HAPPY MONDAY: THE 10 BEST INDIE SONGS OF THE WEEK
Photo by JAWNY
Happy Monday! How are you? Are you enjoying the final few weeks of summer? Can you believe there isn't long to go until we're back to sipping Pumpkin Spice Lattes and binge-watching Hocus Pocus? Okay, so maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but the sooner this heat is over, the better! Anyways! While I begin the countdown to September, it's time for the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs, featuring JAWNY, Wallice, The 1975, and more!
JAWNY – STRAWBERRY CHAINSAW
He recently collaborated with his hero and inspiration Beck on a brand new remix of "take it back," and this Monday, JAWNY's Jacob Lee-Nicholas Sullenger is back with the delightfully giddy "strawberry chainsaw." "I had this concept that I wanted to toy with – that love is a two-sided coin," explains JAWNY in a statement. With jangly guitars accompanying JAWNY as he sings about being head over heels, "strawberry chainsaw" is a glorious bit of Strokes-esque distortion-pop for the last few weeks of summer loving.
WALLICE – MEAN GIRL
We Are: The Guard favorite Wallice is getting in touch with her inner Regina George on her sparkling latest single, the Mike Dean-produced "Mean Girl." Coming after "I've Never Been to LA," "Mean Girl" is an indifferent ode to living that high-school-bitch life that features on See You Next Year, the brand new compilation album from Pigeons & Planes. "I'm a really mean girl in a really mean world/Ain't no point in being nice now," shrugs Wallice, a vacant prom queen giving herself over to a glittering grunge explosion.
THE 1975 – HAPPINESS
Just a few weeks on from unveiling the first single from their upcoming fifth album, "Part of the Band," Matty Healy and company are back this August with another cut from Being Funny in a Foreign Language. While "Part of the Band'' heard The 1975 leaning into more of a niche freak-folk sound, "Happiness" hears the Dirty Hit signees going full-on eighties power-pop, with brash, garish saxophones accompanying Matty as he sings about a transformative love that saved him from himself (I'm thinking FKA twigs?).
WINTER & HATCHIE – ATONEMENT
Ahead of touring together this fall, Winter and Hatchie are duetting on "atonement." Lifted from Winter's upcoming fourth album, What Kind of Blue Are You?, "atonement" is a cool, dreamy grunge-pop adventure straight out of science fiction. Winter: "Every time I hear this song a new version of the story plays out in my head – an escape, a mystery, a forbidden love. By the time it reaches full climax there is a big reveal – the secret is out, then we discover who committed the crime, the two lovers find each other."
HAZEL ENGLISH – HAMILTON
It's only been a few weeks since she shared her Summer Nights EP, but Hazel English's Eleisha Caripis is already making her return today with the exhilarating "Hamilton." Written and produced alongside her long-time collaborator, Day Wave's Jackson Phillips, "Hamilton" is an intoxicating rush of blood to the head that hears Hazel narrating a dream scene that sees her meeting the love of her life: "I thought to myself, 'Is this a dream?'/And it was, I was sleeping/And then I woke up and I was like, 'Fuck.'"
FLOWEROVLOVE – GET WITH YOU
While London's flowerovlove is no stranger to the chiller parts of We Are: The Guard, Joyce Cisse is finally making her debut in our indie column this August with her latest single, "Get With You." The follow-up to "Hannah Montana," "Get With You" is a fun, thrilling missile of a song about "going after something you want. Needing, wanting, and urging to 'get with it.'" "Hey, hey, I think I really like you/Hey, hi, it would be really nice to/Get with you," sings Joyce, with the 17-year-old riding the stop-start salvo with ease.
GORDI – STRANGER
Gordi gives a voice to the deep, unshakeable sense of longing inside of me like no other, with the Jagjaguwar artist doing it all over again on "Stranger." The latest single to be unveiled from her upcoming EP, Inhuman, "Stranger" is a resonant acoustic ache written in Reykjavík, Iceland. Gordi: "The song has lived in many forms since, and I've always wanted to find a home for it. In one of Melbourne's many lockdowns, I eventually rewrote the track – I got my friend, JT Bates, to add some drums in the Midwest."
HOT CHIP – FREAKOUT/RELEASE
We've already heard "Down" and "Eleanor," and this Monday, London's Hot Chip continue to explore existential crises at the club on the gargantuan "Freakout/Release." "'Freakout/Release' is about pent-up energy and the need for release, and escape," reveals Alexis Taylor in a press release. "It's also about finding your place in relation to music and to performing." Built around a robot voice and a riff that sounds like a nuclear reactor overheating, "Freakout/Release" is dance music at its most mammoth.
WHY BONNIE – NOWHERE LA
Why Bonnie is coming to terms with the emotional desolation that follows a breakup on "Nowhere, LA." Speaking in a statement, Blair Howerton said "Nowhere, LA" was "inspired by a true story of breaking down in the middle of nowhere Louisiana with an ex, this song is about looking at a relationship in the rear view mirror." "Once you're further away from a place, you can see it all more clearly and with a bit more understanding," she adds of the cut, a chugging ode to the heart becoming a wasteland.
WHITMER THOMAS – RIGMAROLE
Back in March, Whitmer Thomas unveiled Can't Believe You're Happy Here EP, a six-song collection produced by Jay Som's Melina Mae Cortez Duterte, and this August, the Gulf Shores, Alabama act is making his return with "Rigmarole." "'Rigamarole' is a song about trying to shake depression with routine, and ultimately accepting I've got no choice but to sink into it," says Whitmer in a statement. A bright, punchy, danceable bit of heartland-pop about the drudgery of life, "Rigmarole" is the definition of this meme.
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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.