BEST INDIE SONGS - WEEK 39
With the countdown to Yandi officially on, we're back with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs! That's right, despite being exhausted (read: hungover) from hosting our first-ever live night at Echoplex in Los Angeles on Tuesday (spoiler: it was lit and we can't wait to do it again soon), we've still managed to find the energy to filter through the blogosphere for this week's top indie music! As we wait on Ye to drop his mysterious project post-SNL, then (perhaps it's going to be a collaborative album with host Pete Davidson's Piggy Smallz?!), check out the following tracks from Cat Power, Farao, Lewis Capaldi, Mija, Jungle, and more!
CAT POWER – STAY (RIHANNA COVER)
Cat Power follows up “Woman,” her collaboration with Lana Del Rey (more on LDR later), with a cover of Rihanna's “Stay.” Featured on her forthcoming album Wanderer, it finds Chan Marshall really connecting with the song's sense of raw devastation, with her soulful vocals lending the piano ballad a certain maturity that you could argue was missing from the RiRi original. Chan: “I love the tradition of covering songs. I think it's one of the highest compliments you can pay another artist. It's one of the great traditions in American music and one of the true pleasures of music history.”
FARAO – MARRY ME
Farao delivers disco music with a social conscience on the latest single to be unveiled from her forthcoming album Pure-O. “'Marry Me' is about the neurotic impulse to want to possess a person through the institution of marriage, ultimately trying to escape yourself by attaching to others,” says the Norwegian artist of the luxe follow-up to “Lula Loves You,” which'll make you dance as well as think as you sweat it out beneath the glint of the mirror ball.
DYAN – FAKING
DYAN just keeping getting better and better. Following on from their cover of José González's “Cycling Trivialities,” the Los Angeles-via-Cincinnati three-piece return to We Are: The Guard this week with “Faking.” Originally written for the Netflix film Next Gen, it's a stunningly patient composition that unfurls over approximately five-and-a-half minutes, with lead singer Alexis Marsh leading the exploration of the musical space with her ever-considered vocals.
LEWIS CAPALDI – GRACE
Scottish singer-songwriter and all-round Twitter favorite Lewis Capaldi finds deliverance on his thunderous latest single. “I'm not ready to be just another of your mistakes/Don't wanna let the pieces fall out of place/I was only just a breath removed from going to waste/Till I found salvation in the form of your/Your grace,” roars Lewis on “Grace,” a booming love song that comes accompanied by a must-watch video that sees the 21-year-old turn exotic dancer. No, really!
LANA DEL REY – VENICE BITCH
“Fear fun, fear love/Fresh out of fucks, forever/Tryin' to be stronger for you/Ice cream, ice queen/I dream in jeans and leather/Life's dream, I'm sweet for you.” Lana Del Rey is back, baby! Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, however, the follow-up to last week's “Mariners Apartment Complex” is actually far from your average Born to Die cut, with Lana heard losing herself to a wall of psychedelically distorted guitars in what might be her most bold move, musically, to date.
MIJA – DEAD FLOWERS & CIGARETTES
With Halloween fast approaching, Mija is helping to set the mood with her latest single. “Dead Flowers & Cigarettes” finds the former OWSLA signee's signature EDM making way for something far more avant-garde, with Mija heard reciting spoken-word Rupi Kaur-esque Tumblrisms (“The flowers I give you are stolen and dying/And if you tried to keep them alive/I would throw my hands around them/And squeeze them till there was no hope”) over a house production that's the definition of spooky.
JAMES SUPERCAVE – COME ALONE
Kurt Cobain once sang “Come as you are, as you were/as I want you to be,” and Los Angeles outfit James Supercave are doubling down on that notion on “Come Alone.” “The song speaks directly to a lover, asking them to drop the bullshit and come as they are,” says soulfully voiced frontman Joaquin Pastor of the follow-up to “Something to Lose,” a loose-limbed reggae-indebted groove about embracing vulnerability in all of its forms.
MADGE – HOW TO PLAY
Following on from her cover of Sum 41's “In Too Deep,” We Are: The Guard favorite Madge returns this September with another quirky opus. “If you had to summarize my mission statement, it's probably this,” the former Mormon tells Noisey of “How to Play,” a two-and-a-half-minute burst of childlike energy that hears Madge having the time of her life over a kooky blend of shredy guitars and bleepy, bloopy synths.
TIPHANIE DOUCET – UNDER MY SUN
And now for a discovery that came to us via Fluence (submit music to us here). French songbird Tiphanie Doucet has completely stolen our hearts with her latest single “Under My Sun.” Featured on her recent debut album of the same name, this darlingly pastoral acoustic ballad, with its charming orchestral flourishes and Lou Reed-esque melodicism, is nothing short of an essential addition to rainy day playlists this fall.
JUNGLE – BEAT 54 (ALL GOOD NOW)
It's Jungle's responsibility to bring the boogie, and the London soul collective aren't disappointing on “Beat 54 (All Good Now).” As much as we love previously featured singles “Happy Man” and “Heavy, California,” this funky groove is without a doubt our favorite cut from Josh Lloyd-Watson, Tom McFarland, and company's recent album For Ever, with the sumptuous disco production really taking us back to the glamorously hedonistic days of Studio 54.
Until next week, why not follow We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Daily! on Spotify for more music?! x
Photo by Brooke Cagle 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.