away.” Combining frontman Nicholas Preen's uplifting vocals with Tessa and Julia Johnson's happy-go-lucky symphonics, the song – which makes reference to Romeo and Juliet – is the epitome of everything that we listeners have come to love about the South African goofballs over the last five years or so.
NOVO AMOR – CARRY YOU
It's been a while since we last heard from Novo Amor, but the Welsh crooner returns this April with what might be his most gorgeous offering yet. The first single to be unveiled from his forthcoming EP Bathing Beach, “Carry You” spreads its wings and takes full flight, soaring to the heavens atop Ali Lacey's stunning falsetto vocal chops, before liberating listeners of all worldly responsibilities with its cathartic crescendo. Novo Amor: “'Carry You' is an expression of nostalgia, a wistful nod to to a certain period of time.” Enjoy.
TOYKO – STRONGER LOVE
Following the release of his debut single “Ghost Pepper,” purveyor of so-called “mood pop” Toyko has unveiled his second offering. Over a cascade of larger-than-life synths, Toyko's vivid voice will carry you to truly rapturous heights on “Stronger Love,” which the Los Angeles outfit reveals emerged from a place of total desperation: “'Stronger Love' came after a night of heavy drinking and a bunch of poor decisions. Come the next morning, I knew I had hurt someone I care for deeply and wrote this song as a cry for forgiveness.”
IDER – NEVERMIND
IDER, the British duo comprising of friends-turned-bandmates Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville, make their boldest statement yet on the latest single to be shared from their EP Gut Me Like an Animal. Glass-cut percussion shatters against throbbing synths, while Markwick and Somerville harmonize with attitude on “Nevermind,” which they tell Stereogum “is a dig at the dog eat dog world we live in – greedy, fast-paced, chaotic.”
WEBSTERX (FEAT. DEM YUUT) – TICK TOCK (PROD. DANNY O'BRIEN)
Having recently impressed us with their debut single “Dawn/Sea,” DEM YUUT return this Monday, only this time in the form of a guest spot on WebsterX's emotive “Tick Tock.” The latest single to be shared from the Milwaukee rapper's album Daymares is a deeply personal dive into WebsterX's backstory, featuring the Closed Sessions signee singing about the years that he spent overcoming hardship in order to create his art (“This pain is inspiring”), with DEM YUUT stopping by at the end of the song to deliver a moving coda.
BLACK FLY – I DON'T KNOW
Hailing from the backwoods of Vermont, enigmatic crooner Black Fly brings a touch of gothic to proceedings with his debut single, the expansive “I Don't Know.” Rasping vocals delivering melancholic lyrics about “all the nasty things that you do” are combined with vast, atmospheric synths throughout the goosebumps-inducing ballad, which reminds me a whole lot of the British three-piece White Lies.
RIC RUFIO – SO WONDERFUL
One year after unveiling his silken first single “Rewind,” Ric Rufio returns this 2017 with his second number. Featured on his forthcoming debut EP, “So Wonderful” finds the Australian singer-songwriter – who's also performed as a backing vocalist for the likes of Adele and Rudimental – continuing to merge R&B and electronica, with Rufio's velveteen croon paired with a groovy, beat-driven production that goes straight to the hips.
NAMBYAR – ONCE MORE
Melt into the ambient sumptuousness that's “Once More” by Jesse Nambiar, AKA Nambyar. Rich, indulgent synths embrace the Dutch producer and singer-songwriter's smooth falsetto vocal chops while crisp, understated beats provide a sense of drive throughout the opulent track, which marks the follow-up to Nambyar's debut single – the equally luxurious “Warm in the Winter.”
Thanks for listening. Until next Monday. x
About Jess Grant
When Jess Grant isn't writing on music, she can be found playing it – on her guitar, on her ukulele, and on her recently acquired mandolin. Playing it hideously, she ought to add. Jess also studies. She studies the English language, to be precise. Jess is currently on her way to a degree in the subject, and enjoys starting and never finishing novels, screenplays, and poetry in her spare time. She also likes dogs. Lots of dogs.