BEST INDIE SONGS - WEEK 34

8/19/19
Photo by Adrianna Van Groningen on Unsplash

What's up, everyone? Thanks for joining me for the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs! September may be just around the corner, but there's still a bit of summer to go yet! As ever, the team and I are here to help you make the most of what's left of the sunny season with the top indie tracks of the last seven days! Simply grab an Iced Caramel Latte (it won't be long until it turns into a Pumpkin Spice!) and enjoy the following songs from Charli XCX, Shura, VÉRITÉ, Whitney, PVRIS, and plenty more!

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CHARLI XCX (FEAT. SKY FERREIRA) – CROSS YOU OUT

Charli XCX and Sky Ferreira? Name a more iconic duo! The synth-pop songstresses go in search of freedom from heartbreak on their collaborative new single “Cross You Out.” “When you're not around, when you're not around/I'll finally cross you out,” sing the pair on the Lotus IV and A. G. Cook-produced track, a thuddingly euphoric, liberating ode to moving on from toxic exes that features on Charli's forthcoming album Charli.

 

SHURA – SIDE EFFECTS

Just in time for the end of August, Shura returns with the ultimate late-summer slow jammer in the form of “side effects.” The highlight from the British artist's recent album forevher is a perfect distillation of Shura's woozy disco-lite, with Alexandra Lilah Denton breathily singing about breaking free from an old love over hazy pop grooves. “It's about saying goodbye to a more anxious iteration of myself,” writes Shura. “It's a farewell to the Nothing's Real era.”

 

CALVA LOUISE – BELICOSO

This is explosive! Calva Louise are nothing short of letting rip on their angry latest single “Belicoso.” Written about that moment when your emotions reach boiling point, “Belicoso” is a volcanic eruption of a song that hears frontwoman Jess Allanic screaming out her frustrations in a mixture of English and Spanish over a blend of shredtastic guitars and pounding drums.

 

ANNA OF THE NORTH – PLAYING GAMES

Can Anna of the North do any wrong? No, no she can't! Following on from the release of “Thank Me Later,” the Norwegian artist returns today with another electronic-pop spectacle in the form of “Playing Games.” With driving basslines meeting 80s-esque, glimmering synths, “Playing Games” is an “Oops!...I Did It Again”-esque ode to toying with a lover's emotions that hears Anna Lotterud admitting in the refrain: “I've been playing games with your heart.”

 

VÉRITÉ – OCEAN

Ahead of the release of her forthcoming album New Skin, We Are: The Guard favorite VÉRITÉ returns today with the pummeling “ocean.” Over a backdrop of tribal-infused beats, listen as the New York City songstress delivers one of the deftest, most commanding vocal lines of her career on the cut, which VÉRITÉ reveals forms part of a larger narrative about “the messy and uncomfortable and mundane reality of being in a relationship.”

 

BIG THIEF – NOT

Big Thief are back! Just three months on from the release of UFOF, the New York City band return this August with the seismic “Not.” “It's not the energy reeling/Nor the lines in your face/Nor the clouds on the ceiling/Nor the clouds in space,” sings frontwoman Adrianne Lenker with mantra-like intensity on the cut, a six-minute ode to the unspeakable things in life that gradually descends into a feedback-heavy sprawl of primordial noise.

 

SOMEBODY'S CHILD – DISTANCE

Irish  troubadour Somebody's Child pays tribute to his first love on his latest single “Distance.” It's an undeniably feel-good piece of music that finds Cian Goddo reflecting on some of his earliest encounters with romance – and, alas, heartache – with Somebody's Child's throaty, impassioned vocals combined with the unrelentingly catchy indie-rock production really bringing to life that sense of youthful innocence.

 

WHITNEY – USED TO BE LONELY

Whitney – the Chicago folk outfit founded by Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich – continue to build up to the release of Forever Turned Around by sharing the truly sweet “Used to Be Lonely.” The follow-up to “Valleys (My Love)” is a warm, tender lullaby about the deepening connection between two lovers, with the song building from falsetto-laden beginnings into a horn-laced opus that I can really only describe as utterly lovely.

 

PVRIS – HALLUCINATIONS

Boston's PVRIS are embracing their poppier sensibilities on their officially gargantuan latest single “Hallucinations.” The song – which was written by frontwoman Lynn Gunn alongside JT Daly, Amy Allen, and Marshmello – is a certified juggernaut that may be the band's most danceable offering to date, with Lynn nothing short of giving it her all on the vocal front in the driving, propulsive chorus.

 

BAKAR – HELL N BACK

Coinciding with the announcement of his Will You Be My Yellow EP, Bakar has shared the serene “Hell N Back.” The song – which recently premiered on Kendall Jenner's Beats 1 radio show ZAZA WORLD RADIO – hears the charismatic British crooner infusing his blend of indie-rock and hip-hop with a hint of retro reggae, resulting in a tranquil listen that deserves pride of place in your Best Tracks to Get Baked To playlist.

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Photo by Adrianna Van Groningen on Unsplash

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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.