BEST INDIE SONGS - WEEK 44
Praise be to God! JESUS IS KING is finally here, which *hopefully* means that we can all stop talking about Kanye West for a hot minute? Anyways! If you came here looking for some drama-free music this Monday, then I'm pleased to say that you're in the right place! Just a reminder that you can have all of the premarital sex that you like while listening to this week's edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs, featuring The 1975, Rex Orange County, Beck, Mura Masa, MØ, and more!
THE 1975 – FRAIL STATE OF MIND
The 1975 continue to position themselves as the voices for the modern condition on their anxiety-riddled latest single “Frail State of Mind.” With Matty Healy's bleary-eyed vocals coming dunked beneath a twitchy, jacked-up club beat, the follow-up to “People” is a late-night existential hymn that's best listened to on the last train home.
REX ORANGE COUNTY – FACE TO FACE
Two years on from *that* Tyler, the Creator cosign, Rex Orange County continues to thrive as an artist with the release of Pony. The 10-song collection is a deeply delightful listen from start to finish, with a particular highlight coming in the form of “Face to Face,” a castanets-flecked tune that, despite its jaunty veneer, is actually about “being away from home, feeling trapped in an undesirable situation, and finding it difficult to trust people.”
MXMS – DEATH ROW
Having shed light on an important topic for “What's My Name,” MXMS are retreating into the shadows for the sinister “Death Row.” Arriving just in time for Halloween, “Death Row” is described by the duo as being about “a crazy young female drug addict who is completely fearless of death,” with lead singer Ariel Levitan embodying this character with lip-curling conviction over bandmate Jeremy Dawson's industrial bombast.
GABRIEL BLACK – DOROTHY
gabriel black tells a love story like no other with “dorothy.” “Painted nails and Batmobiles/Cigarettes and Happy Meals/Wish I knew exactly what to say/Jerkin' off on FaceTime calls/Draw your face over my walls/Fuck you from a thousand miles away,” sings the Los Angeles act over angsty grunge guitars on the cut, which deftly captures the equal parts desire and destruction that comes with being in a distance relationship in 2019.
BECK – UNEVENTFUL DAYS
Just one week on from sharing “Uneventful Days,” a song that swirled to the sky like fireflies, Beck is back today with the official video. Directed by Blood Orange's Dev Hynes and starring Evan Rachel Wood and Tessa Thompson, it's a surreal, emotionally intensive clip that doubles up as an ode to Beck's iconographic history, with Evan and Tessa's outfits paying tribute to the visuals for “Sexx Laws” and “Devils Haircut,” respectively.
MURA MASA – NO HOPE GENERATION
Coinciding with the announcement of his forthcoming album R.Y.C, Mura Masa is back today with “No Hope Generation.” The follow-up to “I Don't Think I Can Do This Again” is a modern-day emo anthem, with drum machines and a guitar riff resembling The 1975's “Give Yourself a Try” acting as the driving force behind Mura Masa's tongue-in-cheek lyrics: “Everybody do the no hope generation/The new hip sensation craze sweeping the nation.”
MØ – BULLET WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS (THE SMASHING PUMPKINS COVER)
One year on from the release of Forever Neverland, MØ returns today with a cover of “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.” It finds the Dane stripping the song of its harsher rock elements to instead deliver a dreamy, ultraviolet take on the Smashing Pumpkins cut, with MØ doubling down on the vibes while also showcasing a more gravelly tone to her voice.
COUSIN KULA – INVITATION
Beckon down the mirror ball, as Cousin Kula are getting funky on their latest single “Invitation.” Opening to a guitar riff that reminds me a whole lot of David Bowie's plastic-soul anthem “Fame,” “Invitation” is a coruscating disco number that goes straight to the hip bone, with specklings of oddball, weirdo synths helping to keep the song firmly popped-and-locked into 2019.
JACK LARSEN – BUBBA
Chicago's Jack Larsen invites us into his kaleidoscopic world on “Bubba.” It's a sweepingly lush dream of a song that makes for the perfect gateway drug into Mildew, Jack's recent album that he reveals that he wrote while experimenting with magic mushrooms, with the Closed Sessions signee scaling the psychedelic synth landscapes with ease.
TUVABAND – HE SAID ME TOO
Ahead of the release of her album I Entered the Void next month, Tuvaband returns today with “He Said Me Too.” It's a swelling, tempestuous piece of music that hears Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser exploring a multitude of hefty topics such as war, oppression, and shifting power dynamics, with guitars chiming and ringing out beneath the Norwegian artist as she masterfully builds a sense of tension with her siren-esque vocals.
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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.