BEST INDIE SONGS - WEEK 17
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs, aka the second most entertaining thing that you'll read on the Internet this week after Kanye West's Twitter feed! For realsies, it's awesome to have Ye back in 280-character form, and we seriously can't wait for him to drop his album (or should we say albums?!) in June (we also can't wait for Father John Misty's God's Favorite Customer and Drake's Scorpion, two other LPs that have been announced for a June release. Damn – that's a whole lot of male ego in one month). Before all of that, however, it's time to check out the top indie tracks of the last seven days. While we attempt to hydrate our way out of this Beychella hangover, you get your week started right with the following 10 songs from James Bay, Noah Kahan, Lykke Li, Slow Hollows, Battle Tapes, and more.
JAMES BAY – US
The hat is gone (GASP!), and so is the hair (ALSO GASP!), but fear not, as the same ol' James Bay is still there underneath on “Us.” The third cut to be unveiled from the British troubadour's forthcoming second album Electric Light after “Pink Lemonade” and “Wild Love” is a gospel-tinged ballad about the power of human connection, with James heard singing his newly woke heart out over a genuinely anthemic backdrop of organs and handclaps.
NOAH KAHAN – YOUNG BLOOD
As much as we pride ourselves on having our ear to the ground here at We Are: The Guard, every once in a while, a song inevitably slips under our radar. “Young Blood” by Strafford, Vermont's Noah Kahan is one such example. Released in January 2017, this heart-stirring ballad is only making its way back to us now. Not that it matters, of course, because like all of the best music, “Young Blood” sounds utterly ageless, with a message of empowerment that defies time and space barriers!
LYKKE LI – HARD RAIN
Our acne is cleared, our crops are thriving, and our grades are up, which frankly can only mean one thing... LYKKE LI IS BACK, BABY! “hard rain” is everything that we hoped for and more from our Nordic queen... Starting out suspended in space, before swooping down into more experimental electronic territory, this Rostam-produced hymnal has us beyond hyped for so sad so sexy, which drops on June 8.
SLOW HOLLOWS – LESSONS FOR LATER
Austin W. Anderson is perhaps best known for contributing guitar to Frank Ocean's blond and Tyler the Creator's Flower Boy, but the Los Angeles artist also makes music of his own with the band Slow Hollows. “Lessons for Later” is their latest offering and it's a lush, sumptuous, jazz-flavored fever dream – one that comes accompanied by a video directed by none other than BROCKHAMPTON's Kevin Abstract!
YUNO – WHY FOR
Sub Pop's newest signee Yuno is making chillwave great again, and we're HERE FOR IT! The Jacksonville singer-songwriter and producer is taking us back to the early days of Washed Out and Toro y Moi, while simultaneously making the genre completely his own on “Why For” – a balmy, psychedelic swirl that has “sound of summer” written all over it!
BATTLE TAPES – LAST RESORT & SPA
Battle Tapes make dark electronic music with a solid rock core. Their sound is comparable to that of industrial icons Nine Inch Nails, but let's be honest – the prowling, beastly, intense “Last Resort & Spa,” from the Los Angeles band's recent third EP Form, is better than all of the songs on Add Violence put together. Time to start taking notes, Trent?!
JACKSON PENN – BABYLON
He's co-written songs for everyone from Selena Gomez to Kanye West, but now Freddy Wexler, aka Jackson Penn, is taking his own rightful place in the spotlight with “Babylon.” The New York artist has got us all in our feels with this piano-driven lamentation, which places Jackson's hypnotic vocals front and center for maximum emotional impact. “Bob Marley said that Babylon is everywhere,” writes Jackson in a press release. “To me, Babylon is anywhere she is and I can't be.” GULP!
SOLEIMA – PACIFY ME
There's nothing that we love to see more in a pop star than attitude, and Denmark's Soleima has it in droves on her newest single “Pacify Me.” Featured on her recent second EP Bulldog, it's a characteristic lil' groove (no, really – get a load of those basslines!) about the need to keep the excitement alive in a relationship that we intend on bopping to throughout spring!
NAVA – RITUAL
NAVA are awakening our inner spirit animal with their debut single. Headed by Iranian singer-songwriter Nava Golchini, the mysterious quartet are tapping into an almost primitive part of our brain with “Ritual” – a ferociously energetic battle cry that draws just as much inspiration from industrial music as it does traditional Persian sounds.
LYNDA – UFO
Introducing Lynda, the London duo comprising of Russ Jones and Youcef Khelil, who're making their debut on We Are: The Guard with the otherworldly “UFO.” Sounding like an astral Tears for Fears, with the pair mixing 80s new wave with a Vangelis-meets-Stranger Things vibe, “UFO” is nothing short of a celestial listening experience that's sure to skyrocket Lynda into the synth pop stratosphere.
Thanks for listening! Oh, and why not follow We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Daily on Spotify for more?! x
Photo by Ian Dooley on Unsplash
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.