THE 10 BEST INDIE SONGS TO KICK-START YOUR HOLIDAY SEASON
Now Thanksgiving is out of the way, you know what that means, don't you? CHRISTMAS HAS ARRIVED. Okay, so perhaps it's still too early to be subjecting ourselves to Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé's festive standards, but it's never too early for We Are: The Guard's Indie Christmas. Featuring 12 classic holiday covers by artists as diverse as DENM, MXMS, and Jamie Lidell, Indie Christmas is available wherever you listen to music!
Check out the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs, featuring NEIL FRANCES, Bloc Party, Mura Masa, and more below!
NEIL FRANCES (FEAT. GRAE) – FINDING RHYTHM
This is absurdly, ridiculously funky. Just a few weeks on from hitting up Outside Lands, Los Angeles duo NEIL FRANCES is returning today with "finding rhythm." A collaboration with GRAE, "finding rhythm" is a groovy gem described as being about "the inner workings of a relationship." "Seems like every time you're up when I'm down/When I'm left, you're right, and I'm wrong," begins "finding rhythm," which feels like a fresh spin on "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" by Talking Heads. 10/10!
BLOC PARTY – TRAPS
BLOC PARTY IS BACK, BABY. It's been six years, but finally, the London indie band is making their rip-roaring return today with "Traps." The first single to be unveiled from their forthcoming sixth album Alpha Games is an uncontainable post-punk rotorcraft that chugs with the same thrilling energy as first heard on Silent Alarm. "From the moment we wrote 'Traps,' we knew it had to be the first thing people heard from this album," reveals Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke. Crank it up!
MURA MASA – 2GETHER
On Tuesday, Mura Masa's Alexander Crosson received a GRAMMY nomination for the fourth time in his career, with his take on PVA's "Talks" landing in the category for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical. Just under one week on, and the Guernsey act is back this Monday with his brand new single "2gether." A collaboration with Gretel Hänly – whose debut single "Slugeye" was produced by Mura Masa – "2gether" is a degraded, sputtering love song that sounds like it was extracted from a robot's innards.
MOLLY NILSSON – POMPEII
Ahead of the release of her 10th album Extreme in January, Stockholm artist Molly Nilsson is sharing the 11-song collection's melodramatic closer "Pompeii." The follow-up to "Absolute Power" is an equal parts life-affirming and soul-destroying dance-floor triumph and spectacular about a couple spending one final perfect evening together before going on their separate paths: "That fateful sun is just going down/Just like the disaster before we're drowned/Did they feel this way that night in Pompeii?"
ELI SMART – EVERY FLAVOR
He recently announced a homecoming show in Liverpool at the Kazimier Stockroom, and today, Eli Smart is continuing to build up to his live return by sharing his lilting latest single "Every Flavor." Opening to a spread of Mac DeMarco-esque melodic jangle before Eli enters with his sun-speckled husk, "Every Flavor" is exactly the kind of tropical bop that falls under the Kauai native's brand of "aloha-soul." "Too long, too long, too long, too long, too long/Since I ever held you," rasps Eli. Listen!
CAROLINE LOVEGLOW – ZENOSYNE
Strawberry, the debut album from Caroline Loveglow, is arriving in February, but before all of that, the Los Angeles dream-pop act is back today with the sparkling "Zenosyne." According to Caroline, "Zenosyne'' is named after a term she stumbled across in a novel a few years ago that means: "The sense that time appears to be moving faster and faster, especially as one grows older." With shoegaze guitars raining down like roman candles behind Caroline's glittering croon, "Zenosyne'' is an existential fantasy.
YOT CLUB – HOLE
In October, Yot Club made his debut on We Are: The Guard with "Alive," and today, the Jackson musician is continuing to hone his gleamingly disengaged indie with "Hole." Coming to us via Nice Guy Records, "Hole" is all about Yot Club's mental health during COVID-19. "It's about how the current times have forced people to disassociate from reality just so they can feel a sense of normalcy (or at least that's how I do it)," reveals Yot Club of the cut, which sounds like Julian Casablancas if he fronted The Drums.
SOFTCULT – PERFECT BLUE
Meet Softcult – the Kitchener outfit comprising of twin sisters Mercedes and Phoenix Arn-Horn – who are immersing us in their cerulean sadness on the shoegazey "Perfect Blue." According to Mercedes and Phoenix, "Perfect Blue" was written about their relationship with their previous record label – a major that continually refused to put out Softcult's music due to their creative differences. An ode to rediscovering your sense of self after such a toxic period, "Perfect Blue" surrounds you in its hazy fuzz melancholy.
MEN IN LOVE – TAINTED EYES
There isn't a whole lot I can tell you about Men In Love, except they're from Gothenburg and "write, produce, and mix" all of their own songs, but you know what? It really doesn't matter. Men In Love is allowing the music to do all of the talking on their kaleidoscopic latest single "Tainted Eyes." Clocking in at a little under four minutes, "Tainted Eyes'' is a psychedelic odyssey that gently sends you sailing down its multicolored ocean of curiosity. FFO: The Beatles, Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips.
ROSI – HERE
London duo rosi is bringing to life that incredibly uneasy feeling of something familiar becoming gradually unfamiliar on their brand new single "Here." "We felt this happening in the world over the last five years like getting lost in some kind of a storm," says rosi on Instagram. With cinematic, Blade Runner-indebted synth arpeggios forming like thunderclouds around haunting vocals, "Here" is a truly disconcerting hymnal: "Deep in the chambers of my soul, I know/That we're so far away from home."
Follow We Are: The Guard's Weekly Chart for more music! xo
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.