October is like the Oscar season of the music world. Big time artists and album releases tend to go on hiatus in the summer months, spending their time and energy on big festival appearances and exploring rampant hedonism. It makes sense, as so many music lovers are out of town, home, or office, taking advantage of the warm weather months, school breaks, and work vacations to get the heck out of Dodge.

October is when the new school year begins in earnest, when we all settle into our cold weather routines and ride out the remainder of the calendar year. It’s the perfect time for artists to drop some of their boldest, most innovative work, in a bid for year-end recognition and to shake the winter doldrums.

Here at We Are: The Guard, we’re always watching out for the hottest new indie singles, year-round, but October 2017’s New Artist Forecaster is a hot treat, guaranteed to light you up like a jack o’ lantern with a beguiling mix of sleek indie rock, futuristic synthpop, avant-garde weirdness, and low-down heartfelt R&B and hip-hop.

spotify To start, we’ve got two of our favorite new singles from We Are: The Guard artists, DENM’s “Bless Your Heart” and a cover of Palmistry’s “Lifted” from avant-Popsmith Butter, out of L.A. There’s also the silky post-trap of “Holding Your Tongue” by Terror Jr., some bouncy soulful Indie guitar rock from filous on “For Love” with a digital dancehall beat and shout-along gang vocals guaranteed to jump start the party or perfect for getting ready for the club. Then there’s the glassy EDM pop of Elohim on “The Wave..”exploring the Venn Diagram between Madonna, the Cocteau Twins, and whacked-out Glitch Hop.

Courtship’s “Tell Me Tell Me” is a wonderful dancehall/guitar rock hybrid from the up-and-coming L.A. duo. It’s racked up over 5.5 million on Spotify alone, so far; Courtship are definitely a rising star of the Indie firmament, and you’d be advised to get on-board now, before you have to shell out hundreds to catch ‘em at Coachella. Then there’s the funky boom-bap of “24 Hours” of Knox Fortune, with its loping, irregular bassline and detuned bedroom funk vocals. If Beck were to jam with Huggy Bear, it might sound a little something like “24 Hours.” Finally, there’s the abstract art-hop of “Bullet” by Love Sick. Clicking digital microbeats meet mildly mangled real-world samples and auto-tuned vocals, coming across like a subdued synthetic simulacrum of love, sex, and obsession. If Sia collaborated with Sophie and GFOTY, it might end up in a similarly strange-but-seductive orbit as “Bullet.”

The New Artist Forecaster October 2017 playlist is an astute microcosm of all the sounds and styles we feature on We Are: The Guard. Major major props to Duffster for an outstanding curatorial ear, who put together this seamlessly-flowing playlist. We’re beyond grateful for the many talented guards and curators we have among us, lending their strength, style, and support to help underground Indie music remain vital, exciting, and innovative.



J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.