BEST INDIE SONGS - WEEK 22
It's Memorial Day, you have the day off work, and you're about to fire up the grill for the first time in close to a year. The last thing that you want to do today is read a long-ass introduction, so I'll be sure to keep this one short. Just don't forget to reserve me some of your auntie's famous potato salad in exchange for me giving up my holiday so that I could bring you this latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs, which this week features fresh cuts from Vampire Weekend, The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, and seven other indie artists who may or may not have dated Moby.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND – THIS LIFE
Father of the Bride is a gift that keeps on giving, sonically and visually, with Vampire Weekend returning this Monday with the star-studded video for album highlight “This Life.” Directed by Emmett Malloy, the black-and-white clip sees Ezra Koenig and Danielle Haim hitching a ride through the California desert with a man known only as “Wade,” with the visual concluding at a Passover Seder as hosted by Mark Ronson.
CLAIRO – BAGS
Following on from the announcement that she's set to release her debut album Immunity in August, Clairo has shared the LP's lead single “Bags.” It's a delightfully odd piece of music that she produced alongside Rostam, with gently chugging guitars, childlike keys, and Danielle Haim's pattering drums backing Clairo as she sings vacantly about the end of a relationship, as if she's observing the collapse from several feet away: “I guess this could be worse/Walking out the door with your bags.”
STEVE LACY – PLAYGROUND
Having collaborated with Vampire Weekend earlier this year on Father of the Bride cut “Sunflower,” Steve Lacy returns this month with “Playground.” The latest single to be unveiled from Apollo XXI is a funky fresh cut that hears the Internet guitarist getting in touch with his inner Prince, with elasticated riffs and groovalicious basslines backing Steve as he compares making love to playground games: “Know you wanna play 'round/Well, baby, I'm on the playground/Hop on up, get on down/And wiggle that thing that's so round.”
THE BLACK KEYS – GO
The Black Keys continue the buildup to “Let's Rock” by sharing the video for the blues-rock ripper “Go.” The hysterical clip, which was directed by Bryan Schlam, sees Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney getting in touch with their inner Metallica circa Some Kind of Monster and checking themselves into band therapy, with the Akron duo attempting to resolve their differences with help from yoga, hallucinogenic drugs, and more.
BANKS – GIMME
BANKS really is THAT bitch. Having returned earlier this month with “Gimme,” the Los Angeles artist is back today with the video, and it's nothing short of electrifying. Directed by Matty Peacock, the clip begins with BANKS dancing alone on an earthen stage while beams of light form shapes around her, with the visual eventually introducing a whole congregation of onlookers who respond to the 30-year-old's every primalistic movement.
CROOKED COLOURS – I C LIGHT
Crooked Colours make music that slithers into the deepest recesses of your mind and holds on tight, often without you even noticing. Case in point: “I C Light.” The latest single to be unveiled from the Perth trio's recent album Langata is a cunning, lithe groove that combines elements of rock and electronic production, resulting in a sound that'll appeal to you if you're a fan of alt-J and Glass Animals.
MIYA FOLICK – MALIBU BARBIE
It's only been seven months since she released Premonitions, but Miya Folick is already back this May with “Malibu Barbie.” The song finds the Los Angeles artist coming to terms with today's unattainable beauty standards, with niggling riffs and rose-tinted synths backing Miya as she sings about the mind-numbing pursuit of perfection: “Let's go and get our nails done/I want to, oh, I really want to/Informal education/Teach me how to be a woman.”
BONES UK – PRETTY WASTE
BONES UK aren't here for your sexist bullshit on their massive latest single “Pretty Waste.” “It's about this idea that if you're a girl, you can't be both attractive and smart,” say the London two-piece of the song, an all-killer, no-filler industrial banger that acts as a gigantic “fuck you” to the misogynistic pigs who think that women should be seen and not heard. “We wanted to show that you can be feminine and strong and tough and angry all at the same time: You can be whatever you want to be.”
THE FLAMING LIPS (FEAT. MICK JONES) – GIANT BABY
Ahead of the digital release of their concept album King's Mouth in July, The Flaming Lips have shared what might be the most Flaming Lipsiest song in the history of The Flaming Lips. “Giant Baby” is an interstellar acoustic lullaby about – you got it – a giant baby, with the ballad opening up with a monologue as narrated by The Clash's Mick Jones before giving way to Wayne Coyne's signature existential musings about life, death, and, erm, the struggle to find toys big enough for said giant baby.
LANA DEL REY – DOIN' TIME (SUBLIME COVER)
While we wait on Lana Del Rey to release Norman Fucking Rockwell, the Hollywood sadcore artist returns this month with a cover of “Doin' Time” by ska band Sublime. Okay, so it's a combination that doesn't read right on paper, but trust me when I say that this cover actually makes perfect sense, with Lana's dappling melancholy lending itself with ease to this sun-kissed ode to California summers.
Until next week, follow We Are: The Guard's Weekly Chart on Spotify for more! 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.