NEW INDIE MUSIC - WEEK 2
The unveiling of the Coachella poster is one of the biggest events of the year for music fans, and it's safe to say that Wednesday's reveal didn't disappoint. Don't get me wrong, times are tough, but I feel like I'm willing to blow my life savings on a ticket just to see Stringer fuckin' Bell stand on stage and look fine for 45 minutes. Anyways, festival season is still a few months away yet, so before I start knocking around my neighborhood offering my lawn-mowing services in return for contributions to my Arichella fund, let's get the week started as we always do with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's New Indie Music, featuring Kina Grannis, Holy White Hounds, Dermot Kennedy, Cigarettes After Sex, MISSIO, and more.
KINA GRANNIS – WHEN THE PARTY'S OVER (BILLIE EILISH COVER)
If the sparkles emoji was a song, it'd be this cover of “When the Party's Over” by Kina Grannis. Okay, so that sentence made a lot more sense in my head, but this reinvention of the Billie Eilish track is nothing short of magic, with the acoustic arrangement really allowing Kina's vocal range to shine.
ASYMMETRICAL – TAKE ME OVER
Asymmetrical are as new as they come, but while they may have no press coverage or social media accounts, the band sound entirely established on “Take Me Over.” Mixing Tom DeLonge-esque vocals with ambitious rock instrumentation, this cut from Asymmetrical's self-titled debut album could be a long-lost song from the emo era when the genre was at its creative peak.
HOLY WHITE HOUNDS – NO TEETH
Swagger isn't something that comes naturally to everyone, but Holy White Hounds sound like they were born with it on “No Teeth,” from their recent album Say It With Your Mouth. Fans of Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, and Royal Blood are going to want to get a load of this rifftastic chugger, which oozes with the sort of rock star attitude that only comes around every once in a while.
THE REGRETTES – DON'T STOP ME NOW (QUEEN COVER)
Queen fever is officially sweeping the nation following the release of the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and the latest band to be infected are The Regrettes, who are kicking off 2019 with this punk-rock reinvention of “Don't Stop Me Now.” As much as I love the original, there's no denying that the Los Angeles band have made the song their own with this lip-curling cover, which is most definitely bringing out my inner Brody Dalle.
BLVTH – DISARRAY
Introducing BLVTH, the German producer and singer-songwriter who's making his debut on We Are: The Guard with “Disarray.” With a warped trap instrumental meeting a mind-meltingly deranged vocal performance, this track is best described as a deep dive into the psyche of a tortured genius after they've slipped one too many of Colin Ritman's acid tabs.
DERMOT KENNEDY – FOR ISLAND FIRES AND FAMILY
Following on from the announcement that he's set to play Coachella in April, Dermot Kennedy has shared “For Island Fires and Family.” Clocking in at just under five minutes, the odyssey-like ode to love and loss is fan favorite that the Irish crooner has been performing live for several years now, with the official release showcasing Dermot's voice in all of its rugged glory.
GENERAL CRUSH – WHO IS THAT
“Who Is That?” is most definitely a question that I found myself asking after listening to this song. And while I can't find much information on the man behind General Crush, it's safe to say that the Boston native is letting the music do the talking on this genre-defying vibe, which sets General Crush's laid-back vocal lines against the kind of distorted riffs that wouldn't sound out of place on a Black Sabbath record.
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX – NEON MOON (BROOKS & DUNN COVER)
“If it ain't broke, don't fix it” is a wise saying, one that I'm glad Cigarettes After Sex continue to live by. Sure, their sound may not have changed all that much since they first arrived on the scene in 2008, but when they make music this romantically otherworldly, who really cares?! On that note, feel free to join me in waltzing the night away to the New York City band's dazzling latest single, a tragically ethereal cover of “Neon Moon” as originally released by Brooks & Dunn in 1991.
SUB URBAN – CRADLES
Enter into the strange world of Sub Urban, the NCS signee who's making his debut on We Are: The Guard this Monday morning with “Cradles.” With melancholy vocals and creepy music box-like synths coming set against a darkly basscentric backdrop, “Cradles” is an eerie trap lullaby that's more likely to keep you up than help you to fall asleep at night.
MISSIO – RAD DRUGZ
Whether it's drugs, alcohol, or social media, we all have our addictions, and MISSIO aren't afraid to admit to theirs on their latest single. “I can't get enough, too high to get up/I keep fuckin' up my life with rad drugs,” sing the Austin duo on “Rad Drugz,” an infectiously catchy synth-pop anthem that MISSIO say they wrote “not to alienate, but to create conversation.” They continue: “There is no relief in secrecy. Be encouraged tonight that you're not alone in your struggles.”
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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.